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Can You Learn Karate From Videos? | ART OF ONE DOJO

Can You Learn Karate From Videos? | ART OF ONE DOJO

So here’s a question I see and hear a lot. Can I learn karate from videos? Seems kind of weird answering this in a video,
but we’re going to take a practical look at using videos, or even text reference material
in your own training. Okay so, can I learn karate from videos? Sure. All you have to do is purchase my exclusive
elite Mr. Dan Karate Do DVD set for just $99.95 plus shipping and handling and in six months,
I’ll mail you your black belt. Just kidding, but seriously, don’t ever invest
in a program like that. However, using video or text material to learn
your curriculum does have its merits. Now, I want to first kind of define what I
say by karate videos. I’m talking about instructional DVDs or instructional
YouTube videos, something that shows you an art and breaks it down and teaches you how
to do it. I am not talking about movies. I don’t care how many times you’ve watched
Blood Sport, you can’t learn kick box by doing that. Okay? Movies are something else. They’re glamorized. They’re no instructional. So, we’re taking that off the table. Also, I want to point out I am not talking
about gimmick or quick self defense videos. How many times have you seen in a magazine
or an online ad, “Top five fail safe self defense street techniques,” or “Three guaranteed
ways to defend yourself.” No, those are usually scams, because there
is no guaranteed technique that’s going to work all the time for all situations. So, you don’t want gimmicks. You don’t want quick. You’re not going to learn to defend yourself
in half an hour. So, avoid those. What I’m talking about are actual curriculum
videos. The video I believe is a very great source
of reference material. It’s great for reinforcement. You can see the application. It’s kind of a back up to your instruction. It is however not a replacement for a live
instructor. Okay? Video is awesome. I have used it many, many times, but by itself
you’re not going to get your full benefits from training. Okay? You need an instructor who can actually work
with you in person and guide you, because what’s one thing a video cannot do? Is correct you. So, you might think you’re doing something
right. You might be copying what you see, but maybe
you’ve got something fundamentally wrong that you don’t notice. Maybe your foot’s in the wrong position, or
your knees aren’t bent, or you maybe you’ve got a join position slightly different. You don’t want to get hurt. So, video si a great reference tool, but it
is not a substitute for a live instructor. If you want meaningful training, you need
the actual instruction and hands on experience. You also can’t spar with a video, and if you
can’t apply what you’re learning, then you’re not really learning the full rounded curriculum. For example, how do I use video? And this is why I am kind of a little bit
of an advocate for it, because in my system my schools have changed over many times. My curriculum has changed over many times. It got confusing. Instructors switched, we switched from this
curriculum to version B, version C. So, a lot of times, stuff was knowledge conflicted,
so I use video to go back and refer to old material and new stuff and see kind of what
the difference was. Additionally, my school closed for about two
years. So, from 2005 to 2007, I trained on my own. That’s when I went and pulled out all my DVDs
I stacked up, even my VHS tapes. I watched them all. I kept myself refreshed. I practiced in my garage. I wanted to stay up to date. Also, there was other material out there. So, I went and purchased a few other similar
curriculums and watched those so I can keep learning. Now, like I said, it’s not a replacement for
an instructor, but this was stuff I had learned. So, this was my way of learning. Okay, well how is it adapting with some other
versions that’s out there, and also when my instructor came back and I was training for
my second degree black belt and my third degree black belt, he actually would spend a lot
of time with me. We went hours on the materials and the techniques,
and application, but then he also was awesome enough to record himself doing a video instructing
so I could take that home and practice it. So, if I had a question, I’d pop the video
in, boom. Okay, that’s right. That was that step, or something wasn’t working
right. Why am I facing this direction instead of
that direction? Pop the video in. Oh, okay. Got it. So, for me in Kenpo it was a great resource
for reinforcement. Okay. So, if I learned, but it was awesome for reinforcement. I’m also using video now for Jiu Jitsu. I just started it, and I’m using it in a different
way. I’m not leaning from it in terms of, “Oh,
I’m going to learn the whole curriculum by watching the video,” but what’s useful about
it is, there’s a lot of stuff I’m not familiar with. Something I’m not familiar with too, It’s
a lot of Japanese terms. This is kind of a fun learning experience
for me. Kenpo doesn’t have Japanese description or
techniques, or counts, or anything like that. So, going into Jiu Jitsu, it was a little
bit of a culture shock, because I get this syllabus and it’s all Japanese words. I’m like, “Okay, I’ve got some homework to
do.” By reading that material and going to class
and seeing the instructor doing it, he’s got reference videos. So, now when I’m watching it back, I’m like,
“Oh, okay. Words are now reinforcing what I see.” So, now when I have a question, what does
this mean, I can go in the video and see it. Oh, okay. It’s that technique. I got it now, and it’s a learning process,
but because I’m watching the videos, and even the text material, I want to be sure to include
text material in this as well. It’s a great tool to reinforce what you’re
already learning from an instructor. Also, using videos for backup and reinforcement
