It is possible to learn martial arts by DVD. There are, however, several things you should know before doing so. These items can make the difference between a learned art, and something laying on the sidewalk that you shouldn’t touch.
First, you should select the martial art you wish to study. If you have a little experience, this is easy, especially if you decide to study an art you already have some knowledge of. If you don’t have experience, then you need to consider several things.
One, is the art one that you can study by yourself? Or, do you have a work out partner you can study with if it can’t be studied alone. Martial Arts showing forms are easily studied alone, and can be perfected in your garage or backyard, with the occasional help of a friend, but Aikido, on the other hand, demands a partner for nearly every single move.
The same as when shopping for any martial art, you must pay attention to the quality of the teacher. Fame is a great thing, but can Mr. Fame get his idea across on video? Does he present the ideas in concise method and are they understandable?
When inspecting the DVD, whether on line or in a store, take a look and see what, exactly, is on the course. There are many different formats for teaching, and when dealing with a whole art, you must be careful. Obviously, look for beginner, intermediate, or advanced, depending on what you are.
Now, does the fellow offer just forms? It would be better to have some applications, and even a few minutes of fighting to see the progression of application, from kata, to bunkai, which are pieces of the forms, to applications in the real world. Forms are great, but without some example of what they really mean, they can be next to worthless.
Take a close look at how he teaches the material. If he has one form, and the proud claim that it is presented from eight different angles in slow mo so that you can see the master’s every move…I would skip it. If he has several forms, and he shows two angles and then goes through the form while going over every point, this is good.
In closing, let me say that you might waste a buck or two, but that is only to be expected as you sample through various styles and interests. Still, the price of instructional DVDs today is one of the greatest deals you will ever find. When you find what you want, the doors of perception are going to open, you will become more fit and better able to defend yourself, and the answer is yes, you will be able to learn martial arts by DVD.