Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

"Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery."
~Charles Caleb Colton

After Krav class a few weeks ago a fellow who trains with us asks when I started selling my t-shirts on line? 

"What?" I asked. 

"Yea, I saw our logo on a t-shirt being sold by some place in Europe. One of the shirts said LIVE - PROTECT - INSPIRE as well."

"Interesting..." I said.

Well folks it looks as though I must have "arrived" so to speak. Exactly where I arrived I don't know exactly, but somehow I've made enough impact to have my logo, words and philosophies pirated!

Yeah me!

As ego feeding as it may be, I must admit it feels a bit strange. Yes, I find myself feeling flattered, but somewhat misrepresented and possibly a bit exploited & violated.

Could I chase after them through legal channels to have them stop?! Possibly, however I chose to first write them a brief email communicating my feelings.

Here's what it said:

It is flattering that you would choose to use the symbol that I created (Krav Maga t shirt #13) and my Live - Protect - Inspire tagline (Krav Maga t shirt #14) to put on your shirts, however it would have been nice for your company to have first asked permission before you did such a thing. Not to mention the Live - Respect - Inspire tagline has nothing to do with the person who you have in the middle of the logo (Alain Cohen). It is one thing placing these images on one's website or using them on your material, it is yet another attempting to profit off from them with no regard for the creator.

The ethical thing for you to do would be to ask for permission before you manufactured, sold and profited from using my material.


~Craig Gray

Ronin Krav Maga

For the record, here is the beginning of the Ronin Logo. A water color painting brushed by my own hand in 1994 then later digitized and used as my logo in numerous ways.

The Ocean & The Wave
1994 by Craig Gray 

Now if this was a friend or colleague who was asking to use something I did, that would be a different story. Heck I don't even know these people and this company pilfered the logo and tagline verbatim without changing it one smidgen. They didn't give so much as a link or even a hint on where it came from. Not to mention, they are not using it to help people, their using it for profit pure and simple.

Famous Tai Chi Instructor T.T. Lang was quoted as telling his students to, "Steal his art," meaning to embrace it and make it their own. Well guys this isn't an example of that! (Just sayin')

Enough spending time on this one. Being that I'm on a quote kick, I'll end with one as well:

I don't know who said, "There's no such thing as bad publicity," but I think I may take their advice when it comes to this situation.

Enjoying the journey.

All the best,


  1. I have also had folks copy my "intellectual property." I have a tagline that goes "Profiler, Provider, Protector Preserver." AKA Scout, Hunter/Gatherer, Warrior, Healer. I have seen variations of this from many who have heard or read this from me. I do remember only one guy recently who not only asked permission but asked for my comment about it.

  2. Thanks for the comment Phyre (Joe). I hear you brother!


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