Distance learning martial arts

kb02

Triple-Digit Post Count
What opinions do you guys have on this? I have a backround in boxing when i was a teenager and some lotus training but none since. Ive heard alot about distance learning with video submissions and instructor feedback. I know its not ideal and sub par to in class. But with no other options is it possible to learn this way or is it just a rank/belt factory? Would love to learn jeet kune do /wing chun but thats not gonna happen where I live or any other style for that matter .There a a few about 50 miles away and more commercial kids and weightloss type dojos. Not exactly what im after. Are there any styles better suited for self learning.
 

the hansenator

More than 500 posts
I think you can learn to mimic the physical moves through distance learning but "learning" a martial art is impossible without at least a partner to work with.
 

kb02

Triple-Digit Post Count
I think you can learn to mimic the physical moves through distance learning but "learning" a martial art is impossible without at least a partner to work with.
yes agreed my wife and family is tied to ufc, she trained kick boxing and they are mostly jiu jitsu fighters but again out of state. Back to having a training partner she will fit the bill i think. Maybe we can learn together as well .Of course it would be better to have a trained partner but.....
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
I think you can learn to mimic the physical moves through distance learning but "learning" a martial art is impossible without at least a partner to work with.
More than just a partner. A sensei who can guide and mentor a person through all of the subtle nuances is indispensable.
And agreed; mimicking the moves is a very, very long way from learning an art.
 

kb02

Triple-Digit Post Count
For people that live in the desert or miles and miles from nowhere are just : SOL just forget about it. Makes perfect sense but was hoping to learn a new art. Someone mentioned to me that a kata based system would probably work for solo training but I wasnt sure. Thanks for the realistic truth. I guess I could just brush up my boxing and call it good.
 
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Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
Depends on the program. I am e.g. member of the Gracie University, and their program and teaching methodology rocks.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
What opinions do you guys have on this? I have a backround in boxing when i was a teenager and some lotus training but none since. Ive heard alot about distance learning with video submissions and instructor feedback. I know its not ideal and sub par to in class. But with no other options is it possible to learn this way or is it just a rank/belt factory? Would love to learn jeet kune do /wing chun but thats not gonna happen where I live or any other style for that matter .There a a few about 50 miles away and more commercial kids and weightloss type dojos. Not exactly what im after. Are there any styles better suited for self learning.
Kickboxing styles are going to be the easiest to gain some benefit from training solo. You can get pretty good at footwork, visualizing basic blocks and throwing basic strikes. Footwork/mobility and awareness are the most important things that are possible to learn mostly by yourself. You will never be able to apply very well without sparring and personal give and take drills, but you will be far ahead of most uninstructed or inebriated persons.

When it comes to traditions that apply joint locks/manipulations, traps, even jamming, will be even more difficult to gain any sort of practical ability training by yourself. Other people can be tough, fast, strong, crafty, recklessly aggressive, short, tall etc etc or any combination of the above. You may have to execute against multiple assailants, hand weapons, after being hit very hard with little or no warning etc etc. Visualization is only going to carry you so far.

Footwork/mobility and awareness. Square and circular footwork. Covering, bobbing, weaving, slipping, sprawling.

I also believe the hand coordination cultivated by some of the basic single and double stick drills from FMA can be a help in the real world, or put you ahead of the curve when you do have a chance to get personal training.
 

J Petersen

SFG1/SFB
Certified Instructor
Would love to learn jeet kune do /wing chun but thats not gonna happen where I live...
Growing up where I did with precious few training options/opportunities, I sympathize.

Depending on how well you can coach yourself, I have had (in my view) great success with solo training on the wooden dummy thanks to the teachings of Sifu Joseph Simonet (www.kifightingconcepts.com) in both the classical Wing Chun set and his own "Slam Set" form, with no formal education in the style. I did, however, make it a point to eventually visit his studio (Wenatchee, WA) and train under both him and his folks to make certain that I was indeed getting it (and I had been--the DVDs really couldn't have been better).

If your budget is too weak for a quality dummy (again, I sympathize), it is quite possible to build one ourselves for less than $100 total. The process itself can also be quite enjoyable, and you may find that you've crafted your favorite piece of functional furniture once it's finished.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
I'll second the wooden dummy. It will definitely toughen up the forearms and get your head in the right place for applying blocks and two hand simultaneous coordination.

Here's one I built years ago (who the heck is that kid in the video?!), lots of fun but the shoulders kept wearing out. Before that I had a simple padded pole with arms. Anything to get you used to dealing with opponent's arms instead of just hammering away on a heavy bag.

Still, between this and a bunch of other solo drills built on what formal training I managed, I was able to show up on sparing night and give a good accounting of myself. Any formal training helps tremendously if you take it to heart in your solo work. Having a frame of reference from actually being in a fight or several is also good for preventing a waste of your training time.

 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
What a brilliant contraption !

Was that your own design ?

It's like the six million dollar mannequin, a bionic robot you can punch the snot out of.

I feel like going to Target and beating up one of their display mannequins now.
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts
What a brilliant contraption !

Was that your own design ?

It's like the six million dollar mannequin, a bionic robot you can punch the snot out of.

I feel like going to Target and beating up one of their display mannequins now.

It was actually my wife's idea, though she was joking at the time. I was working a lot of OT and swing shift, and even though I'd accumulated a decent amount of formal training I could never spar. "You should make a dummy that hangs off of a pole in front of you, like a big cat toy."

