Not that long ago, it was necessary to sign up for in-person classes to learn the ins and outs of a martial art. The technology just wasn't available to support quality online or distance education and people living in small towns or rural areas had to travel to take classes or attempt to learn from a book. Today, you can learn just about anything from well-designed Internet classes if you have a computer and a little bit of motivation. Online schools are bringing a variety of self-defense styles to people throughout the world with great success!
Before deciding which online curriculum is right for you, think about whether you want to learn striking or grappling moves. Though some martial arts do cover a bit of both, usually there is a focus on one or the other. Martial arts that emphasize striking (punches and kicks, for example) are ideal for students who wish to keep their distance from an opponent. Those that are grappling-oriented, however, involve very intimate and close-up contact with opponents. Some people prefer to keep their distance in a fight while others prefer to move in and wrangle an opponent to the ground.
Women and smaller men who are hoping to learn self-defense moves that will be useful in every day, on-the-street-type situations would probably fare better with a striking martial art (tae kwon do, karate, kung fu, etc. ). Obviously a very small woman or a smaller-framed man won't be successful at grappling with and then pinning a 300 pound behemoth. However, these same small-framed people could be very successful at striking a giant hulking man in the neck or the groin (with appropriate training and target practice of course). Martial moves that are geared at grappling (aikido, jiu jitsu, etc.) also tend to emphasize competition that pair opponents up by weight. That's because small grapplers are going to have more difficulty pinning large opponents. If doing competitions is your main goal for studying a martial art, grappling may be a viable choice. If, however, you're concerned about self-defense, striking is probably a better fit for you.
Once you've decided between striking or grappling, then it's time to determine which online martial arts school would be best for you. Online schools should offer plenty of tutorial videos and work-outs to students to help them master the art just as they would if they were attending classes in person. As long as students actually follow the curriculum, they should see progress in the development of new skills. Be aware, though, it can take time to learn how to use core strength to accomplish the amazing feats that are possible using tae kwon do, aikido, or kung fu moves. Expect to spend at least six months doing conditioning at home before you really start to "get it".
If you've always wanted to learn martial arts, but have never had the time, consider enrolling in an online curriculum. These days students can learn just as much, if not more through a home study course. By staying at home to learn martial arts, students can avoid a long commute from home to a school and often pay less to learn more in a shorter period of time. Rather than spending time in the car, students can use that extra travel time that they've saved themselves and practice longer. Online martial arts communities tend to be larger and more diverse than in-person schools as well, allowing students to make friends all across the world who share their passion.
Believe it or not, you can learn self-defense skills online and even have fun doing it! Today's online schools are able to offer students the same knowledge and skills that were once available only from a face-to-face instructor. To get started learning martial arts for self-defense, all you have to do is choose the school that's right for you.