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Thread: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

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    Default Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    The "Power Ranger Mentality" (PRM) is what I call the general publics opinion of karate. They don't take karate seriously because of movies and shows like the Power Rangers, Jim Carey's karate teacher skit on In Living Color, Will Sasso making fun of Steven Seagal on Mad TV, or any number of other examples; I'm sure you've seen something of the like. People, in general, don't seem to accept it as anything other than an after school activity for kids.

    How or why do you think the media got this twisted view of karate?
    What do you do to combat this sort of thinking?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    A year or so back there was a very good documentary on this with Samuel L Jackson, mainly it was do to the imported badly written and poorly dubbed kung fu flicks which are immitated in those Jim Carry/ MADtv skits.. Power Rangers being an Asian import is a newer version of the old Japanese serial Ultraman, which is aimed at kids. Most people have never seen the original seven samurai which was the premise for the magnificent seven (a "WESTERN") it wasnt until David Caraden and Kung Fu did it become a little more mainstream, and personally I dont think it helps when even great martial artist like Jet Le use guide wires to jump 50 feet. kind of makes it look campy. But as you can see with success of the UFC that people are rediscovering it again.

    just my 1 cents worth, since my 2 cents arent worth a damn.


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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    well, it is kinda funny to see a bunch of middle aged guys waiting in line to get hit.

    thank you sir, may i have another...
    "Rust Never Sleeps" - N.Young.

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    Cool Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    I have less issues with the costumed super hero types who perform impossible feats...(I mean come on...they ARE super heros afterall) The Jim Careys and MAD TV and even further back Monty Python skits? Come on. They lampoon everything and everyone. All is fair game. No one really views that as serious. I have greater issues with folks like Jet Li who is a skilled martial artist, but invariably stoops to flying and flipping. It's the Crouching Llama/Hidden Weasil set that drive me nuts. The movie industry, by and large, would portray us as low-rent professional wrestlers without the tights. Fortunately, there has been some reasonably good programming on the arts. Take the Discovery Channels XMA or the newer National Geographic's Fight Sciences..(neither of which portrayed Kenpo at all...sigh)...and there have been a few other examples in recent history. I understand. MADTV has a larger viewing audience per episode than the Discovery Channel does for a season. However, we are adressing an entire population. How many of the folk who believe what they see on MADTV or In Living Color do we really want to take the responsibility to train? If they watch things like that and perceive it as reality...then they belong in a room with soft walls and sporks, not in a Kenpo class, where they can learn to seriously hurt someone.
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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Personally I liked the Jim carrey skit. It was funny. the Power Rangers when they came out the first time were oddly inspiring for children and while I never liked watching them, I feel that they did more good for MA than bad.

    I find that if I get a chance to play with others they begin to see the power and promise of Kenpo.

    Personally I preach that we should not spend too much time worrying what other people think. Do your best, seek out yuour own goals and if possible inspire others by the way you live your life and the way you practice MA.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post
    How or why do you think the media got this twisted view of karate?
    What do you do to combat this sort of thinking?
    Is that a seriouse question? When has the media, entertainment or news, ever gotten anything right? When has their view of anything been anything but twisted? How they got a twisted view of the martial arts is the same way they get a twisted view of everything else- they wash it through their own twisted filter prior to assimilating any information.

    Rant far from over, but I'll take it to another venue and spare you further anguish.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    RexKwonDo

    "Grab my wrist.. no the other wrist.. no use your other hand" yeah..

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    I would love for the discovery channel to do a documentary on kenpo, like it is with the Okinawan karate arts. Somehow that Combat Ki stuff got on the program.
    There has to be someone with enough clout to get a kenpo documentary on there. Perhaps Jeff Speakman. Perhaps we should flood the Discovery channel email with requests for such programing.
    The Jet Li movies with all of the flying is a step back to the old chop sockey movies. That is one thing that I like about the Bruce Lee movies. No flying around or jumping 50 feet in the air.
    And the Walker Texas ranger series was just too hokey.

