Local martial arts expert launches world's first online martial arts school

Martial arts expert Chief Master Richard McDowell knows there is an array of things that prevent people from attending training, even if they want to learn martial arts. 
“People don’t have the time anymore to go to a school,” says McDowell, “And some people may be too shy to come to class. But they still want to learn, they want their kids to learn”
McDowell created a solution for those obstacles by creating the first online martial arts school, Martial Arts Online University.
“We made it very affordable,” McDowell says. “You train at your pace, not anybody else’s. If it takes you six years, if it takes you six weeks, that’s up to you.”
The school gives students of all ages and in any location the opportunity to train up to black belt level. Twenty-five instructors – nine of whom are in the Lansing area – teach video courses available in 13 languages. As students become ready to test for the next level belt, they simply submit a recorded video to the master instructors for evaluation. 
“You can also download everything to be a black belt, and never have to test,” McDowell says.
The unique online school began this month and already has students in Canada, Europe and Jamaica, as well as throughout the United States. Here in Lansing, the Westside Community YMCA serves as the home for Martial Arts Online University, as the setting for the filming of the course videos, as well as the location where 60 students attend non-virtual classes.
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