Damien Martin – Risk Management Planning For Martial Arts

Well, I learnt very early on that you don’t
have one advertising method that tries to bring you 20 students a month. You have 20 that try and bring you one. That way if one fails or one changes, you’ve
still got the other 19 acting as a redundancy. Again, it comes back to risk management. Good day. George Fourie here from martialartsmedia.com, and
welcome to the Martial Arts Media business podcast. I have an awesome guest with me today. Damien Martin, all the way from Brisbane. How are you doing, Damien? DAMIEN: Gold Coast, actually. But… GEORGE: All right. Well, got that. It’s close. DAMIEN: Yeah, yeah. It’s close enough. GEORGE: It’s close enough. All right. Well, that’s a good way to start the podcast
interview. So let’s adjust from here on. Awesome. So we’ve got Damien on today and Damien is
a wealth of knowledge in the industry. We’re going to touch on perhaps some sensitive
topics in regards to risk management and a few things. And I met Damien quite a while back, officially
face-to-face, at The Main Event in Sydney. That was last year. And we’d just finished building his website
as well, which looks pretty cool, southerncrossmartialarts.com. So you can check that out. So we’re going to get started. So welcome to the call, Damien. DAMIEN: Thank you and thanks for having me. GEORGE: Cool. So to start right at the beginning, who is
Damien Martin? DAMIEN: Well, that depends on who you ask. But I’ve been training since 1982 when I started
judo as a 12-year-old. Have been continuously training ever since. Been running teaching since 1987 and currently
running the Southern Cross Martial Arts Association on the Gold Coast with my wife, Hannah. So we’re a full-time center in Helensvale. Primary focus these days is Okinawan Goju-Ryu
and Okinawan Kobudo. So weaponry. As well as just the practical self-defense
applications and things that spring from that and the other training that I’ve done over
the years. GEORGE: And when did you get started with
Southern Cross Martial Arts? DAMIEN: We started that in 2008. In 2008 I left the organization I’d been with
since 1984, which was Zen Do Kai. We left there after some disagreements on
future direction and not wishing to take advice on how to run a full-time school from people
that don’t run a full-time school. At that point we were also running an RTO,
delivering training to a bunch of government departments on risk management, self-defense
and those sorts of things. GEORGE: Alright, cool. So risk management, that’s a topic that we’ve
discussed in brief. What do you see, how do you see risk management
and what do you see the effects of, I guess, the dangers of running a martial arts school? DAMIEN: Well, just to back up where I’m coming
from, I’m an OH&S consultant and have an advanced diploma in security and risk management. I worked in that particular space for well
over 20 years. So most people tend to look at risk management
from a physical point of view and think of risk as, you know, someone falls over and
you get sued or one student beats another student up and you get sued. And that’s certainly an element of that but
other risk factors that people don’t tend to take into account in our industry is a
risk to reputation. And I’m not just talking about social media
and how many reviews you get and all those sorts of things. But, for example, if there’s an accusation
made of inappropriate behavior within your school that goes to the media, your school
is destroyed. Whether that allegation is baseless or based
in fact. There are several instances in the recent
past where similar things have happened to people in the entertainment industry who were
later exonerated but they’ve lost their job, they’ve lost their marriage, they’ve lost
their reputation. Now can’t work in the industry based on, you
know, false accusations. And to be sure, there have been instances
in the past where the accusations have not been baseless. And schools have been found and reported to
be lacking in the recent Royal Commission into Child Abuse in Institutions where abuse
happened within organizations and yet there was no child protection policy, there was
no policy of checking when working with children or any of those sorts of things. So those are some of the other issues. Then you’ve got your risks related to untruthful
advertising and prosecution from the ACCC or Fair Trading in individual states. Like, for example, I’ve seen schools claim
that they can cure autism. That’s a pretty big claim and that is one
that is likely to result in negative media attention. That negative media attention can destroy
your own school but it can also negatively impact all of the other schools in the industry. GEORGE: Okay. So, I mean, because I haven’t really seen
anything big in the media. Is this something that’s sort of it’s covered
up before it sort of blows up type of thing? Or are there things going on in the underground
