Martial arts are one of the most popular types of sports in the world. Many forms of martial arts have been around for thousands of years, long outlasting the teachers and civilizations that invented them!
After all, it’s well known that they train not only your body, making you stronger and improving stamina, but also help you train your mind and self-discipline.
Not everyone can spend all day at the dojo, though, and especially if you’re conscious of the pandemic you might be looking for ways to practice your martial arts at home. Don’t worry, thanks to ever-improving technology this is now more possible than ever before!
Martial arts can be learned at home, in a dojo, or anywhere else by making use of video learning, apps, online lessons, or doing general workouts that make use of previously learned skills or skills learned through online methods.
Some online martial arts teachers will even do advancements over a video call, making learning martial arts that much easier! Read on to find out about how you can improve your skills in martial arts from the comfort of your own home, whether that’s through videos on the internet or even apps on your devices that can help train you.
4 Ways to Learn Martial Arts at Home
First up, let’s be realistic about learning martial art at home. There are heaps of ways that you’ll be able to improve (read on in a moment), but it’s, of course, important to bear in mind that it’s difficult for your at-home training to be as effective as it would be with a coach, trainer, or even just training partners.
For this reason, some martial arts are more easily practiced at home than others. Those with a focus on inward reflection or fitness (such as Tai Chi and Cardio Kickboxing) are most easily practiced by yourself. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want to put yourself in a boxing ring having just watched some videos as you might get a rude awakening!
Still, if you’re not expecting to become an Olympic champion from the comfort of your own bedroom, you can certainly make progress that you’ll be happy with!
You can even get certified in martial arts remotely; some companies such as Black Belt at Home or Global Martial Arts University offer courses with online instructors. They say that their courses and belt levels are accredited and accepted worldwide, which is kinda cool.
Without further ado, let’s get into what I think are some of the best ways to learn martial arts at home; video learning, using apps, online lessons, and general workouts.
Method #1: Video Learning
Video learning is a great way to further your martial arts knowledge.
While in the past you might have had to get hold of DVDs or other marketed materials, these days almost anything you need to know about is available free of charge on video hosting sites such as YouTube (more specific details of channels available below)
Specific trainers may offer video courses in your preferred martial arts too… Have a search around on the internet as you may find something incredibly specific to your needs!
Method #2: Apps
These days, there’s an app for everything, from teaching you to cook up a good risotto to developing your skills in complex martial arts!
Apps are a great way to track your progress in any sport, and there’s no reason why you can’t use them to help you in martial arts too. Read on below to find out more about which apps might be useful for you!
Method #3: Online Lessons
Being at home doesn’t mean that you can’t study with a professional coach. It just means you have to be more creative!
Studying with a professional coach is the best way to learn any new skill. With their guidance, you can be not only sure that you’re following a sensible training plan for you and your goals but performing each exercise with good technique to be effective and avoid injury.
As well as video learning and apps, you might find that you learn well from online coaching sessions, which have of course become much more popular in the last two years!
Method #4: General workouts
Let’s not forget that martial arts are extremely physical sports and working on your own fitness can only help that!
The internet is full of fitness aids, whether that’s training and nutrition plans, discussion forums such as Reddit, or videos and applications just like the martial arts-specific ones we’ve already looked at.
Why not try internet workout videos? You’ll find that workouts focusing on core strength and fitness are powerful aids to the kinds of moves that you’ll need to do in almost all martial arts!
Is There an App to Learn Martial Arts at Home?
Whether you have an android or apple phone, there are plenty of apps out there that can help you learn how to get better at martial arts. Here are a few of the ones that come well recommended, whether to help you with general fitness or teach you the fighting moves you can take into the arena!
The awesome thing, too, is that apps continue to improve and evolve over time, meaning that there will always be ever-improving options.
Muay Thai Fitness (Android)
Muay Thai Fitness gives you workouts to do at home which, while not based around sparring with an opponent, can help you develop the same fitness that you’d need to fight in this style. Workouts are aimed at various levels of skill and fitness, and plotted on a calendar so that you can track your progress and keep disciplined!
Martial Arts – Training and Workouts (Android)
This app is more of a directory, with links to training videos across a wide spread of different martial arts, from karate to jiu-jitsu. It also has a forum for discussing topics with other users, as well as workouts that can help you improve your general fitness.
