Home Study Courses

Gentle Fist

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I can't speak for other arts. But I can't see how someone could learn Judo or BJJ without being on a mat with an experienced instructor... There are too many small moves specific to the individual as well as gaining that "feel" of doing the move correctly and it being accepted by qualified person...
 

James Kovacich

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Hello,


I'm curious if there are any home study courses that are not completely ridiculous. Ideally something with graded levels.


Before you burst into laughter...



  • I'm in my 40s and am mainly interested in doing this for fun.
  • I have a busy life and a number of physical activities I can't swap out for martial arts (i.e., we do stuff as a family and no one else has any MA interest). My free time tends to be at times when no MA studio is open - e.g., 5am.
  • I have studied several martial arts but never particularly deeply because I've moved a bit. Six months each in two different styles of kung fu, purple belt in Kenpo.
  • It's not vital to me how "effective" what I learn is. In fact, I wouldn't mind something that included a kata portion.
  • I would like something with a belt system, as having goals to strive for keeps me motivated.


After a bit of googling, I've seen:


- Stephen K Hayes
- Richard van Donk
- Shintai Ryu
- Shorin Ryu ("Kobukan Karate")
- American Kenpo Legacy ("Arnis") - not sure if they are still in business


I'm curious if


(a) all home study courses are a joke


(b) there is something good I've missed


(c) anyone has opinions on the above

Its true you need an instructor. I've tried teaching this way and didn't get the results I expected.

But you might look into the following link. I guarantee you wont get a black belt unless you deserve it.
https://www.jeffspeakman.com/ good luck

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shesulsa

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Survivor:

I would expect for someone who has spent at least five to ten solid years studying, training and making martial arts a priority to be able to get something out of a worthwhile DVD home-study program. Certainly not everything nor even "enough" but *something.*

The reality: it is done. You are going to do what you want to do, we can't stop you ... but I think there IS an effective compromise and it has already been sort of suggested: seek out private lessons and go once or twice a month, bring a video camera and record your lessons. Use your recordings to help you practice at home. My ex did this and it worked out pretty well for him (and us as the net time physically from the home was drastically reduced.

Now ... this is a method that is most likely good for higher ranking students and black belts as training time become so fleeting once you start teaching. But it could work for a dedicated student. I have to toss my money in this hat way before the home study routine. Good luck and please let us know how you choose to proceed.

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WC_lun

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I understand that some people just don't have access to instructors, for one reason or another. However, home training from DVDs, books, etc is not valid training. You cannot learn martial arts in this manner. You need the interaction and drilling. While you say you do not care if it is effective training or not, do you care if the training could be detrimental? Many people I have seen that take the solo training route have trained body mechanics and thought processes that are indeed detrimental. If you are serious enough about martial arts to take them up, be serious enough about them to do them right.
 

shesulsa

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I gave him an answer. What's up with you?

You also smacked him down and insulted him. 1. That's rude and against the rules here. 2. Expecting everyone tho use the crappy vBulletin search feature the way you would is expecting everyone to be like you. And we'd likely have no new conversations here except based on current events, news and politics if topics were never re-explored. That's not how people learn and grow.

Please try to have more patience with the noobs and I hope whatever is bothering you resolves quickly.

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Marcy Shoberg

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While it may very well be true that one cannot learn a martial art without meeting face to face with an instructor, possibly survivalist might be interested in a self-defense system instead.
In fact I make a self-defense home study course, it doesn't teach much physical technique, though. If anyone wants to see it, it's at www.theselfdefenselady.com
I learned Krav Maga (which is a self-defense system, not a martial art) from books so I think maybe survivalist could learn it from books or videos, too. I don't think a person without prior martial arts experience could learn the self-defense system of Krav Maga very well from books. But, since he has some experience, I think it's worth a try. Krav Maga Worldwide is the type I studied. I preferred the books by Darren Levine to the videos.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I can't speak for other arts. But I can't see how someone could learn Judo or BJJ without being on a mat with an experienced instructor... There are too many small moves specific to the individual as well as gaining that "feel" of doing the move correctly and it being accepted by qualified person...

I think the amount you can get out of instructional videos is proportional to the amount of related real experience you already have and the quality of your available training partners.

When I first encountered BJJ, it was via instructional videos. At that time I had a few years training in an unrelated art and a couple of training partners who had experience in other arts. I was able to learn a number of techniques well enough to apply them effectively in sparring with my training partners.

Then I started training in a dojo that taught a Danzan Ryu jujutsu offshoot, including some of the same curriculum I had been learning by video. The folks there were better than I was, but I did feel like my video study had given me a head start. During my time training there, I continued to practice material from BJJ videos, but now I had better training partners and more hands-on instruction so I got more out of the videos. I feel like the supplemental training I got made me more effective when rolling with folks at the dojo.

