Technology gives us access to things which were never accessible up to that point. From telephones, to television, to personal computers, and nowadays, smartphones with internet access, we are truly in a very modern and digital world. Everything is available online.
Virtual reality technology is another of the world’s interesting breakthroughs which helps us enhance our experience when watching something and when taking part in, for example, a video game, or a simulator.
Martial arts are specific and require the use of our entire body for our movements to be effective. Can they be learned through VR? Perhaps. Here are some concerns on the matter.
VR Technology is Good, But
It is not good enough. VR technology has relatively good tracking, but for the arms, only. There are only custom-made simulators which have full body tracking, but they are rare and expensive, and often used for military-grade training. While one could conceivably build a full body VR machine, it would be difficult to implement in reality.
Having a headset on and using both arms and legs to practice movements is a lot harder than just swinging your arms, particularly if one has restricted space to work with. Some motions like arm movements could be practiced, but there is still a couple more concerns.
A Lack of a True VR Martial Arts Training Simulator
The problem with VR and martial arts, other than the technological issues, is that there is no dedicated martial arts simulator or training program. Boxing, one might get away with, but only as a recreational activity, rather than an actual way for anybody to learn boxing. Well-versed fighters might have fun with games that put you in a situation to actually use your hands to fight, while also rotating your body to face multiple enemies. Gorm is one of such games.
However, given that there is no game or simulator on the market that people could use to effectively train and practice martial arts, VR is not the only thing being an obstacle, but rather a lack of interest on the developer side of things, not to mention the publishers.
It is Dangerous to Learn Without an Instructor
Learning anything without an instructor is a challenge. When we are talking about martial arts, learning without an instructor could lead to injuries. One could sustain an injury just by training and having poor technique, or they could if they were to actually try and fight somebody who trained in a dojo and has had a master meticulously correct their technique.
There are no masters in VR so if one were to start practicing, they could only reinforce their mistakes or poor technique, either of which takes a lot more time and effort to correct, than it would take to learn a technique correctly from the get go.
Having fun with martial arts-like games in VR is possible, and even some experienced fighters might have a chuckle, or even a challenge. However, learning martial arts through VR is still not there yet. In a decade or so, we might see leaps in VR technology, and VR martial arts dojos might become a reality.