is amazing for testing your coordination. For example, here’s a brand new technique. I know the basic steps, but here’s a new technique. You pop it in your DVD player on your TV and
you’re watching it, well, you’re watching a mirrored image, or someone facing the camera. That might not be how you’re standing. They might have their right foot back, and
you find yourself going, “Let me try to mirror my position.” So, that can get awkward sometimes. So, that’s also a good way for you to learn
your coordination so when they have that foot back you know, “Oh, when they’re standing
like that, I stand like this.” You learn to mirror it. To me, that was a fundamental practice for
myself, because I found myself years ago going, “Is that right? There it is. Okay.” So, it’s a good reinforcement tool. It kind of keeps you on your feet a little
bit. Now, a lot of schools will have curriculum
DVDs that you can purchase. Be wary if they make you purchase it, though. We did a video on fake dojos, and one of the
warning signs is they have a bunch of merchandise that they make you purchase. This is kind of one of those. If they have a series of DVDs and you have
to buy it, or you have to do private instruction along with your tuition, that’s kind of frowned
upon, but if they have a DVD and they’re optional, it might be a good resource to get. I would recommend it, but maybe do it as you
… don’t go buy the whole set. If you’re a white belt or a yellow belt, or
just starting off, don’t go buy the whole curriculum. Don’t worry about the advanced stuff until
you can master the beginning stuff. So, get them piece meal. Get them at a time, unless there’s a financial
discount or something to get them all. But again, worry about your level. Don’t try to use a video to go ahead too far,
because you might just confuse yourself more than you’re helping yourself. Also, I would like to throw in manuals. A lot of schools will have instruction manuals
on their curriculum. I found these incredibly helpful. When my school closed, I had already been
training about 11-12 years at this point, so I knew the terminology. I knew what front cross overs were. I knew the clock direction. I knew the principles and the descriptions,
but there were still a few techniques I hadn’t learned yet. So, part of my own personal training was,
I watch the videos that my instructors had recorded, and that we had from class reference,
and I would have the manual, and I would read it step by step, and I would walk through
it. Now, this wasn’t for me to apply and actually
say, “Hey, I know it now,” but it was a good start for me to get a beginning idea of the
new techniques I hadn’t learned yet. The principles were the same. I knew the terminology. I could follow through so that when my instructor
came back, I at least had a really good idea of it, so with just a little bit of adjustment
and him modifying some stuff, I was able to pick it up quicker that way. So, manuals can be very, very beneficial,
but everybody learns differently. Not everybody can read a technique and know
how to do it. Some people can read it better then watch
it on a video. So, it’s just a tool. So, again, videos and manuals they are not
a replacement for a live instructor. They are not a replacement for going to a
school, but they are simply tools to reinforce what you’ve learned, and additionally, I’d
like to throw in, some people, some instructors, offer online live video streaming. So, I kind of consider that more of a seminar. So, that’s really good for having feedback
so you can learn from a video, reinforce from a video, but now you’ve got the live feedback,
so if you do, do something wrong, they can see it and give you live real time correction. It’s not quite the same as being in the same
room with the person, but it’s better. It’s better than nothing. So, I’d like to throw that out there, because
some places do offer that. Some schools do have that system, and it’s
just another beneficial supplementary tool for your training. We also live in the age of YouTube. The one thing that really helped me, and I
find interesting is that you can go see other styles. Again, Kenpo has many, many different versions. I like to go and see how other people are
doing it. I’ve seen so many videos where I don’t even
recognize their techniques, and and it doesn’t look exactly like what I’m doing, and everything
in between. So, it’s kind of really cool to see what others
are doing, and it gives you other ideas. Also, that’s within your own system, or how
I found Jiu Jitsu. I knew Kenpo, well I’m like, “I want to train
in another art. What do I do?” I just started watching YouTube. I saw, I watched different schools, different
studies. I almost went into Judo. I had a debate between Judo and Jiu Jitsu
by watching videos. I kind of narrowed down my focus. So, it’s a great learning tool just to see
what others are doing. There are a ton of martial arts out there. There are so many styles. So many methods to do it, and it’s really
cool to see how others are doing it, and we have the biggest online video resource in
the world that can show us. So, all this put together, take your manuals,
the YouTube videos, see what others are doing, reinforce your own, record classes, play them
back. All this combines to reinforce and improve
your training. You can get ideas sometimes. I’ve watched videos from other artists and
saw someone pull of a technique, and like, “Oh, I should try that in sparring,” and either
it worked or it didn’t, but it was cool to try it, and it was a new idea. So, can I learn karate from videos? Absolutely. I do it all the time. I don’t use it as a replacement for actual
training, but it is very powerful to reinforce and analyze your material on a deeper level,
and at your own pace. Thanks for watching this video. Please subscribe. Help our community grow, and tell me about
some of your favorite videos, and if you have any recommendations. Thank you.

