How To Train Kung Fu Online
Since the 2020 pandemic many martial art schools have decided to take their Kung Fu lessons online. We at Six Monkey Martial Arts have done the same. So in this article we will discuss what is online Kung Fu, pros & cons for online training, how to train effectively at home & lastly how to pick good online Kung Fu lessons.
What Are Online Kung Fu Lessons?
First let’s begin by what are online Kung Fu lessons? The answer is pretty simple, Kung Fu lessons that you can watch from any device connected to the internet. But let us take it a step further. Just because you watch someone else doing a series of techniques doesn’t mean it’s an actual Kung Fu lesson. Online Kung Fu lessons need to be easy to follow, very detailed & describe their purpose.
First off, most online Kung Fu lessons are either very complex or not practical whatsoever. When we teach our students we try to always work from the ground up just like you would in an in person Kung Fu school. Since Online Kung Fu lessons can present more challenges than in person training, all video lessons should be simple and break down all aspects of each technique.
When we say online Kung Fu lessons need to be very detailed, we mean that in the literal since. For example, when a student watches one of our videos we break everything down from weight distribution, joint alignment, posture and sight alignment. This should be in any online Kung Fu lesson you take. Since you do not have an instructor there with you the videos need to be very detailed to help fill in the gap between in person and online.
Next, all online Kung Fu lessons should describe their purpose. Meaning, every video should vividly describe what you are trying to achieve with a technique and how to do it. For example, if we are teaching a front kick, we want our students to not only know how to do the front kick technique but also when and where to use it.
Finally, online Kung Fu lessons should promote self development as well as self defense. Just learning a random bunch of techniques will not help you much in the long run.
Pros & Cons of Online Kung Fu Lessons
Now that we know what online Kung Fu lessons should look like. Let us take an in-depth view of pros & cons of online Kung Fu lessons and in person Kung Fu lessons.
- Train any time & any where. Online Kung Fu lessons can be done on your own schedule and at your own convince. You can train in your garage, living room, backyard, bedroom recreation area etc.
- Cost. Generally speaking, online Kung Fu lessons are cheaper than an in person Kung Fu school. Also, online Kung Fu lessons do not require expenses like travel and gas since you can train wherever you want.
- Train at your own pace. Being that you can simply rewind any lesson, you can train your online Kung Fu lessons at your own pace compared to a class where you need to follow along with a group of people.
- Privacy. When you train at home you may find it easier to practice your techniques because you no longer have the eyes of peers on you to critique you or feel embarrassed.
- Friend training. Any good online Kung Fu lessons should teach you how to practice with a friend or partner. When at an in person school you may not feel comfortable training with certain individuals. Your online Kung Fu lessons would allow you to practice with someone you know and feel comfortable with.
- 1 on 1 feedback. Very few online Kung Fu schools do 1 on 1 feedback, but at Six Monkey Martial Arts we allow our students to do a live video session or video submission for Sifu Barber to grade and give feedback. This is standard with all of our application courses. We find this essential so students can be corrected on errors or simply encouraged to keep up the great training. Either way this is a huge pro.
- Lack of social interaction. In person Kung Fu lessons are a great way to meet new friends and training partners. While our online Kung Fu lessons do have a community comment feature, nothing beats meeting friends to train together.
- Q & A often. If you have a question at Kung Fu class, you can ask a partner or the instructor immediately. In our online Kung Fu lessons we do allow direct contact with Sifu Barber you may not be answered immediately.
- Changing partners. Even if you have a friend to train your online Kung Fu lessons at home, it is nice to constantly train with different people of different skill levels to challenge yourself.
- Random classes. Most instructors like to change up their classes from time to time to keep students engaged. This is difficult to accomplish in online Kung Fu lessons as you only have a certain amount of content available to you unless you train with Sifu Barber often.
- Watching higher levels. When you train Kung Fu online your primary focuses is on your lessons and improving yourself. While this is great, sometimes it is beneficial to see more advanced students than you train and learn from watching them.
