The challenges facing Martial Arts schools across the nation are many, leading to the closing doors and knowledge being lost. Overcoming these challenges is not easy but possible. These challenges include self defense being put in the hands of devices (guns, tazers, mace, pepper spray), Mixed Martial Arts stealing clients, the bad economy, and the digital age causing laziness and instant gratification desires in our young people. Each of these obstacles is addressed, and explained why they are just new obstructions to overcome. Hand to Hand combat will never be replaced, Mixed Martial Arts can be combined and expounded upon, the economy gives a great opportunity to give extra values to students, and the digital age gives enormous advances for advertising and communication. Through hard yet smart work overcoming these barriers can lead to opportunities.
Martial Arts losing their Arts
Many traditional martial arts are thousands of years old, and provide rich culture and heritage and well as providing physical, emotional, and mental benefits, yet they are on the decline (Knight). However, there is still a need for mental and physical discipline, the world still must exercise for health and stress relief. Also, there is a growing need for self defense and confidence building in our young people with cyber bullying, and the world becoming more competitive and smaller with technology. It is quite the paradox, basic economics teach us if there is a greater need supply, should be going up, not down.
Over the last 18 month I have seen four martial arts dojos close their doors or drastically change their business model, whom I have directly trained with worked for professionally. I have studied martial arts intermittently since I was 16 years old in Judo, Fencing, Kenpo, and a style of Kung Fu. Schools who were once full and had multiple locations have been closing doors. As a student of the martial arts, and as a business professional who have helped with business plans, websites, and marketing strategies for these schools, this topic is a passion of mine, and I have spent many evenings looking for the answer, "why?"
Traditional martial arts are in less demand due to hand to hand self defense not as sought after, the raise of Mixed Martial Arts, the bad economy, and the digital age. Self Defense Argument
The first argument running rampid over the internet about why martial arts as a self defense is obsolete is because everyone carries weapons. Armed assaults, murders, are on the raise if you watch TV, or read the news. However the FBI statistics show otherwise, most crimes in the united states are still much higher than in the 60s and 70s, yet 15%-25% lower than in the 80s. (Federal Bureau of Investigation).
If armed assaults, robbery and murder are going down, one could carry a gun legally to feel safe, thus again calling into question the need for martial arts as a self defense. Personally I have my concealed weapons permit and do carry a gun when I leave the house. However, guns do not make martial arts obsolete. no one carries guns all hours and to all locations. Also, there are multiple locations it is illegal to carry a weapon such as traveling abroad, schools, airplanes, and federal buildings. Even the most gun enthusiasts do not carry while using the rest room, at home, or participating in water sports. If an assailant attacks, yet the victim does not have time to reach his firearm, the gun is a liability, not an asset.
Many people concerned with self defense will carry firearms, mace, pepper spray, or teasers, these product work and can effectively detour, or protect. Yet, all devices require foresight, and extra time to draw, aim, and activate. Years of Martial Arts training gives an instant response to the situation. When in a dangerous position muscle memory takes over and can instantly defuse the situation in less time than presenting a firearm. Although this piece is primarily tackling...