Finally I started training BJJ with an actual qualified BJJ instructor. My previous experience gave me a bit of a head start, but I was still a beginner in the art. I still had quite a ways to go before my first ranking. Now that I have high-quality hands on instruction and lots of good training partners, I feel like I can get a lot out of a good BJJ instructional video. The only reason that I don't spend more time watching them is that I already have so much material to work on from my regular classes that I don't need that much supplemental information. The limiting factor for me now is how much time I have to work with training partners on the mat to drill what I've already been exposed to.

Another data point: I've read that Pat Miletich started out studying BJJ via video lessons because there was no local instruction in the art at the time. Obviously that worked out pretty well for him. The thing to remember is that he already had over a decade of grappling experience via wrestling and had some tough training partners to work out with. Also, he sought out real instruction as it became available.

In the case of someone who has no prior experience and lacks good training partners, instructional videos are probably useless or worse than useless.
 

oaktree

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I'm curious if there are any home study courses that are not completely ridiculous. Ideally something with graded levels.

Home study courses are alot like Online universities you get what you put into it but for the most part you are the teacher, and having a teacher who doesn't know the material very well isn't a very good teacher.

I'm in my 40s and am mainly interested in doing this for fun
Then why the concern with a grading level? Why not just get a heavy bag and punch that?

I have a busy life and a number of physical activities I can't swap out for martial arts (i.e., we do stuff as a family and no one else has any MA interest). My free time tends to be at times when no MA studio is open - e.g., 5am.
Everyone has a busy life I work full time and I am on call on the weekend and I am a full time student and I still have time to train. Meeting a teacher once a week for an hour will get you further than any home study course.
It's not vital to me how "effective" what I learn is. In fact, I wouldn't mind something that included a kata portion.
I would like something with a belt system, as having goals to strive for keeps me motivated.
It sounds like you need something or someone to motivate you. A home study course where YOU are motivating Yourself seems difficult for someone like you based on what you typed.
all home study courses are a joke
I don't know all of the home study courses for the most part I think the person who created them do try to give as close to a class as they can.
Here is my opinion,
What ever art you choose for a home study course, contact the closest teacher for that art and explain the situation.

See if he will be your long distance corrspondence to go to with questions, maybe he can come down once every month or so to help you with learning. Find a partner to do it with or a study group at least then you can both work on the techniques maybe there is something you missed that he caught.
If you are going to use video only then you will need to spend alot of time watching the videos. Now here is the reality of training using only tapes.
No matter how many times you watch the tapes or practice what is on the tapes your movement will never be like the person that is on the tape unless you actually train with a real teacher. I have have been studying a particular art with my teacher for over 5 years, I have his DVD'S on that particular art yet I still get corrections and I already know the form! Because just watching a teacher perform something you miss the small details needed to really excute it correctly.
Anyway good luck with your adventure.
 

jasonbrinn

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I have thoroughly reviewed Gracie University and it is REALLY great - I highly recommend it. Also, my system has correspondence courses as well which are completely free so hit us up if you are interested ( www.shamarsystem.com ).

Ultimately, it depends on your goals, expectations and what you put into it as to what you will get and the quality. Some things you can only get in person and some levels can only be reached with one-to-one instruction. However, great passion and determination can make their own opportunities as well.

I wish you the best.
 

Instructor

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I don't know all of the home study courses for the most part I think the person who created them do try to give as close to a class as they can.
Here is my opinion, What ever art you choose for a home study course, contact the closest teacher for that art and explain the situation.

This is very good advice. Of course their are some scams out there to be avoided. But also many well known, legitimate schools have developed a distance learning system. Simply asking the teacher about the quality of his distance students versus local students should be quite revealing. Even the best distance system must rely on occasional in-person instruction, I don't know any legitimate system that doesn't.

I can't speak for other schools and systems but for my own we hold the students performance expectations to the same standard as the local students. It might take them twice as long to get to the level we expect but they know that promotion requires it. Thus far, my distance students have been able to make the grade.
 

Christian Soldier

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I haven't read the rest of the thread so I'm no sure if this has been said before but here's what I've found over the years.

'Warrior's Edge' was some very comprehensive knife instruction and, if you drill it often with a partner, can be very helpfull. Merely watching a tape is about as good for you as sitting on the couch with a bag of potato chips watching P90X, you have to actually do what the video is saying to benefit from it.


