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Learn Kung Fu online: why it is better and when
The unique benefits of home study courses
To say that a martial arts home study course can be better than a live course sounds for many as a kind of blasphemy but if we stop for a moment to analyze the benefits we are about to list, we will realize that, with the due premises, this is absolutely not a so absurd affirmation.
Note - This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).
Let's see why an online course can be even better than a live one.
The disadvantages of live courses
The generic problems related to live courses:
They start on specific dates and if we come at the wrong time, it's very easy to have learning difficulties
Most of them ends before starting (generally in the moment when the instructor understands what it really means to teach)
We arrive with the highest aspirations and intentions but we are soon corrupted by the most rotten part of the martial arts (the bureaucracy of the federations, the parochialism of the schools, the hostility towards the pursuit of excellence, etc.)
The difficulties related to us:
If we have specific psychophysical problems, ifwe are women, too young, too old, too weak, too fat (etc.) we will be easily "discriminated" and in the best case relegated to watered versions of the teachings
If we are discriminated (in any way) we will never reach a good martial level
In a group we tend to passively imitate the moves of the instructor (or worst, of the training partners) and if we do not understand something we wait inactively for help; this is an ineffective approach, we are too passive, we are not forced to reflect personally
The difficulties related to the training partners:
The more cohesive a training group is, the harder it is to get into it (normally those who are good want to train with those who are good and those who are not do not want to be frustrated)
It is only chance that we find companions who are lazy, violent, incapable, arrogant, scarce, inconstant, disrespectful, time waster, etc.
In most cases, each time arrives a new student, it is very likely that the course will come to a halt (in short, we proceed much slower than we should and in some cases we do not proceed at all)
The difficulties related to the instructor:
Unless we live in a metropolis, it is very rare to find a good teacher of the specific martial art we are interested in (usually it ends up settling for what is found)
The instructor, however good he may be, cannot really follow several people at the same time with the necessary precision
If the instructor is not open minded (and this is extremely rare), he will try each time to impose what he teaches above everything else (often even at the cost of knowingly lying, read also Recognize a good / bad master: 5 characteristics)
If we want to follow a lesson or ask something to the instructor each day of the week (in 99% of the cases) we cannot
The difficulties related to the training:
Working out in a group is nice and useful but the workloads, the recovery times, etc. will never be the right ones for us (thus condemning us to a limbo of mediocrity strictly correlated to the more or less high or low level of the class in which we found ourselves being)
Limiting ourselves to training only in a group or (worse than worse) only during the pre-established lesson times, means placing an insurmountable limit on our possibilities for improvement (we continually end up out of shape)
The real duration, for example, of a 1 hour session is not 1 hour but easily 1 hour less the time to change, less the time for explanations, less the time to wait for your turn to perform exercises and techniques (etc.)
There are more excuses to do not train correctly (the distance from the training site, holidays, work problems, school problems, etc.)
The impossibility to perform certain types of necessary practices (due to the absence of the necessary equipment, legal limitations, technical problems, a poor quality training group, economical aspects, etc.)
We waste a lot of time in transport (round trip) and even if we had the intention of training again when we returned home, we are easily weakened by the too long break
The advantages of home study courses
A note by Master Kongling - Before continuing we must stress that we talk principally for our courses, that have been designed to fulfill all the cited problems: we cannot express positive or negative assessments for the others.
The general pros related to (serious) home study courses:
They start when you want
By targeting a wider audience, they inevitably have greater longevity
We do not eneter in contact with the most rotten and corrupted part of martial arts' world
The benefits related to us:
Even if we are not the perfect model of a martial artist, we can train to the best of our ability
We are not discriminated against, because we train at our pace and we choose our training partners (read 5 effective ways to find a training partner)
When we are alone, if we do not understand something, we are forced to reflect personally before asking to the instructor; this way our mind becomes an active part of the learning process and we have to be fully focused on what we are doing
The pros related to the training partners:
We have no difficulties entring a training group because when we do not train solo, we choose personally our partners
We can skim the companions who are lazy, violent, incapable, arrogant, scarce, inconstant, disrespectful, time waster, etc.
Our martial path proceeds quickly because it is calibrated on us
The benefits related to the instructor:
We can freely choose the exact martial art we want
If the course is well designed, there will be an instructor to personally correct our errors (through videos, etc., read also Core Course: how to send my practice's video)
Even if the instructor is not open minded as he should, the distance of a home study environment let us do not get so easily influenced (we have time and space to assess everything he says)
If the course is well designed, if we want to follow a lesson or ask something to the instructor each day of the week we are able to do it
The benefits related to the training:
If the course is well designed, working out in a group is something that remains (periodically) but in the big part of the time we will train solo, perfectly calibrating the level of difficulty, intesity, etc. exactly for us (our age, phsysical shape, goals, etc.)
If the course is well designed, we can train every day, opening therefoe the dooors toward the highest levels of martial skills
The real duration of a 1 hour session is 1 hour (no waits, no waste of time) because it depends on us
There are less excuses to do not train correctly (if the course is well designed, we can train anywhere and anytime)
We do not have all the classical gym limitations (legal, technical, related to the training group, to the intructor's mindset, etc.)
We do not waste a minute in transport, we can train as long as we want and where we want
The real discriminant between success and failure in martial art
To understand what are the real necessary and sufficient requirements to reach a good martial level (live or online), read Online learning and martial arts: is it possible?.
A note by Master Kongling - The fact that is hard to accept is that the people who cannot learn online are the same ones who cannot learn live, nothing more, nothing less.
Anyone with minimal experience in martial arts gyms, knows that the ones we have listed are just some of the typical difficulties that almost every student has to face
Let's be clear, we are not saying that training in group is wrong or not important (it is a fundamental part of a correct martial growth) but simply that it is not sufficient (and done alone, it does not give the best results)
Is there anything better than a home study course (that combines group training with solo training)? Of course, having an expert coach to guide and follow us individually (every day and through a personalized martial path); the problem is that this kind of preparation is very expensive and usually prerogative of professional sports athletes only; actually in our school this is what we try to do, the difference is that instead of seeing us live, we see each other through a video (but at a cost with 2-3 zeros less)
In-depth video courses
Basic 6 Dragons Kung Fu Exercises - The exercises to build real martial skills (the ones that connect practice to theory)
Why martial arts do not work: 5 reasons - Why most of the martial arts courses are useless
The right age to start practice - The best moment to start a Kung Fu path
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
Do you feel able to study Kung Fu from home?