When you think of 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 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 must be at an appropriate developmental level, but children as young as four can start martial arts training at the Pendergrass Academy of Martial Arts. In this post, we’ll explain how martial arts training can benefit young children ages 4-6 and which martial arts are best for them to learn.
How Can Martial Arts Classes Benefit Young Children?
Martial arts training requires concentration and focus, qualities that aren’t usually associated with young children. Four years old is usually the youngest age to start martial arts classes. Here are some of the benefits that you can expect if you enroll your 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 a toddler, you know that they can be accident-prone. They typically lack the muscle control and coordination that they’ll have as they get older.
Martial arts training can help children build muscle tone and learn how to control their movements.
Children 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 children 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 bedtime–without a fuss.
Behavior and Self-Control
Even at a young age, kids can learn the core tenets of martial arts: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit.
Since children are only a couple of years away from school, it’s beneficial for them to learn these tenets since they apply in the classroom as well.
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 children provide a safe setting for kids to interact with and support one another.
What Are the Best Martial Arts for Young Children?
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. Here are four martial arts that are appropriate for children.
- Aikido. Aikido is a Japanese martial art that promotes non-violence, self-confidence, and self-awareness. With no person-to-person contact, aikido is one of the safest martial arts for kids.
- Taekwondo. Taekwondo is popular for students of all ages and a particularly desirable choice as the best martial art for young children. The focus is on muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.
- Karate. Karate classes focus on self-defense, teaching kids how to control their movements and protect themselves. For that reason, it’s one of the best child martial arts.
- Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is another popular choice because it focuses on self-defense, teaching martial artists to take down an opponent. Most importantly, it teaches kids to face an opponent without hitting them.
As a parent, you’ll need to decide on the best martial art for your child. When kids study martial arts at an early age, they learn to incorporate exercise into their daily lives. They can continuously pursue a more complex, contact-based martial art when they get older.
Pendergrass Academy of Martial Arts proudly serves the Wake Forest, Wakefield, and Raleigh NC areas. For more information about us check out: https://bjjnc.com/program/kids-martial-arts/