that are just it’s going to cause some obstacles and problems down the line? DAMIEN: Sometimes things don’t come to public
light because there’s out of court settlements with gag orders attached. So things like defamation or if someone sues
for something. If there’s a pre-trial settlement, the details
are not made public. Whereas if it goes to trial, the details can
be found, for example, on the AustLII website, which is the Australian Law Library Index
which catalogs all of the various cases that have gone to trial and come to a conclusion. What insurance companies will often do is
settle out of court. So if they settle out of court, that’s usually
based on there’s a confidentiality agreement that you, you know, can’t say what happened
or what the accusation was or those sorts of things. You just take your money and shut up. If you look at the AustLII library for things
in relation to martial arts, there’s a lot of disputes over contracts, there’s a lot
of disputes over trademarks. But a lot of stuff doesn’t make public light
that way. The other way that it can become public is
if it goes to criminal trial. So like an instructor has perhaps, as has
happened in a number of cases over the years, sexually assaulted students. Other ways it happens is if it ends up on
A Current Affair, and I can think of a couple of big instances over the last few years. One, in fact, in Melbourne actually led to
a change in legislation relating to knives and martial arts weapons. A Current Affair ran a big story. It was a beat-up about a particular school
and the particular instructor who focused particularly on knife fighting. And the next thing you know, the Victorian
Government has changed the legislation based on that particular story. The White Paper that was released on that,
rather than a regulatory impact statement, gave the specifics of why the legislation
came into being and how that was influenced by certain members of the industry who perhaps
overstepped their authority to represent. GEORGE: So where does the problem really start? You know, ’cause I guess the first thing I
always … Like when I stepped into helping martial arts school owners with the marketing
and so forth, I guess a big attraction to me was the ethical side of it. You know, like if this is what you practice
as in an art, then I’d assume that’s the way you live your life as well. Which I’m kind of shocked to see sometimes
is completely not the case. But-
DAMIEN: Yeah. And I found that there’s a direct relationship
between the number of times an instructor mentions ethics and the amount of ethics they
actually demonstrate themselves. Particularly some of the instructors I’ve
met and worked with over the last sort of 35 years. There’s been a lot of them go on and on and
on about concepts like Bushido and loyalty and honor and justice and courage and these
sorts of things, and yet that’s lacking in their own lives in every way, shape or form. They use the martial arts to feed their own
egos. Now, there’s a lot of those but it’s a huge
industry. I mean, the martial arts industry in Australia,
nobody can really put a finger on how big it is. The Australia Bureau of Statistics varies,
depending on which question is asked. And the Australian Sports Commission only
looks at sporting bodies. It doesn’t cover all of those martial arts
organizations, some of which are quite large, that don’t participate in Australian Sports
Commission approved sporting activities. So, you know, if you’re not doing sport taekwondo
or sport karate or sport jujitsu or sport judo, if you’re doing recreational karate
in a school hall somewhere, you’re not in the figures. So, you know, no one really knows how big
the industry is. So it’s broken up. Some people are really, really good. Some people are really, really bad and they
tend to color it for the good people. But most people are just pretty much happy
amateurs stumbling along, not deliberately meaning to injure anybody or cause anybody
any grief. But they do so out of ignorance. Martial artists tend to be quite credulous
so they believe what their teacher told them without fact-checking and those sorts of things
as a general rule. So if someone’s teacher told them that a particular
technique is invincible, then they’ve got no reason to check. That is the way a lot of people think. Likewise, you know, I had a person who ran
in the 1970s a large martial arts organization in Australia, probably the largest for about
20 years in this country, tell me that direct debit would never work because nobody would
give you their bank account details. He was talking from a position of ignorance
rather than being a professional business owner in the 21st century. That level of credulity, it just is a problem. GEORGE: All right. So even if your instructor does these, what