Fighting Trainer (Apple)
Fighting trainer is an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) app that demonstrates moves with a realistic 3D model. You can watch the moves in real time or slow them down for a better view if you need!
Taekwondo Training (Apple)
Taekwondo Training is an app full of instructional videos on how to practice Taekwondo, from a beginner level up to more advanced moves. This includes stretching videos, drills, and demonstrations of how to do advanced sparring moves.
The Martial Arts App (Apple)
The Martial Arts App is a social resource that helps you connect with other users and other resources such as videos, trainers, and lessons, to improve your skills regardless of your preferred martial art. It’s also a great platform to download martial arts podcasts that you can listen to and watch wherever you are!
What Are the Best YouTube Channels (or Videos) to Learn Martial Arts at Home?
YouTube is an amazing resource, and ever since its early days, it’s also been a treasure trove of martial arts resources. If you’re looking for video lessons, documentaries about martial arts and their histories, or just to watch the very best fighters doing what they do, you can find whatever you’re after.
I’ve chosen a few of the most popular martial arts channels on YouTube. Several of these have literally thousands of videos uploaded over years, so have all the content you need to learn about these sports!
Channel #1: Master Wong
With over 2.7 million subscribers, Master Wong’s Youtube channel is a hugely popular resource and has plenty of content to match. Whether you’re after general fitness videos or advice for specific martial arts (from women’s self-defense to karate), this channel is a great place to start.
You can check out his channel by clicking here to open a new window.
Kung Fu & Tai Chi Center with Jake Mace
For Kung Fu and Tai Chi, in particular, this channel is great, and likable personality Jake Mace will be your own personal trainer. His videos help you focus on both the physical and mental aspects of martial arts, so there’s something for everyone.
Click this link to check out his channel in a new window.
MMA Fighting on SBN
This channel is probably less for learning and more for watching (after all, half of these videos come with “don’t try it at home” disclaimers), but still, watching a sport is one way to find out how it’s practiced in real life, as well as to find out more about who the best fighters are and how they go about doing what they do.
Click here to check out this channel, but maybe make sure the 4-year-old doesn’t watch. It can be kind of intense.
Practical Combat Martial Arts
This channel is another great broad resource, with advice on a wide range of fighting styles and videos to choose from.
Go check it out on YouTube by clicking here.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and with so much out there I’m sure you’ll find yourself down another YouTube rabbit hole in next to no time! Or, you know, YouTube will find plenty for you once you watch the first video!
Whatever your preferences, there’s something for everyone out there in the world of martial arts.
During the lockdown of the pandemic, we couldn’t take our children to their martial arts classes. They really missed them. So we practiced what we could remember at home, and augmented things by watching YouTube videos and trying to replicate the moves at home.
Keep in mind, though, that some throws and moves can get violent, so we like to keep a couple of Ikea gyms out while we’re practicing.
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Need a folding gym mat for workouts? If you don’t have an Ikea close, this one on Amazon looks to be close to what we’ve got, and it’s actually a better price than what we paid at Ikea. It also looks like a better-quality mat, so I think we’ll get that one if and when the Ikea mats bite the dust!
Now, the next question for martial arts at home is going to be whether or not you want to invest in a gi for your home dojo practice time.
That answer lines up perfectly with the answer to this question: Do You Have To Wear A Gi (Uniform) To Martial Arts? so go give that article a read next.
It’s important to learn from your own experiences, but it’s also smart to learn from others. These are the sources used in this article and in our personal research to be more informed as a family of sports nuts wannabes.
- Bautista, Joseph. “How to Teach Yourself Martial Arts.” WikiHow, 7 Dec. 2021, www.wikihow.com/Teach-Yourself-Martial-Arts.
- Wilson Yu, Elizabeth. “5 Easy Martial Arts Disciplines to Learn.” Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts, 7 Jan. 2020, www.master-sh-yu.com/articles/5-easy-martial-arts-disciplines.
Martial arts are a huge topic (with literally thousands of years of knowledge going into some of them!), and there’s of course plenty of great information out there. Here’s a list of some of the sources that I used when I was writing this article, though, of course, this is really just the beginning!
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