66 thoughts on “Can You Learn Karate From Videos? | ART OF ONE DOJO”

  1. i agree, when i started back in the early 90's, i learned the katas for our style up to brown belt level in the first 3 weeks (i learned stuff easy back then, now i can't remember anything , ha), my stances, punches, kicks, and blocks were all rubbish, but i new the diections, and moves, and i found when i fixed one thing in one kata, it corrected itself in all the katas that i new. But you still need an instructor fixing stances, punches and so on .

  2. I really want to learn how to hadouken, give me your DVD please! I will pay double! Does it also teach the one hand balance double kick thing that Daniel taught his student to do just by sight in the Kobra Kai films?
    Overall good explanation for your justification about video learning. Useful for supplimentation, but not the main source of knowledge. Well done, sir!

  3. I never liked the idea of learning Martial Arts from videos. One time I did believe that it was the only thing I can do because no money or gyms around but after realizing that there's way too many scammers and bullshit within those videos most of the time, it's just not worth the hassle.

    Another note: Anyone know how effective cross training Kyokushin Karate with Muay Thai would be? I'd imagine the conditioning and hard punches and sturdy durability of Kyokushin + The footwork and amazing kick power of Muay Thai added with the amazing clinch with elbows and knees would provide excellent stuff.

  4. Great video with excellent questions Dan! It sure is getting easier nowadays to learn martial arts by imitation! Thanks first to scrolls, then books and magazines, and now videos. Using Books, DVDs, and YouTube has helped the transmission of martial arts knowledge greatly. Not to mention how valuable a reference resource they can be. Soon in the future, one may even be able to learn via interactive holographic technology. One can learn all martial arts via these methods…but only to the point where practical and actual application is required and necessary. At that point, there is no substitute for actual class practice and real world type training.

  5. Perhaps you can learn some technique, but you will never learn the mental or spiritual aspects of the art. As an aside, I taught at a medical school that used audiovisual aids to teach material to the students which worked very well. But in no way did those teach them the many interpersonal skills they needed to be a good doctor.

  6. Im studying Tracy's system of kenpo under Mark Tracy with DVD and picture manuels also with live instruction on Skype. My reasons for choosing distance learn was that i wanted to learn kenpo but there weren't any schools teaching it in my area. Im also a truck driver so i have no time to go to a school anyway. But i find Martial Arts to be a fun way to keep active and get into shape after sitting on my butt driving for 11 hours

  7. Its a yes and No. You can learn how to do a bunch of fancy moves in the air with no real context from watching karate videos. But you will not be able to have the feel for the right positioning because you dont have a sensei correcting you or you might just simply not know how to properly throw a guy from the video. Not to mention all the little things you dont see in the video because you only see it from one angle. If you are trying to learn Karate using only videos prepare to have your ass handed to you. However if you combine the video with hands on training with a legit dojo you can learn pretty fast.

  8. there is some Experimental Archeology bean done around Martial Arts trying to resurrect old forms or older versions of modern forms, Film and Vintage training manuals and even "How To" books have bean invaluable, it's bean done for Historical Savate, Bartjitsu and Fairburin, Heck Fairburin has training films made by John Ford (yes the Oscar Winner).

    Most of the practical work is bean done by folks trained in modern forms of the style or folks trained in related styles.

    With the right foundational training, right resources and a team of the right training partners you can teach yourself Martial Arts. But you have to hit the Gym, Dojo or Salle hard for some time first, and during the process.

  9. Avoid schools that say you will make you invincible. My teacher says "Nothing works 100 percent of the time." there is always bigger and better skilled guys out there you must be prepared to deal with them and if need be Avoid them or run away. Karate is not about win lose its about Being able to live in peace of mind, knowing you are prepared to deal with and avoid threats.

