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MJS

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No I've never trained with an at home system.

I didn't think so, just wanted to confirm. :)

I don't even own a single martial arts DVD. I will from time to time use your tube if I forget a certain part of a Kata I was working on in class.

I have a few, that I use for reference, like you said, in the event I forget something

I like going to a class but that's just my personal preference.

Ditto! :)

I just get sick of this attitude some have that if you don't train the way I did your not a "real" martial artist. People want to learn for different reasons. If you want to learn from a DVD or online system I say go do it have fun train hard. Who am I or any of us to judge.

Honestly, I never really viewed a dvd learning method as making someone a martial artist, but I suppose they could be. I view a serious martial artist, as someone who's training under a teacher, learning a system, and putting in the blood, sweat and tears to actually get on the mat and bust your ***. And yes, we all train for different reasons. If someone is content with dvd learning, then it is what it is. As I've said, they're most likely going to be limited to the content of the dvd, but if thats what they want.....

Interestingly enough, at one school that I used to train at, they sold training books that the students could buy, which contained all the material for that rank. The techs were written out, the katas, etc. I used to see people test, get their new rank, buy the book, come to class and show me the techs that they learned. LOL. Of course, I knew they learned from the book, and half the time, I had to go back and make corrections. So, it was kinda like taking a step forward and 3 back. Had they just waited, perhaps they would've had an easier time.

People come on here and tell someone well your not learning anything and you will never be able to defend yourself.

As I said earlier, to a point, sure, they will be. Hell, you don't need a dvd for that. But, IMO, if you really wanna fine tune your stuff, you will need a live teacher.

Well truth is this isn't the wild west anymore I bet most people on this forum have never even been in a real fight. Its not a knock or put down its just fact most people other then.grade school have never been in a fight as an adult.

Well, I'll agree and disagree with this. In some of the larger cities in CT, there's violence on a daily basis, so yes, when I turn on the news and hear about assaults, shootings, stabbings, etc, yeah, the wild west does come to mind..lol. Aside from the school stuff and when I worked for the DOC, as of late, I've talked my way out of more confrontations than actually fought..lol. Amazing how far some simple common sense and awareness goes. :)

Its just they way things are now and that's a good thing. Don't get me wring I think traditional training in a dojo is better then a DVD I just think people go a little over board with the you will never learn anything your better off just doing nothing then training with a DVD. Now I also think people that come on here looking for some kind of approval from forum memebers on their master trading plans are just as silly why do you care what we think if you want to go buy DVD and train go do it who cares what we think and save yourself the grief and use the search function there are only 100 other threads like this one

True, and people will decide what they want to do, no matter what you, me or anyone else says. Like I said, I think alot of the times, people are too quick to make excuses for not getting to a dojo. But in the end, each person will be responsible for his/her actions. :)
 

ballen0351

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Going to a dojo does not make someone a martial artist either. People want to learn for a million different reasons. Also I would say sometimes a quality online system or DVD system is better then a crappy belt factory. Every time this topic comes up I think a "school" near me that claims to teach the ancient native American Indian martial arts. Instead of belts you get feathers for your head dress. I went there once for a kids birthday party and was talking to the "chief warrior" who ran the school a white freckle faced red head by the way not even a native American he was telling me about the classes ans how he has secret fighting techniques passed down from famous Indian warriors. It was the biggest bunch of crap I've ever seen. So in that case a real teacher isn't better then a dvd .

As for the wild wild west comment even in big cities which I personally spend a lot of time in Washington DC and Baltimore and even then chances of me getting into a fight a slim. If you took a poll here on MT about who's actually been in a real fight not counting Emma fights or boxing or sparring I mean a real no rules fight the numbers would be low. I know we have about 45 adults at my dojo and I'm the only one that has ever even used what we learned in real life but I'm also a police officer so fights come to me. That's a good thing like I said that's not a put down on people. I'm not saying you should not be prepared for a fight but chances are good you never will need it. I carry a gun everywhere I go but thankfully the chance I'll ever need it are very slim.