"Hmmm. It would have to be on casters..." and off to the races. It uses a bunch of anchor points and pulleys on the back, and three lines control the arm movements, one that mimics the bicep, one the triceps and one the lats that also limits overtravel. In addition to the demo'd strikes it can also do an overhand stab/hammer fist. I gave it grabby hands in a later upgrade, so I could work with wooden knife and padded stick.

It is "The Bully" courtesy of Gut Check Productions. The body pads are very dense and it has a lumber and large size PVC frame, so padding on the hands/shins etc is mandatory. Will tolerate full power Muay Thai shin kicks to the leg or body, sweeps, any hand strike, rattan sticks, whatever. You can also use it for preliminary takedown entry, heel-picks, upright arm drags.

Has two modes - a partner can work the handles or you can wear the belt. Rotating the upper body relative to the lower is what pulls ropes/creates the energy for the strikes.

Training with a buddy working the controls is like fighting the Terminator - as hard as you can hit only slows it down, the advance is relentless and makes you really get in the habit of moving laterally, evading, hit hard and away, strike the arms when possible - all the stuff that will improve your odds in a real brawl. Plus, they can't see 100%, so you really need to mind your D or you'll get a fat lip, bloody nose, lump on the forehead - the thing is a riot when its working!

Possibly the coolest thing about it, you can work on stuff that is just plain too dangerous to actually apply on a partner. Full power head butts, punching the back of the opponent's hands, full power stop-hits to the opponent's biceps.

Alas, the stress on the shoulders is enormous and I have yet to figure out a durable solution, only runs for about 30-40 hours before it needs a rebuild. It sits in my garage with one arm draped over its other shoulder, waiting to come to life again.

Still no sub for hands on person to person, but anything that reinforces good habits is a big plus.
 

Norcoaster

Double-Digit Post Count
What opinions do you guys have on this? I have a backround in boxing when i was a teenager and some lotus training but none since. Ive heard alot about distance learning with video submissions and instructor feedback. I know its not ideal and sub par to in class. But with no other options is it possible to learn this way or is it just a rank/belt factory? Would love to learn jeet kune do /wing chun but thats not gonna happen where I live or any other style for that matter .There a a few about 50 miles away and more commercial kids and weightloss type dojos. Not exactly what im after. Are there any styles better suited for self learning.
Any chance you could get some other like minded people from your area to join you for training? The benefit of trying techniques against a resisting opponent is very helpful (different styles, body types). Could combine video tutorials with occasional Skype sessions or road trips to get experienced instruction and feedback. I heard Steve Maxwell talk about doing a BJJ seminar in a remote locale where they had trained together using videos. He thought their skill level was enough to give them blue belt status. Good luck - keep at it.
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts

The more I think about this the more impressive it seems.

I'd love to see the concept developed to include some rudimentary intelligence built into it. It could be controlled by an on board raspberry pi or any other cheap micro controller available these days.

What are you using for shoulder joints @North Coast Miller ?
I noticed you said they were its Achilles heel.

I was wondering how a CV joint or a universal joint from a car would go as a shoulder joint. If the axle stub was mounted on a bearing you'd get a joint with a good ROM
 

North Coast Miller

More than 2500 posts

The more I think about this the more impressive it seems.

I'd love to see the concept developed to include some rudimentary intelligence built into it. It could be controlled by an on board raspberry pi or any other cheap micro controller available these days.

What are you using for shoulder joints @North Coast Miller ?
I noticed you said they were its Achilles heel.

I was wondering how a CV joint or a universal joint from a car would go as a shoulder joint. If the axle stub was mounted on a bearing you'd get a joint with a good ROM


To smoothly transfer the rotational energy to the limbs, a simple steel U from 1.5" x .25" with a single bolt at the midpoint for it to rotate around worked best. The shoulder is essentially a cylinder that the upper arm passes through on a friction fit, with mounting hardware that mates to the arms on the U. That gives it rotation on the X plane and the U rotating on its bolt is the Y. Aside from those two planes, it needs to be rigid.

With light usage it held up fine, but once you get into locking out the elbow, driving elbows or forearms into the upper arm as its swinging, the impact transferred to the shoulders is massive - bending .25" steel.

I switched from that to a heavy duty castor base with the wheel removed, subbed out the old shoulder cylinder for a flattened strap made from reinforced 2" PVC tubing. The bearings on the caster helped and overall it was way tougher but lost some energy to the added flex of the materials.

My next step was going to be a serious caster base intended for multi ton equipment, and then I have to recreate a sleeve to run the arm through. Rebuilding the sleeve is no problem, but the casters I was looking at were over $300/per and I wasn't sure they'd even work...

I can scan the drawings I made for the provisional patent if you'd like to see them - it was pat pending at one time while I shopped it around as an alternative retirement option :D(the world seldom recognizes a genius in their lifetime!).

I'm definitely open to ideas on how to fix the shoulder. A few extra tweaks and it would still be eligible for a new patent - there's nothing like it on the market and you cannot believe how much fun it is to tangle with when its working right.
 

kb02

Triple-Digit Post Count
Yeah
eligible for a new patent - there's nothing like it on the market and you cannot believe how much fun it is to tangle with when its working right.
definitely, the first time the video posted it didnt load right for me. It played this time and WOW you got something there buddy!
 
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