Home Made Warriors and Online Black Belts

Daniel Sullivan

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I'm not sure I agree with you. Your definition would be more accurately called video training or home study course. It can be called distance learning but distance training was being done by Dan Inosanto (and others) with his seminar students long before the 1st video BB home study course came about. They did eventually start selling the VHS tapes to "fill in the gaps" between training sessions.

So video training can and is called distant learning but distant learning is "more" than just video training.
Distance learning isn't limited to video training, but it doesn't include in person instruction, hence the term. It originally was done by mail, and the term was coined for teaching students who were not physically present. What you're describing are seminar attendees who practice what they learned at the seminar on their own between seminar dates. That isn't distance learning. If you want to apply the term to seminar students, that's fine, but I'm not the one who will have to field questions about usage of the term.

Distance learning is a huge industry and the term is in common usage. Universities and professors have been conducting distance learning since the seventeen hundreds and the meaning of the term was well established long before the birth of Lee or Inosanto. The style of instruction that you refer to doesn't even come up as an alternate definition. If you (the general you) are going to use a definition that is not in accepted use, then you may expect to be asked about it.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distance learning
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/distance_learning.html
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/distance+learning
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distance_education

I'm not trying to be argumentative. As I said earlier, Simplicity explained what he meant. No worries. :)

Edit: The subject of seminar students does cross over with distance learning with respect to martial arts classes as GMs who promote it, such as GM Pelligrini, often offer seminars, both to reinforce their distance learning program and to earn extra income, as the seminars are rarely free, even to members.

I do think that a blend of the two (seminar/online or video training) is the best compromise. As with everything else, a lot depends on the nature of the material, the instructor, and the student. The reliability and capability of the technology is also a factor. Instructor's comment about a feedback system is another feature that can make this method more viable.
 
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The original intent of our program was to provide "continuing education" for folks that had to move away from their school as we have a large number of military students. When new people signed up we then decided to attempt to train them and see how it would go. So far I am pleased with the results and I believe my students are pleased with the results based on their continued patronage.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Yes I think that is extremely accurate. I also would like to stress to those out there, if you can find a good local school it is superior to distance learning in most respects. We provide this service to those that simply have no better avenue to learn. If I count my time I operate at a serious economic loss to do this. However if I count my time as donated we break even.

DLP's are not all equal. The best systems have a feedback mechanism like our digital dojang. Without a feedback mechanism it's not going to work. Even with a feedback mechanism mileage may vary depending on the student. We find though that we are effective when the student puts forth the effort.
If you don't mind my asking, what is your method for feedback?
 

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Our people always work in pairs because Hapkido requires a training partner to learn (uke). Each training pair meets routinely with me or another instructor in our digital dojang. It's essentially a webcam session not unlike skype. We go through the curriculum together with them demonstrating each movement. I am watching them, and the uke. If something needs adjustment we work through it together with me offering suggestions and them attempting to do what I am asking.
 

lklawson

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It's devil's advocate time!

First, why should I care what Bruce Lee did? He was a gifted Chinese martial artist who made movies, and I am not. What he did or did not do has no affect on my training and I really don't care what did or didn't work for him.
That, and the martial arts landscape, threats & friendly, has changed dramatically since his death.

Second, if people wish to say that they can learn martial arts on line, I really don't care as what they do has no affect on my training. Unless they fraudulently claim rank in a specific system, they can pretend they're learning all they want. It's got to be better for them than sitting on the couch watching reality TV.

How can anything be good or bad for martial arts as a whole? Martial arts encompasses a great many different things from a large number of societies. It would be impossible to have anything that could affect "martial arts as a whole". I just do what I do as my instructor tells me, and pretty much ignore what others wish to do with themselves.
I still remember all of the "earn your black belt" home study courses in the back of magazines and comic books. Online training is just the latest incarnation of this, and, if fortune favors, may actually have a greater ability to impart at least the basics of a few simple things, at least better than the home study courses did.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Daniel Sullivan

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if fortune favors, may actually have a greater ability to impart at least the basics of a few simple things, at least better than the home study courses did.

In terms of imparting gross motor skills, they can by virtue of the ability to render the presentation from multiple angles and all manner of things that one can do with computer graphics.

That said, it is in the subtlties where they tend to fall short. In kendo, there are a range of subtle mistakes that don't translate to video but which I can see when I'm working with students. I know because I occasionally film practices and review them later. Little things with stepping, grip, tension in the shoulders, etc. which are readily apparent in person are often hidden in video.

