Can You Learn Martial Arts at Home? The Honest Truth!

girl learning Martial Arts at Home

A lot of people, particularly those selling online martial arts training courses, make you believe that you really can learn martial arts from the comfort of your home through books and video lessons. But how effective are these methods of learning? Can you learn martial arts at home?

Yes, you can conveniently acquire martial arts skills in your home as online instructional videos provide a few of the same benefits as in-person classes. However, online training and courses lack the important elements offered by personalized instruction. Still, online videos can help you pick up easy-to-learn self-defense techniques.

Yes, you can learn martial arts at home through e-books and online videos.

However, from my personal experience, I can tell you that trying to learn your favorite art online is likely going to be a frustrating process especially if you are a beginner.

In this article, I will be explaining why I think this is so, and why I think you really should go out there and attend a physical class if you are really serious about learning a martial art.

Let’s begin.

Learning Martial Arts at Home

Let me briefly share my story with you.

Many years ago, I started my martial arts journey in Taekwondo. I signed up for a physical class.

One year into the learning process, I decided to improve my skills by trying to learn some extra techniques through online courses and YouTube videos.

The sad news is, as interesting, well explained, and well demonstrated those techniques were, I had difficulty executing them on my end.

I wasn’t even sure if I was doing it right… I deeply felt I wasn’t since I ended up with several injuries trying to practice these leg and hand techniques all by myself.

After about 2 months, I gave up on the goal of learning online realizing that I needed the physical guidance of my physical instructor.

I ended up mastering these skills from him only after just a few repeated errors and corrections.

This experience has left me with a lesson.

This is to never use these online sources as my main source of learning but to instead use these books and videos mainly for inspiration and motivation purposes.

Learning in person helps you avoid injuries and stress that could have been avoided if you had the physical guidance of a coach.

If you learn from an expert, you’ll progress faster, and without a good teacher to provide insight and feedback, reaching your full potential as a fighter would be impossible.

You certainly need a professional trainer to help correct your form and work on your basic and advanced techniques.

The coach simply helps you learn martial art the right way, which is what we preach here at Martial Arts Republic.

Sometimes, I just feel that those who promote martial arts online classes are not being honest with the real-world effectiveness of these online lessons.

I mean, I wouldn’t have broken my hands practicing if I had the training of a teacher.

I wouldn’t have learned through a boxer’s fracture how “not” to punch had I had a steady teacher of the art as I would have learned the right way.

I also would have learned proper conditioning methods to avoid giving myself bone chips.

Besides, most martial arts have some element of combat involved, so you’ll need a trained sparring partner. Something online videos cannot provide.

My experience is one I always share with my students.

More interesting was the fact that even though I was no longer a beginner at that time, I still had difficulty implementing the techniques I watched online.

This means you can expect a beginner to have an even more difficult time learning online.

From my experience, I can tell you that it’s easy to spot a self-taught person every time.

A student taught from “don’t know a thing” to “teacher of the art” will clean your clock because they have not just the technical framework, but also the conceptual framework.

They will understand timing, angulations, penetration, zoning, footwork, closing gaps, proper breathing, intent, visualization, and other things that you wouldn’t have even known to ask about in the first place let alone be motivated to learn.

This can only come from a quality relationship with your coach.

Don’t get me wrong, videos and books can be valuable, especially if you already have your teaching credentials (i.e. black belt, etc) in one art or two (I have 3 of them at this point).

So, videos have their place only AFTER (NOT before) you’ve learned martial art to the point that you are allowed the privilege of teaching it.

For a new student, however, I highly advise you to get an in-person teacher (if you are unable to leave the house) that will come to teach you at home PHYSICALLY.

If you can’t afford a personal trainer, then go out there and join a martial art class (which is even more beneficial).

Please, exercise care with online videos as they can create a lot of bad habits that may slow you down when you finally get a physical instructor.


If it’s been your dream to learn martial arts, then yes you can start martial arts training at home, but whether you can do it effectively is another question.

And if you are looking to become an elite martial artist, home training certainly isn’t a good choice. Visit a martial art studio!

Without a physical coach, you will never push yourself so much, and you might learn in 3 years what an in-person coach will teach you in one month.

That’s could affect your growth because you won’t know what you do wrong and there would be no one to correct it.

Again, online videos and eBooks have their place, but not for beginners. So just because you can start training at home doesn’t mean you should always train at home.

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