The Martial Arts Industry Has An Identity Crisis

The Martial Arts Industry Has An Identity Crisis

by Chris Perilli November 06, 2018 0 Comments

The Martial Arts Industry Has An Identity Crisis - Dojo Muscle

This post is some time in the making and it's going to make people upset at me. But it needs to be said.

This Martial Arts Industry has an identity crisis.

I love you guys so let me say this comes from the heart.

Look at the end of the day most people I speak to who are school owners are good people just trying to feed their families and help other people grow.

I sometimes think the industry has an identity crisis.

I said it.

There is always this hot debate between being Yoda. And being a Car Salesman.
OR a debate against, custom vs template. Or a debate against contracts vs none.
Sales vs service.


I wrote this the other day in response to a debate but decided it would probably fall on deaf ears.

Being a martial artist in life, and choosing to walk through life as an example to others is what we should all do.

Running a business congruent with your values should be what everyone does.

But no one in this conversation is descendants of Samurai.

Let's be honest here now.

This idea we need to be those type that walk on water, never have a drink don’t curse, and don’t ever act in a human way (good and bad) isn’t just chasing a dream (because all people are flawed) It’s weird to me.

And it's setting people up to fail.

And it’s weird that the world still looks at Marital art people as weirdos who wear pajamas and roll around on the ground with others.

I know because you must never see me walk into a convenience store, gi burn on my face, rash guard on, hair messy in blue Gi pants. People are like wait what!?

When are we going to stop the charade of having to live up to this Yoda like character persona?

I just hope we can mix the fact that we all strive for better but we are not better than others.

We do not have to take the mantle of harming our families and not growing because of tactics someone decided is “against the rule books for Martial Artists”.

There seems to be a confusion that if one opens a martial art school they are to be Yoda on one hand or the sham wow guy on the other. Where is the happy medium?

We are in America many of us a 10th generation or more lineage to the art form we train in?

Maybe 6 in BJJ?

Where do we get off thinking we don’t live in a capitalistic economy where if you don’t meet your bills you can’t impact lives because you can’t keep from being evicted?

I’m all for impacting lives.

But you can’t do that if you are struggling to make money in a business.

You do what you feel is comfortable to the success of your business.

It doesn't make anyone better by thinking their thought process is better.

They are better by what they do.

What I don’t grasp well is the IDEA of custom everything, from website to video, to marketing, to culture to all of it across the board, and in the same breath people mention, one should not be focused on sales?

How does anyone expect to pay for all that wonderful custom “I am completely unique” stuff that actually WORKS right and well enough to make an ROI so you can keep your doors open?

I’ve been in the marketing and branding business for close to 16 years, if you want the good stuff, that works well and it’s all custom to you, you will pay a small fortune to get it.

I never got that.

Ask anyone who is successful in any business and ask them if they aren't focused 1000% on sales all of the time. The only people who say sales are not important are the people who are simply rationalizing their own lack of it.

NOW that does not MEAN don't serve. SERVE all day and night. Serve with all you have go above and beyond every time. But understand without sales you have no business. You have a costly hobby.

Why we have to choose in this industry between being profitable and selling out or being a charity. It's strange.

No ones building wealth by dropping your sales focus.

The sheer truth is that every single business on the planet that is service oriented, needs to replace members that leave with new ones or they will run their business into the ground fast.

Why is this the only industry where we are pompous enough to believe that the “rules don’t apply to us”?

The truth is there is Sales, and then there is everything else.

My buddy Chris Brown wrote this:

Just remember that - there’s wisdom in it

Without sales your cease to be able to create any form of life for yourself

True Salespeople are the richest people in the world

They sell their values

They sell their principles

They sell their vision

They sell their dream

They sell their love

They sell their mission

At the core of this is a belief

Making people believe - that’s all you have to do - inspire your best into people

You know deep down if people absorb a little of you they become better.

Get out there and get it done.

One should focus on SALES AND Student Retention.

Because you can’t retain students if you aren’t making enough money to feed yourself.

If you can’t save yourself you can’t save anyone.

If you want to join a program that will help you serve and sell check out Muscle Up. 

Chris Perilli
Chris Perilli


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