Now I used to be pretty skeptical about these martial art courses until our school recently had Black Belt come and join that had recived his belts from Kevin Lampkins Kenpo online/dvd course. At first, my whole family was a bit skeptical but I'l be darned if he was just as good, if not better than, the black belts I have seen that had with many years in the studio. I think one of the big factors with KL's kenpo is you actually have to send him a video of yourself doing the ciriculem and he will critique and tell you if you are doing something wrong. Kenpo is a very dynamic art too, which make it even more impressive.

Hands down the biggest factor is the student. If a student actively pursues learning the system and commits, he can conciveably do quite well, as long as he has a GOOD TEACHER. It's just not as easy and not as consistent as learning from a school. If you have the oppertunity to take from a good school, by all means DO IT. But, I have personally seen great success from a 'Home Study Course', so it can work.
 
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shihansmurf

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I think the amount you can get out of instructional videos is proportional to the amount of related real experience you already have and the quality of your available training partners.

I think this is the crux of the issue. If you have a good, working knowledge of a closely related system then you can certainly learn a great deal. I am currently working my way through the IKCA material at the moment. I havve an extensive background in shotokan and American Kenpo as well as boxing and a few other striking systems. I'm enjoying what I am learning from Mr. LeRoux through this medium. There a few subtle difference in how they do things versus how I learned them but the interaction from the feedback tapes and phone calls are outstanding.

I wouldn't have considered this option unless I already had a solid base of ability. I certainly wouldn't thing of trying to learn a grappling art in this as my experience in that area consists of 2 years of high school wrestling and that was 20 years ago.

YMMV and all that but if you have a good program, prior experience, and partners then I see nothing wrong with it.

survivalist, take a look into the IKCA. Their website is www.karateconnection.com. Good guys, good kenpo, friendly people. It may not be exactly what you are looking for but I am really impressedd by the organization .

Mark

P.S. I gotta go with Omar on this. A sticky of this topic would be awesome.
 

Flying Crane

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If you have a good, working knowledge of a closely related system then you can certainly learn a great deal. I am currently working my way through the IKCA material at the moment. I havve an extensive background in shotokan and American Kenpo as well as boxing and a few other striking systems. I'm enjoying what I am learning from Mr. LeRoux through this medium. There a few subtle difference in how they do things versus how I learned them but the interaction from the feedback tapes and phone calls are outstanding.

I wouldn't have considered this option unless I already had a solid base of ability. I certainly wouldn't thing of trying to learn a grappling art in this as my experience in that area consists of 2 years of high school wrestling and that was 20 years ago.

YMMV and all that but if you have a good program, prior experience, and partners then I see nothing wrong with it.

Hi Mark,

your post raises some questions for me, I'd appreciate your thoughts on it.

Since you have the background, and that background is probabaly pivotal to having some degree of success with a distance learning program, it makes me ask: do you get anything out of the program that you haven't already gotten from your prior training? And why go thru it? I suppose simple curiosity and interest can be enough, but that aside it seems to me that someone like yourself, if you already have a solid background particularly in something closely related, is exactly the person who DOES NOT need a distance program like this.

any thoughts?

thx.
 

shihansmurf

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Hi Mark,

your post raises some questions for me, I'd appreciate your thoughts on it.

Since you have the background, and that background is probabaly pivotal to having some degree of success with a distance learning program, it makes me ask: do you get anything out of the program that you haven't already gotten from your prior training? And why go thru it? I suppose simple curiosity and interest can be enough, but that aside it seems to me that someone like yourself, if you already have a solid background particularly in something closely related, is exactly the person who DOES NOT need a distance program like this.

any thoughts?

thx.

Hi Michael,

Initially I took an interest in IKCA Kenpo because I found the first video at a garage sale. I figured for $3 I'd give it a go.

I found the material contained on it to be an expression of American Kenpo more along the lines with how I approach Mr. Parker's art. I didn't start out in Kenpo as shotokan was and remains my primary art. Due to moving around as a member of the military I took the opportunity to train in kenpo in Colorado Springs and enjoyed the approach. I simply find that the IKCA's philisopy of emphasizing basics and utilizing a smaller number of techniques that can be grafted as the situation fits to resonate with me a lot better than the full on 154 techs, 13(?) or so forms, and bunches of sets from EPAK. Not that I am crtiticizing EPAK. It is a great system. IKCA is working better for me and my purposes in training.

I use the techs as an adjunct to the shotokan I teach mainly as a great way to give my students examples of the kenpo concepts and principles in action.

A good chunk of it is also simple curiosity and interest. I like to look into other systems and how they do things. I think that exploring other methods for no other reason than I want to see how they handle different scenarios and look at their approach to things in interesting. I also like to see how different themes are entertwined through different systems. I have a student that studied kajukenbo. I found that their Punch Defense 1 is similar to the opening move in broken wing in IKCA, I just find it interesting.

