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andrej
7/23/2009 12:56pm,
Hi
I am new here.
I practise karate and jiu-jitsu (japanese, that is, not brazilian).
I've been doing shotokan karate for 4 years, and am now a brown belt in Shorin Ryu (Matsumura).
Although I train jiu-jitsu with a 7th degree black belt in a dojo not far from my home, I am also interested in home study programs (with dvd's), as they can learn you additional techniques. However, I am afraid that a couple of those programs are bogus, with may very high ranked instructors who's credentials are rather uncertain.
That's why I like bullshido.net, it gives some information on that.

1point2
7/23/2009 12:57pm,
Are you looking for home study ranking programs, or technique DVDs?

As in, Gracie Academy or Roy Dean?

Sorry, that could be unclear. Are you looking to train from a DVD and get ranked by sending in proof, or are you looking to get exposure to other techniques by watching DVDs about JJJ and Shotokan?

andrej
7/23/2009 1:30pm,
Primary for the techniques; I have the Gracie DVD's and, for example the Goju ryu DVD's of Morio Higaonna.
But the idea of ranking is also interesting, for example I also purchased the home study programme of George Kirby's jiu-jitsu. I will not do the tests for belt ranking, as I do not have a partner to go through all the techniques here at home. But it would be interesting to learn whether George Kirby himself would approve of me executing all the necessary techniques (which btw is a quite extensive system...)
I don't think testing in person is strictly necessary, although it is of course better.

1point2
7/23/2009 1:52pm,
Cool. Welcome.

I think you'll find it interesting to lurk around the site. I recommend staying in Newbietown for the time being.

You might get some idea of what we think of home-study/train-at-home ranking programs by reading this thread about one of the most effective combat systems (brazilian jiujitsu) turned into something much less effective by introducing home-study-ranking:
It's a Sad Day - Gracie University - No BS Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=82251)

I would personally recommend not ever testing for rank under a distance-learning martial arts program. I believe it to be primarily a money making enterprise for the person issuing rank, and it is very rare that it produces real skill. This has been coined "Tanner's Law" round these parts.

http://www.bullshido.org/w/index.php?title=Tanner%27s_Law&oldid=7242