So I recently have began to explore fun activities outside of “traditional” martial arts. Now I am planning my first Live Action Role Play or LARP. LARP is when a group of people get dressed up and play as a character in a specific time period. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting and look to level up, meet new people and have fun running around and fighting with foam swords. My reasoning behind getting into LARP is that I would like to combine my inner nerd with my love of martial arts.
Back to the message for todays blog: In my attempt to spread the word about the LARP I went to every comic book/game shop in the area and asked to hang flyers and to talk to employees and customers. One storeowner connected me with a friend of his that runs a LARP group and owns his own site for LARPs to take place.
I called him and we got to talking about how LARPs differ from one style to the next and how he has gotten people to his LARPs in the past. While talking we realized that we are both running LARPs on the same day. The college business student in me quickly thought “oh no, he’s not going to help me, we are competitors!” However, he quickly said that if he knew anyone that would want to try out our new LARP, then he would not only send them my way, but would also give them credit towards their characters at his event as well.
I was blow away by this gesture. And in talking it through, he knows that the only way LARP is going to grow is if people have options. If more people become interested in LARP because they went to my event, then there is potential growth for his business too. The more people that find they enjoy LARPing, the more likely they are to go to one of his events. And in working together now, we can plan around each other’s events and continue to help each business grow.
In relations to the Martial Arts community, there is a similar opportunity in front of us. If my skills and talents can get people excited to do Martial Arts in Maine, then that passion grows to a new generation. This new generation shares their passion with their family and friends and all of a sudden, their cousin in New Jersey is looking for a program to try out. Now because I got someone involved in my school, I helped drive business to another location.
It is also important to recognize our own strengths and weaknesses. If a student comes in looking to learn a style that I do not teach, it is not my job to bad mouth that particular style. I simply tell them what my Kung Fu School offers and ask if I can help them find what they are looking for. If they want BJJ, then I am happy to send them to the best instructor I know in BJJ. And that goes for all styles. I know that if a student wants to learn Kung Fu, then it is my job to teach them to the best of my abilities. If they want anything else, I am happy to help out another school/teacher that is looking for students.
We are all in this together. My growth is good for your growth and your growth is good for my growth. I look forward to helping guide a new generation to a love of Martial Arts.
Respectfully written, Big Cat!