The Internet has changed the world in countless and unforeseen ways, mostly for the good. But, some industries have forever been changed by the power of the internet and Youtube, martial arts for example is one such industry. In the early 1980’s, the Internet didn’t exist and martial arts instructional Video Home System (VHS) cassette videos where extremely rare and hard to find.
Compared to today, few people in America at that time knew any structured fighting styles. In fact, any martial arts style during those days was effective in a fight against an untrained opponent. Today, things are much different.
One thing is for sure; more people on the planet know more about martial arts and fighting than ever before. Because of Youtube and the Internet, the martial arts industry worldwide has drastically been affected.
How the Internet and Youtube have affected Martial Arts Businesses
Although the day-to-day functions of most martial arts schools haven’t changed much since the Internet’s arrival, the way schools market and promote themselves have definitely changed. Martial arts businesses now use web pages to recruit students. Photos, Youtube videos and text messaging are now common tools used to attract interested persons online. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace are also very popular venues used for marketing martial arts business.
Is it possible for people to learn martial arts by watching Youtube videos? Yes it is. Unlike the days of old, before the Internet and Youtube, people don’t need to attend a physical class to learn basic fighting techniques. There are countless instructional martial arts videos on Youtube, every style of fighting one could imagine is represented. This has definitely had an impact on martial arts schools’ ability to retain old students and has upped-the-ante among different martial arts styles that are competing for new students. But, for any real hands-on training, attending a traditional martial arts course is still the best and only way to master the skill of fighting.
Trying to learn martial arts online, by watching Youtube videos or DVDs, can only give a student a limited understanding. Videos are no real substitute for a qualified instructor. Learning body positioning, timing, striking and takedown techniques can only be mastered by practicing with others under the direction of an expert martial arts instructor. In the days before the Internet, many masters of various fighting styles would claim that their fighting style were the best. Ambitious students in those days were regularly recruited from such claims. But today, with MMA and the UFC, Youtube videos have been used effectively to identify which martial arts styles are more effective than others.
MMA and UFC have changed the Martial Arts World forever
Every MMA fight, UFC fight or any street fight that has been recorded will inevitably end up being posted on Youtube. Many old claims of one style of fighting being better than another have been visually answered online. Martial art schools which offer popularized styles, such as Brazilian Jujitsu, have benefitted tremendously worldwide because of the exposure they received from MMA and UFC. The plethora of fighting videos available for viewing on Youtube have exposed which fighting style are truly effective in real life situations and which styles are obsolete.
Today’s martial arts students are very knowledgeable and aware of the flexibility that they must possess to overcome an opponent today. No longer can a fighter just win by striking or grappling only in a street fight. Now, wise martial arts students have learned by watching countless real-life fighting videos, which are posted on Youtube, that they must be well rounded. It is amazing that so many people today from all walks of life and age groups know so much about fighting techniques and styles. While fighting techniques have become common knowledge, the wonderful traditions and history of many martial arts are being lost. Now that the MMA and UFC have captured the world’s attention, and have educated the masses of humanity about effective fighting styles, through recorded videos posted on Youtube, what is the fate of traditional martial arts?
The Fate of Traditional Martial Arts
Sad to say, many once popular martial arts styles are dying out. The main reason for this is that the last teachers who know these styles are unable to pass their knowledge on to the next generation of students. Modern living, technology and other fighting styles are causing most martial arts students to abandon tradition martial arts training. There are many aspects to traditional martial arts which fighters in the MMA, UFC and those who train for fighting as a sport fail to appreciate. Traditional martial arts styles have knowledge and techniques how to fight multiple opponents, weapon defense and they teach about the benefits of using the terrain. These are some of the reasons why traditional martial arts have endured as long as they have.
Although martial arts training have drastically changed into a one-on-one sport, mostly due to the exposure of MMA, UFC and various other fighting videos posted on Youtube, traditional martial arts will inevitably survive, if they evolve their techniques, preserve their weapons training and knowledge used to fight multiple assailants. There is one main reason why some traditional martial arts will ultimately survive, because the training is not just a way to fight. Instead, traditional martial arts are a lifestyle, one rooted in good character, responsibility and honor, traits which are sometimes lacking in fighters of MMA, the UFC and other modern fighting styles today.