is it, these, what’s it, yellow bamboo? I think it’s called yellow bamboo. You must have seen that video. I think it’s yellow bamboo, yeah. DAMIEN: Yeah. Look, there’s an awful lot of martial arts
schools out there where the instructor’s built up this reputation for being awesome at what
they do because they only ever do it against non-resisting students. The real world is a different thing altogether. So if they’re not constantly testing the techniques
against a resisting opponent, which is not the same thing as sparring. Sparring is, generally speaking, quite well-mannered
and predictable. If they’re not constantly pressure testing
through scenarios and those sorts of things, or even combat sports application, then any
claim that a technique is invincible is probably not true. There are no absolutes. You know, martial arts instructors often tell
their students, you know, if someone pulls a knife you run away. But you can’t always run away and what if
you can’t run as good as the other guy? Again, the absolute of just run away is not
true in all of that. You know, you can’t always run away. GEORGE: Yeah. So, I mean, what’s the solution here? Because, I mean, if we look at the sort of
evolution of this path, right? So let’s say I’m an instructor and I’m training
martial arts and I get this urge that I’ve got to create a school. You know, maybe it starts in my backyard and
I get a few students, and then that sort of, you know, builds on itself. And then I’m like, “All right, I’ve got to
get into premises.” So where’s the big gap and how do you fix
the gap of where all these problems occur with risk management? DAMIEN: Well, the same thing happens in a
lot of other industries. You know, you get a lot of people, like they
might be a very good craftsman at what they do. They might be a very good carpenter. They make wonderful chairs and tables and
their things are well sought after. So they go out and they start and they set
up a little shop, a little factory, to try and sell their wares. That shop might not be zoned correctly. So they might set it up, you know, in an area
where it’s too noisy and finds themselves in trouble with the council. So martial arts schools, same sort of thing. They might not be insured for manufacturing
things. Somebody sits on one of the chairs or does
something with one of the chairs that they’ve built and it causes an injury, they might
suddenly find that they needed insurance. You know, it’s no different really with the
martial arts sector except that the martial arts sector is selling services based on,
in a lot of cases, fantasy from what people have seen on TV. So there is no central body. Various countries and organizations have tried
over the years, from the Dai Nippon Butokukai back in Japan pre-war and post war trying
to coordinate all Japanese martial arts. That didn’t work. The Japan Karate Federation, the World Karate
Federation. There have been so many organizations over
the years try and bring all martial artists together, but martial artists are as diverse
as language groups and cultures. You know, it’s like saying that everybody’s
the same. And they’re not. The martial arts themselves are not homogenous. They’re very diverse. People practice martial arts for different
reasons. Some people want self-defense, or they think
they do. Some want to get fit. Some for cultural reasons. Some do it because their friends do it. There’s no one reason why people do martial
arts. So, you know, we’re not all covered by the
sporting bodies, for example. We’re not all covered by international organizations
and bodies because of the politics that are associated with those. It’s a hugely diverse industry. And that’s one of its strengths but it’s also
its biggest weakness. GEORGE: So let’s say I was a school owner
and I’m not covered in any way. What do you think are the first steps that
need to happen? DAMIEN: Usually Google to start with, and
do a basic business plan. You know, most small businesses fail in the
first five years. They fail ’cause they fail to plan. You need to do a basic business plan. That basic business plan will ask the questions
that you need to look at and address in relation to planning, zoning, insurance, accounting. Like, you know, what’s the best business structure
for you? Are you going to be a sole trader, are you
going to be part of a club or an incorporated not-for-profit association? Are you going to be a company? Is a family trust required? You know, you need advice from experts in
the martial arts and the martial arts business sector, like you do in any business sector. So I’d start with Google and a business plan. The business plan will set you on the right
track for asking those questions. GEORGE: Sounds good. So let’s just touch on advertising. And I actually want to, you mentioned Japan
and I know you’ve done some extensive traveling there the last couple of months. But let’s talk about advertising because,
you know, you mentioned that there’s misleading advertising. And right now, at the time of recording this,
