5 Reasons Martial Artists Need To Stop Being Trolls

troll peleando y confundiendo a la gente en internet

We see on a daily basis people ridicule, bully, troll, harass, and slander martial arts instructors who have been brave enough to showcase their skills!

Today I am going to give you 5 reasons why it must stop.

1. You Can’t Say Martial Arts Can Help To Stop Bullying If Its full of Bullies


I see this a lot, instructors who think martial arts is an excellent vehicle for development if a child has been bullied.

But hold on……

If everyone in martial arts slates others outside of their own system or even club, what does that say about the martial arts as a whole.

I was speaking to martial artist the other day who runs a Facebook group and a very good martial  arts business as well. However, he wants to get more instructors from across the web. However when you go into their Facebook group it is full of nasty posts and comments.

Would anyone really want to join this?

The same applies to parents.  It is very tough for a parent to send a child to a school when the instructor posts online comments that show themselves as bullies to others. This type of behaviour really must stop!

2. Every Martial Artist Is A Legend In Their Own Dinner Time

Fat man eating hamburger

I once heard a boxing promoter tell a reporter why his top fighter just lost. He stated “He’s a legend in his own dinner time”.

What he meant by this is really simple, that his fighter thinks he is the best in the world but in reality he is better at talking about his ‘legend’ than actually achieving it.

This is pretty much every martial artist on the planet.

It seems that almost every time I read my local newspaper I see  another martial arts club back from the world championships with their team of 10-year-old black belts having scooped up a bunch of medals.

No wonder martial artists are losing their humility. It is rare that any martial artist actually steps out of their small pond and ventures to another, so that they see their level.

If you are an instructor in one style you owe it to yourself and your students that you become a student in another system.

We see this a lot when BJJ and Judo players cross train, they leave the sessions with an enormous amount of respect for the other art.

So if you are an instructor you need to become a student as well, this is how you keep that ego in check.

3. You Can’t Judge Anyone From A YouTube or Facebook Video


This is my major annoyance with Facebook and Youtube martial arts critics. I myself have been victim to so many trolls over the years. You post a video showing something and people analyse it. They even break it down frame by frame on occasion.

I ask myself where these people get their time from to be able to sit all day on Facebook and YouTube and post abuse. What does it say about a person that does that?

We know that many people are not great at martial arts, we know that even more are terrible at self-defence. Yet somehow these people get qualifications to teach and also post videos of themselves online.

We see them, and we get angry!

“How can this person be charging money for this crap?” so we hop online and tell them what we think.

We rarely see videos from the ones doing the critiques do we?

And when we do, these people are often posting the videos in their own groups where they get sure fire support.

The fact is simple. You cannot judge a person by a video, nor can you judge their right to teach either.

So what if their knife defence looks terrible, heck have you ever been attacked by someone with a knife? I doubt you have, and most people never will be either.

However this guy might just enjoy the act of putting on a  martial arts uniform and kicking the pads every week, and his followers/ students might also be the same.

Does a bad video devalue the arts to such a degree that a martial arts instructor should abuse another? If a person sees the video will it really affect your student  base?

But hold on…… I hear the grumbles now. “They are teaching things that don’t work, they will get people hurt”.

I love this one because it is a bit like when you see the bad singers on X Factor put on stage. They are terrible but they think the are great and they just love to sing. They will carry on even after Simon Cowell scorns them.

Let these people post what they want without ridicule. The martial arts will survive no matter what people post online because the good outweigh the bad!

4.  There Are A Wide Variety of Standards and Not Everyone Is The Same


If you lined up all the black belts in the world and asked them all to perform a few techniques we would see the best of the best to the worst of the worst.

If we did the same with drivers we would see everyone from racing drivers to those that have trouble reversing.

There are a wide variety of standards out there in all aspects of life.

But just because someone has a fat belly and a leg kick that lacks power, does that mean that they can’t do martial arts?

After all, they wouldn’t be able to go to an MMA class as they would be destroyed by the training. They might just enjoy the small bit of cardio they do, the friendship they feel when they go to class.

They might just want to teach so they can get kids on their estates off  the streets or perhaps they just feel like they are part of something bigger than them when they slip on their uniform on a Thursday night and practise their forms.

I have a saying “There is a martial art for everyones needs”

By this I mean that there is enough variety and skill level with the world of martial arts that everyone can find a system or school that can deliver what they want. It is more about personal growth than the ability to fight.

I recall a story of when I was boxing. I went to a Ju Jitsu club to try it out and realised that none of these teachers or students had ever had a fight. They were really nice people who just enjoyed the physical sensations they got via training.

The sweating, the hitting the pads, the throws. No one there would have lasted a round in the boxing club. But they wouldn’t have wanted that, for them training martial arts was about their growth. They didn’t measure themselves by their ability to fight on the street. They measured their martial art by their levels of enjoyment.

Who are we to try and belittle that?

5. Because There Is Always Someone Better Than You

Gladiator posing with shield and sword in a dark background

Think about this one….

You have just commented on facebook telling someone how bad they are and off to your martial arts class you go.

However whilst there, Royce Gracie, Dan Inosanto, Roger Gracie, BJ Penn and Mike Tyson walk into your class to watch YOU teach and train.

How would you feel if, in front of all your students and friends they each turned to you and said:

“you are terrible”

“stop teaching this crap”

“you will get people killed”

“You can’t punch”

I am pretty sure that you would be  very upset, feel embarrassed and want to crawl up your own backside.

Now let’s say that they videoed the sessions and they each posted it online for all their millions of fans to see. You would again be gutted.

My point is this……

There is always someone better than you; there is always someone further along the journey than you.

To them, you might appear slow, can’t teach well and your techniques just won’t work but you will rarely see top-class martial artists belittling those that are not near their level, because they know that there has to be levels. Not everyone can be the same!


The martial arts are a thing of beauty. Great for all ages, all sizes and we  transcend the barriers of race and religion to unite people for a common purpose…to better themselves.

Somewhere along the way we became obsessed with the combat side and rather than just letting those with less skill simply ‘get on with it’ whilst knowing that should they cross our paths they would get hurt.

Instead so often martial artists have decided to cross their paths in the digital realm.  But what does it solve?

All I ask is this…. If you spent the same amount if time training martial arts that you do posting negative comments on-line, would you become a better martial artist? and would you become a better person?

Until next time