Maybe I just don't take the "I'm a martial artist" thing so serious as some. I could care less how or what you train in as long as your doing something its better then nothing. Even the ancient art of Geronimo has to teach something useful at some point. I'm just not going to walk around with Turkey feathers on my head.
 

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Honestly, I never really viewed a dvd learning method as making someone a martial artist, but I suppose they could be. I view a serious martial artist, as someone who's training under a teacher, learning a system, and putting in the blood, sweat and tears to actually get on the mat and bust your ***. And yes, we all train for different reasons. If someone is content with dvd learning, then it is what it is. As I've said, they're most likely going to be limited to the content of the dvd, but if thats what they want.....

Just because you are learning at a distance doesn't mean you aren't training under a teacher, learning a system, or all the rest. In fact people that learn remotely often have to work much harder to get the same level as their more traditionally taught brethren.
 

dancingalone

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DVDs and videos can be useful in limited situations. I've related this story a few times before in similar threads: I've had a student with no prior MA experience teach himself a roundhouse kick from a TKD instructional video. The biggest correction I had to make (and yes arguably it is a big one) is that I had to tell him to swing through on the kicking motion rather than stopping it on impact. Not that big a deal IMO though, since a few minutes after telling him that, he was booming away on the kicking shield with good efficiency for his level of development.

I am confident that a carefully crafted instructional program could be designed to work hand in hand with live studio instruction to help students achieve technical proficiency in a shorter period of time than with in-studio class instruction alone.

To be sure I don't think I am saying any different than what most here have. You can't learn to fight from a dvd and neither can you learn a complete martial art system from video. No one reasonable would argue that I think. However I do agree some are too extreme about the perils of video training. Some arts and skills arguably translate better on video than others. Wing chun, tai chi probably are bad choices for the format. But what about learning some basic karate/taekwondo such as a front stance, reverse punch, and a roundhouse kick? I think those things are very coachable through a video format, though of course live correction and adjustments should be part of the equation.
 

MJS

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Going to a dojo does not make someone a martial artist either.

We may have to agree to disagree on that. IMHO, my view on what a MAist is/isn't, is someone who is actively training under a teacher, at a school, 2-3 times a week, if not more.

People want to learn for a million different reasons.

Agreed.


Also I would say sometimes a quality online system or DVD system is better then a crappy belt factory.

Yeah, I could agree with you on that. For me, in the order I'd do things: Avoid the crappy belt factory altogether, travel a further distance to get training at a better school, if I could only make it to class a few times, due to the distance, see if privates are an option, and then as a last resort, use dvds.

Every time this topic comes up I think a "school" near me that claims to teach the ancient native American Indian martial arts. Instead of belts you get feathers for your head dress. I went there once for a kids birthday party and was talking to the "chief warrior" who ran the school a white freckle faced red head by the way not even a native American he was telling me about the classes ans how he has secret fighting techniques passed down from famous Indian warriors. It was the biggest bunch of crap I've ever seen. So in that case a real teacher isn't better then a dvd .

LMFAO!!! I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that! :D

As for the wild wild west comment even in big cities which I personally spend a lot of time in Washington DC and Baltimore and even then chances of me getting into a fight a slim. If you took a poll here on MT about who's actually been in a real fight not counting Emma fights or boxing or sparring I mean a real no rules fight the numbers would be low. I know we have about 45 adults at my dojo and I'm the only one that has ever even used what we learned in real life but I'm also a police officer so fights come to me. That's a good thing like I said that's not a put down on people. I'm not saying you should not be prepared for a fight but chances are good you never will need it. I carry a gun everywhere I go but thankfully the chance I'll ever need it are very slim.

Agreed on the fights. My point was simply that in the cities of Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport Ct, there is alot of violence. Granted a big majority of it is gun violence, most likely related to drugs and gangs.

Maybe I just don't take the "I'm a martial artist" thing so serious as some. I could care less how or what you train in as long as your doing something its better then nothing. Even the ancient art of Geronimo has to teach something useful at some point. I'm just not going to walk around with Turkey feathers on my head.

Good points, and likewise, I'd prefer to not walk around with feathers, pretending I'm an Indian, either. :)
 

MJS

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Just because you are learning at a distance doesn't mean you aren't training under a teacher, learning a system, or all the rest.