there’s a big shuffle on Facebook. A big change in structure in valuing more
one-to-one interaction, valuing more local news. So there’s a lot of changes happening. And the first thing that marketers always
do is they shut. Do they? This is the end? And marketers destroy everything. It’s normally marketing becoming easier and
people pushing boundaries, doing advertising and just it’s becoming too easy. And because it becomes too easy there’s not
enough control. And, I mean, I’ve seen this over the years
in different platforms. Google being number one, known as the Big
Google Slap where everybody lost all their AdWords accounts. Search engines being slapped. I mean, it’s just a trend. It’s a trend of the platform gets popular,
there are eyeballs. Too many advertisers come onto the platform,
make silly errors, it devalues the actual platform. And because the platform gets devalued, peoples’
eyeballs go elsewhere and they’ve got to protect what they obviously own. Like with Facebook and such. So, I mean, that’s the things I’m seeing like
in what’s relevant right now with advertising, is there’s a big cleanup happening. And I would suspect that if a lot of school
owners had to lose their Facebook accounts, which happens, ad accounts get suspended on
a day-to-day basis, their business will go with it. Because that’s their one lead generation source. So your take on advertising and being within
the boundaries? DAMIEN: Well, I learnt very early on that
you don’t have one advertising method that tries to bring you 20 students a month. You have 20 that try and bring you one. That way if one fails or one changes, you’ve
still got the other 19 acting as a redundancy. Again, it comes back to risk management. To have all of your eggs in the Facebook market
or the Facebook basket, so to speak, is a bit short sighted. You need to have those other methods out there. You’ve still got things like referrals, signage,
people just knowing where you are. You know, there’s a lot of other methods. Some things don’t work anymore. Yellow Pages, for example, doesn’t work for
us at all. Because we test and measure just about everything. Flyers in the letterbox don’t work anymore. Again, we know that because we test and measure. We used to do the first four weeks of every
year we’d do 10,000 flyers a week around our local area and then watch the associated web
hits go up as people type in the web address and looked at our website and everything. That just stopped. It’s not like it dwindled. It’s one year it worked, the next year it
did not. Or the year after. So if we were putting all of our eggs in that
particular basket, that would have been disastrous for us as an organization. You’ve just got to be somewhat diversified
while staying on trend for the more current ways that people shop and think. You know, maybe Instagram will work for you
in your area. Maybe it won’t. Maybe Facebook is good in your area. Maybe it’s not. Maybe Google AdWords works better. Maybe you’re in a country town and the newspaper
advertising still works. You know, there’s a lot of variables. You’ve got to know your own marketplace, your
own client base and who comes to your school and who buys your services. A lot of people don’t. They try and take a cookie-cutter approach. And, you know, for years everyone was buying
their ads from organizations in America. MASuccess, those sorts of things. And one thing I found early on in the ’90s
was that if there’s an American flag on a uniform in an ad, that ad doesn’t work in
Australia. It might work in America but it doesn’t work
here. So you learn what your individual market requirements
are and you’ve always got to be testing and measuring. GEORGE: Yeah, so true. I mean, we’ve seen that with the same franchise,
same marketing, same everything. Two different locations, two different results. Everything the same. And, you know, we always talk about, in my
presentation I talk about five levels of awareness. I call it The Five Stages of the Student’s
Signup Cycle. You know, there’s your marketing but there’s
always the message that was received before and leading up to actually seeing your marketing. And that’s going to also affect the actual
response at the end of the day. So, Damien, tell me about Japan. Tell me about your trip. Just to change gears here. Tell me about your trip to Japan and what
did you get out of that experience? DAMIEN: Well, we go to Okinawa, which obviously
is part of Japan, every year to train with our Goju Sensei and with our Kobudo Sensei. Two different organizations but closely related. We just love the place, we love the people,
we love the training. And we like, or I particularly like, those
lightbulb moments that you get where practices within the martial arts that are remnants
of where it came from, suddenly their purpose becomes apparent. So, for example, a lot of the stories and