  10. The martial arts are full of legends of masters who leaned their technique from books or even watching other masters while pretending to be blind.  If you are smart, observant and smartly observant you can become a proficient martial artist through video training if you train hard and smart.  You can even reach a black belt level of skill in whatever it is you do.  but I would caution against referring to yourself as a Blackbelt.  You are doing your OWN thing.  Enjoy the training and the growth on that bases.

  11. Can you learn to drive by only watching videos? The answer is no. You need a driving instructor to be with you on the road and show you the hazards, manoeuvres etc.

    Same as martial arts, to be an efficient and exceptional martial artist takes years and decades. It doesn't just come overnight as much as I'd love that, it took me 8 years to finally receive my black belt in Shotokan.

  12. This video answers the question with both yes AND no. Can you learn martial arts from videos ALONE? No. Can you learn martial arts USING videos as part of your training? Absolutely.

  13. Learn from the school; improve using the videos. In one art I teach I tell my students to not watch any videos on the subject for the first 3 months of training. There are too many styles an you will get confused.

  14. I use DVD's to fine tune forms. I can compare several masters doing the same form and compare to what I was taught. I also found on Youtube the TKD Chang Hon forms as taught in the 60's to use a guide to what they were originally. I've found one two volume set produced in 2005 by a true grand master. His video's are as far as I can tell true to the original. The quality is much better then the old shaky 60's b&w film.

    As you said they are a good supplement to live training.

    Speaking of youtube. As recently as this week I was watching one of those Bounty hunter entertainment shows. (Not Dog.) Their was one of the younger "partners" who did a very nice take down of a perp doing a two handed push like most bullies do. I stopped and watched in stop frame several times until I was able to ascertain exact arm placements and hip twist. Wednesday I practiced it with my grandson who is now a TKD 2nd Dan. I suspect it will get introduced to our students really soon.

    There is always something to learn and try.

  15. @ Art of One Dojo : do you think of powerful videos like these :

  16. There's an amazing KendoWorld (Japanese Katana sword style) youtube channel with great detailed instruction. It was a culture shock having to learn Japanese. Not as easy coming from a Korean background. More syllables to discern lol.

  17. videos are great for reference, but one will still need instruction. A friend is teaching my Shito Ryu, but I use videos for reference then go over it for real with him 🙂

  18. Yes you can learn, just place yourself in a setting with room & mirrors. Videos really helped me learn to throw a proper spinning back fist or regular back fist. I learned various blocks also. Only thing with videos is you cant test yourself.

  19. For strictly reference purposes, I recommend the old Japan Karate Association films from the 1950's. Lovely to watch and very solid techniques.

  20. Two good reasons,1.)You're better off going to a professional and join up for a real actual setting. There, you have partners to work with and your instructor(s) or Master can help you.2.)Videos are fun to have but to only view.The only difference is, you have no class setting and you don't have no one to really actually help you and to watch you.I have videos and realize that they aren't the same as my classes, but are fun to watch.

  21. I am by no means an expert. However, I think it depends on the experience of the individual. For instance, I have 5+ years of training in mma. While learning from videos is imperfect, it is much easier to pick up techniques or learn kata once you have experience applying similar techniques via live sparring . Nothing beats instructor feedback obviously.

  22. Ed Parker made videos for a reason… just saying 😀 also if we go waaaaaaaay waaay back there are scrolls that were passed around Japan, China & Korea with training technique from town to town as teaching material Sometimes they were stolen and taught in secret.

  23. Books and videos can be an excellent learning tool. Just do not let it be your primary source of information. Nothing will beat or match a good quality instructor. But yes read watch videos and try to further ur knowledge. These things always gave me a slight advantage in my dojo, not because i was better but because i took it a lil more serious than most, i always wanted to learn more and figure things out.

  24. I totally get ur culture shock. I have a old school traditional Japanese Sensei buuuut he teaches in english. When i was a brown belt i was preparing for a trip to Japan to further my studies. My Sensei taught me only in Japanese for about 3 months prior. He said he didnt want me to feel outta place in the classes. Also the numerical system saved my life as the main method of transportation is the train system, all trains are numbered if i didnt know Japanese numbers i would have totally been lost in a foreign country.

  25. YES,if the videos are quality instruction and the student is exceptional or has a solid base to draw on(i.e.-new style or diffetent but simmilar art).

    This is very rare.

  26. I think it all depends on if you practice the movements they show you on the videos repeatedly. Me, personally, I still think it's important to have instructors or training partners in order to help you refine your techniques.

