This is the school’s student guide. I copied & pasted it from the GMAU website:
Getting Started with GMAU – A Guide for New Students
Complete your profile. Click on “Settings” in the top right corner. Upload a photo of you (if you would like), preferably a face shot. This helps your instructor get to know you better, and match a face to the name. Next, write a brief bio. Talk about your past martial arts experience, if you are an instructor/school owner, what your goals are, and anything about your personal life or family you would like to share. We want to get to know you.
Review your testing requirements. Go ahead and take a look at what you need to learn in order to earn your first belt. Click on “Lessons” on the side navigation menu. Under the Your Progress section, click on the belt level that you are working toward. Of course, if you are a new student, this will be “Yellow.” This shows you all of the video lessons that you need to watch and learn. At the bottom of the page, you can read the Rank Requirements for that belt level. This is what you will be demonstrating in your test. You will also see “Minimum Training Hours.” This is how many hours of practice/training you will need to log before you are allowed to submit the test for this level.
Student Journal. Seeing that this is an online program, we need to know when, how often, and what you are practicing. This allows your instructor to watch over your progress, and even allows you to review your practice frequency and content as time passes.
Videos Watched on the GMAU Site – Any video that you watch on the GMAU site will automatically be credited to your student journal. We clearly have faith that you are being honest and practicing and training along with the lessons and classes. So, if you watch/do a 33 minute class from start to finish, after leaving that page, it will automatically be logged to your journal, as credit.
Practice on Your Own Time – You also need to practice on your own. You might have a routine where you review all of your techniques for that belt level, the kata, or self defense moves. Once you finish your practice session, simply go to the GMAU site, click student journal, enter the start and stop time, and a description of what you did. Also, feel free to talk about how you feel you are doing, any blocks/hurdles, or things you feel you need to improve. Using the journal on a smartphone is very easy.
Sharing a Progress Video with Your Instructor in the Journal – If you want your instructor to review a certain technique, concept, or perhaps your kata, a good idea is to film yourself with your phone/camera, upload it to youtube as an unlisted video, and copy and paste the video URL into the journal entry. If you add a video like this, your instructor will get a special video notification and will review your journal entry, and most likely respond with a text or even video response.
What Counts and Does Not Count – Only time spent on this specific martial art training can be counted in your journal. Extra exercises, running, training for other martial arts styles, cannot be included as credit towards your training hours running total. For example, if you are enrolled in the GMAU Shotokan Karate program, do not enter: Ran 2 miles, did katas for 25 minutes, all yellow belt kumite, and then practiced BJJ with my friend. Total Time: 2 hours. Only the time spent on shotokan curriculum itself can be logged to the journal. The only exception, is if you do a small warm up, specifically for the training of that martial art itself (just like we do in our Classes), this is okay. Make sure you only credit 5- 15 minutes for this warm up. So, if you do some dynamic stretches and cardio for 6 minutes, and then 25 minutes of shotokan technique work, you are okay to include 31 minutes when you log it to the journal.
I Forgot to Log to My Journal – Make a habit of pulling out your phone, or getting on your computer right after you work out. Logging to the journal is very quick and easy to do. If you forget, you can write down on a piece of paper, but make sure and log it within the first 24-48 hours of the practice session.
Code of Honor and Ethics – We clearly have faith that you will be truthful in your journal entries and time totals. If you are not, you will simply hurt yourself and not perform as well on the upcoming test. The minimum training hours are just that, a minimum. We love seeing students go much past the minimums before they submit a test, as this shows us their dedication to perfection and mastery.
How to Train – You train by watching/doing the lessons in the belt level that you are currently working toward. So, if you are currently a brand new shotokan karate student (for example), you are a white belt. This means, you are going to be learning the yellow belt material.
Lessons – Lessons are designed to “teach” the techniques/material, in a very easy to learn from method. Go to “Training” and then “Lessons.” Take your time and watch/train with each lesson. Feel free to re-watch and re-do lessons many times.
