Parent’s Guide to Top Martial Arts for Younger Children

Pathfinder - kids self-defense program

Parent’s Guide to Top Martial Arts for Younger Children

Even if starting your child in martial arts seems intimidating, it is wise to consider the many options. Participation in martial arts interests kids, and every parent wants their kids to be excited about something! Basic knowledge of the martial arts best for smaller children helps families decide if they are suitable for them, will most likely meet expectations, and are safest for little ninjas.

No Need for Weapons for Young Children

Let’s face it, some kids grow up and run around the house playing cowboys even if they have never held or been exposed to guns. Some kids find anything and seem to have a knack for creating some form of weapon. However, when it comes to martial arts, it is best to avoid styles that include weaponry for smaller children. Using weapons only increases the chances of injury or harm. Kids need to learn self-control well before they are introduced to weapons in martial arts.

Self-Control and Discipline as an Integral Part of Martial Arts

That’s right. Martial arts training for smaller children is more than just a great workout. Family-oriented studios work with families to teach and train them in self-control and discipline. These qualities include respect, honor, honesty, and more. The prospect of learning self-control in any training excites many parents since self-control is a common concern for many families. The good news – you are not alone, and experienced instructors understand the dilemma.

It is not hard to understand why so many families have their children enrolled in martial arts!

Martial Art Instructors Should Exhibit Control and Leadership

Although younger students are learning the basics of martial arts, the moves can be risky when not used or monitored appropriately. It is critical to find instructors that grasp that it is the way martial arts are taught that makes a difference in how children will use them. Instructors’ heavy responsibility is to ensure their student’s safety on the mat and outside the studio.

Keeping Martial Arts Simple for Young Students

Every child will aspire to be like Bruce Lee or another famous martial arts figure, but as with anything, baby steps. Instruction for small children should be simple, easy to understand, and successfully executed. Some martial arts styles are considered better for young students. Still, the studio and instructors are a significant part of their success. Try to observe a session ahead of enrolling or ask to try a free class. Although it is only a snapshot, several things will be evident immediately, such as cleanliness, professionalism, instruction, and training organization. Naturally, things will seem a little busy if you haven’t watched a class before, but most parents can tell if something will fit their child quickly.

Jiu-Jitsu for Small Martial Arts Students

This form of martial arts focuses on self-defense. Since children will be smaller than most threatening opponents, the techniques taught in Jiu-Jitsu focus on grappling and groundwork. The methods include distance control, positioning, and submission moves. The techniques are independent of strength for effectiveness.

Karate Introduces Sparring as Students Learn

One area that some families would prefer to avoid is sparring. Sparring is when two students fight each other with padding and close supervision. Sparring is only one element of karate; instructors usually reserve the invitation to spar for students who have shown self-control in and out of the studio. Young children like karate because it mimics some of the moves they are familiar with from popular movies, television shows, and video games.

Taekwondo Gets Young Martial Arts Students Physical

Taekwondo is one of the most physical workouts for young students. This form requires the entire body to work, starting with the core. Children experience improved balance, self-control, and agility. Although working to develop skills like kicking and punching, a good program can work well for young students. However, it is good to know that kicking and jump kicking take coordination and balance. Some young students (3 to 5 years) may struggle or get frustrated with some of the faster moves.

All Forms of Martial Arts Offer Immense Benefits

The three martial arts mentioned here are some of the favorites of families of young children. However, a solid mixed martial arts program will offer the same benefits because of its multi-faceted approach to training young students. Regardless of what form you choose for your child, all martial arts provide similar benefits.

Young students who participate in martial arts training have a head start because of the life skills they learn. Students develop strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. Self-confidence is an organic by-product of martial arts training. Students in martial arts training are held to high standards of honor and respect. Improved social skills and leadership are often the result of continued martial arts training.

If you live in Carlsbad or Rancho Bernardo, check out SwiftKick Martial Arts for a fully developed children’s program starting at age 3!