Which Online Course would you choose?

a0kalittlema0n

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I had subbed to Mirai, definitely much more in terms of content and total hours of information. Very horticulturally based and he is willing to admit his deficiencies as well. I think there are over 200 videos with an average length of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
 

Littlejoe919

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I have all the Bonsai Empire courses. The great thing about them is, you can watch them as many times as you'd like. I also subscribe to Mirai every so often for a month or two and watch the content I find interesting. You can not watch most of Mirai's content without a subscription.
 

Bonsai Nut

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If you were just getting into bonsai, I would take Bjorn's class. I am basing my suggestion on the class structure - it seems well-organized for introducing people to the art of bonsai and then gradually introducing more advanced subjects.

I think Mirai's content is excellent, but it is an awful lot for a beginner to digest. That's not to say that a beginner wouldn't learn from it, but a lot of the content is organized around case studies with trees, and a lot of it goes really deep into a subject (for over an hour). If you don't have a solid background, a lot of the content will go over your head. There are literally hundreds of hours of videos now; all extremely valuable, but a little difficult to consume en masse. It is excellent as a reference - let's say you just bought a hemlock and were uncertain about how to care for it. You just watch the "hemlock" video and you are on your way.
 

Colorado

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I think Bjorn is great. I’ve seen him demonstrate in person and it was quite impressive.

That being said, Ryan Neil is on another planet. This is great because he is doing things that not many (if anyone) is doing. For example, go to youtube and watch his video on the Sierra Juniper. It’s an amazing demonstration and an amazing piece of material. But on the downside, it’s somewhat worthless to me and 99% of bonsai practitioners because very few people have access to material like that. HOWEVER, he has great beginner videos as well, and everything in between. Personally I think Ryan Neil is probably the best bonsai practitioner in the world right now. But who cares what I think.

Bottom line: I’d go with Mirai.
 

sorce

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I'm the no $ guy...

See what's free.

That Said....

Empire seems that regular regurgitate, but from known pros.

If a dudes great background is what helps you learn better, go Empire IMO...
But you can learn the same shit from old boy on channel F, Q, W, etc etc etc.

Ryan teaches something fuller.
It is a lot handle.
So are big expensive trees in expensive pots.

Not that expense is everything, but a free tree grown well ain't free when you sell it for a great expense.

Sorce
 

Shinjuku

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I’m not going to say which one is which, but the teaching style of one of them really resonates with me a lot, while the other one doesn’t resonate with me as much. At the same time, there are plenty of people who feel just the opposite from me.

Both Bjorn and Ryan have free videos that you can watch on Youtube, and both also have free podcasts. I’d suggest that you watch and listen to the free stuff to see which teacher you like more.

Then pick the teacher that you learn the best from and give that one your money.

We are very lucky to have so many talented bonsai teachers available with different styles. Different strokes for different folks.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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As much as I like and value them both, I can't listen to Ryan's voice for more than 30 minutes.
 

Lars Grimm

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The two services are really not comparable. Ryan's service has orders of magnitude more content now. There is way more detail in Ryan's videos and he answers questions throughout his streams, but that means it is not as tightly organized as the bonsai empire videos which have very nice clean and concise content. If I were just starting out, I think I would start with Bonsai Empire as it gives you a more concrete launch point. Then I would migrate to Mirai as it can be intimidating to start from scratch but you will get more out of it. I subscribe to both for reference as I cannot travel to many events/shows/club meetings.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Watch the free YouTube - of both Ryan and Bjorn.
Bjorn and Owen Reich did a wonderful series, ''Bonsai Art of Japan'', watch the whole series on you tube, free.

By the time you are done with all the free vids on YouTube, you will be tired of both of their voices.

When you are ready to seriously study bonsai, subscribe to both Mirai and to Bjorn on Bonsai Empire, and take notes from each video, about the horticulture techniques, bonsai techniques and the TIMING, as to WHEN, each was used and WHY each technique was used. The value of the material is irrelevant. A juniper technique on a $ 100,000 usd juniper will be the same on a $10 juniper, just won't be as spectacular looking.

Both cover much of the same material. The two have different emphasis. Ryan will pack you full of details. Bjorn has a less didactic approach. At some point you will notice some things between them seem to be in conflict. You will need to pick one and follow. I believe when the dust settles there is very little they disagree on in principle, but until you can sort it all out it might sound like conflicting opinions. Just pick one and follow. It really don't matter.
 
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I mostly get my info via online tutorials when I'm not posting questions here. I found in the beginning the bonsai mirai stuff went way over my head. I subscribed to Bjorns bonsai empire beginning and intermediate courses and found them more accessible in the first year. Colin Lewis's wiring course was a game changer. If I were to tell someone how to go about it I'd suggest the following in this order:
1) Bonsai Empire beginners course for the overview.
2) Colin Lewis free wiring tutorial on craftsy.
3) Bonsai Empire Advanced Course.
4) Read "Botany for Gardners" by Brian Capon.
5) Hit bonsai mirai free spring and winter fundamental courses on YouTube.
6) Subscribe to mirai if you want to.

My two cents as a 2nd year beginner. I'm only just now thinking I'm at a place where I'd get my $ worth uto if a mirai subscription.
 

BenBSeattle

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great insights everyone. I think I've scoured every thing free on youtube already from
chasnsx to Bjorn and Ryan and in every language. That's why I'm trying to get into the more in depth stuff.

I like your game plan Cheapwalmartart =)
 

BenBSeattle

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BonsaiNW. I was there just as John was pricing these out. He had just purchased some beautiful new trees and pots from a personal collector.
 
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