People often wonder whether martial arts can be self taught. After all, people teach themselves skills all the time by using books, the internet, etc. But can people really engage in self taught martial arts? In my opinion, the answer is no. We begin by looking at why someone might want to teach themselves martial arts.
The word 'martial' is defined as "relating to fighting or war". More specifically it is about fighting against an opponent. Therefore it makes sense to train with a partner. Learning without a partner is inadequate preparation for a real fight. How would you put on locks and perform various techniques in a real fight if you've never applied those techniques before? Any decent instructor would recognise that sparring is essential.
That's not to say that you can't learn anything from self teaching martial arts. If you're willing to take classes at some point in the future then you can familiarise yourself with the basics from books and YouTube videos. Bare in mind that it's hard to evaluate yourself so if you do various techniques without professional instruction then you could pick up some bad habits.
Of course. In fact any half decent instructor would encourage this. It's always a good idea to remind yourself of various techniques outside of class as it will help these techniques become second nature.
You can try, but if you've never done martial arts before then it's pretty much a waste of time. Note that the techniques taught in popular styles of martial arts have been refined over centuries. You'd essentially be starting from scratch. If you're completely inexperienced then you'd be better off taking lessons.
Even if you're proficient in several styles of martial arts I would still be wary of a style someone had just created. It would most likely end up as a dodgy hybrid of your favourite styles. Notice that many popular styles of martial arts are already combinations of other styles as evidenced by Wado Ryu which is a combination of karate and jujitsu.
No. This is a common misconception. Bruce Lee began his martial arts training by studying the Chinese art of Wing Chun (a type of kung fu) at age 16 for 5-6 years whilst under the instruction of Yip Man.