Best martial arts for kids? Is it necessary? Well, training your kids in martial arts is a great idea. Besides learning some cool moves and getting in shape, they will also learn important values such as respect, discipline, courage, and perseverance.
Additionally, kids that learn martial arts have increased self-esteem, self-confidence, and better concentration. Most martial arts schools offer a kid program where your kids can begin training from the age of four.
Some schools might even hold special kid classes for three-year-old’s, but it is more important that they learn to walk before they start running! This article highlights some of the best martial arts for kids that you can consider.
Best Martial Arts for Kids – Why Kids Should Train in Martial Arts
Today, it is more necessary than ever before to teach your kids a form of self-defense. Children who use martial arts training to learn these skills are likely to have better self-esteem and defend themselves against bullies or strangers.
They will also have a higher degree of confidence as they learn how to defend themselves against bullies. In addition, martial arts training provides a great way for your child to build up their strength and coordination.
Another reason why children should train in martial arts is that they will develop a positive outlook towards others and the world. The benefits of this cannot be understated as it can change a child’s entire life. Your child will also tone up fast since most forms of martial arts engage the whole body!
Best Martial Arts for Kids – How to Choose Your Kid’s First Martial Art?
There are plenty of different types of martial arts out there. But you need to choose one that best suits your kid’s needs or abilities. Most parents look for something fun and easy to learn, yet challenging enough to keep their child interested.
It is also important that the instructor and school be supportive and offer a family-friendly environment. After all, you want your little one to enjoy this experience and not dread it every day.
The best martial arts for kids should offer continuous progress rather than expecting kids to master complicated techniques right away!
5 Best Martial Arts for Kids
- Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do (also known as Tang Soo Do) is a Korean form of martial arts that can be found all over the world today. It was developed between the 5th century BC and the 9th century AD. Tae Kwon Do has many benefits for kids including increased flexibility, greater self-confidence, and better coordination.
Tae Kwon Do schools for kids will start training them from a very early age. Although there are no belt ranks in this type of martial arts, it is still an effective form of exercise as well as a good way to teach children discipline and respect.
Karate, being Japanese art, has many similarities with Tae Kwon Do. Both forms of martial arts stem from the same line of thought. It was developed by Tae Kwon Do during the 20th century!
The main goal behind practicing Karate is to “empty one’s mind” which helps block out distractions and unnecessary thoughts. This can help kids focus better when it comes to solving problems. Karate also helps in building self-confidence, strength, and energy in kids.
For kids who are more interested in Japanese culture, Kendo is the perfect type of martial arts for kids. It was established during the Muromachi period (1392-1573) and originally used wooden swords called bokken. Nowadays, these wooden swords have been replaced with bamboo ones.
Kids will learn how to use the shinai (bamboo sword) as well as the armor (bogu). They also do different forms of drills like jigeiko or kata training.
Some American schools even allow children below ten years of age to train using an electric version of a shinai! This way, they can practice without worrying about hurting themselves or others around them.
Although Kendo originated as a way to train for duels and battles, most Kendo schools now focus on building character and discipline in kids.
Another Japanese form of martial arts, Aikido commonly uses the word “Ai” which means “harmony.” It teaches students how to deal with conflict and resolve it peacefully.
This is possible due to Aikido’s unique method of redirecting an opponent’s energy rather than trying to oppose it directly – something that can be very useful in real life! Kids who study this type of martial arts will learn basic punches and kicks (which they call waza) along with some grappling techniques (which they call katame-Waza).
However, Aikido does not rely heavily on punches or kicks. Instead, it mostly focuses on immobilizing an opponent to gain control over them. The continuous flow of changing techniques in Aikido helps kids improve their coordination skills and ability to adapt.
Judo originated from Jujutsu – which was developed during the Muromachi period. It has since changed a lot, especially when it comes to rules and regulations.
Nowadays, there are two main types of judo:
- One that allows competitors to hold onto each other’s uniforms (known as newaza ) while
- The other only allows full contact throws (known as Ne Waza ).
Both forms can be practiced by kids.
There are many benefits to practicing Judo such as strengthening eyesight, better flexibility, coordination, and building self-confidence in children. Keep in mind that when it comes to throwing opponents onto the ground, beginners are not allowed to do this at full force just in case they get hurt!
Also known as “the gentle art,” Jujutsu is another Japanese martial arts form that can be effectively used for self-defense. It teaches people how to turn an opponent’s strength against them so that they become vulnerable instead.
This type of martial arts also encourages students to adapt according to their environment so they can use everyday objects around them if needed.
Kids who learn Jujutsu will learn strikes ( punches, elbow, and knee strikes ), grabs, grappling techniques, joint locks, take-downs, throws, ground fighting techniques, defense against weapons like knives and guns, as well as anything else that will improve the student’s self-confidence.
