We're Back

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:

1. Frustration with the "no return" policy of most instructional tape companies.
2. 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.
4. Having 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.

So 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.