In This Post
- 1 unique program
- 17 different variables
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False Info Alert: If you’ve read the post from verywellfit.com on the best Karate classes online please disregard everything they say about Global Martial Arts University. As a student of GMAU myself, it’s clear they have no insight on Karate or the program itself as what they say about the program is inaccurate.
*Note: Having experience with in-person training for Kickboxing and Kung Fu years ago I can confidently say that online martial arts training isn’t an equal experience. I 100% advocate for in-person martial arts training over online if possible and desired.
If you’re like me…
and find yourself at a point where your schedule isn’t suitable for training at a local Dojo and/or the price is a little steep at the moment, learning Karate online is an excellent alternative—but this comes with a big IF…
That’s IF the online training is well structured, detailed, and offers instructor feedback so you can avoid developing bad habits before it’s too late.
I have a goal to achieve a black belt in at least 2 different martial arts over the next 5 years (by the time I’m 40) and I want to make sure the belt rank I achieve is legitimate and accredited. This way, if I make it possible to train at a local Dojo my rank can be transferred.
I combed through YouTube, Google and even purchased a couple of courses from Udemy in order to find a program that met my standards. I was losing hope and thought I may have to put my goal on hold.
Luckily, I stumbled upon the Global Martial Arts University’s Shotokan Karate program. They tick off all the boxes for what I (and likely you) need to learn Karate online while offering accredited rank. In fact, the certificate of rank that you receive is exactly the same as if you were to train with them in person at their Dojo.
Quick tip before we get into it
If you decide to try GMAU, find a way to mirror your phone or computer onto your TV. I use Chromecast to do this. This makes following the lessons and classes so much easier. I can’t even imagine trying to follow them from a Tablet or Laptop.
Let’s get into it, shall we!
Overview of the Online Shotokan Karate Program from Global Martial Arts University
|White - Black
|Karate Gi Mandatory for Testing
|No but highly recommended
|Hours of Training Required per Belt
|White - 8hrs
Others - 36hrs +
|Total Technique Lessons
|Total Follow Along Classes
|Video Hours per Belt
|Technique Specific Lessons
|Follow Along Classes
|Shows Techniques from all Angles
|Teach Partner Training
|Teach Kumite (sparring)
|Instructor Support, Feedback, & Guidance
|Active Student Forum
|Belt Testing Fee
|White - $30
Others - $60
(compared to $100-$300 avg. at local Dojo)
|Investment (3 options)
2) $179.70 biannually
3) $195 x 3 (3 year access)
(compared to the $95/mnth avg. according to IKCA)
|50% OFF 1st 3 months: STAYSTRONG
Global Martial Arts University Review
Program: Shotokan Karate
2) $179.70 Biannually
3) $195 x 3 (3-year access)
50% OFF Global Martial Arts University Coupon Code
And You Can Add On A Family Member for 50% Off and Share an Account!
- All online
- Fraction of the cost of a local Dojo
- Earn accredited belt ranking
- Same certificate and curriculum as in-person students
- Real feedback from your Sensei
- Detailed and well-structured course
- 10+ Technique lessons per belt
- 12+ classes per belt
- Created for ages 6 – Adult
- Offer 6 different martial arts
- You may develop bad habits while practicing without the eyes of a Sensei that will only be pointed out to you once you submit your Belt exam. Given that these bad habits had some time to sink in, it will take more time to re-correct them. This is one of the main sacrifices you will make by training online.
- No sparring. Although GMAU has a student locator that allows you to search for fellow students to practice and/or spar with. You can also find your own partner by your own means.
- For an online learning platform, I can’t imagine something better. The only thing better is to train in person to get real-time feedback.
Jon Hodge holds 6th Degree Black Belts in Shotokan Karate and Song Moo Kwan. He has taught martial arts for over 20 years. Master Hodge has studied many different forms of martial arts, and is also a Master Chi Kung and Tai Chi instructor. Master Hodge is well known as a teacher of self defense, self discipline, and most importantly to him – self improvement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Global Martial Arts University legit?
Yes, GMAU is a legit and accredited business. Their Shotokan Karate program is internationally accredited and online students receive the same certificate of rank as their in-person students. This means your rank can be transferred to a Karate dojo near you so long as you pass their personal testing requirements.