- Japanese Kickboxing
Japanese Kickboxing is suitable for kids 9 years old and above. It is taught by instructors who are more experienced than those who teach smaller kids!
There are three main components to this form of martial arts: Punching, kicking, knee, and elbow strikes.
How to Select the Best Martial Art for Kids
The best martial art for kids depends on many different factors including age, gender, location, and availability. Not all martial arts are created equal. Some can help kids lose weight while others will improve their self-discipline.
Another important factor is what the child’s goals are. It would be pointless to learn something like wrestling if they want to become a professional dancer or musician.
Now that you know more about the different types of martial arts, let’s find out how you can determine which type is right for your kid!
Step #1 – Explain Why You Want Your Kid to Learn Martial Arts
This should be something like self-defense, teaching the child discipline and respect, or simply making them stronger overall by keeping fit.
Lots of kids will not understand why someone would need martial arts especially if they are still very young. As such, it’s important to explain this clearly before signing them up for classes.
Step #2 – Find Out What Their Goals Are
If your kid wants some help with their fitness then there are lots of options available today. However, if they want to learn about defending themselves, you need to find a martial art that focuses on that type of training.
Step #3 – Decide Which Martial Art Is Right for Your Kid
Depending on what your child thinks about martial arts, you need to find a form that matches their needs and goals as well.
Step #4 – Consider Transportation
If you are enrolling your child in a martial art that’s located outside of your area, you’ll need to consider how they get there. Many schools are open for just a few hours every day which may be early in the morning or late at night so transport will become an important consideration here.
Step #5 – Ask About Their Curriculum
The best martial arts philosophy gives children different activities to keep them motivated and interested in their classes. Most schools have kids focus on specific things instead of mastering everything. This encourages self-discipline, patience, and respect towards others.
For example, if your kid doesn’t like sports, they can focus on things like improving their balance flexibility instead as well as learning about nutrition.
Step #6 – Ask About the Class Size
When you’re enrolling in martial arts classes for kids, it’s important to find out how large each group usually is. This will help you determine if they’ll have enough personal attention or if they’ll be so far behind that it becomes discouraging.
On average, 6 students are ideal but you can get away with 5 if your kid is more advanced. Most places will not allow more than 8-10 people per class at one time though.
Step #7 – Find Out What Other Parents Think of Their Martial Art School
It’s a good idea to get third-party opinions before settling on an option. This is why it’s best to talk to other parents who have children that are already enrolled in the school.
You can then compare these testimonials with your own experience to see which one sounds better in the long run.
Step #8 – Speak With Their Instructor
Although you’re not required for this process, most parents speak with their child’s martial arts instructor during their enrollment.
An important thing to ask is why they started teaching martial arts? If you get a vague response like “I just wanted to help people” then move on quickly! Look for something like “I’ve been teaching for 3 years and I love seeing kids move on to new levels” or something of the like.
Step #9 – Find Out How Much They Charge
Since martial arts classes can get expensive, you need to see how much your options may charge before committing to anything.
Step #10 – Consider Martial Arts Equipment
If your kid is interested in learning how to use weapons during martial arts training, you need to find out how much it costs and where they get them from.
Some schools require children to bring their swords while others provide them for free. So, this will depend on the school’s policy.
Step #11 – Figure Out How Your Child Is Doing In Class
After your child has been attending martial arts classes for a few months, look at their progress reports to see where they’re struggling and if their concentration is heightened or not which could mean that something needs to be tweaked in their training program.
Step #12 – Attend a Martial Arts Event
If you want to make sure that your kid can handle themselves when they face a dangerous situation then taking them to a martial arts event will show you how they’d fare in real life.
Oftentimes, the entire family is invited so this can be a fun bonding experience as well! Just make sure that your kid has spare clothes on hand because you never know what might happen.
Step #13 – Sign Your Child Up For Other Classes
As well as their regular martial arts classes, it’s important that children are constantly learning new things which means you should consider enrolling them into other courses like piano or dance lessons for example.
This will give them more self-confidence and help improve their overall health, fitness, and wellbeing. Although there are several reasons why kids love martial arts, it’s always best to ensure that they do so responsibly.
Step #14 – Choose the Right School
To make sure that you’re doing your child’s martial arts training in a safe and perfect environment, choose one of the best schools in your area.
Best Martial Arts for Kids – Bottom Line
Martial arts are an excellent way to get your child interested in self-defense, health, and fitness, or just a fun hobby.
But before you sign them up for it, make sure that the instructor they’re training under is reputable and experienced. Otherwise, their safety could be jeopardized – which defeats the purpose of enrolling them!
Some of these include finding out about the school’s history, learning how large each group usually is, what other parents think of their school, speaking with instructors about why they started teaching martial arts classes among many others.
Once you follow all 14 steps then you should have no trouble picking the right program that will responsibly teach your kids while keeping them safe at all times. Good luck!