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.
In general, the programs listed here meet this criteria:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- One exception for travel is that some schools require in-person testing for the final black belt test.
- All programs must have permanent web pages. I don’t list programs that are offered only on eBay, etc.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
If you know of more programs, please send them. Provided it meets the site’s criteria, I will definitely include it.
|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|
|Ultimate Karate||Michael Hodge||TKD||Video||$750||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|
|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|
|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||$569||geoffjohnsonkenpo.com|
|Gracie University||Gracie Family||Jujitsu||Live||$3740||gracieuniversity.com|
|Hapkido Online||Jon Ferguson||Hapkido||Video/Webcam||$590||hapkido-online.com|
|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|
|Ninjutsu Home Course||Richard Van Donk||Ninjutsu||Live||$1300||ninjutsu.com|
|Doc Fai-Wong||Doc Fai-Wong||Kung Fu||Unknown||$300?||plumblossom.net|
|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|
|Cyber Kung Fu||Robert Z||Kung Fu||Live||$1319-1719||shaolin.com.au|
|Shinja Martial Arts University||John Enger||Kenpo||Video||$329||shinja.us|
|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|