The Prejudiced Sign Installer…

I’m moving my dojo again for the 3rd time in 7 years…

This time within the same parking lot where we’re currently located but in a MUCH more exposed location. It’s right at the main entrance clearly visible to every car that drives down.

So last week I had the new window decals put up and our overhead signage installed, and it all looks great. During the installation I started a conversation with the installer and he said, “You know I like you. You have a good attitude. So many people in your position aren’t very nice…”

Hmmmm, I pondered. “What do you mean exactly?”

“So many people who do what you do are arrogant and use their position to intimidate people”, said the installer, “but I like you. You’re different.”

Wow, I thought.

For almost 25 years I’ve been involved in martial arts and there’s only been a handful of people who I really didn’t like. I guess the installer guy must have had a bad experience in the past to say something like that?

Or perhaps he’s the kind of person who has only seen martial arts on TV? And he made the incorrect assumption that every martial artist is a tatted up, trash-talking arrogant brawler.

(Not that tattoos make you arrogant or a trash talker, but you know what I’m talking about. The MMA world has a few stand-out fighters who fit that description that people tend to remember…)

Anyhow, the point is whether you’re teaching class, talking to a sign installer, a prospective student or ANYBODY for that matter it’s important to realize some people have preconceived ideas about you. It’s even more important as a representative of your dojo, that you do everything you can to show them that you’re a friendly, courteous and professional person.


Because statistics show on average a dissatisfied customer tells 10 people about their bad experience while a happy customer tells only 4. You can see how it’s already an uphill battle to get the good word out there!

“Word of mouth” is a two-way street. You and I need to do everything we can to drive positive remarks and conversation down that road. That’s what brings us students…

At the end of the day I want my dojo to be remarkable in a good way…

Don’t you?

Until next time…

– Jason

2 thoughts on “The Prejudiced Sign Installer…”

  1. Awesome post, and sooo true! I sometimes get the notions from other people that I'm a man-hating feminist-uber political because I'm a female martial arts instructor…why, I don't know….funny since about 80 percent of my students are male. "2nd impressions" matter in a way…. how your speak and carry yourself aournd others goes a long way, regardless of their 1st impressions. Thanks for a great post!

  2. What? You don't like being asked if you're a "lean mean killing machine"? Or being told "I won't start an arguement with you then!"? Or something along "Come on! Show me some moves!".
    Only once, have I ever heard that the this tag is useful . And that was from my instructor whose daughter's boyfriends were incredibly respectful!

    Paul, Shotokan, Israel


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