things that are passed down, in martial arts schools in Australia at least, come from publications
from the 1960s that were written by people that actually had very limited exposure to
what they were writing about. So these stories took on a life of their own. So there was, you know, the old Okinawan practice,
for example, of practicing their training or their martial arts at the tombs of their
family. So family tombs are a big thing in Okinawa
and it was an even bigger thing pre World World War Two. And the theory was that they were, you know,
spiritually connecting with their ancestors and all those sorts of things. And when we spoke to the Okinawans about it,
apart from the sort of raised eyebrows to work out whether we were taking the piss,
it was, “Well, the grass is cut short there. There are no snakes.” Everywhere else you could get bitten by a
snake. And it’s like, “Oh, that’s very pragmatic.” There’s a lot of those sorts of things and,
being a bit of a karate nerd and amateur historian, I really appreciate those moments. But the people are the main thing. GEORGE: The people. So what are the sort of key things that you
learn that you come back and you take a different approach in your school? DAMIEN: Well, our journey with the Okinawan
karate deal, like I was doing Zen Do Kai up until 2008. But in 1999 I started with Okinawan Goju as
well. And my idea was to refine the Kata. Make them better, make them more practical,
make them more understandable. Because if we’ve been doing this particular
template of movements for the last 100, 150 years, it must have had a purpose. So trying to find the purpose, trying to find
the applications, was what sort of drove me down that path. So this year, on the way to Okinawa, we also
went to China. To Fuzhou, which is where Kanryo Higashionna,
who was Chōjun Miyagi, the founder of Goju’s teacher, trained. And we found the or had found through a couple
of years of research, the school where he trained. And we wanted to go there and see what they
were doing and why they were doing it, and how closely related it was to what we were
doing. And I was pleasantly surprised that what they
were doing was not that far removed from what we were doing. Some of it looked different but the applications
were the same. The hip movement, the arm movement, the actual
applications in different forms was the same. Which for me, as a martial arts teacher, was
good. I quite enjoyed that connection. So we’re still fact-checking some of the things
that they told us and we’ll hopefully be publishing some information. It’s a little bit of a historical addition,
if you will, to the current sort of communal knowledge on origins of karate in Okinawa
and the origins of Goju-Ryu in particular. GEORGE: It sounds like you have a book coming
out. DAMIEN: I wouldn’t say a book. Maybe a couple of articles but, I don’t know,
I don’t think it’s exciting enough for most people to justify the costs of publishing. GEORGE: I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. DAMIEN: Well, based on the reaction I’ve had
from some quarters on the Blitz article that was done about this for the December/January
issue, what I found is by saying certain things it challenges people’s beliefs to the core. And people’s beliefs about their martial arts
is very akin to people’s beliefs about their religion. So we need to make sure that all our ducks
are in a row. GEORGE: Yeah. Yeah, I could see it opening a big can of
worms. Yeah, especially if you touch on things, like
you mentioned, with the tombstones and just things that people base their entire martial
arts career upon, and now it sort of gets challenged. Yeah. DAMIEN: Yeah, I think the Kung Fu TV series
in the 1970s and then, you know, the later, the Ninja phase and all of those things that
have been trends through the martial arts over the years have all left their little
remnants in popular culture and the way people perceive martial arts and what they can be. You know, like there’s this common perception
that karate is an antique and is not street effective. And if you’re not doing Krav Maga then, you
know, you’re not doing the right thing. Or even in the MMA circles. But the core of a lot of Krav Maga technique
came from karate. Krav Maga is a mixed martial art or a hybrid
martial art. It forgets where some of its core techniques
come from. The MMA people that talk about, you know,
the dominance of MMA fighters or this, that and the other forget that guys like Georges
St-Pierre or Lyoto Machida and those guys were karate practitioners primarily. You know, everything has its place. So it’s just another trend. GEORGE: Yeah, so how do you … I mean, let’s
say I’m a prospect and I walk into Southern Cross Martial Arts and that’s my thinking. My thinking is I’ve come from, you know, I’m
looking at UFC and I’ve got this certain perception and that’s sort of what I see as what I want. Or maybe what I don’t want. How do you have that conversation? DAMIEN: As much as possible, we put them on
