Here Are The 3 Best Martial Arts For Kids
I wanted to get my kids into martial arts, so when I started doing some research, I came across a lot of different styles. I narrowed it down to the 3 best martial arts for kids.
I’ve also started training with them. It’s made for some excellent quality time together. I get the best of both worlds: getting fit and playing more with my kids.
Plus, it teaches them positive things like: self-defense, discipline, empathy, teamwork, and fitness.
The 3 Best Martial Arts For Kids
I narrowed my choices down to these 3, mainly because of their popularity and techniques that are taught.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was born in the early twentieth century when Geo Omori opened the first school in 1909. It was developed specifically for people with short heights or smaller statures to overpower bigger opponents. It’s a grappling martial art that deals with takedowns, throws, and headlocks rather than strikes.
The sport was developed by the Gracie Family who is credited with its chief development. Many members have gone on to dominate martial arts tournaments including MMA fighting.
Karate is one of the most popular martial arts in the world. It was invented in Okinawa, Japan, during the 14th century. The earliest accounts say that its proliferation was the result of banning weapons in the 15th century.
Karate is very different from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because it’s a striking art. It involves learning to master kicks and punches and using your entire body as a weapon. There’s very little groundwork or throws involved. However, it’s very beneficial in close quarters combat, much more so than BJJ.
Tae Kwan Do
Tae Kwan Do or Taekwondo, whichever you prefer, was invented in Korea and is an amalgamation of many different fighting styles. It emphasizes head height kicks and jumping as well as fast kicking. Hence, it’s a striking art.
The name of the sport originates from the schools that taught it initially; ‘kwans.’ A modern martial art, it was invented in the 1940s after the Japanese occupation of the country ended.
What Is the Best Martial Art for Kids?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the best martial art for kids because it’s the most effective for self-defense and for competitions.
Which is the Most Effective Martial Art for Kids’ Self-Defense?
To teach your child to defend against bullies or predators, I believe that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the most effective.
- Kids learn takedowns and throws
- How to fall correctly in a fight
- How to stand correctly in a fight
- How to submit someone without doing permanent damage
- How to defend against common punches, kicks, and techniques like headlocks and throws
- The methods can sometimes be effective against someone bigger and stronger
Why Should Your Kid Do Martial Arts?
There are several benefits to teaching children martial arts that go beyond the clichéd self-discipline and self-defense. Martial arts allow children to identify their strengths and weaknesses and other positive things.
Early exposure to martial arts allows children to improve their reflexes and shape their bodies for flexibility. This allows for better physical fitness and health benefits later in life.
Another great benefit of teaching children martial arts is exposure to the community. Joining a dojo or a group of students makes children learn the importance of staying together. This allows them to see the benefits of doing things together as a group rather than alone.
In today’s world, where being competitive and getting ahead of everyone is given importance, the community is more important than ever.
Fighting, learning, growing together, and teaching each other helps your children become better people. These are mental and emotional lessons that children can only gain when they learn to trust others.
It’s a trust-building exercise like no other. It’s quite similar to how soldiers tend to trust each other with their lives. This way, your children won’t have to face the brutality of war to learn the importance of teamwork.
While these lessons may seem like they are steppingstones for every child, they’re really not. Most children go through life without a robust support system. Today’s generation needs a guiding hand more than ever. Isolation seems like the new normal in the age of social media and smartphones. With martial arts, they’ll learn all the lessons that aren’t given out on Facebook and other social media forums.
What Is the Best Age to Start Martial Arts?
There are varying ages at which children can start learning martial arts. You shouldn’t hesitate to get your kids started when they begin to go to primary school. However, if they’re already in their teens, there’s no need to panic. You can still enroll them in a beginner’s class if you want.
For instance, Bruce Lee only began to learn martial arts when he was 13 years old. He went on to become the most celebrated martial artist of the last century.
The starting ages for martial arts students can range from 7 to about 22. However, you may want to start very early if you want them to earn a black belt. Students from about age 6 and up can begin learning. Or if you would like to wait a little longer, then the age of 10 is the latest.
However, don’t push your children before they’re ready. By the age of 5, children start to skip and run and fall down on their own. Every one matures at different ages. If your kids are feeling a little ambivalent before getting on the mat, that’s okay.
However, if they’re opposed to violence or the sport of martial arts altogether, there’s no point in pushing them. Different cultures teach their children martial arts at 8-11 years old or 4-10 years old. Hence, you don’t have to worry about it if your children aren’t ready when they’re toddlers. Remember, martial arts are as much about growing as people as they are about learning to fight.
Which Martial Arts Is Best for Discipline?
All martial arts teach you how to lead a disciplined lifestyle. It’s how much you commit to training.
If you want to lead a lifestyle that emphasizes fitness, exercise, learning, and teamwork, I also recommend BJJ. From my experience, there is a strong sense of community in the school. My kids have learned how to be role models to younger kids and how to teach and work with kids with less experience without hurting them.
Why I Chose Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for My Kids
Now you may be asking why I chose BJJ for my kids. It’s because BJJ is more about movement and less about fighting. BJJ helps you overpower your opponent without hurting them too much, and it is relatively safe.
I wanted to help my kids learn useful self-defense skills. I also wanted to train with them.
In BJJ, you can spar (roll) with partners and practice your techniques in live scenarios. To prevent injuries, you or your partner can tap out. This signifies the end of the round, and then you can start again.
BJJ also helps equalize the playing field. In most situations, my kids can defend themselves against someone bigger and stronger.
Further, I chose BJJ because of its emphasis on flexibility, movement, and thinking rather than striking. It’s like playing chess using you and your sparring partner’s body.
I want them to think for themselves, be flexible, and to adapt to different situations. That intuitive knowledge is given to them through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
No matter which martial art you choose, I recommend training with your kids. It’s a great family exercise, and it will teach them a lot about life.
One of the best benefits is that it will help develop a stronger relationship with your kids.