I'll disagree with the notion of training under someone, however, I will agree with the last part, that you're going to be learning a system, although it may not be as good as if you were training under a live teacher.



In fact people that learn remotely often have to work much harder to get the same level as their more traditionally taught brethren.

Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree with that. When I'm in class, my teacher is constantly pushing every single one of us...punch harder, kicker harder, higher, etc. We leave that class soaked with sweat, exhausted, but we all feel great after that workout. Where is the motivation for someone to rise off the couch, pop in the dvd, and actually work....hard. Hey, who knows, maybe some people do, but IMHO, you're really only going to reap all the big benefits, from a dojo.
 

James Kovacich

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I think a big question for both sides of this discussion is "can we really teach ourselves?" The answer is yes but it is rare to see quality to to be the end result. But not impossible. Now this guy is purely self taught. He didnt even have real training tapes either. He used books and Bruce Lee movies. He's for real too. I know people who know him and he even flew out from Scottland to train with one of my old instructors in Hayward, Ca.

He became ceritified "later" by a prominent instructor but by that point he had already made "a lot of noise" and it was inevitable that someone would attempt to bring him on board.

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Chris Parker

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Hmm, I don't know that that's an entirely accurate assessment on Tommy's background, there James....

From his own site, Tommy's background is listed as being rather extensive, including Military methods (taught by his father), Jiu-Jitsu (I'm presuming a modern form, or BJJ), Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) for at least 4 years, boxing (at which he excelled), wrestling, Judo, Karate, "Non-classical Gung Fu", before deciding to look for JKD. Initially he couldn't find any teachers, so learnt by applying the principles (from extensive reading) to what he already knew, and began attending seminars, although he wasn't really impressed with their approach (as it conflicted with his ideals and his interpretation of Bruce's writings). Eventually he contacted Gary Dill, a student of James Lee, one of Bruce's original students, who invited him out to California to train, where he undertook an "intensive instructors course". So while his beginning foray into JKD was through books and the like, it was from an extensive background (including the highly related Ving Tsun system, and a number of other areas that Bruce himself also researched/studied), and when he could, he sought out instruction himself. http://www.tommycarruthers.com/tommy

Additionally, he laments persons who claim to teach JKD without formal instruction themselves on a page reviewing seminars, stating "So, we have the other group at the seminar. Now, these guys are teachers running schools; but they haven't been taught JKD from any teacher, just self taught. They're totally useless and wouldn't even stand a chance in my beginners class; yet they have schools with 30 odd students. I cannot see the point to going to a teacher who has no line nor even the basics of what JKD is. I was shocked when the host told me this guy and that guy are running schools. Again, this is another reason JKD is in such a mess. So, let's hope we can expose these folk or get them to go be taught by somebody to get them on the right track at least." So you can see that he emphasises learning from an instructor, not being self taught himself. http://www.tommycarruthers.com/belgium-seminars-2009

To me, the question isn't about whether or not you can be self taught, it's about what you're learning. If you just want some techniques, that can be done by video learning to a fair degree. Ballen0351 has expressed his take that you can learn (techniques) from a DVD, and that he doesn't like the attitude that you can't. Thing is, though, if it's just about learning some fighting techniques, you can go anywhere, and the system doesn't matter. If you're choosing a particular system, then you're wanting to learn a particular system. And, for reasons already stated, that is something that DVDs just don't work for that. What makes it a system is a lot more than just the techniques. Ballen0351 also spoke about DVDs being the only option if there isn't a school around you... gotta say, that's not really true. If there's no school around you, you really have two choices: move to where one is, or accept that you can't learn the system. DVDs just aren't the same thing, and miss so much that it really isn't an option to learn a martial art. Only techniques. Sadly, most simply don't get the difference (and there are plenty of systems, particularly modern ones and sporting ones, where they are very technique-centric), especially those who are purchasing the DVD programs.
 

JamesGarr

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As a beginner, I don't have a lot of experience to back up my opinion. But one insight I might add to the discussion is that from my point of view it is absolutely incredible how much faster one can learn when you have even a small bit of training from a good instructor.

