When you think of the martial arts, you might think of adults with black belts who have superior control and physical fitness. Many of the adults who have advanced belts got their start in the martial arts as children. Parents often ask if martial arts classes are appropriate for young children.
The short answer is yes. Martial arts for children as young as four years old can benfit from martial arts training.
How Can Martial Arts Classes Benefit Young Kids?
Here are some of the benefits that you can expect if you enroll your young child in a martial arts class.
One of the most significant benefits of martial arts for children is an improvement in physical coordination. If you’ve ever spent time with young kids, you know that they can be accident prone. They’re not yet totally steady on their feet and they typically lack the muscle control and coordination that they’ll have as they get older.
Martial arts training can help kids build muscle tone and learn how to control their movements.
Kids tend to be full of energy and it can be difficult to rein in that energy or put it to productive use. There’s a reason that the parents of young kids are often exhausted!
Martial arts training provides young kids with a healthy and productive outlet for all that excess energy. A child who attends a martial arts class is likely to be ready for a nap–or for bedtime–without a fuss.
Behavior and Self-Control
Even at a young age, kids can learn the core tenets of the martial arts: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. These life skills are important for children to learn, even before they start school.
The earlier that kids learn how to engage in appropriate social behavior, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to thrive in school and beyond.
Martial arts for young children provides a safe setting for kids to interact with and support one another.
What is the Best Martial Arts for Kids?
As you might expect, not all martial arts disciplines are appropriate for young children. Specifically, we recommend against any martial arts training that involves contact. Young children should not be throwing punches at one another that make contact. Here are two of the most popular martial arts that are appropriate for kids.
- Karate. Karate classes focus on teaching kids how to control their movements, improve coordination and listening skills and develop confidence. Life Skills are an important part of a karate class, giving kids the tools they need to become champions for life.
- Taekwondo. Taekwondo is another popular martial arts for students of all ages and a particularly desirable choice for kids. The focus is on muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. Like karate, a great Taekwondo school will have an emphasis on life skills.
As a parent, you’ll need to decide on the best martial art for your child. While all styles have some technique differences, a great instructor is the single most important reason for choosing a martial arts school. A great teacher can have a profound impact on a child’s life for years to come.