- Live testing. Our courses have ranking options through online video chat or video submission. But there is a certain sense of accomplishment in getting your belt or sash handed to you by an instructor rather than a package in the mail.
In conclusion, both in person and online Kung Fu lessons have a great deal of benefits and cons. It is a choice that varies per individual. Some students have no access to a good Kung Fu school and others do not have a schedule that allows them to attend classes regularly.
One of the biggest questions we get asked is how to train online Kung Fu lessons at home effectively. This can be a make or break thing for many students considering online Kung Fu lessons. This answer is relatively simple but has several other factors we want our students to looks. Firstly, the best way to train at home effectively is by making a schedule! Here are a few helpful tips.
- Schedule. Like we mentioned earlier, it is crucially important to make and stick to a training schedule. If you do not then you will fall into a series of excuses that lead you nowhere.
- Monitor your progress. This is a great way to track your strong and weak areas but its also a great way to stay motivated. By keeping a training journal you can track progress and see how far you have progressed.
- Set goals. Few people think of setting goals in their Kung Fu training. But whether you train Kung Fu online or at a school this is a great way to keep yourself training hard.
- Train with purpose. In addition to setting goals, training with purpose is probably a foundational skill in training in general especially online Kung Fu training. If you always keep in mind why you train and what training means to you, you won’t give up easily.
- Partner training. This is probably the most difficult thing for online Kung Fu students. But its ideal to find a training partner. Like Sifu Barber always says its hard to know how to block a punch if you never have a punch thrown at you. Practice helps you learn a technique but partner training helps you understand the technique.
How To Pick Good Online Kung Fu Lessons
Deciding on a good online Kung Fu school can be a daunting task. With so many options for you to choose from, how to decide which one is right for you? To answer this we have to look at a lot of factors but the time is well spent to save you from wasting money and more importantly to save you from learning nonsense.
The first thing you want to look at is any sample or free lessons from that online Kung Fu school. This is a huge indicator of what you’ll learn and if the lessons make sense to you. These lessons will show you if they are in-depth, clear, easy to follow, and describe their purpose. If there are no free or sample lessons then it’s a major red flag.
The best way for anyone to learn Kung Fu online is by having some form of feedback with a qualified instructor. Without this you will never be able to see & fix your own errors which can lead to years of bad form or technique. This is a hard find since most online Kung Fu schools are just side jobs for most instructors. All of our application courses have live feedback options for students because it is essential to skill development.
Majority of online Kung Fu schools offer a low monthly fee to access of hundreds of random videos. While this may be affordable it does little for a student who is new to that style or system. Any good Kung Fu or martial art school knows the importance of a structured program or class. This is proven to help students learn and develop their skills rather than watching an endless collection of videos on different theories.
Next we look at lineage. Lineage is a history of teachings passed down from founder to teachers to students. Many over look this key importance in online Kung Fu schools. The main reason is it shows that the instructor went through the required training to say he is qualified to teach that style or system. Without it then anyone can say they are qualified to teach. However, this is a plus not a necessity. If the techniques work and are applicable then that out beats lineage in our opinion. Thankfully Sifu Barber has both!
This list would not be complete if we did not look at cost of the online Kung Fu lessons. Prices vary from $5 a month to $150+. Unfortunately there is no magic number to tell if you are getting a good deal or not. Most likely the lower end of prices are just access to random videos you could get for free from YouTube. Be smart. Look at what you get for your money. Are there 1 on 1 sessions? Is there a structure? Is there lineage? A community? Free videos to see if you like it?
Everything we have in this article should be what you need to pick a great Kung Fu school and how to train your online Kung Fu lessons at home. Most importantly, whatever you decide to do or wherever you decide to train from. Make sure you enjoy the lessons and can see the practicality of them. Everything else is just additional.
Please train safely & wisely!