When I train with a student of equal experience, I can learn, but it takes effort and I sometimes pick up bad habits that must later be unlearned.
When I train with a senior student, I learn techniques faster, and might increase my overall understanding.
When one of the sifus trains me, the learning process becomes much easier and I always comprehend the techniques and underlying reasons behind them more fully.

Even with my limited experience (about 8 weeks), or perhaps especially because of it, I can understand why people say you can't learn martial arts by yourself. It is so much faster and more effective to be trained in person that finding a good instructor is paramount. I know I personally could not learn my core martial art style on a DVD; I receive a constant stream of constructive criticism in class. I could imagine where an experienced martial artist might become self taught on a new form or even style, but even that sounds so inefficient and prone to error and the development of bad habits that I don't think an experienced martial artist would waste their time doing so.
 

James Kovacich

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Hmm, I don't know that that's an entirely accurate assessment on Tommy's background, there James....

From his own site, Tommy's background is listed as being rather extensive, including Military methods (taught by his father), Jiu-Jitsu (I'm presuming a modern form, or BJJ), Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) for at least 4 years, boxing (at which he excelled), wrestling, Judo, Karate, "Non-classical Gung Fu", before deciding to look for JKD. Initially he couldn't find any teachers, so learnt by applying the principles (from extensive reading) to what he already knew, and began attending seminars, although he wasn't really impressed with their approach (as it conflicted with his ideals and his interpretation of Bruce's writings). Eventually he contacted Gary Dill, a student of James Lee, one of Bruce's original students, who invited him out to California to train, where he undertook an "intensive instructors course". So while his beginning foray into JKD was through books and the like, it was from an extensive background (including the highly related Ving Tsun system, and a number of other areas that Bruce himself also researched/studied), and when he could, he sought out instruction himself. http://www.tommycarruthers.com/tommy

Additionally, he laments persons who claim to teach JKD without formal instruction themselves on a page reviewing seminars, stating "So, we have the other group at the seminar. Now, these guys are teachers running schools; but they haven't been taught JKD from any teacher, just self taught. They're totally useless and wouldn't even stand a chance in my beginners class; yet they have schools with 30 odd students. I cannot see the point to going to a teacher who has no line nor even the basics of what JKD is. I was shocked when the host told me this guy and that guy are running schools. Again, this is another reason JKD is in such a mess. So, let's hope we can expose these folk or get them to go be taught by somebody to get them on the right track at least." So you can see that he emphasises learning from an instructor, not being self taught himself. http://www.tommycarruthers.com/belgium-seminars-2009

To me, the question isn't about whether or not you can be self taught, it's about what you're learning. If you just want some techniques, that can be done by video learning to a fair degree. Ballen0351 has expressed his take that you can learn (techniques) from a DVD, and that he doesn't like the attitude that you can't. Thing is, though, if it's just about learning some fighting techniques, you can go anywhere, and the system doesn't matter. If you're choosing a particular system, then you're wanting to learn a particular system. And, for reasons already stated, that is something that DVDs just don't work for that. What makes it a system is a lot more than just the techniques. Ballen0351 also spoke about DVDs being the only option if there isn't a school around you... gotta say, that's not really true. If there's no school around you, you really have two choices: move to where one is, or accept that you can't learn the system. DVDs just aren't the same thing, and miss so much that it really isn't an option to learn a martial art. Only techniques. Sadly, most simply don't get the difference (and there are plenty of systems, particularly modern ones and sporting ones, where they are very technique-centric), especially those who are purchasing the DVD programs.

Thats what his site reflects today. Martial histories change to fit the times. An example is the old instructor I referanced that I removed from my lineage tree. My former friend here in CA came between me and my instructor and I no longer have what was an important relationship to me. Now that same former friend is a Ving Tsun master and non classical gung fu instructor and a long distance student (from CA to Scottland) of Tommys.

Tommy has his video students too but as far as I know they test in person at seminars. Sound familiar? I can't say where his ving tsun and non classical gung fu training came from but it is very possible it came from his student, or maybe just the associations. In the past Tommy denounced his "long distance video" Gary Dill training back when he was "making noise" and many people, even the JKD community didn't know him and claimed his videos were "sped up."