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    I would love for the discovery channel to do a documentary on kenpo, like it is with the Okinawan karate arts. Somehow that Combat Ki stuff got on the program.
    There has to be someone with enough clout to get a kenpo documentary on there. Perhaps Jeff Speakman. Perhaps we should flood the Discovery channel email with requests for such programing.
    The Jet Li movies with all of the flying is a step back to the old chop sockey movies. That is one thing that I like about the Bruce Lee movies. No flying around or jumping 50 feet in the air.
    And the Walker Texas ranger series was just too hokey.

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Don't combat the Power Ranger's, Chop Socky Flicks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or even the UFC, Pride etc... since they are just as bad at producing false expectations. Instead look at every person you meet with that mentality as a chance to educate and infuse them with your passion. If they have feelings either good or bad about the martial arts from those mentioned types of influences then they are also approachable about learning what it reallu means, some will take a great deal more work to convince than others, but if a person already has some sort of opinion then they is a strong chance that you can sway them if you present them with the right knowledge.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Personally, I think it's the McDojo's that hurt us more than anything else.

    "Step right up! Get your black belts here! One year of half-hearted training and you too can wear a black belt!"

    Then people think that it doesn't mean that much. If anyone can do it in a short period of time and they don't have to really know much, then it really IS an after-school sport for kids.

    --Amy

    P.S. And Russ, we all know that you like the tights.
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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Quote Originally Posted by madeku View Post
    RexKwonDo

    "Grab my wrist.. no the other wrist.. no use your other hand" yeah..
    LMAO cause that is too realistic...especially at my level!
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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    You could consider getting out and doing local demonstrations. Used to hear about those all the time. Used to see setups and demonstrations at the local malls, schools, and like that. The only way to really offset the Power Rangers (if you really want to) is to get out there and personally demo what you are about.

    There used to be bunches of that, but not so much anymore. Nowadays, most Kenpo Schools seem to be into getting the biggest name senior they can afford and charging $25.00 to $50.00 per head for an hour and a half seminar.

    People are not going to come to you just because you have a school door opened. You have to show what wares you have available. I think it's called advertising.

    Al Tracy, God Love 'im, has a rule that is the 30% rule. Something like 30% of people who come in your door are going to take introductory lessons. 30% of people who take the introductory lessons will sign up for pay lessons. 30% of those people will stay past orange belt. 30% of those will stay to Brown Belt and only about 30% of those will stay until Black belt.

    I don't remember if that is exact, but it is something like that, and shows the greatly diminishing return on people who walk through your door with the intent of taking koraty lessons.

    He used to say that Yellow Pages was your best advertising. Nowadays, that's probably true if you are "AAA-Kenpo Karate School", as people have very little time for non-spoonfed self improvement.

    People aren't all wired the same as us Kenpo Nuts. They may want to take "karate" lessons, but it's usually 4th or 5th on the list after golf, tennis, and underwater fingerpainting and blindfold origame. Most folks have no idea of the amount of blood, sweat, tears, and dedication it takes to get to the hallowed Black Belt.

    In this modern Western culture, people are, for the most part, "immediate results" driven. They see a Jet Li movie and know it's hokum. They watch Power Rangers with their kids on occasion, and know it's hokum. That is the extent of their knowledge regarding martial arts. They are sated with the knowledge that it is hokum, and they either have ka-gun or ka-tiretool.

    To present Kenpo, or any martial art, in its truest form in a movie, or tv format is generally booooooring!!!! And when people watch those tv things, it is usually in the evening, if then, after a hard day at work, watching the kids, or whatever. They just don't watch that stuff for motivation, or enlightenment. It's something to fill the void between dinner, Jay Leno, and bed time.

    If you really want to catch people, you have to catch them where they (and their kids) are the most aware... At the mall ... Or perhaps, at a school rally of some sort. In the past, I have had great luck with offering school rally demonstrations, and setting up at malls and doing breaking, self defense, and forms demonstrations. Just be sure that when you do something like that you have hand out material, or perhaps, even a really cheap dvd or cd with quick information and flashy technique on it, available for the general public.

    Just some thoughts... I could be wrong...

