If you are interested in martial arts and self-defence, you will notice an abundance of one thing.

Haters and trolls

And in this article, we will give you a sure fire system to deal with them, so they never bother you again.


How To Be Productive In The Face Of Abuse

At some point if you are to create content for the martial arts community you will face abuse.

It doesn’t matter if it is a video, a system or even an article people will be quick to jump on the bandwagon and criticise you.

But why?

In essence, it comes down to tribes.

In martial arts, we tend to join ‘organisations’ and this means we become part of a ‘tribe.’ Therefore, it becomes easy to see the way of ‘the tribe’ as being the best and only method.

So when you create content or join another tribe that goes against their views people will very often attack this as they see it as an insult.

Although it can seem personal, it is simply a case that you conflict with their view of the martial arts world. However let me be clear it still stings!

But that doesn’t mean you should give up.

Should You Put Your ‘Stuff Out There?’

I know a lot of martial artists that are simply amazing.

They are great teachers and are highly skilled. However, they WILL NOT put their material out there for public consumption.

It is not because they are not good at what they do, rather it is a case of fearing the critique.

And yes they are right to worry about commentary because it will come and sometimes it will feel as if you are being mauled by a pack of wolves.

So here is the truth:

You should not let this put you off from sharing your art, your system or your style.

You simply cannot please everyone, and it is essential that you do not let other people impose their will on you, even if it is online.

Let me explain why.

Why You Should Never Give In To Online Bullies

I once knew someone that gave into online bullies. He put one video up and got ripped apart by online trolls. He never posted again.

It was a tragedy because his goal never was to have a team of instructors and students underneath him.

Instead, he just wanted to share his art with his friends. The very people who should be standing against bullying jumped in with a range of abusive comments.

I saw this going on and checked out the instructors making these comments and noticed on their websites all were heavily focused on teaching people to deal with bullies.


People who are teaching others how to deal with bullies are bullying people themselves. It is really sad, but this is the world we live in.

So here is the thing…..

The vast majority of people who are abusive and vile online will have major insecurities about what martial art or self-defence system they teach.

Sure, they like what they do but deep down they still have doubts such as ‘will my stuff work?’

So when people post things online that don’t resemble what they do, they will question it (sometimes in a healthy way but more often not).

The comments are attempts to force their views upon you and seek social proof about their ‘way’ against your own.

So How Do You Deal With This?

When people hate you or abuse you, it is going to hurt, but you need to dig in and remember these five factors to get you through  it.

1. Their opinion Is Worthless.

The ever-growing debate about what works and does not work in martial arts will wage on for eternity. The only time it will matter is when you have to use your skills.

So if some guy tells you that your art, skills, and the system are worthless, it is pointless to stress about it.

2. Realise That It Is Natural To Get Angry

Whenever people have abused me online, I have had many say “don’t listen to them’ or ‘don’t let them affect you.’

In fact, it is OK to get angry about these people. If you weren’t annoyed and hurt about this, you wouldn’t be human.

3. You Cannot Change Them

This is something that I have come to understand more and more.

The people doing the ‘abuse’ on the internet are at the mercy of the people they allow to influence them.

The only way this will change is when they decide to change or they remove the people who influence them from their lives.

4. Understand They Are Not Wrong

OK, so this is a tricky one. The simple fact is THEY ARE RIGHT!

Now you might not agree with this but in their mind they are right, and you are total rubbish. They think you are a con man, a fraud and a waste of time.

However, you must understand that they have made this judgment having never met you, so once again it means nothing and amounts to just opinion.

5. Do Not Let Them Impose Their Will On You

Just because they don’t like your stuff, does not mean that they are right!

You have every right to show your knowledge and skill to the world and if they dislike it, well it is their problem and not yours.


So by now you might be thinking where this is all leading to?

Well here it is….. you should be proud!

You worked your ass off to get the skill you have and if you want to share it with others then do so and be proud!

The web is full of trolls that go around and start write negative comments that make ‘them feel better’ about their lives.

The fact you are prepared to share your work for free shows you are an artist, and that is what the martial arts is all about!

Do not fear sharing your martial arts skill for fear of the trolls. If you want to share your ability you can and should!


Thanks for reading

The Shape Shifter Team