the floor and they start to train. And it’s more about feeling and moving than
it is about talking. The only way to change people’s perceptions
is to show them. You can tell them till you’re blue in the
face but people are so used to marketers lying to them now that they don’t believe you. So we get ’em on the floor and show them why
we do what we do. We don’t beat anybody up or anything like
that, don’t get me wrong. But get them on the floor to train, to feel
their body moving and take it from there. And, look, what we do is not for everybody. Some people, some younger people want to spar
more, for example. I did when I was in my 20s. Now we’re fully cognizant of the fact that
people have jobs to go to and an income to make. They don’t all want to live like, you know,
karate hobos like we did with broken bits and pieces all the time. It’s a different world. And we know more as well. GEORGE: Awesome. Damien, I’m going to ask you one more question
and now that I think of it, this could actually probably spur on a whole different episode,
as such. But you mentioned that you work with kids
with autism. DAMIEN: Yep. GEORGE: Now, this could probably be a much
longer conversation but I just wanted to touch on it. What advice would you have for people that
work with kids with autism or special needs? DAMIEN: Well, we have a saying in the world
of those that work with kids with autism. Basically, once you’ve met one autistic kid
you’ve met one autistic kid. Meaning basically that they’re all different. While there are stereotypical behaviors, each
child is different, is motivated differently, works differently, mentally, physically, and
so on. But don’t make assumptions and don’t just
to conclusions. And the first thing that people need to do
is get educated. There’s plenty of programs out there on what
autism actually is. Don’t rely on memes that you read on Facebook. And actually, to be blunt, get a clue. There’s a lot of people now claiming that
they specialize in teaching autistic kids. And we pick up the pieces. Yelling at them, screaming at them. You know, it’s ridiculous what some people
are doing. And it’s, “Oh, this is the tradition.” Really? You know, it’s not. GEORGE: You mean, I can’t believe all the
memes I see on Facebook? DAMIEN: No. Facebook is a wonderful way of connecting
the world and so on, but it can also do so much harm. And some of these memes that are floating
around. You know, like there’s a correlation being
found between gut flora and autism. Now, correlation does not indicate causation. All right, it’s just something that they need
to investigate further. But you’ve got people out there that are advocating
parents with autistic children get them to drink bleach, for example, because it’ll kill
the bad microbes and so. And it’s horrendously harmful. But if you’ve worked with some of the parents
that are so desperate to help their child, some of them try it. Based on some crap they see on the internet. It just… So, yeah, I’ve seen martial arts schools advertise
that they can cure autism. If that’s not a potential A Current Affair
episode, I don’t know what is. You know, martial arts is good for children
on the spectrum if they’re working with caring and educated instructors. Because it has its consistency. Things are done pretty much the same way each
class, as in your warm ups and those sorts of things. There’s a predictability about it that makes
them feel comfortable. And we’ve had some amazing successes with
some of our autistic kids. With one of our junior black belts now, he’s
12, he’s been with us for eight years. You know, his whole persona has changed based
on the lessons that he’s learned for dealing with other people. Just out of counting out loud in class and
things like that. GEORGE: Fascinating. DAMIEN: Yeah, so I’d say that my main advice
would be to get educated and get a clue rather than getting your education by getting on,
say, Facebook. And I see this on a daily basis, and I’ve
started deleting these groups. But they’ll get on a martial arts business
group, for example, and say I’ve got an autistic kid who’s just joined my class. What do I do? And you’ll get all of this stuff. It will be regurgitated by people. And it all tends to be very stereotypical. It doesn’t take into account that every autistic
child is just as much an individual or unique as every other child that we teach. So, you know, we need to get to know them. A lot of kids with the autism spectrum have
sensory processing disorders. So the idea of kiai, or kiai-ing in class,
if that child is sensitive to noise, is going to be a major barrier. Or they might have sensory processing issues
with things touching their head. So if you wear helmets in class for sparring,
that might be the issue and you need to work a way around that. There are so many different things. GEORGE: Well, yeah, it seems like really putting
