Do we really need all those fancy fighting style names anymore? I would have to say no. In fact if I were to start all over again there would be a lot of changes I would make to how I would promote classes and treat it all. The first thing I would change is to get rid of those style names and just call it martial arts and use my own name as a club title. Maybe just call my classes ‘Dave Lomas Martial Arts’ or some such name like that.
My advertisements would promote classes as teaching the traditional training aspects of the martial arts in a formal structured way, and also, teaching a mix of kickboxing/freestyle sparring methods with in-depth self defence training. And apart from providing class times and venue details that would be more or less it. Other details such as class fees would be provided when new beginners came along to take a look.
At this point I should mention that students would be required to wear a formal ‘Gi’, as standards of dress, must always be followed. It also clearly sets the rules of dress and stops having silly minded students walking in the door looking like a street thug.
Anyway my name, or club name, would be a name I would rise or fall by with regard to my reputation for being a good teacher, and that reputation would be upon my shoulders, and not making people believe that the effectiveness of the so-called style of combat, or training standards being taught makes it valid based on some all singing all dancing glamorous name like many do these days. In other words the ultimate aim would be to offer straightforward instruction in the martial arts and not use any fancy style names to mislead new students into thinking that they are studying the best martial art style in the world because the style name is famous and the such like.
Many martial arts schools, or if you prefer clubs, have a very bad habit of claiming that they teach the best killer fighting methods on the planet, and they even try to give themselves credit for what they do, by claiming lineage back to some martial art teacher that they have never even met in most cases. Such a claim to fame does not mean the instructor holds the very same standards as those who have gone before him at all. Those claims to fame, or claims of learning the best killing martial arts style in the world, would not be part of what I would teach if I ever did it all over again.
My name would be my reputation and not the use of a brand name, that many call a style name, to make it all look legitimate and wonderful.
Many have tried to mix the various martial art styles, (brand names), together over the years, or call it a mixed martial art, but in reality it all comes down to the standard that you teach and not all that promotional messing about.
Do we really need to use all those fighting style names, and claims of being an authentic martial arts style, anymore? Well as far as I am concerned if I did it all over again I would strongly say no.
One thing is for sure is that if everyone who stood by their own name, their own reputation, and not pretend to teach a martial art style that they have never even been formally trained in at all, chances are, then maybe the fake teachers will not be around so much? How many fakes taught Jeet Kune Do, for example, because they knew many would turn up and pay for such fake lessons when Bruce Lee made the name famous I wonder?
Sadly however it will never be truly possible to fully remove styles names in favour of a brand name, or an individual instructor's name only, as there are many forms of combat around that are very different from each other. Judo, for example, is far removed from karate and as such very distinctive from each other when it comes to the nature of fighting. So that being the case, maybe as an extra bit of information for new students to look at, some categories are needed in addition?
If a few basic categories were added to promotional posters and leaflets such as Judo based or maybe Kung Fu based, then new beginners will know in advance that the classes are grappling or striking arts in nature.
Boxing is a universal sport based fighting style so that being the case boxing clubs are often based on an instructor name, or brand of club name, rather than a multitude of style names and as such they don't have that problem at all.
In any event it is long overdue for martial art clubs to stop making silly claims of being the ultimate killing martial arts style ever. We had more than enough of that mentality over the decades and now it needs to stop.
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