Can you earn a black belt online?
Apparently the answer is yes, but not with The Bushido School of Karate. Now, we are very careful to remain professional. It is not in our agenda to ever speak negatively about another martial art, style, school, studio or dojo. But this is ridiculous!
In order to keep some semblance of professionalism I will not share with you the websites I visited. (Seek and you shall find.) And I won’t call it a scam because some of these people truly believe that they are providing you with everything you need to be a black belt. In 12 months. Yes, you read that correctly. One year to online black belt.
How did this happen?
Very simply, the internet has exponentially broadened our ability to learn or teach anything. It is a fantastic platform for education as many colleges and universities have taken notice. But without human interaction you can only go so far. Would you trust a dentist who earned his or her degree online? At the risk of making this blog into a novel I will not get into how curiosity and the desire to grow are commendable. I don’t want to diminish the time and effort that does go into an online education. But there are some things in life that need to be accomplished in person. Earning a black belt is at the top of that list. Right underneath the person who draws your blood.
Let’s not confuse earning a degree with getting an education. Anytime you are learning, you are getting an education. When I was a 24 year-old white belt practicing kata (form) in my studio apartment, I was doing it all wrong. That was back in 1991 and there weren’t any resources for me to learn from until my next class. Not even on VHS, and I needed the practice.
Fast forward 27 years and technology is in a place I never imagined. Resources are everywhere for learning anything! But even with the fast evolution of the internet I never imagined I would see an advertisement for earning a black belt online! There is nothing wrong with learning online. Our online tutorials were published last year for two purposes:
- To enable students of The Bushido School of Karate to practice and become better when they are not in class. Practicing correctly just 15 minutes a day at home – or wherever – will absolutely help students to reenforce techniques.
- To allow anyone, anywhere, to learn a martial art. Our white belt tutorials keep your mind and body active. It is the foundation for all other levels so it is a fantastic beginner-level workout. This type of education is meant to be shared, and perhaps motivate you to invite friends. It may also spark an interest for you to seek out a martial arts school for yourself!
- It will never be a substitute for actual real-life karate classes. Becoming a black belt is a process, not a course. It involves sharing in triumphs and defeat with fellow classmates, and being a part of a family of students. Being a power of example and mentor for lower ranks is essential to becoming a black belt. You don’t get that kind of education in your living room!