aside everything, your practice and your tradition of what you do, and really customizing it
to what’s going to be the obstacles with this child and really playing a real close ear
on the ground. DAMIEN: Yeah. GEORGE: I mean, a close ear on the ground
to really understand what their needs and what their obstacles are in how this tradition
is going to affect them. DAMIEN: Yeah. And it’s not a matter of lowering your standards. It’s a matter of lowering your time expectations
and having more patience. But just because somebody processes information
in a different way doesn’t mean that they can’t do a front kick the same way as everybody
else. It just might take them a slightly different
way to get to that point. There’s just so many variables. And we’ve built up somewhat of an unexpected
expertise in the autism. It wasn’t our goal. And we’ve spoken to our parents on a number
of occasions. Do they want separate classes for the kids
on the spectrum? And the overwhelming answer is no because
they need to learn to deal with regular people. GEORGE: Definitely. DAMIEN: So by segregating all the autistic
kids into the one class, all they get to deal with is other autistic people. And to be quite honest, most autistic people
don’t want that. GEORGE: Yeah. That’s awesome. Damien, that can probably spark a whole new
episode. And I’m happy to have you on again if anyone’s
got questions about that. I know, you know, for I always mention this
in our Martial Arts Media Academy program. You’ve just got to be so careful where you
get advice from. It’s easier, you know, Facebook has made it
easier for everybody to connect but some people should not have an opinion verbally. It’s just a fact. You know, I mean, and Joe Rogan actually says
it the best. You know, if you get a million people, there’s
going to be a hundred thousand assholes that don’t know what’s going on. Out of every hundred thousand or thousand? And those are mostly the most vocal ones. So it’s very easy to just take advice because
every comment looks equal. But you don’t know the background of that
person, what they’ve done, their ethics, their education. So, yeah, you’ve got to be so careful. DAMIEN: One of the ones that comes up regularly
is the link between … No, actually I’m going to rephrase that because there is no link. But the purported link between autism and
vaccinations. Now, the doctor, who’s no longer a doctor
because he lost his medical license, who did that study had a financial interest in another
vaccination. He fabricated a report and a link to no evidence
whatsoever so that he could sell his vaccination. Now, he got caught and it was all redacted
and the Lancet redacted the report and so on. But that myth, since then, since Wakefield’s
report, has perpetuated itself and the internet is making it worse and worse and worse and
worse to the point where diseases like a polio and whooping cough and so on are making a
comeback. They were all but eradicated. Because people don’t want their children to
catch autism. It’s not something that you catch. But there are some good organizations out
there that are doing training. I’m doing a presentation, or my wife and I
are doing a presentation, for the Titan’s event in May on working with kids on the spectrum
and would just like to get more information out there so that people are not traumatizing
these kids with something that should be profoundly helpful. GEORGE: Fascinating. Awesome stuff. For anybody, there’s a … And, you know,
just we’ll close, probably close it off here, but there’s a book, Trust Me, I’m Lying, by
Ryan Holiday. If you ever want a true perspective of how
media can get manipulated, he was a self-confessed media manipulator. His job was to plant rumors, spread them,
create the media behind it. There would be rallies. Until they saw the consequences of people
dying because of fake news spreading in such a way that the consequences kick in. It’s a brilliant read, just to get a perspective
of don’t get all your information from a Facebook post. Because that article was probably written
with intent or paid by someone to write. And they did their own research with whatever
they could find, and they wrote it and put it together. And it creates a perception where the intent
was really just to disrupt. So, yeah, probably a good way to end that
off. DAMIEN: No problem. GEORGE: Awesome. And Damien, thanks again for coming on. If anybody wants to get in touch with you
and learn more about you, where should they go? DAMIEN: The best point of contact would either
be via our website, which you mentioned earlier, www.southerncrossmartialarts.com, or Facebook
is probably the easiest way. I’m not good with telephones. GEORGE: Skype video, it works. DAMIEN: Yeah. GEORGE: All right. Awesome. Thanks, Damien. DAMIEN: No worries. GEORGE: Thanks for being on. I’ll speak to you soon. Cheers. DAMIEN: Cheers. Bye.

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