Best Online Karate Classes

Karate Academy Online is the best overall online karate class

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Karate is a form of martial arts that has several styles, including Wado-ryu, Goju-ryu, Shito-ryu, and Shotokan. Classes stress self-discipline and a high code of personal conduct. They also emphasize the mind-body connection and encourage students to practice regularly for maximum physical and mental health benefits. In addition to physical benefits from exercise, research shows that participating in martial arts helps students manage emotions.

In general, karate courses focus on hand attacks, with kicks as a backup. To master the art, you need time, patience, and a knowledgeable instructor. Ideally, students should take karate lessons in person, but for many, attending studio classes is not an option. For easier access, several studios offer a range of karate classes online. Other online karate courses offer on-demand, subscription-based programs, as well as a few free videos on YouTube. Here are our top picks.

Best Overall : Karate Academy Online—Accelerated Black Belt Course


Karate Academy Online

Karate Academy Online

Key Specs

Price: $79 per month
Free trial?
: A full refund will be provided should you cancel your membership within the first 30 days. Some restrictions may apply. 
Experience level
: Intermediate to advanced

Why We Chose It

Karate Academy’s Accelerated Black Belt Course is one of the most comprehensive black-belt training programs available online. After successful completion of the course, students are eligible for a black belt.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comprehensive black belt training program

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Course materials include both written and video lessons

Cons
  • Requires a 10- to 12-month commitment 

  • Must be disciplined to practice and train weekly

  • Not a good fit for beginners

  • Significant financial commitment

Karate Academy Online is the brainchild of Sensei Mark Roscoe, who designed this course that allows students to continue their studies and practice online and on their own time.

The Accelerated Black Belt Course is a comprehensive program appropriate for intermediate to advanced levels. During this class, you will explore karate through physical, mental, and spiritual development. The program includes written and detailed video lessons. It also comes with a belt-specific practice schedule and training plan that you can adapt to your space and pace. At the end of it, you will have access to an online belt test.

It costs about $79 per month to access the Accelerated Black Belt Course. This gives you immediate access to the program, which is self-paced. The average time to complete the course is about one year, and the terms you agree to state that you will pay around $79 per month for 12 months. The good news is you can cancel your membership within the first 30 days and receive a full refund.

Plans and Pricing

The course costs $79 a month, with the goal of course completion within 12 to 14 months. The minimum out-of-pocket expense is $948 for the year; the maximum expense is $1,106 for the year. Students who wish to train with Karate Academy Online must enroll in a subscription package.

Additional plans with Karate Academy Online include: 

  • Accelerated Black Belt Club
  • International Students Accelerated Black Belt Club
  • 2nd Degree Black Belt Course
  • International Students 2nd Degree Black Belt Course
  • Train Martial Arts at Home Skill Drill Library

Free classes cannot be scheduled, but a free online mini-course will be sent to your inbox upon completion of an online form.

Best for Beginners : Global Martial Arts University—Shotokan Karate Stance Practice Class


Global Martial Arts University

Global Martial Arts University

Key Specs

Price: Free
Free trial?
: N/A
Experience level
: Beginner

Why We Chose It

We chose Global Martial Arts University's Shotokan Karate Stance Practice Class because it takes a deep dive into a critical karate technique that you must master before earning any belt: the stance.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Focuses exclusively on stance training drills

  • 35-minute class is free

  • Works on leg strength

Cons
  • Class level appropriate for beginners only 

  • Does not cover other martial arts skills

One of the biggest challenges for beginners on their first karate test is their stance. So, to help white belts gain confidence and better understand how their stance impacts the practice, Global Martial Arts University created this Shotokan Karate Stance Practice Class.

In 35 minutes, Sensei Michael teaches students the importance of stances and how to strengthen their legs to improve stances. He then takes you through a series of warm-up activities and drills to practice the main stances, which include Zenkutsu-Dachi, Kokutsu-Dachi, and Kiba-Dachi. Although this class is designed with beginners in mind, it’s also an excellent refresher course for any level (belt) to run through a series of unique stance training drills.

If you enjoy this free lesson from Global Martial Arts University, head over to their website and check out the online subscription service. The school offers online courses in Shotokan karate, Krav Maga, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and more. For about $40 per month, you’ll get access to a huge library of on-demand videos appropriate for all belt levels. You’ll also get full instructor feedback and support.

