Online Shotokan - 1 Week In
So, I’ve spent more or less a week now learning Shotokan online and it seems a good time to do a quick review.
I’ve watched every video session covering the 9th Kyu syllabus and completed the associated training at least once. That probably sounds like I’ve done a lot, but far from it. You see one of the things that I like about this approach is that you are only able to focus on techniques which are suitable for your current grade. In comparison with a live class where you are often all taught the same, or possibly split into two groups. This however ensures that the time I invest is solely related to my current needs. So, in simple terms, every hour you spend is 100% dedicated to you and not to meet the needs of a whole class.
The breakdown of the techniques covered in the videos is exceptional. You can watch multiple times whereas in a class you can’t ask Sensei to repeat 5-6 times just for you, when there are other students in there also. For me to learn something I need to see it, go away and think, come back and question it, and then do it; then repeat and repeat and repeat. This is absolutely possible with online learning. While I’m thinking things through in my head during the day, it’s so easy to pull out my phone and go to the website and just check a technique. Then by the time I practise in the evening, I’ve got it right.
One question that I think many people would have is “How do you know when you’re ready to grade” There is a time limit before you can apply for your grading which is designed to indicate the amount of training you should complete prior to grading, but obviously this is dependent on the student completing the training. For me, I will be sending short videos of maybe 1 minute to Sensei on a weekly basis to get real feedback, allowing Sensei to have the final decision on whether I am ready or not. My past experience in various martial arts tells me that the more time you spend focusing on the basics, the better you will be at a higher level.
Do I have any criticisms? No, not really. It would be interesting to hear about the experience from the perspective of someone with no martial arts background.
In the news last night it was announced that my area was back in lockdown, which furthers reinforces that I have made the correct decisions in my training; as who knows how long this is going to impact what we once considered normal. Roll on next Friday when I can begin my garage conversion!!!