So when it comes to correction, feedback via video/webcam, while a huge improvement over a DLP with no feedback mechanism, still has its limitations. And it is usually the subtlties that hold people back in an art. Without at least occasional in person check ups as Instructor, James Kovacich and Simplicity describe, you have a much, much greater potential for bad habits to get trained in and ingrained.
 

lklawson

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it is in the subtlties where they tend to fall short. [...] Without at least occasional in person check ups as Instructor [...] you have a much, much greater potential for bad habits to get trained in and ingrained.
I've said as much more times than I can remember. :)

It's a common question in the Western Martial Arts world. WMA is less available than TKD but people still want to learn. The question is frequently, "how can I learn Longsword [or whatever] when there's no instructor or club particularly near to me? Can I just get DVDs and books?"

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I've said as much more times than I can remember. :)

It's a common question in the Western Martial Arts world. WMA is less available than TKD but people still want to learn. The question is frequently, "how can I learn Longsword [or whatever] when there's no instructor or club particularly near to me? Can I just get DVDs and books?"

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
You can learn a lot about longsword, and if you have prior relevant experience, historical reference, and DVDs by people who are using said historical reference, you might be able to actually learn longsword.

But prior relevant experience isn't as easy to come by as people think. It pretty much requires experience in a similar weapon, which basically boils down to . . . prior experience in longsword.
 

lklawson

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But prior relevant experience isn't as easy to come by as people think. It pretty much requires experience in a similar weapon, which basically boils down to . . . prior experience in longsword.
Certain staff styles can be quite useful. There's a Filipino staff style I saw once that looked like it might be a good base. 'Course, it has not cross-guard and it's a stick, not an edged and pointed sword...

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I have a kendo student who has Filipino stick and staff training, and some of it has been a huge hindrance for him. Of course some of it was very beneficial, but it was in the subtle areas that it was holding him back.

Edit: The issues were there in kata, but really came out in shiai. So prior background in one form of stick fighting caused hindrance in another, which is why I say that prior relevant experience is harder to come by than people think.
 

James Kovacich

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I regards to relevant experience, the same can be said in reverse. A traditionally trained Kobudo stylists would encounter much difficulty training in an Eskrima class where there is no kata based training and someone is really trying to hit you. Offense is defense and defense is offense. :)
Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
 

Daniel Sullivan

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I regards to relevant experience, the same can be said in reverse. A traditionally trained Kobudo stylists would encounter much difficulty training in an Eskrima class where there is no kata based training and someone is really trying to hit you. Offense is defense and defense is offense. :)
Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
In this case, the issue was grip of the weapon and striking methodology. He has a very good grasp of offence and defence.
 

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I had promised to revisit this thread and report on my online students progress. I met him at our annual conference. Prior to the conference he had only learned online. He worked with me and many of the 50 members of our organization present, some of our best and brightest including our Grandmaster.

By all accounts he was very much like any brick and mortar student at his level. We helped him fine tune of course but we did that for everybody including other brick and mortar students.

A great many folks came to me and complimented me on my student's progress I think he really surprised a lot of people by how well he actually did, including our Grand Master and Senior Master.

By all accounts I am pleased and proud.
 

Balrog

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We are living in a digital age, and this is starting to become seen as more of an option in recent times. Why go to a dojo if you can be certified online, or why pay to train if you can learn through videos?
To put it simply - you can't.

Videos are good for refreshment of memory, but nothing will ever replace instructors who see a glitch and give you feedback on how to fix it.
 

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To put it simply - you can't.

Videos are good for refreshment of memory, but nothing will ever replace instructors who see a glitch and give you feedback on how to fix it.

And yet I've just proven you can..
 

clfsean

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I had promised to revisit this thread and report on my online students progress. I met him at our annual conference. Prior to the conference he had only learned online. He worked with me and many of the 50 members of our organization present, some of our best and brightest including our Grandmaster.

By all accounts he was very much like any brick and mortar student at his level. We helped him fine tune of course but we did that for everybody including other brick and mortar students.

A great many folks came to me and complimented me on my student's progress I think he really surprised a lot of people by how well he actually did, including our Grand Master and Senior Master.

By all accounts I am pleased and proud.

What was his background prior to becoming involved in your program?
 

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He said he had tried a couple of sword classes but they were an hour from his home so he had to quit. Forgive me I do not know which style of sword training. I've mentioned this thread to him via email and encouraged him to participate. I've asked him to just be honest. To my knowledge he has no other martial arts training of any kind.
 

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Perhaps you could relate what learning from our online program was like for you and compare it to your experiences at the conference.
 

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