Programs

This is list of all distance learning martial arts programs I’ve seen offered. Click the link in the first column for detailed review and analysis. Courses are listed alphabetically by domain name.

If you would like to see the list sorted by martial arts style, consult the Styles Directory.

Criteria

In general, the programs listed here meet this criteria:

  1. The program must have a ranking system.  In the martial arts, this is often a series of colored belts or sashes leading from white to black belt (and possibly beyond).  The actual scheme is not important for listing consideration, but the point is that general instruction martial arts video programs/collections, programs on general self-defense, specialized courses on specific aspects, etc. that do not do any kind of testing, promotion, or certification are not listed here.
  2. All programs must do testing.  If there is no testing, then it’s just a mail order black belt certificate and I don’t list it.
  3. All instruction must be done remotely, via Internet video, DVD, book, etc. Programs that require travel to a school or are mainly as an adjunct to a brick-and-mortar school are not listed here.
  4. One exception for travel is that some schools require in-person testing for the final black belt test.
  5. All programs must have permanent web pages.  I don’t list programs that are offered only on eBay, etc.

Not Endorsements

Both bad and good programs are listed.  There is no implied endorsement of any program.  Where I or other students have experience with the program, commentary is given.  In many cases, bad programs are easy to identify because they fail to meet some basics about good programs.

Additionally, there is intentionally strong bias:

  1. The focus here is on legitimate programs, not “belt mills”. If the program does not require a lengthy period of study comparable to local (non-distance) training, it generally receives very unfavorable comments.  For comparison, to earn a black belt in most arts when studying locally usually takes 3-5 years or longer.
  2. Programs without their own domain names are hard to take seriously.  If the site is hosted on Tripod, Angelfire, etc., the program is likely to be labeled as questionable.
  3. If the school’s site has broken links, missing images, page errors, etc. I generally contact the school and inquire.  If I don’t receive a response, I add it to my graveyard list.

Estimated Costs

The “estimated costs” is calculated by me, based on:
  • the fees for the study materials
  • belt testing fees (up to and including black), if any
  • association fees if any
  • required equipment, if I can make a reasonable estimate
  • any other cost
Caveats:
  • Required equipment is always a guess.  Most programs do not require equipment, but some do.  Examples would be weapons or wooden dummies for Wing Chun practitioners.
  • Any travel costs for programs that require in-person belt testing for black are not included.
  • Some programs use a monthly subscription model.  Since there’s no way to know how long it’ll take you to reach black belt, I can only offer a a guess.  Generally, I use 3 years as an estimate for pay-by-the-month programs, just to be consistent.

You should definitely double-check my math and inquire of the instructor what the overall costs are.  Also, costs may change.

Something Missing?

If you know of more programs, please send them.  Provided it meets the site’s criteria, I will definitely include it.