I also have had uniformly positive experiences dealing with the IKCA, both its founders and members. This may not seem like a big deal but I have had some nasty organization politics experiences in the past that have left me a bit jaded. I enjoy the people I have met and gotten mat time with as well as the online discussions iwth other IKCA folks.

As to your last comment. You are 100% right. I don't NEED to do a distance learning program. I am a bit of an outlier though as I will be in the Art for 29 years this December. I am simply in a place where I have a good enough foundation that I can explore in this manner and know what I am looking at in an intelligent(within the limits I have, lol) and informed manner. I know bad stance work, poor mechanics, and unsound material when I see it and I can steer clear. At this point delving into things trough this medium is more like diging into another, closely related area of my art than jumping feet first into a new Art.

This is the trap of the distance learning programs, though. I am not convinced that a person can go from no skill/knowledge to real competance in this manner. I think that they are great for guys like me that want to expolre, get feedback and don't get wrapped up in gaining rank. I'm think that anyone that looks at a program like this as a way to put on more stripes or as a way to train without really putting in the effort in a brick and mortar school will get out of their training what they put in to it.

Mark
 

celtic_crippler

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Christ, why not just answer the guy's question? He said he's just looking to do it for fun right now...

You say you've got a purple belt in kenpo? Since you've already got a base there I'd reccomend either

1) IKCA: The production is dated, but the material is put together well and you can test for rank. The techniques are basic and combine to create what they call their "master form". They have routine seminars all over the country so you would likely get the opportunity for some hands-on instruction if you wanted it. http://www.karateconnection.com/

2) I believe somebody already mentione Jeff Speakman's 5.0 series. https://www.jeffspeakman.com/ He appears at various seminars and has an annual seminar specific to his organization once a year in Vegas. The production is top knotch but the techniques are more advanced and you may have difficulty learning them. He does give examples of traditional Parker forms, but with no instruction; just deomonstration.

The IKCA is more "basic" while the 5.0 series is geared more toward advanced kenpoist who already have classical training.

As stated, vehemently by some, there is no replacement for hands-on instruction in a "brick and mortar" school. But since you are familiar with kenpo and have a mild interest, I would suggest one of these programs.

Perhaps later you will find you enjoy it enough to take that the step to seek out a local instructor and advance further in your training. Until then, I hope you enjoy yourself.

Peace!

Hello,


I'm curious if there are any home study courses that are not completely ridiculous. Ideally something with graded levels.


Before you burst into laughter...



  • I'm in my 40s and am mainly interested in doing this for fun.
  • I have a busy life and a number of physical activities I can't swap out for martial arts (i.e., we do stuff as a family and no one else has any MA interest). My free time tends to be at times when no MA studio is open - e.g., 5am.
  • I have studied several martial arts but never particularly deeply because I've moved a bit. Six months each in two different styles of kung fu, purple belt in Kenpo.
  • It's not vital to me how "effective" what I learn is. In fact, I wouldn't mind something that included a kata portion.
  • I would like something with a belt system, as having goals to strive for keeps me motivated.


After a bit of googling, I've seen:


- Stephen K Hayes
- Richard van Donk
- Shintai Ryu
- Shorin Ryu ("Kobukan Karate")
- American Kenpo Legacy ("Arnis") - not sure if they are still in business


I'm curious if


(a) all home study courses are a joke


(b) there is something good I've missed


(c) anyone has opinions on the above
 

stone_dragone

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I think the amount you can get out of instructional videos is proportional to the amount of related real experience you already have and the quality of your available training partners.

I think this is the crux of the issue. If you have a good, working knowledge of a closely related system then you can certainly learn a great deal. I am currently working my way through the IKCA material at the moment. I havve an extensive background in shotokan and American Kenpo as well as boxing ...

I share this kind of experience and study the IKCA curriculum. For someone with Mark's level of experience, I don't think that it's really learning a new art from video as much as learning a new curriculum.

Many folks have been able to do well with the IKCA material. Perhaps that's why... It's learning a curriculum instead of an art through distance? Thoughts?
 

shihansmurf

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I think the amount you can get out of instructional videos is proportional to the amount of related real experience you already have and the quality of your available training partners.



I share this kind of experience and study the IKCA curriculum. For someone with Mark's level of experience, I don't think that it's really learning a new art from video as much as learning a new curriculum.

Many folks have been able to do well with the IKCA material. Perhaps that's why... It's learning a curriculum instead of an art through distance? Thoughts?

I hadn't thought of it in those terms. I think you have a really good point in that it is learning a new curriculum instead of an entirely new art. There are a few pitfalls with that as well, similarities of techniques, slight differences in basics, how to kiai, and such. There are times I slip into old habbits when working the IKCA material.

Mark
 
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