About Online Learning
It is unfortunate that many "martial arts schools" now offer fast-track courses to obtaining your "Black Belt" in 12 months or less. At Taka Budo Dokokai, we do not believe in such nonsense and are against any method that solely provides instruction online in any Japanese form of martial art.
Another teaching method exist that combines online and in-person study of martial art. Such a method is widely known in education as "Blended Learning", and it has proven to be very efficient and effective. Many universities and other schools use blended learning as a hybrid model combining traditional and modern learning methods.
Blended Learning: How does it Work?
Blended learning is an education program (formal or informal) that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. And this can of course be applied to learning Japanese Martial Arts if it is done the right way. Our head instructor Dr. Chris de Feijter is a certified teacher in regular education as well as online education and has quite some experience teaching online and offline, from teaching children how to print to teaching adults how to throw a bo-shuriken.
In a country as large as Canada, with distances between schools and students that are too large to overcome for weekly training, Dokokai Blended Learning provides excellent opportunities to continue your learning. You do not watch a series of videos as done on other websites. No, each online session is live often by yourself or sometimes with another Blended Learning student.
Combining online and offline study is very simple as we offer three three ways to get started. Any of these is equal in quality and rigour.
Streaming & Equipment
Participants require at least a 10mbs Internet connection, as well as a high quality webcam and larger screen. We have had participants attend online sessions through their smart phone, however it is difficult for the participant to see their instructor provide recommendations. An iPad or larger tablet will also work, as long as the camera is not obstructed. Further than that, equipment requirements depend of the type of classes taken. We use professional online collaboration systems including Zoom.us Pro, Appear.in Pro as well as several other systems depending on what works best for our participants. We use a set up of two or three webcams (Logitech c920, c930, and c922). We recommend that students use the Logitech C920, available on Amazon.ca for about $65.
For all Martial Arts? No!
Taka Budo Dokokai's Blended Learning model works best for Japanese Martial Art that require an individual learning focus (without partner). In fact, some of our programs can be studied using the Blended Learning model. Some of our other martial art programs can also be studied using the Blended Learning, however, these do require a seminar or private session first to better understand how to get started. Our Blended Learning model works exceptionally well for our schools of martial art that require quite some dedicated time to individual study of the techniques (waza), which is imperative for your skills to progress.
Taka Budo Dokokai upholds a standard of quality, and therefore we do not accept just anyone into our blended learning model. We do require participants to have a clear criminal record, as well as dedication for learning Japanese martial art. All requirements for traditional training are also applicable to our blended learning model as all members are required to adhere to standards of high quality. Nevertheless, blended learning is highly rewarding, affordable, and achievable!