Hello startup brothers and sisters. I seek some advice for a situation thats not directly related to my startup. It is in area that startup folks definitely have wisdom in which deal with business practices, online bullying and digital content.
My girlfriend is being bullied and is witnessing unscrupulous business practices from a martial arts school she trained with.
Two years ago before we met, she was training at a local martial arts school. She dated one of the senior ranking students, but ended up breaking up with him. Out of concern, she asked him if he’d be ok that she continue training at the school without any emotional hangups. He said no he doesn’t want her training at his school anymore.
A few days later, the head instructor of the school tells her that she is no longer allowed to train at the school and are kicking her out.
How is it that if you cancel a contract at a martial arts school you get penalized, but they can freely kick a student out without repercussions? And these Mcdojos say contracts are for the benefit of the student by creating a sense of commitment. Such BS.
After being kicked out of the martial arts school, she started training at a school owned by a teacher that is a Grand Master and has one of the highest credentials in the art. He’s like this Mr. Miyagi type and old school. He doesn’t market himself and teaches people in his backyard. He only teaches a few people. He learned learned the martial arts in from his native country from the original creators.
After my girlfriend started training with the Grand Master, she started getting slanderous messages on her facebook from the instructors from her former martial arts school. She took screenshots and saved them.
Last week, at an open to the public seminar which brought in other grandmasters from asia; they tried to block my girlfriends entry. They thought they had the right, because they were the ones hosting the event. But, was unsuccessful when her teacher found out and came to the location.
During the event there was a confrontation in the restroom and the female head instructor from the previous threatened to physically punch my girlfriend. My girlfriend walked away.
On the business side of things, my girlfriend showed me how this former school of hers was taking content (web copy & video) from the GrandMaster’s website and using it on their website.
They put his name on their website claiming that they are certified by him and approved to teach. Where as, the GrandMaster said he never taught them or approved of them to use his name.
The instructors of the former school have created a huge facade in their marketing and online social branding. They owners have only 3 years of training, but claim to be masters of the martial arts they teach. They are the grand children of one of the original founding GrandMasters from their native country.
So I think they found this easy business marketing model where they first leverage off their family’s martial arts legacy & lineage.
Second, they copy a lot techniques from my girlfriend’s GrandMaster’s videos on youtube, and teach it to students. But he’s the only one of a few surviving teachers still alive that is certified to teach it.
As a result, they are teaching improper techniques that they can’t even explain the meaning or the application. But, the majority of students and people can’t tell, because their eye isnt trained to recognize what is correct in the first place.
The GrandMaster is on the older side and really doesn’t know what to do since social media, and web has changed the game. The instructors of the former school are in their late 20s and 30s and are more advance with digital tech. So they have amassed a large following and students.
How would you defend yourself in situations of cyberbullying from a business, taking your name for false marketing, and your web digital content?
I see it as my girlfriend was a customer or client at a business and got served a bad product and was poorly treated beyond unprofessional. So some solutions I’ve thought up are writing up yelp reviews, google reviews, building her a personal website where she tell her story. Guest blog on other martial arts websites telling people what she has learned.
For her GrandMaster, I’m thinking of helping him by get him up to date with the digital social economy. A couple of his students made him a website on weebly and a facebook page for his school on a personal account, not even using a facebook brand or business page.
Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!