Is it really possible to learn a martial art or self-defence online? Marc Edward Smith, owner of Ultra Krav Maga, and someone who recently launched his own online training portal, gives his opinion.
This is a question I get asked a lot – and even more so now that we have launched our online training portal.
I will answer honestly and with an unbiased opinion. To truly answer I think we need to separate martial arts and self defence. I believe you can learn a martial art online but to a very very basic level, to really master a martial art you need instruction from someone who has walked that path, an instructor to look up to and have a relationship with.
There is no better environment to learn a martial art than within an established and reputable Dojo – of course there are plenty of poorly run Dojos out there too, hence why it is so important to do you research. Ask people who have attended, read online reviews, see if the classes are popular and most of all check if they are qualified.
Now onto the question, “can you learn self-defence online?" Yes you can!
Of course, online training will never better that of learning within an established and reputable club, but not only can online training be a great asset and reference point for your club training, it can also be a stand-alone source of training.
The reason I believe it is possible to learn self-defence techniques online is that Krav Maga focuses on a persons natural reaction. How a person naturally reacts to a threat or attack.
Everything after that initial reaction is circumstantial and will never be the same for any two attacks. In Krav Maga, the focus is on the threat and then to break the thought process at the earliest opportunity.
We don’t care about your foot shape or hand position, your stance or fluidity, all we care about is your safety and being able to create space after breaking the threat thought process.
If you are a person under attack you must focus 100% on the threat. The attacker will be using all his force and focus to attack you so even if it was possible to divide your focus between defending and attacking, you would be taking a huge risk hoping that just half of your focus and strength would be enough to stop said attack.
On this basis I do feel you can learn real self-defence online, it is no substitute for a good reputable club but if you have no option – and the online training is clear and well explained and presented – then why not.