Online martial arts courses

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by rachel_grfn, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Martial D

    Martial D Master of Arts

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    It's amazing how often this topic comes up. There are already some great answers here, all I can really add is to beware of bad habits. If you try to learn a skill online you will likely miss some nuances that an instructor would prevent. Unlearning a bad habit is actually much harder than learning ''blank slate", so online courses could actually hinder your progress in the long run.

    I would only use videos as a training tool if I already understood all of the concepts at play.
     
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  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    If you’re learning strictly online, do you have a partner to work with? Let’s say we keep it relatively simple and go the boxing route. There’s only a few punches involved here. I watch some Freddie Roach tutorial videos, buy a heavy bag and some gloves, and practice the punches how he teaches them. I even pay attention to the footwork and move just like he taught. I make sure I go in a certain way, punch a certain way, and get out a certain way. I get really, really good at working a bag. I hit hard, I cover up well, and I move in and out great.

    Now... does that mean I stand a chance in the ring? Nope. Why? No one’s ever thrown a punch at me. I have no idea how to react when it doesn’t go my way. I have no idea how to take a hit and keep going. I have no idea how to counter. I have no idea how to counter their counter. All I know is how to look good when everything’s going as planned.

    Fighting is all about improvising. It never really goes as planned. You have to take the openings you’re given, you have to create openings, and you have to minimize your openings. Once an opponent has you somewhat figured out, you have to change it up.

    Watching all the videos in the world won’t give you any of that in a realistic sense. Having a partner helps, but you still need that set of trained eyes that’s able to see and recognize the mistakes you don’t see and don’t know how to correct. And on top of that, let’s say you get a partner or two learning with you. You might get decent at defending against them. At a dojo, you get a lot more sparring partners. More partners means more different ways of attacking and defending.

    Doing solo basketball drills won’t make you a good basketball player in an organized game. How good of a soccer player can you be if all you’ve ever done is dribble around cones and shoot on an open net? Same for any other sport. Playing one on one won’t help much either. They may help, but not very much. Those things are supplemental things you do to get better, not the actual training itself.
     
  3. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I just want to put in here that you can learn Martial Arts online, and people have in the past. One group in particular is the Martial Club on youtube. Their headman, Andy Le has had no formal training in any Martial Art as far as I'm aware, and has taught himself mainly from watching Martial Arts movies and youtube videos. While he is incredibly talented as a Martial Artist, he is a performer, not a fighter.

    This is fine and for the way he uses Martial Arts, learning from online resources is fine. However, if he got into an actual fight against someone with formal training, I doubt he would last very long.
     
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  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    You can learn practically anything online, through videos, reading, etc. That doesn’t mean what you learned will be good, nor does it mean you’ll be any good at it. Mimicking something you saw is one thing; actually using it and adapting to whatever situations necessary are another. Form vs function.
     
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  5. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Agreed. My point is that as long as you don't plan on actually using your Martial Arts for fighting, there is no problem to learning online, as long as you have the determination to do it.
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is one of the exceptions I noted in my earlier post. We have to be careful that we don't look at him as an example that "people" can learn MA from the internet. I'm athletic, have natural balance and coordination, but I'm pretty sure I would have sucked at learning via distance/online.
     
  7. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    this subject comes up enough that i think i will make on line courses. :happy:
     
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  8. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    At the end of the day if people want to do them that's fine there's no harm in it as long as you know it's not as good as real training and you're not as great as you can be
     
  9. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Oh yes, Andy Le and Brian Le are very much a special case, but it does show that it is possible. There are also rare examples of sports fighters who have had no formal training but have found success in the professional circuit. Uriah Hall apparently taught himself by copying moves from the "Tekken" games, and had no formal training at the start. I'm sure there are other examples of self-taught fighters too.

    Just for the lols. Brian Le being a beast: How he was able to get that hench and still stay super flexible is beyond me. He is definitely a special case when it comes to Martial Arts.
     
  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I actually believe that they are NOT special cases. It is not very difficult to watch a video and mimic what you see there.

