There have been so many fad fitness programs through the years and fad diets who’s core driving marketing point was to get into shape quickly.
Have you noticed how quickly they come and go? They’ll have a huge marketing blitz with all sorts of testimonials, including from celebrities, and they have info-mercials, a-plenty!
But the very premise of these are fundamentally flawed. While they don’t say the words “Quick Fix” overtly, that is what they are essentially pushing on to consumers. The message is the same, “Here’s a new program that will have you lose weight and get in shape quickly”.
The problem is, if a person buys into the “quick-fix” marketing message (which is what the producers are hoping for), they will be just as quick to abandon it. It’s all rooted and embedded in a culture of “fad-ism”.
While in martial arts we do boast about the fact that in can get you into shape and lose weight, we never promise that it will happen overnight. And we for the most part don’t think that you can do it through a series of video instructions.
It requires a readjustment of lifestyle choices. You must go to classes regularly. You have goals in the form of colored belts to achieve. You must practice and prove mental discipline to earn those belts. You have a final destination of earning a Black Belt always in the back of your mind, as the Black Belt holds a standard of respectable accomplishment, not unlike a school degree.
This system of essentially introducing people to a new lifestyle choice that is guided by measurable progress is time tested.
Some have tried incorporating martial arts techniques into fad fitness programs, such as Tae Bo and P90X, but it is still not the same conceptual design as a basic martial arts program. For martial arts, you have a teacher. You have classes you must attend. You have to earn rank. You have to practice to earn rank. On top of that, you usually develop a bond with your cohort/peer/community group with some of your classmates.
Some martial arts schools use martial arts based fitness programs as a way to recruit people into a martial arts program. Indeed, some people have a stigma about martial arts, that the class atmosphere must be a particular way, or they must be a particular way to be successful in one. The martial arts-based fitness program is a great way to slowly dismantle those barriers.
As new fitness programs come and go, just remember what has always been here and consistently works. Martial Arts.