He's controversial and says a lot. That dosent take away from his talent. He is very talented.

For the record: I did know about the long distance video association with Gary Dill, I totally forgot. Also Gary Dill requires his students to test in person and attend seminars.

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James Kovacich

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Chris,
Just checked his site and it could be that he did actually train with others in the style he claimed but there's still a question mark as to when. His long distant students credentals are as I stated and seem to be at least "related."

Im surprised you didnt pick any quotes from this page. http://www.tommycarruthers.com/online-jkd-club. :)



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Chris Parker

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Thats what his site reflects today. Martial histories change to fit the times. An example is the old instructor I referanced that I removed from my lineage tree. My former friend here in CA came between me and my instructor and I no longer have what was an important relationship to me. Now that same former friend is a Ving Tsun master and non classical gung fu instructor and a long distance student (from CA to Scottland) of Tommys.

Tommy has his video students too but as far as I know they test in person at seminars. Sound familiar? I can't say where his ving tsun and non classical gung fu training came from but it is very possible it came from his student, or maybe just the associations. In the past Tommy denounced his "long distance video" Gary Dill training back when he was "making noise" and many people, even the JKD community didn't know him and claimed his videos were "sped up."

He's controversial and says a lot. That dosent take away from his talent. He is very talented.

For the record: I did know about the long distance video association with Gary Dill, I totally forgot. Also Gary Dill requires his students to test in person and attend seminars.

I get the idea of histories "changing", but going from "completely self taught from books and Bruce Lee movies" to "30 years experience (with a wide variety of arts, including seminars in JKD, and travelling from Scotland to California in order to train)" is quite a change, wouldn't you say? Additionally, the way you're describing Tommy's learning here involves seminars and in-person contact (with Gary Dill) in conjunction with the distance program, so again, it's really not the same as "completely self taught from books and Bruce Lee movies".

Chris,
Just checked his site and it could be that he did actually train with others in the style he claimed but there's still a question mark as to when. His long distant students credentals are as I stated and seem to be at least "related."

Im surprised you didnt pick any quotes from this page. http://www.tommycarruthers.com/online-jkd-club. :)

Hmm, well I didn't put anything up from that page as I hadn't read it... but going through it there, I still wouldn't have included anything. It's really just Tommy (or his marketing team) saying how good the program is (well, they are the ones selling it) combined with some typical over-the-top hyperbole, not to mention being occasionally contradictory. All it says to me, really, is that Tommy, along with a number of others in many different arts, is offering a distance/online learning program. It doesn't say that that's how he learnt, or that it's better than anything other than a sub-standard alternate.
 

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I'll disagree with the notion of training under someone, however, I will agree with the last part, that you're going to be learning a system, although it may not be as good as if you were training under a live teacher.





Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree with that. When I'm in class, my teacher is constantly pushing every single one of us...punch harder, kicker harder, higher, etc. We leave that class soaked with sweat, exhausted, but we all feel great after that workout. Where is the motivation for someone to rise off the couch, pop in the dvd, and actually work....hard. Hey, who knows, maybe some people do, but IMHO, you're really only going to reap all the big benefits, from a dojo.

In our system we teach in real time through the digital dojang live. I see the student and the student sees me, in real time. We often press the students to alter and excel in much the same way you describe. It's a feedback system. I can't speak for other systems, particularly the DVD types, but for my own I safely stand by what I said.
 

DennisBreene

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Going to a dojo does not make someone a martial artist either. People want to learn for a million different reasons. Also I would say sometimes a quality online system or DVD system is better then a crappy belt factory. Every time this topic comes up I think a "school" near me that claims to teach the ancient native American Indian martial arts. Instead of belts you get feathers for your head dress. I went there once for a kids birthday party and was talking to the "chief warrior" who ran the school a white freckle faced red head by the way not even a native American he was telling me about the classes ans how he has secret fighting techniques passed down from famous Indian warriors. It was the biggest bunch of crap I've ever seen. So in that case a real teacher isn't better then a dvd .

