A Beginners Guide: Can You Learn Martial Arts Online?

Have you always wanted to learn Martial Arts, but for whatever reason have not found the right school or instructor? In this blog you will gain tips on how to learn Martial Arts online successfully.  

Learning Martial Arts has never been so accessible, and if you are open to doing things a little differently, you can learn anytime, anywhere.  

Sometimes it can be hard to find what you are looking for when.you have limited choice due to location. You may have a world class gym just down the road from you, and all the best fighters train there but if you are a beginner, it may be a bit too daunting for you.  

Learn Martial Arts Online – Anywhere, Anytime 

Online Martial Arts programmes and classes open the doors to Martial Arts schools all over the world for you. Whether you are interested in learning Martial Arts for self defence, unique weapons, or you just want to pick up a new skill, there will be a programme for you.  

But the main question everyone has about online Martial Arts training is, ‘Will it work for me?. 

Sure, it can, and it will, you just need to have the right attitude, and be open to doing things a little differently. 

In this new world of online training there may not be enough recommendations, advice or tips out there. 

We have put together 5 easy tips to learning Martial Arts online to help beginners, just like you, get started with your online Martial Arts journey. 

Can You Learn Martial Arts Alone? 

There is simply no substitute to training with a live training partner in Martial Arts. You cannot become a great Martial Artist just training alone.  

There are two fundamental parts of Martial Arts training.  

The first is to control yourself. 

The second is to control others. 

When learning Martial Arts online, you can begin with the first, learning how to control yourself.  

You can very successfully develop your speed, strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination and power.  

But how about the second part, controlling others? 

What you will miss out on when training online by yourself. 

Ultimately, Martial Arts is about relationships.  

It is about relating to another human being, particularly one who is trying to hurt you. You will need to learn how to read people and their body language. 

To achieve this goal, you will always need another person.  

Find ways to connect with Martial Artists and join Martial Arts communities online. 

Martial Arts communities are passionate and on their path to self-development.

Think online Martial Arts training is for you? 

5 Tips to help you on your Online Martial Arts journey 

Everyone needs a helping hand when they start Martial Arts. Traditionally it is practiced in groups or partners. But in an ever changing world where it can be hard to match up our schedules to classes, we can find new ways of doing the same things.

This does not come with it’s own set of struggles though. That’s why we have put these 5 tips together so you can make the most out of your online Martial Arts training. 

Tip #1 Learn how to self correct 

One of the biggest difficulties when training from home by yourself is that you do not get feedback. As a beginner, you may not know what you are doing wrong yet. It will take you some time to understand how your body’s mechanics work when you are learning a new skill like Martial Arts.  

You will need to learn how to self-correct.  

So, watch videos, follow along multiple times, and practice the techniques. The more you learn about the technique and how it looks when performed correctly, the easier self-correction will be. 

Practice in front of a mirror 

Mirrors are a great way to start. If you do not know how to move your body and If you are watching our videos, try to imitate it and put the mirror in front of you, and just follow along.  

This is one of the great reasons we share video content on our YouTube channel and in our private Facebook Groups, so you can learn even if you can’t make it to us in person. 

Subscribe to FitRoots on YouTube for Martial Arts tutorials

The only thing is, you will not get in person feedback from us, but the mirror is a great place to start.  

If you would like some feedback on Martial Arts technique join our FitRoots Community FB Group, post your video and we will be happy send a video with some feedback. 

Remember to be honest with yourself though. Look at your stance, check your centre line, if your guard is not up, make sure you correct it because that is what a good instructor would do.  

Film yourself from different angles  

This is like practicing in front of the mirror, but will allow you to fully focus on the video while you are learning.  

This may take slightly longer than self-correction in the mirror as you go along, but it is also a nice way to document your Martial Arts journey. If you start filming on day 1 and practice regularly for at least 3 months, you will notice a difference in your movement and technique just by watching your videos back. 

As a beginner, you will be able to correct yourself easier visually rather than feeling what is right, because you do not know what ‘right’ will feel like yet. But you can see how your technique looks compared to the instructors online.  

So, go ahead, follow the video, set up your camera phone or laptop to record and review when you are done. 

Get feedback from someone more experienced 

You can watch a video and compare it to your own, but it may also help to get some guidance from soemone who will pick up on things you don’t see… yet.

And don’t forget, if you want some personalised feedback join the FitRoots Community FB Group, post your video and a trained instructor will get back to you.

Tip #2 Get the right equipment 

If you do not have a training buddy, or someone to hold pads, get a piece of equipment. You can get a heavy bag or a bob, even a wooden dummy.  

Whatever the Martial Art you are picking up, find the relevant equipment.  

I’ve included some quick links for you to have a look at our recommendations for equipment online. 


Standing Punch Bag

Freestanding Bob

When you train with equipment, the idea is you are learning to control something outside yourself. If you don’t have the space or budget for some Martial Arts specific equipment find a skipping rope or some dumbells and you’re good to go. 

So, find something to pull, push or even carry. 

This will help challenge your strength, focus, balance, and coordination so you are continually improving. 

Just bear in mind a heavy bag for beginners may end up with you hurting your wrist. So get some guidance on how to use it first to avoid injury.

Using a bag can often mean that you will punch a lot harder than you would with a person, so you may not even be aware of how much force you are delivering until you crack your wrist.  

