Since the 1970’s, when Kung Fu was very popular all over the world, the amount of posters and promotional advertisements promoting the best of the best and the ultimate in martial art training has been a never ending thing. Take for example all those various ‘over the top’ promotional martial art and self defence classes that offers not only God like combat skills but a wonderful life in every sense of the word.
Some of those promotional posters projected the image of killing the enemy in the most gruesome of ways, such as slitting their throats for example, while others would call their classes safe to learn and family friendly.
In the name of self defence some will teach how to move forward pumping many bullet rounds into someone like the armed police would train to do against a terrorist attack while others will be all nice and friendly, (a family friendly class), with everyone getting together in a nice loving and safe way and treat the whole thing as a mother and toddler group.
Image is everything so which type of martial art class are you? And remember that the image that you put across will result in what type of people join. Do you want ammosexual violent minded killers joining or people looking for a tea party event?
In the case of ‘family friendly’ self defence and martial art classes then that does tend to promote the image of it all being soft and nice with training standards so soft and far from hard that anyone can do it.
With that kind of image being promoted then it would not be unfair to say that many will think that grades awarded would be soft earned with little children getting a black belt without the need to be combat effective. That of course may not be the case but such an image will make people think like that and it will come across as a McDojo club as it is often termed these days.
On the other end of the promotional image scale we have the kill or be killed mentality of clubs that will do their very best to enforce the belief that if attacked then you must use brutal killer force to stop the attacker. To enforce this image the instructors will wear army style clothing and boastfully say that if attacked you must put a knife to the attackers throat and kill them. All of these promotional images however can do more harm than good.
Image is everything so if you as an instructor use images to two men fighting with knives then there is a great risk you are going to be viewed as teaching violence and that can in turn attract violent minded individuals wanting to join your classes.
On the other hand if you are promoting soft family friendly classes then of course you could be attracting what could be regarded as total time wasters who think of it as no more than a family night out but will soon leave if the training is hard as they were hoping for a nice soft friendly time of it all. In any event this type of image will get you the reputation for running a money making McDojo class.
Image is everything so that being the case the type of image that you promote is vital if you wish to avoid the wrong type of person joining or ending up with a bad reputation. And as for those silly advert posters that we all have seen over the years that claim the ultimate in killer self defence methods then simply ask yourself the question - would you join such a club?
Image is everything so when promoting what you do take your time over the content you intend to add to your promotional literature and don’t dress for class like a scruffy dressed violent thug. Think about what type of students you want to walk in the door and what kind of image of yourself you wish to put across to them. At the very least look and dress professional.
In an effort to attract new paying customers, note the reference to paying customers, some will promote their classes as being nice and friendly. An ideal type of class for all the family to take part in. More money if a whole family takes part - yes? While others who wish to promote themselves as being a hard combat expert will wear clothing like a streetwise ex-army veteran and promote the image of teaching killer methods.
However both of these types of classes many people will no longer fall for anymore in this day and age, unlike in the old days when many fell for such things, but will instead just simple look elsewhere for a more sensible type of martial art class that does not give out such a stupid, or at the very least, a silly image.
If you need to go way over the top with an image that says ‘we teach deadly combat’ or an image that says ‘we teach so soft that even a baby can get a black belt’ then maybe, just maybe, you really do need to rethink what you are doing before getting a bad reputation.
In the end all you need to do is make a good promotional picture for a poster, and the basic required information on what and where you do it, and leave it at that. And of course stop telling everyone that you are the supreme world grandmaster of the universe. Being a 30 year old 10th Dan Black Belt grandmaster really does make you look silly you know?
Remember that unlike many years ago with all that silly ‘no touch killer techniques’ advertising rubbish most people today are far more aware of what the martial is all about and far more aware of false claims of greatness that some clubs today still try to promote.
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