Can You Learn Martial Arts From A Video?

Can you learn the martial arts from a video?

What about books?

In the Japanese martial arts there are three levels of learning at play in each lesson. They are: taiden, kuden, and shinden transmissions of the martial arts.

When all three of these learning methods are in use, one is *learning* the martial arts.

Can you get them from a book?

Taiden learning refers to the body. The instructor shows a martial arts technique a few times, you pair up with a partner or in front of a mirror and practice it. Taiden refers to body learning- feet here, move arms like this.

Watch and repeat.

Certainly with the martial arts being a physical art, physical movement, practice, and repetition *is* the primary learning method.

There is no way around the physical.

Certainly one could get this from a video, as many of the training videos today on YouTube and other platforms are of very high quality.

Kuden is the next layer- which refers to verbal instruction from a teacher or senior student. In training, this is where they come over and fix your posture, or point out a mistake that you can’t see right now in the movement.

Adjustments in your movement by somebody a bit further along on the path.

Could one replicate this by video? Maybe if it was an online class, or if a student filmed themselves for feedback.

Perhaps clunky at best?

Shinden is the third, and refers to heart to hear transmission- what one experiences first hand in the training as they interact with the teacher, often as uke- the person who is having the martial arts technique done to them.

It is one thing to watch a martial arts throw, another to throw a training partner, and a third to have it done to you by a master. You *feel* all the pieces of the technique in perfection. Perfect distance, timing, taking of the balance, done in such a way it is impossible to resist. This gives you a chance to *catch* the feeling and begin to replicate it in your own movement.

This is the *art* of the martial arts, and can only be experienced directly one to one.

Naturally there are other issues with training that can never be replicated by books or a video- many martial arts techniques are only passed one to one- never written down or recorded. Many of the martial art philosophies can only be understood over time by being part of a dojo or training group which creates a workshop type environment.

Can you learn the martial arts from a video?