The List

Review Teacher Style BB Test? Est. Cost School Link
AIMAA Hee Il Cho Tae Kwon Do Video at least $1140 aimaa.com
All Jujitsu George Kirby Jiu-jitsu Video $495 alljujitsu.com
American Kenpo Legacy Assoc AKLA Kenpo Karate Video $350 arnis.org
Arizona Wing Chun Assn Phil Bradley Wing Chun Video $60 + $20/mo awcaonline.com
Complete Shotokan Karate Michael Hodge Karate Video $539 blackbeltathome.com
World Hombo Dojos DL World Hombo Dojos Varies Video $290 blackbeltinyou.com
Black Belt Life Jody Sasaki Kenpo None n/a blackbeltlife.com
Budo Ryu Online Anshu Christa Jacobson Ninjutsu Local $870 budoryuninjutsu.com
Chan's Kung Fu Sam Hing Fai Chan Jow Ga, Wing Chun Video $860 (Jow Ga), $770 (Wing Chun) chanskungfu.com
Chief Iron Horse Adrian Roman Kenpo Unknown $1000 chiefironhorse.com
China Hand Dominick Ruggieri Kung Fu Video $1025 chinahand.com
Chinese Dragon Kempo Robert Shook Kenpo Video $250 chinesedragonkempo.com
Crane Karate Lawrence Vellucci Shorin-Ryu Karate Video $669 cranekarate.com
Danny Lane Danny Lane Tang Soo Do Homebrew Video $535 dannylane.com
Dragon Claw Videos Trey Crake Kung Fu Unknown $197+ dragonclawvideos.com
Defensive Systems Intl John Pellegrini Hapkido Video $800 dsihq.com
Zhe Zong School Yusen Yang Kung Fu (Bagua) Unknown $15/mo gaobagua.net
Geoff Johnson American Kenpo Karate Geoff Johnson Kenpo Video $299 geoffjohnsonkenpo.com
Goju-Shorei Unknown Goju-Shorei Karate Video $848 gojushorei.com
Gracie University Gracie Family Jujitsu Live $3740 gracieuniversity.com
Hapkido Online Jon Ferguson Hapkido Video/Webcam $590 hapkido-online.com
Hung Sing Martial Arts Niel Willcott Kung Fu Video? 4 GBP/week hungsing.co.uk
International MMA Assocation Mike Omerbegovich Ever Style Known to Man Video Varies immaa.net
Internal Fighting Arts Ken Gullette Hsing-I, Tai Chi, Baguazhang Video $20/mo. Total: ? internalfightingarts.com
Intl Karate School Rick Iannuzzo "Karate" Video $1404 internationalkarateschool.com
Jeff Speakman Kenpo 5.0 Jeff Speakman Kenpo Live (after Purple) $729 to Purple jeffspeakman.com
Karate Connection (IKCA) IKCA Kenpo Karate Video $675 karateconnection.com
Kombat Kenpo SiGung Wiener Kenpo, Silat, Others Video $395-475 kombatkenpo.com
Southwest Institute of Chinese Martial Arts David Scott Kung Fu Local $600 kungfu-wushu.com
Kung Fu Live Phil Dandrige Kung Fu Video $150+ kungfulive.com
Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Art Mason Kyusho Jitsu Unknown $100 kyushohomestudy.info
Larry Tatum Home Study Course Larry Tatum Kenpo Video $1245 ltatum.com
New Brunswick Kung Fu Academy Mike Williams Kung Fu Video $1200 nbkungfuacademy.com
Ninja Learning Network Mark Roemke Ninjutsu Local $275 (?) ninja-learning-network.com
Ninjutsu Home Course Richard Van Donk Ninjutsu Live $1300 ninjutsu.com
Doc Fai-Wong Doc Fai-Wong Kung Fu Unknown $300? plumblossom.net
Rick Fowler's American Kenpo Karate Rick Fowler Kenpo Video Unknown rfkenpo.com
SaJaDo Blaine Grissom SaJaDo (homebrew), Tang Soo Do, Hapkido Video $289-$340 sajado.org
Kung Fu San Soo Bill Hulsey Kung Fu San Soo Video $650 sansoo.com
Shamo Kenpo S.R. Chadderdon Kenpo Video Unknown shamokenpo.com
Cyber Kung Fu Robert Z Kung Fu Live $1319-1719 shaolin.com.au
Shinja Martial Arts University John Enger Kenpo Video $329 shinja.us
Shintai Ryu Varies Varies Video $120-$300 shintairyu.com
To Shin Do Home Study Stephen Hayes To Shin Do Live $1125 skhquest.com
SKKA Academy Unknown Many Video or "Honor System" $50-$100 skkaacademy.com
Spirit Dragon Institute Franklin Fick Kung Fu (several) Video $20-40/mo spiritdragoninstitute.com
Tejitsu Aikido Gary Bennett Tejitsu Aikido Video $325 tejitsu.net
Wing Lam Kung Fu Assn Wing Lam Kung Fu Video $1649-1743 wle.com
World Hapkido Assn Tae Jung Hapkido Local $688 worldhapkido.com
World Ving Tsun Darrell Jordan Wing Chun n/a n/a worldvingtsun.com