When you are searching for a martial arts program for your child, it can be tough considering there are endless amounts of schools out there all trying to get your attention.
Not only that, but you have to narrow down exactly what type of martial art you want your child to learn.
Finding out which is the best martial arts for kids doesn't come simple. There are dozens of them out there; you can more than likely find several different styles in your city alone.
To help you out, we've come up with (in no particular order) seven of the best martial arts for kids that they're sure to benefit from.
What can be considered the best art for a child to learn differs for many people.
There's no single best fighting art, but there are some that handle certain aspects better than others.
Does your child seem more prone to grappling or striking?
Do they require something high-paced or something slower?
Another thing to think about is age. The martial arts laid out in the following list are approved for children as young as 5-years-old. However, there's a difference between training and competing.
You may want to hold off placing your child into competition and just allow them to learn the basics of the art until they're around 8-years-old. They'll have a more mature state of mind to handle any disappointments from losing and won't be prone to quitting anytime soon.
Lastly, think about the school itself and the instructors. How well instructors handle their class, how they talk to each kid, is more important than the art itself. You can find an incredible art style to enroll your child in but not the best teacher. It's even more important if you're starting your child out young. An instructor should be equipped to deal with kids of all types and skill level.
Karate is one of the most popular martial arts studied around the world. With children, it is especially a favored, common art. Much of this is due to the fact that it isn't entirely difficult for kids to learn. Karate is primarily a striking art; it involves punching, kicks, open-hand techniques, knee strikes, and elbow strikes. Some of the more modern styles now involve grappling, throws, restraints and more.
Though young kids can be found learning this art, the minimum age depends on the actual dojo and what that instructor wants to teach. Even so, knowing that kids can learn this at such a young age makes it a favorite for parents and children alike.
Kung Fu is a rather fluid Chinese martial art that places a focus on balancing as well as strength training. It is a wonderful art for kids who may need some additional help in terms of developing proper balance. Kung Fu is a great physical activity for kids to release a good deal of energy and have fun while doing it. It winds up being more like an aerobic exercise.
Children who have ADHD and other hyperactivity disorders tend to find use in this art. It allows them to let out some energy in a safe environment without overly taxing their bodies. There's also another great aspect of Kung Fu in that it teaches meditation. It's an active art that also does well with balancing a child out.
This modern Japanese art is known for teaching practitioners not just how to defend themselves, but also how to protect their attacker. This requires a lot of joint locks, throws, and turning movements that allows you to use your opponent's momentum against them.
It is a way of learning that winds up being safer for kids to learn since the risk of injury is low compared to other martial arts. Aikido also does well at teaching kids how to properly fall down without hurting themselves. It is something that can translate into keeping your kids safe in other sports and physical activities.
BJJ is a martial art that teaches children a vast number of life skills. Like with other martial arts, BJJ instills a good level of discipline by having kids learn how to properly listen to their instructors, dedicate themselves to learning all the moves, and more. It also teaches kids that their size really doesn't matter; you can take down a bigger opponent as long as you use your mind as well as your body.
As this martial art mainly involves grappling and ground fighting, be sure your child seems ready to handle such close contact. Many kids don't compete in BJJ until they're a bit older (around 7-years-old), but it still wouldn't hurt to have younger ones learn the basics as a fun exercise routine.
This is a martial art that was adjusted to make it safer on practitioners. It is structured in a way that allows kids to see improvement in their skills and knowledge of the art with each lesson. This, in turn, does well with helping kids build up their self-confidence.
Judo is a Japanese martial art that requires a good amount of focus in order to properly understand the moves and how to deliver them safely. It is an excellent fighting art that combines self-defense with intellectual stimulation that children can use in various outlets of their lives.
Though this Korean martial art was originally developed with warriors in mind, it can serve children well. It is yet another art that works well for children with attention and hyperactivity disorders. There is a structure in learning Tae Kwon Do that emphasizes focus on a particular task.
This is an art children can easily practice no matter where they are at. The moves involve can aid in a child's gross motor skills as well. It is excellent at building up strength and balance, and kids of various ages can practice this easy enough as it allows children to pace themselves as they learn.
Wrestling is a fighting art that is geared more toward older children. It does well at developing basic athletic skills and starts teaching kids early about having nutritional eating habits considering competition wrestling deals with weigh-ins and the likes. The art is a good first step in your child developing an overall healthier lifestyle.
Also, like with other arts, it drills discipline into a child as well as pushes them to continue to better themselves. Wrestling requires kids to focus on mastering specific techniques, so it can help children learn how to narrow their attention down to the most important things, a trait that they can easily use throughout their lives such as in school.
As mentioned before, the best martial arts for kids will largely deal with the school you find, the instructor, and your child. Read up on every martial art and talk about it with your child. What works best for one kid may not work for another. It's important to gather as much research as you can before making any decision.
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