Stop Using Fear Based Marketing!

Reality-based martial artists, stop it. Stop using fear-based marketing, you’re a bunch of asses. I cannot stand people using fear as a motivator to make people buy things from them. Why – why do you feel the need to frighten people all the time about violence when, statistically speaking, they’re probably never gonna see it? Why are you putting up reports from your local newspapers all over your advertising listing all the bad things that have happened, out of context? So many things in there happen to people whose jobs put them in the line of danger, or those who exist in a world where violence is very common. It’s not “local housewife walks down to store and gets attacked” – which happens rarely, stranger danger being the least common thing yet the most commonly marketed method to get people into self defense gyms. It’s always “man stabbed three times by girlfriend” – yeah, that happened, but what was the context of it?  Taking something from one tiny little statistic and then using that to blitz a marketing campaign on social media, or on flyers, or in schools is low, and it makes all of us look bad.


If you’re not a good enough instructor to bring students in and retain them on your merits, if you have to scare the hell out of them to make them stay out of fear that when they leave your gym they will be attacked by random ninjas and vigilantes and rapists all the time … stop teaching!  Just stop – you’re not doing anybody any favors. If you need to keep people in by making sure they leave terrified, or you bring them in by making them terrified – it’s ridiculous.


(no point in trying to be  fraud…we already know their king)

There’s a difference between fear-based marketing and awareness campaigns for what is happening. We, for example put up things that are happening in Edmonton, where we’re based, but we put up the context of it, we put up the whole news story – not a sound bite. Stop jumping into sound bite Fox news lifestyle where it’s all about propagating fear and making everybody suspicious of everybody else.


(Stop hitting the panic button! Students who you bring in with fear campaigns will not stay!)

Yes – violence does happen. Usually it happens from people that you know, usually with that violence – to quote Marc MacYoung – it has instructions on how to stop it. “Shut the fuck up and leave” – you shut the fuck up and leave, you’re good. Usually, bad things happen to people in bad situations – they go to places they shouldn’t go, they don’t know the rules, they’re in the wrong spot. Rory Miller has a whole bunch of things listed in his book, Facing violence about this. But to use bad things to profit your own business to me is probably one of the dirtiest, most shameful things you can possibly do.


One Comment

  1. Ben Cerasi January 30, 2016 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Love the revamped site dude you make FMA and the shredder proud

    – California Combatives Club

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