    However, that is not learning martial arts, it is definitely not learning a particular system of martial arts, and it gives a very superficial understanding at best.

    Mimicry is not learning nor understanding.
     
  11. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    Yes but rarely is it done so well. The stuff they put out is (in my opinion) on par with professional movie performers. You do need some level of understanding in order to do it, just not as much as you would for actual combat. It's like how some actors never had any formal training. Jim Carrey never went to acting school and yet is one of the best Hollywood actors around.

    Question: Do you need to have studied a Martial Arts system and had formal training to qualify as a Martial Artist?
     
  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    The guy is athletic and has some slick moves, that is true.

    I don’t know how you define “martial artist”. I do know that you do not need extensive training in martial arts to be an effective fighter or brawler. Athleticism and strength and raw aggression can take you far. Hell, just raw aggression alone can take you far.

    However, let’s not forget the original question in the OP which was about learning a martial art via video. So, regardless of how you might define martial artist, in my opinion video is a bad way to learn any particular martial art, which implies a systematic approach to training and curriculum, built upon a foundation of principles and strategies. It is definitely possible to learn by video the pattern and sequence of every kata taught in shotokan, for example, but I hold that it is just mimicry and any real understanding and skill is very shallow.
     
  13. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I haven't quite figured out what I define a Martial Artist as. It's certainly not limited to fighters, but at the same time there comes a point where what you are doing is too far away from what I would say is Martial Arts. For example, I wouldn't call Boxercise a Martial Art, but where exactly do we draw the line on what is and isn't a Martial Art.

    Anyway, I'm sidetracking a bit now. Looking at the OP's question, they didn't say what their goal was besides learning a Martial Art. If their goal is the practical application of a style in either self-defence or sport fighting, I think we can all agree that online training just won't work. However, if their goal is to learn the culture, get fit or go into Martial Arts performing, online training can work under the right circumstances.
     
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  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Personally, I think a lot depends on what the purpose and intent of the method and the practice is. If the purpose is exercise, as is boxercise or Tae bo, and minimal to zero effort is made to guide the development of proper technique and combative strategies, then it is not a martial art and is something else (an exercise in these cases), based on and inspired by martial arts. If the participant works up a sweat, that is good enough even though any attempt to use those techniques on an assailant would likely result in injury to the participant, due to improper biomechanics.

    I include XMA and Chinese Modern Wushu in this category, as performance and non- combative competition methods. Often with these methods the movements mimic authentic martial arts techniques, but there is no correction or instruction to make the techniques combatively viable. They are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, and that is deemed good enough.

    So in my opinion, someone who does Tae bo or boxercise or Modern Wushu or XMA is not a martial artist, if they do not also practice a viable combat-worthy method. If they do, even if they never encounter real combat or self defense, and even if their practice of the method is perhaps lazy and not rigorous enough to develop genuine skills, they are then a martial artist. They are simply not very good martial artists. But they are still martial artists because they practice a method that is ultimately meant to be combatively viable.

    As to your last point, that is in line with my previous comments that yes, people can learn things from video. I just do not believe they can learn an actual martial method or system to a level that advances beyond simple mimicry. But people can learn “tricks” or ideas about application that they might translate into training that they have already received, for example.
     
  15. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I had offered MA online course before. Each month a set of video and text information will be given. The 1st month includes 5 video instructions. Student has to record their video and send back to me. I then comment through E-mail.

    This is 1 of the 5 video that student will receive for their 1st month course.



    These videos are what student sent to me for comment.





    The following are the 1st month text material.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Combat Shuai-Chiao Warm Up

    1. Kick Leg Back

    Try to kick your leg backwards from the knee joint, so the heel of your foot will extend and touch your hip. The purpose of this kick is to develop a natural bending of the leg to escape a leg sweep or low round house kick.

    2. Kick Leg Sideways

    Try to kick your leg up sideways toward the groin, so the bottom of your foot touches your outstretched hand. The purpose of this movement is to develop a natural bending of the leg inward to escape a leg sweep, front cut, outer hook ...etc.