Plans and Pricing

Subscriptions start at $39 a month. One-off classes are not available at this time. Students who wish to train with Global Martial Arts University can enroll in one of three packages.

  • Monthly package: $39
  • Biannual package: $180
  • Path to Black Belt: Three payments of $195 

Before committing to becoming a full-time student, an introductory test drive offer is extended. This introductory class includes five hours of recorded beginner training and access to several 30- to 40-minute follow-along training classes.

Best for Intermediate : Udemy—Get My Black Belt Part 1 and Part 2


Udemy

Udemy

Key Specs

Price: Part 1: $29/Part 2: $17
Free trial?:
No
Experience level
: Intermediate

Why We Chose It

Udemy’s Get My Black Belt Part 1 and Part 2 are designed to teach you the skills to earn an orange belt and pass a black belt test. The course is affordable and you can access the materials 24/7.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lifetime access to all course materials and videos 

  • Priced right for what you get

  • Udemy offers thousands of videos and trainings 

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons
  • Not a good fit for beginners

  • Minimal written information provided

  • No free trial period to preview the class

Udemy is an online learning platform that offers more than 130,000 video courses related to business, personal development, and marketing, among other topics.

One of its more popular verticals includes health and fitness-related topics like karate and martial arts training. That’s where you’ll find Get My Black Belt: Wado Ryu Karate, our top pick for the best intermediate online karate class. Senseis John Hurley and Ayushi Sharma will teach you the skills and techniques you need to master to earn an orange belt.

The course is divided into three sections: Basic Techniques, Kata and Bunkai, and Blocks and Counters. Because of the pace and knowledge base required to understand the concepts, this class is not a good fit for beginners. If you enjoy the content in part one, consider moving on to the next course—Get My Black Belt: Wado Ryu Karate (Part 2), Green Belt to Black Belt—which is the same format and cost as part one.

Plans and Pricing

Part 1 of the course costs $29; part 2 costs $17. The cost to train is a one-time fee, including all classes in the course. There are no plans available.

There are no free trials for these courses, but a 30-day money-back guarantee is offered.

Best for Kids : Karate Lessons Online—Karate Home Study Program


Karate Lessons Online logo

Karate Lessons Online

Key Specs

Price: Free
Free Trial?
: N/A
Experience level
: Beginner

Why We Chose It

The Karate Lessons Online Home Study Program gives kids a structured format to learn martial arts basics at their pace. Plus, the course is free, so parents have nothing to lose.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Short video lessons

  • Learn karate, self-defense, and self-confidence

  • Kids progress through each rank at own their pace

Cons
  • Too basic for intermediate and above

  • Completing a belt test online is not equivalent to in person

  • Feedback is online only

Do you need a fun, safe, and healthy way for your kids to stay active while at home? Karate Lessons Online offers a free online course that includes short lessons to teach kids the basics of martial arts. This is a great way for kids to stay in shape, learn self-defense, and build self-confidence, all from the comfort of their homes.

The Karate Home Study program is a combination of short videos with live feedback from Sensei David. Each karate technique is broken down and explained, along with videos on how to train and develop movements. Through its online dojo, you will have access to exclusive video lessons with bonus support for parents.

Plus, the program includes instructions and helpful training tips and techniques. It is self-paced, with 24/7 access to instructional videos. Students can complete a belt test online and get direct feedback from Sensei David. Karate Lessons Online is currently offering the Karate Home Study course for free. The school does not indicate how much it will cost if and when it discontinues free access.

Plans and Pricing

The Introduction to Karate Class is free. Once your child is ready to take their talents to the next level, additional courses are available for purchase via monthly or annual plans.

  • Annual tuition: $87
  • Monthly tuition: $9.99

Best for Families : Dojo Go!—How to Learn Karate At Home, 20-Minute Beginner Lesson


Dojo Go!

Dojo Go!

Key Specs

Price: Free
Free Trial?
: N/A
Experience level
: Beginner

Why We Chose It

Dojo Go! How to Learn Karate At Home is a fun and fast way to introduce your family to the basics of karate. This 20-minute video engages kids ages 4 to 12 with interactive games and drills.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Classes for kids and adults

  • Fun, high-energy, and easy to follow

  • Paid program fee covers all family members

Cons
  • A 20-minute class only covers a few moves

  • Older kids might lose interest in the animation 

  • Limited to entry-level skills and techniques

Families with young children will appreciate the energy, silliness, and fun that Master Kelley brings to this 20-minute virtual martial arts lesson. This beginner class is part of a six-week white belt martial arts program designed specifically for at-home practice. You can take this free class as a stand-alone or subscribe to the six-week program for $47. It includes a warm-up, basic martial arts terminology, and stances.

