Monday, January 23, 2017

Can you learn martial arts and self defense online?

Since the internet, martial arts and self defense shifted from traditional means of attending a school near you to sophisticated online learning. Still, there are people who insist that you ought to learn self defense and martial arts in person from a qualified instructor. Can you really learn martial arts or any form of hand to hand combat for self defense online?

Absolutely! There are many benefits to online learning as opposed to learning face-to-face. Because the world and technology has changed so much, it's no longer easy to simply drive to a local school to learn self defense. People have jobs, schedules, or are just too busy that they don't have alot of time to drive all the way to a school and learn self defense. Taking self defense classes online resolves that by letting students go at their own pace with their training in the comfort of their own homes. You also can learn from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access as opposed to attending a school in person. Why waste an hour driving when you could be using that time practicing?

To top it off, online self defense courses have reached a wider audience worldwide than schools that don't use the internet. Advertising a self defense business and adapting to the times is very important so passing out fliers or business cards just won't cut it anymore. There are several self defense instructors who went global from making youtube videos, making online courses, social media, etc. because millions of people are on the internet. You can get one on one training online via video calls or online communities whereas in person, the instructor cannot teach quality instruction to EVERY student in one session.

There are some common misconceptions made by critics whom in my opinion want to enforce traditions on others when it comes to self defense learning. I will clear them up here.

Some people might argue "well you can't learn self defense just by watching a bunch of videos online.." They are right! You cannot learn self defense or anything for that matter just by watching thousands of videos on youtube. Why? Because even though your mind memorizes the movements, your body doesn't. That's why you need to be doing your part and practicing what you learned at home.

Others argue "you don't have a qualified instructor to correct you..." If you are learning self defense online watching a video or reading an article, where is the instructor? Right in front of you! Simply follow his movements and keep repeating the video until you get them right. The problem with this argument is that you still face the same problem even with a live instructor. I've seen students in my local Hapkido school who appear to have been training there for quite a while and they still made alot of mistakes. Why? Lack of practice at home. Not only do you have to learn proper form and techniques in school, but you also have to practice at home to make sure that you get them right. You learn and practice them all in one go through online self defense schools with less effort.

"you need a sparring partner to put your training to good use.." There are resources online that help you connect with other students in your area. You could meet up with trusted friends and spar with them if you don't have access to a physical school.

What people don't realize is that the same problems you face online, you also face learning in person. I've had plenty of sparring partners in the past for example and i still kept practicing bad habits. Effective training whether online or in person involves self awareness and self correction. No matter where you go and how much training you get in person, you can't excel as a student if you don't become your own teacher.

In conclusion, can you learn martial arts and self defense online? It all depends on you. From my own experience, i've learned martial arts online from many reputable sources and have been practicing ever since. I've also had some training in person as well. I've learned so much more online than i did in local schools because the knowledge was there at my disposal. Do you prefer learning in person? Are you hands-on? Do you like face-to-face interactions? Maybe it's hard to learn self defense by yourself so perhaps attending your local school works for you. Do you like training at home? Are you good at teaching yourself and being resourceful with what you have? Do you have internet access? Perhaps online learning works for you. Overall, do what works best for you.

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