Can I Learn Martial Arts by Myself?

Many people feel that they do not have the time or money set aside to take classes and learn martial arts from instructors. Life can get really busy and it may seem hard to find the time to learn a new skill.

The good news is that if you are interested in martial arts, there are several ways you can learn on your own while using less time and money.

Can you learn martial arts by myself? Yes, this means that you can learn on your own time, even in your living room. The cost is usually far less to train on your own then in a martial art gym. With all of the videos and DVD training that is easily accessible nowadays, there is no reason that you should not be able to find some time at home to learn self-defense.  This type of training might make you feel more comfortable because no one will be watching you learn like they would be in a local class. 

Bruce Lee trained at his house with many students all the time when he lived in California.

Martial arts training can be so beneficial for the skills it gives you and the exercise, even if you are a beginner.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to learn martial arts when you are by yourself.

Online Courses

When it comes to learning martial arts at home, your best chance is to find good tutorial videos or classes online. There are many programs that have tutorial videos for martial arts.

They can be very personal, and they even go at a pace that is easy for viewers to follow along with. They know what they are doing, and the great thing is that if you need to, you can pause the video or restart.

Learning by yourself gives you the freedom to have that opportunity which you wouldn’t have in class.

If you simply go onto Google and search “martial arts at home”, many options will show up.

It is important that you take the time to research what type of martial art you are interested in today. One good resource is the website you are on now because we have a self-defense online training program geared towards everyone.

We teach in our videos self-defense and how to fight back if attacked going from the basics to advance. Our program is helpful because we teach techniques in many different styles so if you are unsure you can try our course and then after you see what you like, then you can switch to a more specific style.

You may not be interested in combat or self-defense martial art so traditional martial art training like Karate, Kung Fu or Taekwondo may be more of what you are looking for right now.

Just make sure you take the time to actually find an online program that interests you and meet your needs.

You are more likely to enjoy it and learn if you take the time to research what you want to do for your training. When I first started martial arts I did Shorin-Ryu Karate and liked it for the first year. The problem was I wanted to get good at fighting to defend myself and Shorin-Ryu was not teaching me how to fight or defend myself.

I found Jeet Kune Do which is the system Bruce Lee developed and was more of a combative art. I loved it and my focus since has been the fighting arts so what do you want to do with your training.

There are many classes online specifically for others to teach themselves and learn martial arts at home. If you don’t have access to the internet or you would like to try something different, you could also buy a martial arts DVD. It would be similar to a workout video as it would show step by step instructions and show you exactly how to do martial arts by yourself.

What martial art do you want to learn

Before you start trying to train yourself in martial arts, it is important to realize that there are many different types of martial arts.

You want to make sure that you figure out which type best fits what you are looking for. You need to take in consideration your strength, experience, time management, etc.

You could choose a traditional martial art like:

  • Karate
  • Taekwondo
  • Kung Fu

Karate is a martial art that uses mostly striking. This includes punching, knee and elbow strikes, kicking, and open hand techniques. Katas are also performed and are a series of moves, with stepping and turning, punching, blocking and kicking while attempting to maintain perfect form.

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art based on mostly kicking techniques. You will also train in punching but it is not the focus like kicking. Katas are also an essential part of training.

Kung Fu has a variety of techniques, with a lot of emphasis on the hands. Depends on which style of Kung Fu you take as to the techniques you will learn.

If you would rather not go the traditional route, you can choose a fighting martial art like:

  • MMA
  • Jiu-Jitsu
  • Muay Thai

MMA stands for mixed martial art which is what you see on the UFC. MMA includes using several techniques from different martial arts and combat sports.

Jiu- Jitsu is a Brazilian martial art and combat sport. It includes grappling and ground fighting to submit or win against an opponent.

Muay Thai is also known as Thai boxing. It is a very destructive art when done properly because it uses a lot of stand-up and clinching techniques involving the fists, elbows, shins, and knees.

Make the time to train

If you are serious about actually wanting to take on the challenge of learning this new skill of martial arts, you have to take the time to do so.

This is not something that is going to come super easy with no energy and minimal practice.

It is vital that you set aside at least 2 to 4 times a week to practice for at least a half hour. If you do not give yourself the time to practice, you will never fully be successful and fully understand techniques.

They say that practice makes perfect, and this is certainly an example of a sport where this is true. If you have never done anything similar to this, it is going to take your body some time to adjust and get used to moving in thee ways.

It is okay that you are not perfect at first and that it may seem a little hard. If you give yourself the benefit of the doubt and put in the time and energy, you will be able to learn martial arts by yourself.

Time and practice mean everything when it comes to martial arts.

Write it down, mark it on your calendar, whatever you need to do to make yourself practice it multiple times a week.

If you’re going to do this, you might as well put in the most effort so that you get the most out of it. You should be practicing the online videos you found or the DVD if the course that you purchased was a video course.

Don’t be opposed to a partner

It is not completely necessary to have a partner, and you can successfully learn by yourself, however, if you do have a partner you might be able to practice more techniques.

Not only that, but you will have a second set of eyes to help along the journey of learning martial arts. They could help you figure out what you are doing right and wrong.

There are some pretty awesome techniques that are not possible without a partner, so it is definitely worth it. It is going to be more comfortable to practice with a partner of your choice than go to a class and practice with others that you don’t know.

This gives you more opportunity to learn from your failure without being embarrassed or overwhelmed. Find someone and you can both learn martial arts together. Who knows, maybe the two of you can help each other and learn from each other as well. It is always better to have someone to talk to and have a second sight of eyes. They may see something in the videos that you didn’t, or they may see something wrong that you are doing that you didn’t catch. It can be comforting to learn a new skill with a friend.

Equipment you need

For the best results, it would be a good idea to purchase a punching bag and some other equipment.

There are different punching bags for different types of martial arts, so make sure that you do the correct research in order to get the best punching bag for your specific needs. There are free standing punching bags and hanging punching bags, and they also differ in weight meaning that some are heavier than others. You could also invest in getting a mat or boxing gloves depending on exactly which martial art you chose.

Equipment for at home gym:

  • Punching bag
  • Muay Thai Heavy bag
  • Boxing gloves 12 ounces or more
  • Wraps for the hands
  • Muay Thai leg guards (Optional)
  • Boxing focus mitts if you have a partner


Overall, it is possible to learn martial arts by yourself. It gives you the freedom to practice anywhere you would like and whenever you would like. Although, it is important that if you choose to learn on your own you still take it seriously.

You will not be successful unless you put the time and energy to do so. Put the time in also to research what the best type to learn is for you. If you’re going to take time out of your busy life to do this, you want to do it right. Take the time to research which type and what the best way to learn it is.

Find the right training for you online and stick with it. Just remember that learning a new technique takes time and that you may not be perfect at it for a while. It is okay if it is tough at the beginning because martial arts training is not super easy. Give yourself some grace and time to learn a new skill. The body has to adjust as well as the mind.