Master Kelley does an excellent job of teaching students the purpose of karate and the reasons to use it. He then takes them through a series of punches and kicks with interactive games and drills. And the best part? This introductory class is an excellent choice for anyone new to karate, regardless of age.

For about $47, you’ll get six weeks of lessons (about three videos each week) as part of the Online Transformation Martial Arts Program. Once you complete this series, you’ll be invited to join the intermediate program. For a sneak peek into the next level, check out this free 20-minute intermediate lesson on YouTube.

Plans and Pricing

The beginner lesson is free. Additional courses cost either $97 (standard course) or $197 (premium) per 6-week package.

Best for Self-Defense : Mastering Krav Maga


Mastering Krav Maga logo

Mastering Krav Maga

Key Specs

Price: Subscriptions begin at $60 a month
Free trial?
: Yes
Experience level
: Beginner

Why We Chose It

Mastering Krav Maga takes the self-defense tactics of the discipline and applies them to real-world self-defense scenarios.  It’s one thing to know the move; it’s another to know when to apply it.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large library of Krav Maga-focused videos 

  • Program endorsed by former FBI and Secret Service agents, as well as employees of other law enforcement agencies 

  • Real-life scenarios for learned techniques

Cons
  • Short free trial window

  • Pricing structure is a little confusing

  • A training partner is strongly encouraged  


Mastering Krav Maga focuses on combining the defense tactics of karate and applying them to real-life defensive scenarios. The emphasis on security and defense has made this online course a must for numerous government agencies, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.  

Founded by David Kahn, United States Israeli Krav Maga Chief Instructor, Mastering Krav Maga offers a repository of over 500 lessons geared to individuals ranging from beginner to expert. A basic subscription package starts at $60 a month, with a more robust package offered at $70 monthly. A $50 discounted package is also available for military and law enforcement personnel.

All packages include a two-code login which allows access for both the registrant and a partner. While a partner is not listed as a requirement, having one is strongly encouraged.

The team at Mastering Krav Maga promotes the advancement of their students and their growth within the discipline. With that in mind, a remote certification testing program is offered.

Plans and Pricing

Courses begin at $60 a month and are available by subscription only. There are three different enrollment plans to choose from:

  • Recon: $60 a month
  • Warrior: $70 a month 
  • LEO/MILSPEC: $50 a month, available to military and law enforcement only 

 A two-day free trial period is available prior to committing to a subscription.

Best for Tradition : My Online Karate


My Online Karate

My Online Karate

Key Specs

Price: $15
Free trial?
: No
Experience level
: Beginner to intermediate

Why We Chose It

Rooted in and inspired by tradition, My Online Karate prides itself on training students in the art of authentic Japanese karate with roots that are planted all the way back to the origin of karate itself.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • One of the first online karate academies

  • Deeply rooted in the history of Japanese karate

  • For the whole family

Cons
  • All participants start at beginner level, regardless of prior experience

  • Road to black belt may be a bit longer than some students would like 

My Online Karate is grounded in the history, lessons, and art of traditional karate. 

The originating club was founded in 1972 by Sensei Glenn Moulds, whose training pedigree is six degrees of separation from the very founder of karate himself. 

My Online Karate boasts over 200 modules taught by high-ranking Black Belt 5th Dan instructors. Black Belt 5th Dan is a part of the black belt ranking structure. As 5th Dan Black Belts, My Online Karate instructors have risen in the ranks and are on their way to becoming a 9th Dan Black Belt. My Online Karate has club members from over 40 countries and offers membership levels ranging from individual monthly packages (about $15) to annual family subscriptions (about $275). As an added bonus, there are no membership contracts, and membership can be canceled at any time.

Even the most seasoned athlete can feel like a beginner with My Online Karate. The school encourages participants to begin at the same level, with the option of advancement and testing whenever a participant feels ready. For some athletes, this format may feel a bit cumbersome, especially if you’re eager to earn your Black Belt at an accelerated speed.  

Training is open to athletes from ages 4 to 100 and is designed for a variety of fitness levels.

