Zombie fighter joins living dead
Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt rises from Instagram graveyard
A local martial arts instructor who teaches people how to fight zombies has joined the ranks of the living dead – and he couldn’t be happier.
Kent Peters, owner of Zombieproof Brazilian JiuJitsu and Mixed Martial Arts in Sydney, says he recently became one of the few people to return from the Instagram graveyard after his @thekentpeters account – which has nearly 22,000 followers – was suddenly deleted by the photo and video-sharing service.
Peters, a black belt whose Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructional videos are viewed worldwide, believes it happened after he reposted a clip from a televised mixed martial arts event.
“The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is going crazy with copyright stuff, so the UFC is putting all these bots out there, saying ‘You reposted an event,’ and then they take your post down or they ban you. Well, my account got fully deleted. I got an email at 2:18 a.m. saying your account has been disabled because of this – it was a free event – and then five minutes later I got an email saying, ‘Your account will not be reinstated.’”
While it may not seem that big a deal, Peters said social networking is a vital part of his business, explaining he spent years building up his online following to help promote his gym, Youtube channel and Supernatural Survival Gear line of grappling apparel.
“It really did affect me. It instantly took one-fourth of my views away, and that’s going towards selling gear,” said Peters, a 36-year-old married father of two who went from teaching on cardboard mats in a backyard garage to a large modern studio on George Street in just a few years.
“It was a business tool. It makes you realize how fickle the Internet is – they can just take away your platform. It wasn’t like I was putting out hateful comments, hateful speech or anything ...”
Fortunately for Peters, one of his fans happens to work for Instagram parent company Facebook.
After his account was deleted, Peters messaged the Jiu-jitsu Times, an online magazine that often shares his videos. The magazine published a short article that caught the eye of Ryan Tuleja, a controls specialist at Kent Peters recently became one of the few people to return from the Instagram graveyard after his account, which has more than 21,800 followers, was deleted.
Facebook who offered to look into the matter to see if a mistake had been made.
“He triggered the algorithms to check and you’re supposed to get three warnings – I got one and then I was instantly deleted, so he thinks it was an overeager analyst or a bot,” said Peters, adding Tuleja told him he was only the second person to have their account resurrected; the first was Canadian MMA analyst Robin Black, who also apparently had a copyright issue with the UFC.
“I’m one of the original Instagram zombies,” said the Albert Bridge resident, who gained more than 1,000 new followers since the incident.
As word spread throughout the Brazilian jiu-jitsu community, some of the sport’s biggest names, including rubber guard pioneer and 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu founder Eddie Bravo, have turned to Peters for help bringing their Instagram accounts back from the dead.
“It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. It always sounds weird saying it, but I’m one of those four-year overnight successes. I’ve been doing this for four years, just building followers slowly – I never had any crazy viral videos that got me a ton of views, it’s just been a slow, steady grind – so it’s pretty cool. I’ve made a lot of friends over it.”