How To Teach Yourself Martial Arts
How to teach yourself martial arts is not necessarily the best way to master the fighting arts, but it can help you decide whether you want to pursue something more serious in the martial arts. There is no replacement for qualified, hands-on instruction, nor is there any replacement for working with classmates to practice and perfect techniques. Like sex, some things are just better with someone else in the room. Sometimes, though, you end up in a situation where going to a dojo and attending a class just isn't an option.
- Choose which art you want to teach yourself. There are literally hundreds of arts out there, but honestly if you don't know enough about martial arts to have an idea of what style suits you, then you really shouldn't try the self-taught method. If possible, take an introductory course through the local recreation department and use the information from your first course as a starting point for your training.
- Order training videos for the martial art you've chosen to teach yourself. Many martial arts magazines and online equipment stores carry training video series', as do most larger martial arts organizations. You can also look for internet videos on forums or online video sights for tips and ideas. You might event stumble on videos by real martial arts trainers, so it will be like getting free lessons at home.
- Do more web research on your art. Locate training websites and martial arts forums where you can find the answers to questions that come up while you teach yourself. Look at the home pages for dojos that teach the martial art you've chosen. Many have a training blog or "tip of the week" section where you can get good insights.
- Commit to teaching yourself two new skills a week, one per day for two training days. On a training day learn one new teaching point from your video or from your other resources. If you have trouble understanding any particular point, use your web research to clarify things. Practice basic moves and be consistent.
- Divide practice into three parts. Spend one part practicing the martial arts skill you've most recently taught yourself and spend another part practicing the skill you learned two training days ago. Spend the third part reviewing a selection of material you covered earlier.
- Seek out a training partner. This will allow you to practice these skills on a real, live human being. Your wife or room mate don't count here. You need somebody who has some experience with martial arts.
Source: Ted Sumner, Kenpo Karate Instructor and Distance Learning Specialist, San Jose, CA
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