Top 3 Best Martial Arts For Kids – A Basic Guide For Parents


Photo by PKA Karate

Martial arts may seem like an intimidating prospect, especially for kids, but the truth is that martial arts pique the interest of many children internationally. If your kid is excited about martial arts and wants to get involved, what is the best martial art for them to join, and is it safe for them to do so?

The best martial arts for kids are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, and Taekwondo. These martial arts do not use weapons, and the beginning stages of the learning process can be broken down into forms and skills achievable for children. Martial arts promote discipline and self-control in kids.

Some forms of martial arts are not ideal for kids, but other forms are perfect even for kids of a young age. Martial arts have numerous benefits for kids, and even if it may seem dangerous, under the right instructor, many forms of martial arts are safe for kids. Let’s explore the best martial arts for kids and find out which is best for your family.

What Martial Art Is Best For My Child And Why?

Martial arts can be dangerous, and they are a challenge to enter into, but if your kid is interested in martial arts, there are some safe options to choose from and some martial arts that are ideally suited for younger children.

The best martial arts for kids to learn are those that do not work with weapons. Carrying and wielding weapons of any variety is not ideal for kids of any age, as this can very easily lead to serious injury and harm.

With this in mind, there are several martial arts that are well suited for children, even those of a young age. When considering a martial art for children, weapons are not the only aspect; other factors also bear consideration.

The martial arts that are the most suitable for kids to learn are those that have relatively simple movements and principles as the basis for students to begin. This means that the basics of the martial art can be broken down into simple movements and forms that children can easily understand and execute well.

This further narrows down the martial arts well suited for the younger generation, so let’s take the time to look at some of the 3 best options and learn why they are so ideally suited for young students.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu For Kids

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, often abbreviated to BJJ, is one of the best martial arts for kids to study. This form of Jiu-Jitsu is focused on self-defense and particularly teaches kids how to defend themselves from larger opponents.

The main components of BJJ are grappling and groundwork that focuses on submissions, distance control, levering, and positioning. 

These moves and techniques are ideal for kids because they do not rely on physical strength to be effective. This contrasts with martial arts that are focused on striking with kicks and punches.

This martial art is considered one of the gentler options, which is ideal for kids; the basic movements and techniques are easily broken down into easy beginner steps that kids understand well.

Karate For Kids

Karate is an excellent form of martial arts for kids to learn, as it is broken down into three sections: the basics, known as Kihon, forms known as Kata, and sparring known as Kumite. These three aspects of Karate highlight that sparring is only one part of the martial art. 

Karate is very focused on self-discipline and therefore emphasizes the basics and the forms of the martial art in the beginning years much more than sparring

This means that children will learn the etiquette and form of the martial art and practice self-discipline long before they are required to spar with an opponent. 

This makes Karate ideal for even very young children, as learning the Kata forms and Kihon basics is very achievable for kids, even very young children.

Taekwondo For Kids

Taekwondo is a good martial arts option for kids because there is a lot of physical training involved that develops the entire body, with a special focus on core strength and dexterity.

This martial art form specializes in kicking and punching techniques, particularly head-height kicking, spin kicks, jump kicks, and fast kicking techniques.

Taekwondo is more ideally suited for older kids, as the heavy focus of Taekwondo on kicking may be too challenging for younger kids to learn since balance is a key part of the techniques.

This martial art offers a full-body workout, and it can be broken down into more simple movements and practice exercises that kids can earn quickly. It focuses on comradery and teaching youngsters several important skills for personal development.

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How Do Martial Arts Help Children?

Participating in martial arts has many befits for children. Regardless of the form of martial art that you choose for your child, all martial arts share similar benefits.

Martial arts help kids develop physical fitness, stamina, and dexterity while strengthening core muscle groups and developing coordination and control

Self-discipline and self-confidence are also major factors in every martial art. Therefore, they will teach kids these valuable life skills along with others such as respect, honor, and mental fortitude. 

Attending martial arts classes also helps kids develop social skills and make friends with others through interaction and common interests.

What Is The Best Age For A Child To Start Martial Arts?

The age at which a child begins learning martial arts depends on the physical and mental requirements of the martial art. Some forms of martial arts are easier than others for kids, while some are too big of a challenge for very young children.

Kids can start certain martial arts from as young as three years old, while others require kids to be slightly older. 

Most kids start martial arts such as Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from the age of four or five years, while others such as Taekwondo may only be possible from eight years old or older due to the physical demands of the martial art.

The age that a child starts martial arts is usually decided by the instructor teaching the class. If the instructor is comfortable teaching a child from a very young age, then the minimum age that the instructor decides is a good age to begin.

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What Is The Safest Martial Art For My Child?

All martial arts can be dangerous, but some are safer than others. The safest martial arts for kids are those that do not require weapons or violent kicks and punches from the beginning.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is said to be the safest martial art for kids as this form of martial art focuses heavily on grappling and submissions rather than weapons or striking.

Other martial arts such as Karate and Aikido are also very safe options for children due to the lack of sparring in the beginning years of learning the martial art.

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Do Martial Arts Classes Make Children Violent?

Many parents’ concern is that learning a martial art will make a child violent. In truth, learning a martial art will not make a child violent, but it has been proven to reduce violence and aggression in kids and teenagers.

Martial arts classes reduce aggression and violence because every martial art focuses on discipline, diligence, and self-control. No martial arts teach children or any other students to harm others on purpose, but rather how to defend themselves.

Photo by Jjskarate

Martial arts teach all their students that they should not engage an opponent outside of class for any purpose other than self-defense.

This article, “Will Martial Art Make My Child More Aggressive?”, will fully explain why learning martial arts won’t make your child more aggressive so make sure to check it out.

Conclusion

Martial arts can be very beneficial for kids and is a great way to improve and maintain physical fitness while learning valuable life skills such as diligence and self-control.

Not all martial arts are well suited for kids, but those that are can be started from as young as three years old.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, and Taekwondo are all ideal martial arts for kids as they do not use weapons and are well suited for children’s strength, mental capacity, and physical ability.

Jeff J.

Jeff J is a retired Gunnery Sgt. with the United States Marine Corps and a former Federal Police officer. He was involved with extensive training with weapons systems, and hand to hand combat, mentored and trained hundreds of Marines in high-level fitness programs.

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