Tips on choosing the best martial arts for kids

November 3, 2015

3 Most kid-friendly martial arts styles

When trying to decide which martial arts are best for kids, its important to know the difference between the many styles available and how they can impart important skills. Much more than just teaching important self-defence skills, the right martial art study can also stimulate self-discipline, physical fitness and even strong spiritual and moral values that carry over into may aspects of life. The martial arts that are best for kids also help them to develop the confidence to excel in pursuing their dreams in both school and work.

Tips on choosing the best martial arts for kids

1. Aikido

  • A relatively new but fast growing martial art, Aikido was developed in Japan after WWII as a transformation of traditional warrior values into an art of peace.
  • For kids, Aikido has a lot to offer, including effective techniques like throws and wrist locks that can be used in real world situations as well as a philosophy that has nonviolence at its core.
  • Consisting of entirely defencive manoeuvres, Aikido is based on the idea that hostility can be overcome through harmonising with an attacker, allowing the attacker's own force to be his or her downfall.
  • Although a new martial art, Aikido is also steeped in ancient Zen teachings and incorporates practises like meditation to train the mind as well as the body.

2. Judo

  • Another Japanese martial art that is based on the transformation of older fighting styles, in this case jiu-jitsu specifically, Judo is a competitive sport that now part of the world Olympic games.
  • Kids studying Judo will receive a great physical workout from the grappling and pinning techniques that are practised with a partner.
  • These techniques are much like western wrestling, without the possible injury from the blows and strikes common in many other martial arts.
  • Judo also emphasises team spirit and a sense of fair play, and offers children a chance to win trophies and awards while learning valuable self-defence techniques at the same time.

3. Brazilian jiu-jitsu

  • One of the most effective forms of hand to hand combat in the world, Brazilian jiu-Jitsu is a modification of a traditional Japanese martial art that has become immensely popular recently.
  • Like the other forms on this list of martial arts that are best for kids, Brazilian jiu-jitsu does not emphasise punching, kicking or physical blows but instead relies on more subtle grappling and holding techniques to subdue an enemy while causing the minimum physical damage.
  • Nonetheless, this martial art is a vigorous practice that imparts a high level of self-discipline and fitness on its practitioners.

4. Karate

  • Karate is leaps and jumps above many other options, thanks to a winning blend of strength training, cardio and stretching.
  • Karate fosters a unique sense of discipline that comes from within and carries over into all aspects of life.
  • Karate is built upon tenets of respect for adults and each other.
  • Kids who take karate aren't just learning cool moves; they're also learning how to honour authority.
  • At its essence, karate is about peace, not war. This can be seen in the beauty and fluidity of its movements.
  • Any student of karate will tell you that karate isn't just about earning your black belt. Rather, this ancient art teaches today's kids lifelong lessons that they'll take with them long after they leave the dojo.
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