Teach Yourself Martial Arts: Is It Possible?

Can you teach yourself martial arts? Many people will say it is impossible to learn on your own. Martial Arts is best learned when you are learning with an instructor, but is not impossible to learn on your own. Let’s say you don’t live near a dojo or you just don’t have the time to make it to the dojo because you are busy. In this post we will explore some of the things you can learn on your own and things you should learn with a partner or instructor.

Techniques
Straight punch, knife-hand block, jab, and roundhouse kick are all examples of martial arts techniques you can teach yourself. Many are unsuccessful though because they do not learn properly. It is important to be detail-oriented when learning techniques. Being mindful of hand and feet placement, not having a low enough stance, and twisting your body when punching for more power are all examples of details that often get missed when you teach yourself martial arts. You must work with a training program that focuses on details when teaching yourself martial arts. Not having an instructor present will be the biggest challenge when teaching yourself martial arts. An instructor also can show what success looks like and can correct you when something is incorrect. When teaching yourself martial arts, make sure you get a big mirror or record yourself executing techniques so you can compare yourself to training videos.

Combinations
Combinations allow you to put together the techniques you learn. For example a straight punch to a front kick would be an example of a combination. Much like techniques, make sure you have a method of recording yourself or seeing yourself execute the techniques so you can correct yourself when something is incorrect.

Kata/Forms
Katas are choreographed routines that showcase combinations and techniques together. Katas can be performed as a group but is usually executed by yourself. Since it does not require another person, it is something you can learn on your own. Here is an example of a Kata executed well by Gold Medalist Damian Hugo Quintero at 2015 Baku European Games:

 

What will be challenging to teach yourself?

Sparring
Sparring is a key part of learning martial arts as it allows you to practice the techniques you are learning with someone else. It is the closest you can get to practicing martial arts as if it were a real-life situation and the closest you can get to fighting someone without actually fighting. Sparring also helps with conditioning as it is a great cardiovascular exercise. Running drills, jumping jacks, and using a punching bag are great ways to condition when you don’t have the ability to spar. Focus, reaction time, balance, and speed are a few of the many key aspects you learn while sparring.

Self Defense
You can teach yourself self-defense techniques but it will be a challenge if you do not have anyone to practice on. It is recommended that you include someone else when teaching yourself martial arts but not until you have learned correct technique from an instructor. Executing self-defense techniques incorrectly can severely injure someone.

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