What is Shotokan Karate?
A wonderful and mysterious martial art from the past happened to us from Okinawa. It is often said that someone who has mastered the techniques can easily defend himself without weapons and achieve remarkable feats of strength and dexterity.
The style taught by Master Hodge has defensive abilities and goes beyond mere physical defenses in the area of control of mind, body, and soul. Practicing Shotokan Karate-Do with intensity and concentration over time creates a powerful warrior spirit. Using this spirit to serve others with, in, and through peace and cooperation will establish balance and harmony within the student.
Shotokan Karate-Do has its origins in Okinawa and reaches back to China, where many of the early masters studied. For the past thousand years, Okinawa has studied and practiced the masters and experts who cultivated and perfected Shotokan Karate-Do.
In the last century, Shotokan Karate-Do reaches western countries, where man and manmade various derivatives of the martial arts from the original martial art seen in Okinawa, Korea, and China. Every practitioner today must understand that every display of martial arts has been modified and altered to suit public consumption.
Master Hodge’s are geared towards Shotokan Karate-Do and Gichin Funakoshi’s original Okinawan Karate-Do. The basic study of GMAU Shotokan Karate-Do up to the first degree of the black belt is geared towards Master Funakoshi. The Shotokan Karate lineage taught by Master Hodge is also linked by various Korean masters, but the basic style is up to the first degree practiced by all. Masters is geared towards Master Funakoshi.
How does testing work?
Train with lessons and classes. As soon as you have recorded the required minimum hours for the training, you can submit your test. Then just follow the directions on the test page to film and submit your video exam. Your teacher will conduct a detailed exam. Score your exam, and you’ll also shoot a personalized feedback video with corrections and instructions. Once you pass, you will receive your official certificate of rank. If you don’t agree the first time, you will receive corrections and you can resubmit them without paying another fee.
Do I need a partner to participate in the GMAU Shotokan Karate program?
While not strictly necessary, having a training partner can be very beneficial, however, the techniques can be practiced alone (preferably with a mirror). a partner is not available for self-defense and one-step demonstrations, a hanging bag, or a realistic doll can help. You need a partner in the brown belt Kumite section – black belt rank tests, this can be a friend, sparring partner or a family member.
Is there a minimum wait between level certification exams?
There are no “enforced waiting times” in the GMAU program but they do require students to document their training/practice sessions in the Student Journal. They require that you train a minimum number of hours and that you document each practice unit in your student diary before taking an exam.
They do this for several reasons: It allows us to monitor your progress, your training plan, and your training time. The minimum training hours are designed so that you get enough repetitions; generate real muscle memory and knee-jerk reactions. It is not enough just to “master a technique”, but to be able to execute it immediately with an attack without having to think.
Sufficient and documented practice will get you there. You want to maintain high standards of excellence and expectations so that your training, progress, and placements match those of a Shotokan Karate student from a physical institution.
Will my certificate state that it was earned “online” or through “home study”?
No, the certificates issued are the same as those issued to physical education students. This is because we have the same curriculum, exam requirements, and standards for students in our online course. work and have a much higher level of self-discipline to move forward.
Is there a cost for Rank testing? What does the test fee include?
Yes, Rank tests cost $ 60 each for the yellow-brown belt. The fee covers the time and energy your teacher spends working with you and assessing your exam. Your teacher will take plenty of time to study your exam, grade it, take detailed notes, and work with you on communication. Your teacher will also record a personalized feedback video for you! Your instructor will walk you through some of your mistakes, suggestions, fixes, guides, and anything else that can help, and the fee also covers your official certificate of rank.
Can I transfer my current rank into the Global Martial Arts University?
How to Transfer Rank: You must first fully enroll for the course Student Choose a payment option and log in Scan a copy of your highest ranked certificate and email it from their support tab from your GMAU account, pay the transfer fee of USD $85 (use this payment link).
This fee covers GMAU instructors reviewing your video for rank transfer and for their administrative time to put you in the rank. this URL. Your instructor will review your video in detail at the transfer rate. If you meet their standards for parity, they will respect your current rank and you can keep training to your black belt and beyond.