What age is appropriate for a child to start martial arts classes?

February 5th, 2013 | 11 Comments | Category Arts & Humanities |
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Issue:

And what is a good starting martial arts that is not karate? Are there usually father child martial art classes in areas?
We are making plans for our daughters to do some kind of martial arts as part of their physical education for homeschooling and to give them some time to spend with daddy. Thanks.

Question :

What age is appropriate for a child to start martial arts classes?

Best Solver (Answer):

Answer by Jacob Blues
4-5

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11 Responses to “What age is appropriate for a child to start martial arts classes?”
  1. Ali says:

    the sooner the better. it all depends upon the kid the earliest i would say is 3 because that is when the brain is developing and it sinks in MUCH better at this age. but if your kid isn’t completely average or has any sort of problems(not in a rude way im saying this out of honesty)then i would wait a few more years(: Good Luck!(:

  2. alwaysawhitebelt says:

    Many people have varying opinions of good starting ages for children in martial arts. I personally believe you shouldn’t put kids into martial arts until their adleast 8-9 years old, until they can actually have an attention span, and focus on what they’re being taught. and for some reason you have a negative view on karate. There is THOUSANDS of martial arts, and they’re all effective if taught properly, karate included. If you find a good karate instructor, the training will be amazing. So get any negative views on any martial art you had in your head, and put them in the trash can.
    with this being said, almost no martial arts are bad, but instructors can be. They can teach their arts badly and with little experience they can open up their own dojo if they want to. So when looking into martial arts do NOT sign up with anyone that gives anyone under the age of 16 a blackbelt. anyone that claims that their style is the best style and that everything else sucks. schools that don’t spar because they’re too “deadly”.(their’s a lot more signs of bad dojo’s, i haven’t listed them all but that is just some of them.)
    and if you want your daughters to actually learn some self defense, i would stay away from sport oriented schools. however with that said, if you don’t care about them learning self defense a sport oriented school would be just fine.
    sorry this is kind of long, but i hope that helped.

  3. Swimmergirl23 says:

    Well i started when i was 6 and now i’m 13 and have a blackbelt. I still take the classes 2 days a week-tuesdays and thursdays. I’m taking tae kwon do. It’s a very fun class. even if she’s the only girl in there, like I am most of the time. It’s fun beating up all the boys when you spar. You can start at any age, really

  4. Rikashiku says:

    Alot of kids start at 5. Its better at this age than an earlier age because they are at a developing age both mentally and physically. Older kids will have stronger muscles and a longer stamina time so they can handle the training better and understand more. Though its not unusual for kids who have started walking to try to emulate training and fighting.

    My brothers 1 year old has started copying me by putting up his hands and throwing a kick at me lol its very cute.

    You can let the father join a martial art like Karate or Muay Thai and the father can come home and teach the kids for some time.

  5. Ron says:

    I’m not so sure you want daddy to be in the same class as the girls. While spending time together is a good thing, this is not a good place to do so – in terms of participating together. If he observes the class, that would be fine. From my experience, parents do not have the necessary detachment to be able to just be one of the students along side of their children and the children tend to be too distracted because daddy or mommie is there next to them.

    As for age, it depends on mental age more than physical age. For example, some children at 5 years old are more mentally aware than others. If your daughters can follow the class instructions, then that is a good sign. If not, then obviously it would not make sense for them to be there.

    It also depends on the instructor. Teaching young children requires a different approach than older children or adults. Check the various schools in your area and see what age groups are the students. For the very young (under 8), it would be better if they could train with others their age.

  6. Kepadel says:

    I used to teach martial arts, and this is actually a pretty common question. I’ve seen kids as young as 5 and 6 participating in classes, and most do very well in their beginning courses, depending on the teacher and the curriculum they’re being taught.

    For having family classes, most schools do offer training sessions where they can train together. However, it might better for them to be separate, as the training for adults is usually very different than for children (more intensive training, advanced techniques, etc). Though if you can find a school where they offer family classes, then by all means do so.

    As for a beginner martial art, Karate or Tae Kwon Do are far more likely. They focus more on the “standard” ways of fighting, and not real heavy hitters than, say, Judo or Krav Maga. And I also suggest to keep in mind that some schools do teach weapons in the curriculum, such as the staff or nunchaku. Whether that’s something you’d want them to learn or not is entirely up to you.

    I sincerely hope this helps you in some way, and I hope you do enroll your daughters in martial arts.

  7. ChongTai says:

    It depends on if it is light contact, medium contact, or hard contact.

    6 should be the minimum. Any age under should be spent training in calisthenics and stretches to prepare for martial arts.
    Don’t go into medium contact until the beginning of adolescence.
    Don’t go into full contact until end the middle or end of adolescence.

