You’ve heard it before. It’s nothing new. “As a martial arts business owner a part of your marketing must be dedicated to ‘positioning yourself’ as an ‘anti-bullying expert.’
The question often is “where do I start?”
The problem is there are so many answers to that question (some conflicting) in the martial arts industry and the result is mass confusion. In this article my goal is to “simplify” the whole “anti-bully expert” thing for you.
It is safe to say it’s not enough to simply claim martial arts training alone will teach kids how to deal with bullies. Yes of course, kids get more confident when they train. Kids learn techniques which could be used to fend off an attacker. And kids develop relationships with like-minded children. Naturally, all those wonderful benefits of martial arts training will, overtime, equip a child to deal with the inevitable bully. But, those benefits are not enough for you to hang your shingle as a local “anti-bully” crusader.
Before we go into some ideas let’s start with another question…
Why would you want to hang your shingle as an “anti-bully” expert in your community? For one, prospects like the idea of dealing with “experts.” But more importantly, it comes down to the “why do you buy a drill concept.”
Why do you buy a drill? Because you want a hole.
It’s about results. And one thing we know, especially now with the massive media coverage bullying has received, is parents want the result of minimizing the effects of bullying on their child.
So where to begin?
My new martial arts business system members often ask the wrong question.
Most of the time they want to know “what to teach” when it comes to anti-bully skills. Most of the time, they are looking for the EXACT anti-bully curriculum. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad question. It is just the wrong question to ask first.
Every now and then the question above leads to yet another WRONG question. And that is…
“Which anti-bully program is the best one in the martial arts industry?”
The reasons I say these questions are wrong (to ask first) is because it does not matter which program or anti-bully curriculum you like or buy into. Why? Simple! You can pay $1000’s for all kinds of programs and certifications and it won’t matter. No one will care! It is still up to you to “market” your anti-bully expertise. To put it bluntly. You STILL have to market YOURSELF as an anti-bully expert regardless of the program you use.
The next problem…
Which “anti-bully” doctrine is best? Do you teach a kid body language before you teach them verbal skills? Or, do you emphasize spacial awareness and tone of voice? See where this is going? We can talk in circles about “how” to teach kids to stand up to bullies without violence.
Now the big take away…
You don’t have to wait to be anointed an anti-bully expert, nor do you need certification.
Probably the greatest problem that keeps a school owner from claiming the “title” of anti-bully expert is the myth of having to be “anointed” by someone else. That’s BS!! Anoint yourself! The truth is you already know enough. Why? Remember this…
“For every third grader, there’s a forth grader.”
But hold on. Here’s my disclaimer.
I am assuming you’re a pro. And what do pro’s do? They constantly learn. So when I say you know enough I assume you’ve at least read a few books on anti-bully skills. I’ll assume you’ve helped some kids deal with bullies. I’ll assume you’ve taken note about what has worked and what has not worked for your students. It’s assumed you’re on a mission to discover what works best.
The point is… Any good martial arts business owner worth his/her salt knows more than the average parent or educator about anti-bully skills. But if you’re still at a loss, start here…
If you were going to teach kids with no martial arts experience how to deal with bullies you can build on the following. First, to give credit where credit is due, I learned these years ago from Bill Kip and Kathy Marlor.
- Teach kids why bullies do what they do.
- Show them how typical bullies interact and how they choose their victims.
- Teach them the differences between Passive, Aggressive and Assertive behaviors.
- Make them aware of personal space and how to protect it.
- Help them understand how just vocal tone can go a long way in stopping bullies.
Add the five ideas listed above to anything you already have and… “bada bing” – you’ve got your own anti-bully program you can be proud of and then go market to your community.
In a future post will cover ideas on how to market your “anti-bully expertise.”