As most of you know, we've been on a 3 yr hiatus. Well we're back. There are so
many things I'd like to say, however much of that will be forthcoming in various
articles I'll post from time-to-time.
When I started Martial Arts Video Reviews
back in 1997, it was for many reasons. I'll quickly outline a few:
with the "no return" policy of most instructional tape companies.
Frustration due to owning a huge stack of tapes I felt were worthless, a huge waste
of money, and nothing I could do about it.
3. Seeing at the time (1997) only
2 review websites. Both had less than a dozen tapes reviewed, out of thousands possible,
and most of what they reviewed I had no interest in. Thus leading to the realization
that there was no comprehensive website that reviewed various types of tapes. Meaning,
few choices, regarding becoming informed before making my own purchases.
been burned myself by those who made "golden promises" yet didn't deliver.
Meaning, those who would say "watch my tape one time and you'll be invincible",
or, "watch my tape and you'll immediately be able to ______" or those who
left an impression with their advertising that "no man can beat me, and I can
quickly teach you the same", or "my tape is the only instructional tape
you'll ever need to buy". Myself and others have found out through our purchases,
that some tape hucksters are no better than "snake oil" salesman.
based on these primary reasons, and other secondary ones, I said to myself, someone
needs to step-up-to-the-plate and do something.
Along the way I've made many
friends, and as expected, enemies too. For some reason, video entrepreneurs seem
to get offended, and take things quite personally, when you say things that affect
sales of their product, and thus their pocketbook. I guess that's the price that
must be paid, when you expose others for what they are!
Speaking of enemies,
we've all heard the expression that "imitation is the highest form of flattery".
Now I don't care who else wants to do reviews. In fact, the more websites that do
reviews, the better off we all are, regarding having various sources of information
to refer too, for tape reviews. I do have a problem with one site in particular,
and let me explain why. There is a review site by a guy who calls himself "Bill
Lewis". I saw Bill's site before I started mine in 1997, and noticed that he
only did Grappling reviews. At the time, I was looking for a site that reviewed all
types of tapes, especially self defense, and the self-proclaimed self defense god's.
Bill's didn't do that. And at the time he called his site something like: Bill Lewis
Grappling Reviews. So back in 1997 I decided if no one had a more comprehensive site,
meaning all types of tapes, I'd create one, and a name that embodied that. I named
my website "Martial Arts Video Reviews". Now it seems that if you go to
a search engine and type in "Marital Arts Video Reviews" it pulls up www.maritalartsvideoreviews.com
which is Bill's website. This hasn't always been the case. Meaning in the past, if
you went to somewhere like Google, and typed in Martial Arts Video Reviews, guess
whose website popped up before Bill's, ours did!
On one hand I'm flattered
that he decided to use our name. It means he thought enough of us, and what we'd
done and accomplished (300+ reviews compared to his), that he wanted to be sure people
found his site before ours. So he went and pulled a "sneaky", by registering
and securing a URL with our our name. On the one hand it upsets me, because now if
you look for us under search engines, Bill's site comes up before ours. What should
I do? Should I go and reserve a URL called "Bill Lewis Video Reviews",
or some name close to his, and make sure it secretly re-directs people to my site
instead of his? Should I play Bill's game? Nah, I don't think so. But do you see
how childish that is? To Bill I say this: Grow up, it's one thing to borrow from
someone else's ideas, but to rip off their name, come on! I guess if Bill wanted
to be nasty, we could prove to him in court, via lawsuit, with officially dated government
documents, we did reserve the name "Martial Arts Video Reviews" back in
1997. But life's too short. It's not like our name has any commercial value, meaning
it derives any income. Our site doesn't, so there is no loss from a dollar standpoint.
So what could a person sue for? I guess just getting that off my chest, and our fans
knowing about it, is enough for me. To me it's as if Bill Lewis is saying: "Hey
MAVR fans, I know MAVR has outdone me with the number of reviews they've done compared
to mine, my name is Bill Lewis' and I have a review site too, and I'm going to make
sure that when you look for MAVR, you end up finding me instead of them". I
almost feel sorry for Bill. Almost that is ;-)
Well after a 3 yr hiatus, I
guess that will start off a nice little feud, so as to make things interesting and
entertaining. Bill is one of many, who has threatened us in the past. So let's see
if he holds true to character.
Bottomline, we're still full of piss-and-vinegar
(as my grandpa would say). Meaning, we're not here to be politically correct or kiss
anyone's butt. Our goal will be to tell-it-like-it-is, and if that means making more
enemies, because we're a little too rough on certain individuals, so be it. To put
it in a modern day perspective, look at us to be critics on the same level as the
heartless Simon Cowell of American Idol. This go round we won't hold back! If someone
makes a great tape, we'll shout it from the rooftops, if it's lousy, you'll hear
us unmercifully putting-them-in-their-place.
In addition to our fans, we've
made many other friends along the way, specifically video companies and instructors.
My take on things has always been this: The friends we've made are friends we're
proud of. They turn out high quality products, and they should be separated from
the multitudes of mediocre or poor instructors/products. Those who aren't friends,
typically don't put out high quality products, and when we pointed that out in our
reviews, it in turn effected sales of their products, and some took that so personally,
that they would do things like threaten to find us, kick our butts, invite us to
meet them in a dark alley, etc (no kidding). It seems such is the path any truly
outspoken video critic faces!
Get ready for a new round of fun and fireworks!
* Note to our fans*
Please be aware that some information on each of our reviews may not currently
be accurate. I can assure you it was when each review was originally posted. So should
you be unable to locate a company through the physical address, website address,
phone number, or email address we show, or should their pricing on their tapes change,
please don't blame us. We have no control over the changes these companies make,
nor how often they make them. Should you be unable to find a company whose products
we've reviewed, please, don't contact us about that. I sometimes get 2-3 requests
about that per day. I do not have any kind of "handy reference" that provides
up-to-the-minute info for all 50+ companies we're dealing with. 99% of the time these
companies forget to contact me about their changes, and so when they do change, I
don't even have a way of reaching them. If you can't locate a company, my best suggestion
would be for you to go to a search engine and try finding them that way.
1997-2016 Martial Arts Video Reviews. All Rights Reserved.