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Distance learning MA in the 21 century?

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    Distance learning MA in the 21 century?

    We may buy books and videos for info. We sign up classes in schools.

    In the 21 century, with the growth in the internet, we started to notice that there are also distance learning on the net.

    Because of work schedules or locations, we may not go to the classes. Distance learning for college degree or certification.

    How about MA, will the distance learning work? They are giving out belts, too.

    This is a general Q.

    Good teachers or masters due to locations and schedules, they only travel to your city for seminars and workshops for a few days or even a few hours.

    Some people would take advantage of what ever formats they can.

    What are your thoughts?


    The whole concept is ridiculous, to put it bluntly. Martial arts are not an academic pursuit, so this model of learning does not translate well. You could read a book or see a step-by-step technique on the net, but it is an entirely different thing to be able to execute a move against a real live opponent, who is trying to punch you in the face, or take you down. Similarly, an instructor really needs to be able to be there in person to give good coaching.

    It is kind of like learning to swim by reading a book about it, but never jumping in to the water. It just can't be done.

    The only way I could possibly see something like this coming to pass, would be if you had a club run by a junior instructor in the art, who could instill the basics in the students. For more advanced techniques, the junior instructor would still instruct, but could video tape the students, and submit this to a non-local senior instructor for review and additional coaching. Most likely, that instructor would need to then video tape himself doing the moves correctly, so that the students have a visual frame of reference for their adjustments.

    So it wouldn't really be a true distance learning course, as the student would have both training partners and some direct instruction, in addition to the video tape supplementary coaching.


      Can you do any sort of parnter drill through the internet? No. End of discussion.



        Its suitable only for arm-chair martial artists, and will have a similar market to that of 'buying' PhDs based on life-experience.


          Some non-conjecture....

          I know for a fact that distance learning is a viable way of learning MA if done correctly. The first requirment is that you have a decent partner to work with you on the material. Decent doesnt need to mean an experienced martial artist, just someone who is able to incrementally challenge you will realistic attacks. Like others pointed out the MA is not only an acedemic persuit, it is a contact activity. Watching and learning doesnt do the job, you you have to work up to as close to realistic speed/power simulated attacks/fights as possible with whatever you train. Does this mean you will do the methods 100%? Probably not, but its better than nothing, and done correctly you may find better material to study via coorespondece that is available at your local Mcdojo's.

          Does it mean you should be "certified" or given a "rank" in anything? NO, it doesnt, getting a black belt in the mail with your DVDs shouldnt happen, but thats marketting these days....its too late to give meaning back to ranks.

          I know, some of you may reply with accusations that I am just being a capitalist and promoting distance courses because I happen to offer them. I always stress that first they need to look for a good school, if a good school isnt available and someone wants to learn they MUST use a partner, no matter how good the method/art/system they study. I was forced to start teaching via distance learning around 2001 when some of my students were stationed elsewhere and couldnt find a decent teacher. Then later, when I was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom for several months, I left behind training material, and a senior student led a training group.

          Since, I have developed online lessons and a few DVDs, I have had students who have studied from the DVD prior to meeting me in person. I was then able to observe the quality of their learning via coorespondence first hand. The students that didnt have a partner had a good understanding of some basic movements, they also were able to adapt much more quickly to the two man drills, sparring, and Adrenal Stress training. They of course collapsed under pressure eventually, but were able to apply the methods real-time quicker than someone fresh to the class. The quality of their movement and the learning curve for the ability to adapt real-time was also better than average due to them having some motions down.

          Distance students that had a partner were able to apply some things real time against basic types of comman attacks, they may of course have trouble with a trained fighter, or exp. MA person. Although I was of course able to make them crack under extreme speed/pressure/stress, the threshold was much higher, and if it came down to it, they had a chance of really using what they learned and studied on the DVD independent of personal instruction from me.

          Distance learning can also suppliment whatever training your doing currently no matter how bad or experienced you may be, why pin down your perspective and personal arsenal on what is available locally? I have had several instructors in other arts email me to say how much they were able to glean from my DVD's, on the flip side, I have also been able to learn a great amount from others via the same medium.

          There will always be armchair loosers out their who will stack up instructional videos on the shelf, and hang up rank certificates they bought with with their super-mega-seal-kenpo instructional video set, and never really learn to fight. But that shouldnt stop the rest of us from utilizing the potential of sharing and learning material from others around the globe.

          Anyhow, thats the end of my rant.........



            you know, I found this recently and it worries me - here is a group that should be well respected and is offering an "online training academy"



              Aww man...

              "If World Oyama Karate requires full-contact training, how is it possible to learn this style of Karate online?

              The answer is in a very precise and detailed presentation of the World Oyama training curriculum combined with a student's dedication to learning and training. The Internet and the text book (one text book is included in your fee) are only the communication tools. This is not an arm-chair course. It requires the same study, hard training, and sweat that is required of every traditionally-trained World Oyama student."

              Avoiding the question. "How do I do it???" "Do your best.". That's not an answer. They were asked how do you spar alone, they said "train hard". :(




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