    Then there is the mental issue. Martial arts are for fighting/self defense. Everything else such as competitions, fitness, or finding your inner self should be second. Your child should be able do distinguish when she is to use her new learned skills. Sometimes, there are students that abuse their skills. When looking for a teacher, look for one that actually teaches them to restrain themselves unless they are in serious danger. Without control, all those skills are wasted.

    Also there is no such thing as a bad martial art style. Only bad timing or teacher, or a lazy student. Scrap that idea about Karate. What you should be looking out for is those black belt schools that give out black belts to people under 16. If the school hands out black belts to students without having them to retest for them when they are 16-18 or whatever, then don’t go to that school. Also, if you’re thinking about those Chinese wushu schools, don’t call them kung fu schools because it means achievement through hard work. Second, if you see any of them with belts/sashes, keep in mind that traditional wushu has no belt ranking system, and neither does the modern wushu styles.

    My personal opinion for choice of first martial art for younger children would be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It does not have many punches. However, the choice should be up to your children and not some random guy online. You should go and sit in on some of the martial art classes and see if they like it or not.

    I think most schools teach lessons by age and/or rank.

  8. Benji F says:

    My daughter started Shitokai Karate at age 3, moved her into Tae Kwon Do at age 4
    and now she has been in Wu Chun Kung Fu for the past 4 months. (My daughter is turning 6 yrs. in a couple of months)

    No there are usually father/ child classes. Unless you go to the YMCA, or KROC /Salvation Army Center.

    Usually the classes are either geared toward children or adolescent or adult,
    and sometimes if it is like Brazilian Ju Jitsu there are children/toddler classes and sometimes
    the children will “roll” with the adults for practice in Brazilian Ju Jitsu

    But, daddy can drive them, hang out and watch, and then grab ice cream on the way home

  9. Confidential Confidential says:

    I personally think that someone shouldn’t start studying martial arts until they are around 12 – 13. It’s because I view that martial arts shouldn’t be learned until the person has an adequate mental capacity to understand what he’s learning. Also because I believe that the person needs to be able to physically defend himself with his art. Before the age of 12 -13, a kid or teenager’s body isn’t physically able to stand up to the average attacker. In conclusion, I believe that the person should be at least 12 -13 years old, that way he has the mental capacity to effectively understand the art and so that his body can physically have a chance against an attacker. I mean, before martial arts got popularized in the U.S. and the world by movies, most students of martial arts were adults.

  10. Zak says:

    Wrestling? Whenever, kids do it anyway.

    Judo or BJJ? 8 maybe. So long as the kids don’t do the Kata in Judo yet.

    Any striking style, or style with striking in it? (I know Judo has it technically), 10 or 11, maybe older.

    bluntly, I did Judo at 11, and through observing the kids class, there really doesn’t seem to be any effect from previous training when they came to the senior class, so any move more complex than a tackle is out really, kids like to roll around, but kids who did 2 years of training, say from the age of 4 to 6, still couldn’t do a basic Osoto-Gari, I had a decent one after a couple of months, plus kids can’t judge aggression well, and this combined with how ineffective training is anyway leads to them reacting badly to a punch to the face, they tend to cry or flail.

    Let them mature, wrestling is okay though.

  11. phuleshazard says:

    There is a ton of articles out on that here is a few:

    http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art34374.asp

    http://www.martialarts.co.in/right-age-to-start-learning-martial-arts.html

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Martial-Arts-For-Kids—Whats-a-Good-Age-to-Start?&id=4124559

    This is a age old question and age old debate, I know when I was 7-8 years old I learned a bit of Judo from my dad, I was picked on alot at that age, and when someone would throw a punch, as long as I’m not angry I’d throw them and run. Problem is is that age I couldn’t control my anger, and when I got angry all training was thrown out the window…… Didn’t really get any better from age 12-14 when I was learning American Kempo Karate, still couldn’t control my anger and all training lost whenever I got angry. Still learned Judo off and on from my dad as well then age 18 I started Wing Chun Kung Fu learned alot there and to control my anger. Also alot of meditation.. SO in point of fact the best age for me to learn was 18.
    It’s been a long time and I’ve learned more martial arts since then.
    When I was a kid I had a physiologist and alot of medication…… really not cool…. In and out of alot of doctors.

    Really depends on the maturaty level of the kid, in my case as a kid and teen I had the maturity of a 2 year old…. I’m not proud of it but I have learned from it and I admit the fact.

    What age should kids start training in Martial arts? thats a case by case, decision.

    Here is another intersting article, provides a good counter aurgument:
    http://www.yunhoiwingchun.com/Articles/General/TeachingMartialArtstokids/tabid/93/Default.aspx

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