    3. Bow-Arrow Stance

    Turn you front foot 45 degree outward. Maintaining the back leg straight, your back foot turns 45 degrees inward. While keeping your body in a straight line, try to touch your shoulder to the opposite knee. The purpose of this movement is to stretch your leg muscles, build up correct body structure, and to achieve maximum twist.

    Equipment Training

    1. Brick Training

    While holding the training bricks, repeat any of the martial arts movements in slow motion. Always keep the elbows and knees bent slightly to avoid overextension.

    2. Tree kicking

    1) Find a tree about your leg size, or sink a PVC pipe in the ground.
    2) Move your back leg behind your front leg.
    3) Shift your weight to your back leg and use the ball of your front foot to kick on the tree.

    This may be the most important training in the Chinese martial art. You will get the most reward for the investment of your training. Both of your offense and defense ability will heavily depend on this.

    3. Pole Hanging

    1) Find a round metal pole, for instance such as those used for some street signs, or sink a metal fence pole in the ground but allow it to be taller than your head. The best pole for this exercise is actually a small pine tree with soft bark.
    2) Wrap your leg around the pole.
    3) Try to make the back of your knee wrap as close to the pole as possible.
    4) Wrap your arm around the pole in a head lock position.
    5) Hold the other hand on your wrist.
    6) Raise your standing foot off the ground, allowing your arm and leg to carry your body weight.

    When you train this exercise, you start with 10 breath count (inhale and exhale). You then progress to 20, 30, 40, 50… Take your time and try to enjoy the training. After a period of time, work toward releasing the wrist holding arm, transferring the weight to the twisting leg. The next step after being able to hang comfortably on one leg and one arm, try to hope on the pole rapidly. The goal is to be able to reach the pole hanging position in an instant with a burst of energy rather than slowly positioning yourself.

    13 Posture training

    1. 李奎磨斧 (Li Kui Mo Fu) Li Kui sharpens the axe

    1) Stand in a bow-arrow stance.
    2) Put both of your palms in front of your chest and facing up.
    3) Push both palms out with finger-tips touching and palms facing downward, and ending at 45 degrees.
    4) Turn the hands palm upward with Tiger Mouth (curved space between thumb and index finger) open; pull back both arms to touch your chest.

    Repeat this exercise with training bricks held in both hands.

    2. 三平 (San Ping) Three plains

    1) With both feet in close stance and knees bent, lower your upper body until your upper legs is parallel to the ground.
    2) Extend arms forward also parallel to the ground, curving hands into hooks with five fingers in Plum Flower pattern and facing downward.

    Repeat this exercise with training bricks held in each hand. While holding the bricks, rotate your hands clock-wise and counter clock-wise.

    24 Solo drill Training

    1. 踢Forward kick (TI)

    Both X and Y have right side forward (Uniform Stance).

    1) X moves left leg behind the right leg and uses the ball of the right foot to kick at Y’s right front knee.
    2) X lands right leg in front of Y’s right leg, and uses right back fist toward Y’s head to force Y to block.
    3) X uses left hand to control Y’s right elbow as Y is blocking. X then uses the right hand to control Y’s right wrist. At the same time, X steps in left leg 45 degree in front of Y’s right leg.
    4) X pulls Y’s right arm to force Y to put more weight on his leading leg, X then sweeps Y’s right ankle, using the front part of his left ankle with the foot pointing the same direction as Y’s right foot. When Y’s right foot is moved on the ground, X uses left hand to pull Y’s right shoulder to throw Y downward.

    This is a combination of “Foot Landing Kick” and “Shoulder Pulling Kick”. The concept is to sweep your opponent’s foot when his weight shifts. If you can move his foot forward faster than the rest part of his body, his upper body will lean back. If you add a shoulder pull at that moment, you can throw him.

    Key points

    1) Keep knee bending slightly before kick.
    2) Shoulder pulling should be done a bit later than the kick.
    3) Don’t let your kick to affect your upper body balance.

    2. 蹩Block (BIE)

    Both X and Y have right side forward (Uniform Stance).