Classes – Classes are like if you were to attend a real facility. These are strung together with a warm up, lessons, drills, conditioning, and sometimes a cool down. The idea is to get a lot of real time repetition, movement, and even fitness added in. The classes allow you to practice the material you learn in the lessons. Definitely do classes multiple times over to get more reps and time in.
Practice on Your Own – It is a good idea to practice on your own, without even watching the videos. This forced you to focus on yourself even more, and can be especially useful with a mirror, or a partner, or a group. Integrate exercises, the training curriculum, and any drills you want to do. Work with a hanging bag, training mitts, and other tools to build different skills.
Make a Training Schedule – This is so important! We recommend that you train at least 2-3 times a week. A 45 minute training session is a good amount of time. The frequency and intensity of training is completely up to you, as this is a self- paced program. Some students might train 5 days a week, and move along faster; whereas others are super-busy, and find 2 nights a week, for half an hour. Try to set a certain period of time, on set days each week that you train religiously. Your A day (first day of the week) might be learning from the video lessons or doing a video class, and your B day (second day of practice in your week) might be practicing on your own to music on what you did earlier that week.
Setup a Home Dojo/Garage Gym – Setting aside some space for your practice is crucial, and can really get you to change gears when you are in martial artist mode. Get some padded puzzle mats, maybe a freestanding bag, and some training mitts/targets. Maybe you want to designate a certain spot in your backyard for practice. When it comes down to it, just work with what you have.
Getting Instructor Support – When you have questions, need some motivation or support, you can turn to your instructor. In a way, GMAU is a self-service, or self-paced program. You are free to train however often or intensely as you’d like, and can test once you have completed the hour requirements. Your instructor will be ready to answer questions or give feedback, if you ask. Here is the best way to get help:
Questions – If you have a question about a certain technique, concept, or something you saw in a class – ask it in the “Common Questions” section on that particular page. This is by far the best way to ask a question to your instructor. This way, your instructor will respond to the question on that same page, and all students can also see the question and answer.
Private/Very Specific Questions – If you have a very specific or private type question, you can send a direct message to your instructor. You can do this by clicking on the messaging icon in the top right corner, and in the To field, typing in your instructor’s name. Or, click on the “Dashboard.” On the Dashboard, you will see a link for “Message My Instructor.” From there you can send them a message.
Wanting Feedback on a Progress Video – If you want your instructor to see how you are doing, or have a question about if your technique or kata is correct, go ahead and film yourself, upload it to youtube as an unlisted video, and send this video url to your instructor via the Messaging system, or by attaching it to student journal.
Rank Exams – You will get very in-depth feedback from your instructor after you submit a rank exam. Your instructor will grade the exam, and then film himself in a special personalized feedback video.
Testing – Once you have logged at least the minimum number of training hours required to take your next belt test, that test will become available on the “Testing” page.
Now that the test you want to take is available, click “Take Test.”
Film all rank requirements for that belt level, and follow the video test guidelines as explained on the Testing page.
Upload the video to YouTube as an unlisted video. Copy and paste this video url into the test.
Pay the test fee, and click Submit.
Your instructor will grade and submit results to you within 14 days. Your instructor will follow a grading rubric and review all material per our standards.
Next, your instructor will film himself going over the test, what you can improve on, corrections, guidance, tips, and other helpful advice.
The instructor will mark your test as “Passed” or “Needs Corrections.” If you pass, you will receive a message with comments, along with the feedback video, and the certificate (and belt or patch if applicable) will be mailed to you. If marked as needs corrections, you will receive comments, the video, and will be told what you need to correct and other necessities before you submit another test. You will not have to pay another testing fee if you do not pass the first time. Receiving “Needs Corrections” is fairly normal, and is our attempt to help you improve and reach our very high standards. Do not see it as a failure.
Move on the Next Level – Once you’ve passed your test, your journal will be reset to 0, and you can now move on the next belt level. Make sure you not only work on the new material but continue to review lessons and classes from previous levels, to continuously grow on your base foundation.
Website Assistance/Technology Help – If you find a glitch on the website, or are having trouble figuring out how to do something, please email our webmaster, Jeremy, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.