    We tend to forget that we have a golden opportunity here, the chance to learn to defend yourself, or perhaps, become a MMA star, or whatever, but people aren't going to go to far out of their way to look you up. Not unless something traumatic has turned their attention to their basic need for self defense, or a dormant desire to be a Black Belt, Bad Ass, or whatever.


    Go public with your skills (that's what you are really selling), and your syllabus, and your prices, and ... and ... and ...

    The buying public, generally, has no percieved real need to show up on your doorstep.

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Sigung86...

    Great ideas one and all.

    Send me one o them thar, CDs with flashy techniques on it, will ya?
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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Quote Originally Posted by sigung86 View Post

    Al Tracy, God Love 'im, has a rule that is the 30% rule. Something like 30% of people who come in your door are going to take introductory lessons. 30% of people who take the introductory lessons will sign up for pay lessons. 30% of those people will stay past orange belt. 30% of those will stay to Brown Belt and only about 30% of those will stay until Black belt.
    I have always heard that for every 1,000 people interested enough to walk into a self-defense studio that only 1 will attain Black belt. If you follow that formula it works out to be about 1!
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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    I used to worry about the "reputation" of the martial arts, now I laugh louder than anyone when I see that stuff...

    Everything in life is a circle, (IMHO) so it was for me in this case.

    I pick my battles and I have WAY more trouble with other martial artists than with non-practicioners when it comes to the "arts". LOL

    In my opinion the UFC and MMA stuff is more damaging to the martial arts reputation than the Ninja Turtles ever were. (The Green Ranger was my favorite)

    Funny how we progress all the way from white belt to black belt only to find that after a few years of wear that same black belt starts turning white again- A bit of a circle it seems.
    The above is just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Kenpo on TV is what got me excited about getting into the arts when I was a kid. I used to watch Black belt theatre on Friday nights, showing kung fu movies,hosted by JT Will. He would demonstrate kenpo techniques in the intermission. From that point on I was hooked. Even the most hokey kung fu movies can spark a lifetime journey in the arts.

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    I wasn't actually talking about combating "The Power Rangers" or any other show. I was talking in terms of combating the mentality people have about the martial arts due to influences of the media.

    Demo's are a great idea. I have access to a public access studio and have been toying with the idea of doing a "show" myself. It's tricky with public access though. There are strict FCC regulations you have to follow. You can not be seen as advertising anything. It has to be entertaining or of some value to the public (which is where I would probably try to focus showing self-defense as a public service.) I wonder if I could work a "kung-fu" theatre type show in and do self-defense tech's like Jay T. Will did?? Hmmmmmm.....

    On the "entertainment" end, I've thought of doing a "short" featuring an individual surviving a horrible situation by using their kenpo. But if the school was shown that could be considered an advertisment. Sigh...

    Any other ideas?
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtic_Crippler View Post

    On the "entertainment" end, I've thought of doing a "short" featuring an individual surviving a horrible situation by using their kenpo. But if the school was shown that could be considered an advertisment. Sigh...

    Any other ideas?
    What if you just happened to be wearing a t-shirt with your school's name in big bold letters? If people happen to notice the name of your school, well, that can't be helped, now can it?

    --Amy
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    Default Re: Combating the "Power Ranger Mentality"

    Quote Originally Posted by amylong View Post
    What if you just happened to be wearing a t-shirt with your school's name in big bold letters? If people happen to notice the name of your school, well, that can't be helped, now can it?

    --Amy
    Well, the idea I had actually came from a student. We had this young lady taking lessons because she was a nanny for a well-to-do family and they were paying for it. I thought, "Imagine the surprise to a thug wanting to kidnap that families child for ransom when the sweet unassuming nanny began to break bad on his ass." LOL. Then I thought, "What a cool short film that would make." Just a long chase scene as the would-be kidnapper chased her through the house, passing through the kitchen where an untold number of potential weapons are...... see where I was going with it? Anyway....she would use her kenpo, which means using one's environment as well, to fend off and ultimately defeat the kidnapper. The film would end with her coming in to class and sifu asking, "How was your weekend? Did you do anything special?" and she would reply, "Nope, nothing special." ROFL.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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