As for the wild wild west comment even in big cities which I personally spend a lot of time in Washington DC and Baltimore and even then chances of me getting into a fight a slim. If you took a poll here on MT about who's actually been in a real fight not counting Emma fights or boxing or sparring I mean a real no rules fight the numbers would be low. I know we have about 45 adults at my dojo and I'm the only one that has ever even used what we learned in real life but I'm also a police officer so fights come to me. That's a good thing like I said that's not a put down on people. I'm not saying you should not be prepared for a fight but chances are good you never will need it. I carry a gun everywhere I go but thankfully the chance I'll ever need it are very slim.

Maybe I just don't take the "I'm a martial artist" thing so serious as some. I could care less how or what you train in as long as your doing something its better then nothing. Even the ancient art of Geronimo has to teach something useful at some point. I'm just not going to walk around with Turkey feathers on my head.

At a get together of a group of black belts for a visit of our retired Grand Master last night, as you might expect there were a lot of memories and war stories to relate. I think the most telling comment was from the Grand Master's son (a respected Grand Master in his own right).

He reminded us that we train for years for the fight that will never occur. He went on to say that when we shake someone's hand in greeting, open a door for someone, say "thank you", or "have a good day" we are practicing martial arts. We are the proponents of peace. The attributes we acquire of respect, humbleness, mature confidence, as a component to techniques we acquire are essential to what makes it Martial Arts as opposed to skilled street fighting. I find it hard to believe that those qualities are truly internalized outside of the environment of the dojang and constant exposure to senior practitioners who model such qualities as they interact with the students. I don't mean to imply that non MA aren't polite and considerate. I just believe that our skills place an obligation on us to be particularly aware of how we present ourselves.
 
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MJS

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In our system we teach in real time through the digital dojang live. I see the student and the student sees me, in real time. We often press the students to alter and excel in much the same way you describe. It's a feedback system. I can't speak for other systems, particularly the DVD types, but for my own I safely stand by what I said.

Ahhh....well, in that case, I'd be more inclined to go with something like what you're describing, over the typical dvd course. Although you're still at a distance, there's still some 1 on 1 interaction, which is a good thing. :)
 

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Ahhh....well, in that case, I'd be more inclined to go with something like what you're describing, over the typical dvd course. Although you're still at a distance, there's still some 1 on 1 interaction, which is a good thing. :)


Thank You MJS.

Student teacher interaction is fundamental to learning. It's a fact we agreed was vital in the early planning stages of Hapkido Online. It's the reason that in the education system they see higher test scores in smaller classrooms. The more student teacher interaction the better the outcome, generally.

I predict in the coming years our model will become the norm for distance learning programs. There is no replacement for somebody watching you and saying, no...LIKE THIS!
 
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Tony Dismukes

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I'm not a huge fan of distance learning, but in fairness I should present some evidence that it can be effective. This video shows a student with no prior martial arts experience who trained exclusively with the Gracie University videos taking his first blue belt stripe test at the Gracie Academy. (He traveled to California for the test.) I have to say, he looks pretty respectable.

 
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shesulsa

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Dude, chill.

WTF is wrong with you?

That quoted post is an older post... the topic is flowing now. Let's not renew conflict, mkay?

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I'm not a huge fan of distance learning, but in fairness I should present some evidence that it can be effective. This video shows a student with no prior martial arts experience who trained exclusively with the Gracie University videos taking his first blue belt stripe test at the Gracie Academy. (He traveled to California for the test.) I have to say, he looks pretty respectable.


Quite interesting.

I have always fiercely disagreed with those who said you can't learn anything (or even much) that is useful from a good home study course or DVDs or whatever. Can you get to the highest level? No. But you CAN learn things and you can at least get to the point of being able to defend yourself against an untrained attacker much better than you could if you had no training at all.

I'll put it this way: Take two dudes who are about the same height, weight and athletic ability, but who have no martial arts training. Give one of them six months, a boxing instructional DVD, a judo DVD, some equipment and a training partner to experiment on. Then set up a fight between those two dudes and it's pretty obvious who will win, and probably easily.
 
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