    1) X moves left leg behind the right leg and use the ball of the right foot to kick at Y’s right front knee.
    2) X lands right leg in front of Y’s right leg, and moves both arms upward to separate Y’s arms from inside out.
    3) X uses left arm to wrap on Y’s right arm and grip the elbow, and uses right arm to hook punch behind Y’s head. X then uses right arm to lock Y’s neck while dropping into a low horse stance leaning body slightly forward.
    4) X moves the right leg outside of Y’s right leg and trapping that leg with his calf by raising the heel of the foot off the ground and keeps the right knee bending.
    5) X straights the right leg to spring Y’s right leg while twisting Y’s head downward in front of X’s chest.
    6) X sacrifices his own balance and uses gravity to pull Y and throw him. X then regains his balance.

    Key Points

    1) Put your opponent’s head in front of your chest with your elbow pointing to the ground.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  16. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah, this supports everything I’ve been saying.

    The instructional video video is all of a half minute long and contains zero verbal instruction to describe power transfer, leverage, angles, etc. it is just a couple of slow demonstrations, and I guess the student is left to figure it out for themselves based on crude video demonstration and zero actual instruction.

    The quality of what i see in the student videos matches what I would expect from such an instructional video. It just fails to transmit in any reasonable way. This is, as I describe, superficial mimicry.
     
  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    The detail of the video is in the text. Also E-mail discussion between instructor and students can get into more detail.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1. 踢Forward kick (TI)

    Both X and Y have right side forward (Uniform Stance).

    1) X moves left leg behind the right leg and uses the ball of the right foot to kick at Y’s right front knee.
    2) X lands right leg in front of Y’s right leg, and uses right back fist toward Y’s head to force Y to block.
    3) X uses left hand to control Y’s right elbow as Y is blocking. X then uses the right hand to control Y’s right wrist. At the same time, X steps in left leg 45 degree in front of Y’s right leg.
    4) X pulls Y’s right arm to force Y to put more weight on his leading leg, X then sweeps Y’s right ankle, using the front part of his left ankle with the foot pointing the same direction as Y’s right foot. When Y’s right foot is moved on the ground, X uses left hand to pull Y’s right shoulder to throw Y downward.

    This is a combination of “Foot Landing Kick” and “Shoulder Pulling Kick”. The concept is to sweep your opponent’s foot when his weight shifts. If you can move his foot forward faster than the rest part of his body, his upper body will lean back. If you add a shoulder pull at that moment, you can throw him.

    Key points

    1) Keep knee bending slightly before kick.
    2) Shoulder pulling should be done a bit later than the kick.
    3) Don’t let your kick to affect your upper body balance.

    2. 蹩Block (BIE)

    Both X and Y have right side forward (Uniform Stance).

    1) X moves left leg behind the right leg and use the ball of the right foot to kick at Y’s right front knee.
    2) X lands right leg in front of Y’s right leg, and moves both arms upward to separate Y’s arms from inside out.
    3) X uses left arm to wrap on Y’s right arm and grip the elbow, and uses right arm to hook punch behind Y’s head. X then uses right arm to lock Y’s neck while dropping into a low horse stance leaning body slightly forward.
    4) X moves the right leg outside of Y’s right leg and trapping that leg with his calf by raising the heel of the foot off the ground and keeps the right knee bending.
    5) X straights the right leg to spring Y’s right leg while twisting Y’s head downward in front of X’s chest.
    6) X sacrifices his own balance and uses gravity to pull Y and throw him. X then regains his balance.

    Key Points

    1) Put your opponent’s head in front of your chest with your elbow pointing to the ground.
     
  18. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    An online class student will never be the same as a student who graduated from MIT. There will be no argument there.
     
  19. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    That sounds more like learning dance moves online than learning martial arts. To a greater or lesser degree, pretty much all martial arts training should improve your chances in a fight. That often is not the students main reason for training, but it happens anyway.
     
  20. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I guess I'll play devil's advocate here and say that by that logic any form of physical exercise could be considered a Martial Art, since a physically fit person has better chances of surviving a fight than someone who isn't fit.
     

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