Tip #3 Train your body  

Get the basics right first, then when your body is in optimal health it will function better, and you will be able to pick up the techniques faster. Remember, don’t overtrain and fatigue your body as a beginner. 

So, here are some things for you to do to build your speed, stamina, resilience, coordination and much more.  


Shadowboxing is the ultimate way to train on your own. It has so many benefits such as, visualisations, hand-eye coordination, movement explorations, and training your brain to see exactly what you are doing before you do it.  

Providing you have some knowledge of what you are doing, you can work on striking, punching, footwork, movement, and coordination.  

Remember, you need to move without thinking, you need a degree of intuition in your movement. 

The best way to do this is when your movements become second nature, and shadowboxing is the perfect training method for this. 

Footwork Drills  

Learning how to move your body with control is one of the most important fundamentals in Martial Arts.  

Footwork is key no matter which style you are training in. Your ability to move, and move quickly on your feet is essential. So, practice your footwork, use drills, put obstacles in the way, just keep moving and improving. By using an object, you can use as a target and visualise, you will improve your movement which will give you something to focus on. 

Skipping for footwork training 

Skipping is another way that you can improve your footwork training.  

Try and move lightly on your feet and you will get the benefits when you are trying to improve your footwork. 

Functional Strength Training  

A great way to build explosive power is through Functional Strength Training (FST).  

Use this style of training to connect your body in the way it was supposed to function.  

“Functional training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life.”

This style of training will not have you bench pressing your own weight.

Because let’s face it, we do not move or lift our bodies or things in that way in our daily lives.  

FST will have you training the body in the 3 ways our bodies have evolved to function – Walking, Running and Throwing.  

Read more about the importance of FST here

Tip #4 Train your mind  

When you learn Martial Arts you will fidn the development is just as much mental as it is physical. So do yourself a favour and keep up your mental training in the following ways. 

Meditate daily

Martial Arts is all about reaching your full potential. This is not only physically, but mentally and spiritually too.  

Remember the 2 fundamentals of Martial Arts training?  

Learning to control yourself, and learning to control others. 

Well, part of learning to control yourself is learning to control your mind.  

Meditation will help you to: 

  • Decrease the risk of, or the effects of anxiety and depression 
  • Reduce pain, and enhance your immune system 
  • Become more creative 
  • Improve your focus and attention span  
  • Control your thoughts 
  • Find internal balance  

These are all essential to Martial Arts training.  

Control of the mind is essential for fighting well. Fight with your emotions and you may suffer, depending on the level of your opponent.  

But, by focusing or emptying your mind, you will flow with ease and be able to see what is coming before it actually comes to you.  

So, find a quiet space, set a timer (or not), then focus on your breathing and see what comes to you. 

Read more about Martial Arts Philosophy and training the mind here.

Read and learn about Martial Arts Philosophy

There are some excellent Martial Arts books. These are full of teachings and philosophies that have developed over thousands of years.  

Here are some Classics you can get started with:  

Tip #5 Figure out how to motivate yourself   

The key to success with online learning is to stay motivated. This is true for those who are familiar with different types of online training, as well as those brand new to the idea.  

The absence of a traditional Dojo can trigger motivation loss, which can make your learning journey difficult. 

Here are 5 ways to keep yourself motivated during those tough times

  1. Set Goals: Set small, attainable goals for each level of your Martial Arts journey. This will avoid you getting discouraged or overwhelmed, especially when you do not have someone guiding you in person. Remember, small successes will help you reach big goals. 
  1. Create a Schedule: Decide which days you want to train and stick to them, create reminders, use sticky notes, whatever works for you. Develop a plan to stay on track and complete stages/levels, however your course or learning platform is structured.  
  1. Get Social: Online learning can be lonely and demotivating when you feel lost, or like you are falling behind. Find a community to connect with online, so you can share tips and advice. It’s  great to be a part of a network especially when everyone is working towards a common goal.  
  1. Stay Healthy: By its very nature, training in Martial Arts should and will keep you healthy. Just stay mindful of your other habits that aren’t directly your physical training. Watch what you eat, don’t use social media in an unhealthy way, stay hydrated etc. 
  1. Reward Yourself: Everyone deserves some recognition every now and then. When you are going solo on your learning journey, there’s not one to give you a gold star, but you can recognise your own achievements, and give recognition where it is due. Decide on ‘healthy’ rewards and set them at key milestones. Keep a positive attitude and stay motivated! 


How can you make online learning better?  

Remember, training online does not necessarily mean ONLY training at home.  

Just like anything, you will learn faster and better if you experiment with a variety of learning channels.  

So, try these things out: 

  • Find an expert in person that you can learn from, ask them questions, ask them to demonstrate things that you are unsure of  
  • Join a community, this can be online or in person. These are people that you’ll be able to learn from and train with  

To reach the next level, you will need to train in person.  

There is no replacement for hitting moving pads, or defending yourself when training online. But online Martial Arts training is a good start, and even better supplementary training if you are already training at a Martial Arts school somewhere.  

We teaches students to Master their lives with Martial Arts.

Learn how to rebuild your strength from the roots up using the ancient physical, mental, and spiritual teachings of Martial Arts and philosophy.

Join our FREE 5 Day Modern Warrior Challenge to see what building your warrior physique and mentality is all about.

Find out what training online is really like 😉

Sign up now! 

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