Plans and Pricing

Classes cost about $15 a month. Subscription packages are available:

  • Individual: About $15/month or about $165/year
  • Family: About $25/month or about $275/ year

At this time, free classes are not available, but free training videos are accessible via My Online Karate's YouTube Channel.

Best Total Body Workout : LesMills BODYCOMBAT


Les Mills
Courtesy of Les Mills
Key Specs

Price: Promo price of $4 per month for four weeks; $15 from the second month on
Free trial?
: Yes
Experience level
: Intermediate

Why We Chose It

LesMills BODYCOMBAT emphasizes exact karate and martial art moves, but with a focus on using those moves to create an intense and high-energy workout.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Brings karate moves and heart-pumping grooves 

  • Mixes karate and other martial arts

  • Releases stress and burns calories

Cons
  • No sparring 

  • No classes under 30 minutes

LesMills BODYCOMBAT’s full body workout takes karate and various other martial arts disciplines and weaves them together into one heart-stomping, calorie-burning workout.  

LesMills began as a family gym in Auckland, New Zealand, in the late 1960s, and has since ballooned into a global fitness powerhouse.

BODYCOMBAT classes are sure to make you sweat, but they are also sure to test your ability in a variety of martial arts disciplines. If you are looking to stay true to karate in its purest form, this might not be the workout for you.  

With a LesMills virtual subscription, you gain access to BODYCOMBAT workouts and the whole LesMills catalog of fitness classes, which includes over 1500 workouts ranging from yoga to cycling.  

While gym BODYCOMBAT classes range from 30 to 40 to 55 minutes, online classes are available in only 30- to 60-minute increments. BODYCOMBAT classes are also a solo affair, so if you’re looking for a martial arts-style workout incorporating sparring, this class might feel a bit limiting.  

Subscription plans are budget-friendly and start with a free trial.

Plans and Pricing

Classes are not offered individually but as part of a subscription package. The options are:

  • Monthly: $4 for the first four weeks, then $14.99 a month
  • 3-Month: $11.99 a month, billed monthly
  • Annual: $120

A 30-day free trial is available.

Best App : Seichou Karate


SeiChou Karate

SeiChou Karate

Key Specs

Price: $20/month
Free trial?
: Yes
Experience level
: Intermediate

Why We Chose It

The Seichou Karate app is robust and well thought-out and provides access and insight at your fingertips.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Full access to Seichou Karate video library

  • Access to additional exercises, activities, and how-to videos

  • Track progress, fitness goals, and achievements 

Cons
  • Better for iOS with Apple Health app synchronization 

  • Last Google Play update was in 2021

The team at Seichou Karate put time and thought into this app, and it shows in core features including how-to videos, in-app gamification, and fitness and project tracking.

Founded in 1997 in Alexandria, Virginia, Seichou Karate keeps the roots of its training firmly planted in tradition. With the creation of the Seichou Karate App, students have tutelage at their fingertips and access to a wealth of additional content and fitness-tracking features.

The app is free to download via the Apple Store or Google Play. There is a $20-a-month cost to access the library of video content, though.

While the app is available for iOS or Android operating systems, it seems that iOS has the edge; the Seichou Karate App can be synced with the Apple Health app to help create a full fitness picture.

Unlike other online studios, Seichou Karate offers a variety of additional content beyond techniques and movements, such as how-to videos on Japanese calligraphy and more. The app will also keep you engaged and coming back with additional features such as progress gamification and fitness/nutrition tracking.

While not a game changer, it is worth noting that there appears to be a lack of updates for the app, with the last one for Google Play being in 2021.

Plans and Pricing

Classes are accessed via a monthly subscription package. On-demand videos for adults are $20/month, and a kids' subscription is available for the same price.

A free trial class is available, but it is unclear website whether this class is to be used at the in-person location or online.

Final Verdict

Karate Academy offers comprehensive and focused training with both video and written how-to steps. It also offers belt certifications for those wanting to reach black belt status.

If you’re looking for something that instills both motivation and focus at a more budget-friendly price, the Udemy Black Belt series could be a better fit for you. If you are looking for something that helps you use your existing karate/martial arts skills and feel the burn at the same time, the LesMills BODYCOMBAT classes are a fantastic option.

Guide for Choosing the Best Online Karate Classes

Are Online Karate Classes Worth It?

