Hey guys and gals, (This is going to be a bit long so I apologize but it will lead to a couple of questions). Many many many years ago, I trained in Kenpo. As a young kid, I was enamored with he idea of getting my black belt in karate. Even when I didn't know there were different disciplines and styles of karate. I literally couldn't have told you the difference between Taekwondo and Shotokan. I was bullied when I was six years old and my parents signed me up for kung fu lessons, which lasted as long as it took for me to be put in a position to have to defend myself from said bullies. From that point on, my parents felt that I wasn't mature enough to handle taking martial arts of any kind. In addition to my proclivities for actually using what I had learned to defend myself, they felt that MA was a "fad" that was enjoying commercial recognition and would soon blow over. Thy also likely felt that I thought that I would get a BB in weeks or months and that once I got it, that would be "mission accomplished" - I wouldn't have to take lessons any more. They were probably right on most if not all counts. Not long after I had turned 14 years old, I managed to find someone (I'll refer to him here as "C") who trained at the local karate school who wanted an at-home training/practice partner. In exchange for allowing C to drill his techniques on me at nearly full speed, he agreed to teach me what he knew. He explained that my participation would allow for him to maintain his proficiency in "the basics" so I only stood to benefit as his practice dummy. His school taught American Kenpo. C was a 3rd degree BB and apparently had classes that he taught at the school but was always looking to stay sharp. C seemed to love karate at least as much as I did so we never passed up an opportunity to train together. His training was fast but thorough and we would train for sometimes hours in a day, depending on the day. Summer breaks between school years were prime time for me to learn as much as I could and we trained nearly every day of summers and other school breaks. C taught technique after technique, making sure I learned the names and how to perform them on "both sides". Same thing with all the forms. This arrangement lasted for better than two and a half years. I was a sponge throughout that time, though my motives weren't the best but probably understandable for a teenage male. I wanted my BB primarily for the bragging rights, though C and I never discussed why I trained until the end. Towards the end, I asked C what belt he thought I was. He got a disappointed look on his face but said nothing as he went to a closet in his basement, pulled a jump rope out and tied it around his waist and asked me if I thought he could still execute any technique that he had been taught better or worse without his BB. I imagined that he could do all of it just fine. He then threw his BB at me and told me to put it on. When I did, he called out a few techniques by name and I performed them. He did the same with a few forms, ranging from simple to difficult. As an adult today, I see the point C was trying to drive home to me. I didn't then. He asked me why the belt was so important. I told him that at that juncture in my life, I felt like karate was the only thing I was good at and frankly, I didn't feel like I was too good at that either. He concluded training that day by asking me to show up at his house early on a Saturday. I did reported to his house as requested and he spent the better part of five hours with no breaks calling out techniques, forms and sets by name. When he was finally done, I was barely able to stand. He left the basement and came back moments later with a BB that had two red stripes on either end. I couldn't believe it. He tied it around my waist and I felt like I was on top of the world. I was just about to turn 17 years old when that happened. Not long after he tied the belt on me, he explained that I would never be able to walk into a Kenpo school and be recognized as a 2nd degree BB. I didn't understand. C tried to explain the politics inherent in Kenpo to me but the explanation was lost on me. Nonetheless, he congratulated me on my hard work and sent me home to rest and recover. As we had since become coworkers at the same restaurant, he assured me that he'd see me at work and we'd talk about it more then. I showed up for work several times after the "belt test" and C was never there. I went to his house where his mother told me that he had just taken off and even she didn't know where he went. She guessed that he had joined the Air Force, a suggestion that she had given him at some point. I never saw C again. To this day, I still can't track him down. Years went by and in that time, the loss of my teacher/training partner diminished how much I trained. I didn't have C to ask questions to or correct me if I did anything wrong. I compensated by feeling like "the mission" had indeed been accomplished - I got my BB. And I bragged about it to anyone who would listen, mainly just friends and classmates. Life took over and I found myself with less and less disposable time to train. I had joined the military at 17 and threw myself into that quite a bit. It wasn't long before I stopped training altogether but many of the principles and techniques stayed with me. Skip ahead to 2004 during my last deployment to Iraq, I received multiple concussions which led to a permanent brain injury which decimated my long and short-term memory. This wiped out whatever memory of Kenpo I had left. I had stopped referring to myself as a BB a few years prior but my brain injury sealed the deal and in my view, made it clear that I could no longer refer to myself as a BB. In 2013 at 40 years old, I had a near heart attack which prompted doctors to urge me to start eating better and find a way to exercise. Military life saw to it that my body couldn't handle running any more. A lot of weight training was out too. I started thinking about martial arts again. I ended up deciding to train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and subsequently Judo. Both were different and I didn't have any previous experience in either so I went into them as green as you can get. One of the first things I had noticed was that the culture was entirely different form the "traditional" martial arts I had trained in. The advent of the internet had opened up countless online resources which have made for valuable supplemental training. In BJJ, depending on who you trained under, watching videos on YouTube was completely acceptable, particularly if you were getting stuck on a technique. Only recently, I found myself thinking "why couldn't I apply this to Kenpo?" The online resources are there, so why couldn't I review what was available and do my best to relearn all of the material I had been taught? Now that I am an adult, the BB only serves as a guideline for what material to research. In my view, I would take on relearning the Kenpo material up to 2nd degree BB more as a supplement to my personal well-being and back-handed tribute to the kindness of C who had made a kid's dream come true and disappeared out of my life. The belt doesn't matter to me any more. (The BB I was awarded had since been lost or stolen some time around 1999-2000). I will never dress out and I'll never teach or compete. So my questions are these - Would it be deemed as disrespectful to train based on online resources? Would it be considered "less than" if I have no intentions other than to just train by myself? Has the Kenpo community adapted/evolved to the point of accepting online tutorial (trusted but verified) as BJJ has?