  27. Videos and books are resources but obviously no replacement for a competent teacher/school. And it's the same with anything else. You wouldn't learn a language, first aid, swimming, driving, basketball, cycling or even how to play a game by exclusively or even primarily reading books or watching videos. You learn best by just *doing*.

    How many gamers just jump straight into the game without even bothering to read the manual?

  28. If you believe to achieve your goals, you should research all aspects of the Martial Arts. So many lessons to learn whether in a Book, On a Video or in a Teachers mind. We just realized it was knowing yourself, from Fingers to Toes, The Best Karate, Kung fu, Ti Chi, is the one that knows, Video, Book or Dojo-Gym, Never take it for granted, Learn when you make it a point to, No matter how it comes to your knowledge, then Many years of Research, not just workouts. Students say, show me the Nerve System, Well all 370 take researching to know how they are affected when used for Self defense. Many Videos show that and other useful Simplicities. Use em all

  29. I recently started watching your videos, and always enjoy them. I always find them informative and interesting. Since you always close your videos asking for suggestions, I'd like to see an episode on moves that look like standard practice in movies, but should only be used as a last resort because they could actually kill or cripple someone. For example, I've seen people in movies take a direct punch or chop to the throat, just fall down and cough, then get back up after a minute. As I'm sure you know, this could easily kill someone. I have no doubt that many people have done much worse harm to their opponents than they intended because of this false sense of safety that Hollywood has given.

  30. As a Sensei of over 20 years I would agree instructional videos are a good supplement but not a replacement. You need to find a good dojo and sensei. A lot of the training requires experienced instructor and partner training including sparring. You could use videos on non class days to practice but you need to hit the dojo several times a week. I'm also using videos to help me learn BJJ but I also go to the dojo several times per week. Again videos are a good supplement but not a replacement. I currently train in Karate and BJJ.

  31. There’s no guaranteed technique that works all the time?

    Daniel-San and his Crane kick disagrees Sensei Dan.

  32. And while there’s no substitute for going to a (legitimate) Dojo, I’m having to use video instruction myself at the moment for refreshing older material because my town was recently destroyed by a hurricane last October and we don’t have many places to train at the moment. Most of our dojo’s are permanently closed, and the one or two that have reopened are either two far away from me to drive to multiple times a week, or it’s a style I physically can’t do right now because of an old weight lifting injury to my right leg that cost me my right calf muscle.

    I train Shotokan and do already have my black belt (shodan) and I’m using the videos to go over older Kata and such. Plus I’ve got a few DVDs on Goju Ryu and Wado Ryu that I’m playing around with to learn new techniques to add to my own training.

  33. First, this is one of the greatest channels for martial artists. Explores great topics in very intelligent and civilized manner. Really a pleasure to watch.

    As for the topic at hand I can only offer my opinion (worth what you paid for it ha!) regarding my own art – Judo. You absolutely positively need a Sensei/coach who knows what he is doing and as many bodies to train with (preferably black belts/people better skilled than you). Books and videos can be additional helpful tools but (at least with Judo) they cannot be the primary source of knowledge.

    And in Judo (as I mentioned) you need bodies to train with (the more the better). My own judo practices consisted from warm up, 20 minutes uchi-komi (practicing of techniques) and then hour(s) of randori ("fights" with opponents) as Judo is very *(pun intended) hands-on. 🙂 During all this time my Sensei would observe all of us and correct us as needed (and boy did I need it / still do).

    I do admit that when I was studying for my Shodan (1st degree Black Belt test) I used Kodokan (Judo HQ) videos on Nage-No-Kata on youtube to help me with sequences and few remainders, but it was my Sensei and my (excellent) Uke (partner in judo kata) who provided me with 90% of the actual instruction and corrections (crucial benefit is having someone to observe and correct you).

    I would imagine that in Karate and similar arts books/videos can also be useful as an "add-on" to Sensei's instructions. But I do not believe one can learn (as a white belt) any art from books or videos.

    Just to give you an example of why hands-on Sensei's are important (and I was fortunate to have one of the highest ranking Judo Sensei's from Japan as my Sensei).

    While performing a judo throw called Harai Goshi my technique would sometimes leave me slightly under a wrong angle during attack. Turns out that my big toe of my sweeping leg was not pointed down. Sensei corrected me in this and it all clicked. Such a small detail but made a great difference. And there were many similar examples in my judo journey.

    Having a knowledgeable and patient Sensei is pure gold. No book or video can come even close to matching someone training you on the mat. But again – books and videos can be great "add-ons".

  34. Which video series are those from? I can't get to a dojo currently so having something available thats good and not too expensive would be helpful.

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