Online karate classes offer a significant benefit to any athlete looking to practice the art. The flexibility and comfort of learning karate in your own space and on your own schedule are attributes that are hard to ignore. Whether you are looking for self-defense techniques, want to work up a sweat, or aim to practice the mindfulness associated with karate, online courses allow you to find the class or course that is the right fit for you.  

While sparring may prove a bit tricky in any online environment, courses that will help you reach your next belt level are fairly common in online karate offerings. Dojo camaraderie may also be lost in online karate, but the curriculum offerings and flexibility are hard to beat.

How to Choose an Online Karate Class

Choosing an online karate class comes down to three key variables; your needs, your starting level, and your goals.  

When looking for a class, consider the cost-benefit of attending online vs. in person. Would you benefit more from the camaraderie and hands-on environment of an in-person class, or would you be better suited to a course that offers flexibility and the ability to train and practice in your own space at your own pace?  

It’s also important to consider your end goal. Does your online dojo offer the opportunity to earn your next belt, and if so, what’s the timeframe? What about partner sparring? Does your online dojo require a partner, or are you able to go solo? To be successful with any online course, you need to find the conditions that set you up for success.  

Depending on the dojo, subscription packages can vary significantly in terms of cost and included benefits. Another item to keep an eye out for is the terms of the agreement. Can you cancel at any time?  How about a free trial? Be sure to ask these questions prior to signing up.    

Last but not least, what do others have to say about online access and curriculum?  Are the courses fresh, or are they tried and true? How about video quality? What about user successes and complaints? Word-of-mouth is a powerful resource and should be considered before making a final decision on an online dojo. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Online Karate Classes?

To find the best online karate class, consider the instructor’s qualifications; look for teachers and studios that have a long-standing reputation. You may also want to research local studios that offer online lessons in addition to in-person instruction.

How Much Do Karate Classes Cost?

For a good studio, expect to pay between $30 and $100 per month, which should include weekly sessions over several months. Introductory programs for children are often less expensive than training programs for adults, and there are more expensive private session options taught by well-known instructors.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Karate?

It will depend on the student's desired level of competence, but generally, the basics can be learned in around one year. One study found that students could become proficient in 21 offensive and defensive martial arts techniques after 29 hours of training sessions.

What Are the Health Benefits of Karate?

Karate has both mental and physical benefits. It can develop composure and increase self-confidence, as well as improve coordination, balance, cognitive function, stamina, and overall health

Who Should Take Online Karate Classes?

Karate classes, especially white belt or beginner courses, are appropriate for most ages and fitness levels. Karate teaches physical and mental stamina and discipline. Since physical contact and exchange are of fundamental importance, karate is best practiced in person when possible.

Learning karate through videos or streaming live classes should never replace the experience of real-life instruction. However, if access to a studio is an issue, you can still get a general overview from home. If you are pregnant or have a serious health condition, consult your doctor before beginning karate.

Methodology

To curate the list of best online karate classes, we looked at five different sites from reputable companies that offer martial arts classes for various levels and styles of training. All of the classes listed offer video instruction with some written content. We researched companies that offer free classes and access to paid membership programs. Additionally, classes for kids needed to have a fun factor to make the list. Instructors needed to be trained, experienced, and credentialed in their style of martial arts training.

karate

Bashar Shglila / Getty Images

Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Skurvydas A, Lisinskiene A, Majauskiene D, et al. What types of exercise are best for emotional intelligence and logical thinking?IJERPH. 2022;19(16):10076. doi:10.3390/ijerph191610076

  2. Burke DT, Protopapas M, Bonato P, Burke JT, Landrum RF. Martial arts: time needed for trainingAsian J Sports Med. 2011;2(1). doi:10.5812/asjsm.34828

By Sara Lindberg
Sara Lindberg, M.Ed., is a freelance writer focusing on health, fitness, nutrition, parenting, and mental health.

Updated by
Angela Hatem
Angela Hatem

Angela Hatem is a freelance contributor with 4 years of experience in parenting, health & wellness, relationship, and e-commerce coverage. Angela has been published in Verywell Mind, Parents.com, InStyle, National Geographic, Business Insider, HuffPost, and The TODAY Show Shop.

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Edited by
April McCormick
April McCormick

April is the health editor for performance marketing at Verywell, where she oversees family health, wellness, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Time, Parents Magazine, The Huffington Post, TripSavvy, Parenting.com, First Time Mom and Dad, Mama Mia, All4Women, the New York Times Bestseller, A Letter To My Mom, and more.

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