What Are The Best Martial Arts for Kids?

Putting your child in an extracurricular activity is an excellent way for them to learn a new skill, develop their personality, and find out their strengths and weaknesses. Many parents have found that enrolling their child in a martial arts class can be a great way to strengthen their physical abilities and their mental abilities.

There are many benefits to enrolling your child in a martial arts class. Parents who have enrolled their kids in martial arts have found that their children grow to develop the following skills:

  • Proper self-defense tactics
  • Resilience
  • Strong self-esteem
  • Patience and perseverance
  • Physical strength building
  • Mental strength building

If you’re considering enrolling your child in a martial arts class, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the different options available. Let’s take a look at some of the best martial arts classes that lend themselves well for children of all ages.


Taekwondo is a Korean type of martial arts, and its main components include kicking. Taekwondo focuses on fast kicking techniques, jumping spinning kicks, and head high kicks.

Taekwondo is a competitive type of martial arts that really emphasizes agility and speed. If your kid is a natural athlete, taekwondo can be a great way to take them up a step further and their athleticism. Unlike karate, where stances tend to be wider, taekwondo focuses on keeping a tight and narrow stance in order to achieve agility and speed.

Additional benefits of taekwondo include flexibility training for your little one, muscle strength training, and balancing.


One of the oldest types of martial arts is wrestling. And chances are if you have a little energetic child in the house, they’ve probably shown interest in wrestling through roughhousing before they even realized it was a type of martial arts.

Unlike other martial arts types, wrestling allows you to use your full body to pin opponents down. If you have kids with a lot of aggression or energy, wrestling can be a great way to burn off that extra energy.

The main focus of wrestling includes takedowns, pins, and locks. Unlike taekwondo, where many moves are done standing up, wrestling requires a lot of tumbling on the ground.

Starting off your kid in wrestling can be great at any age, though because it is considered one of the toughest sports to train and compete in, older kids might fare better in wrestling due to the required physical and mental conditioning.

Muay Thai

If wrestling is too aggressive for your child, Muay Thai can be a great alternative. Sometimes this Thai style of boxing is referred to as “the art of eight limbs.” This is because Muay Thai is characterized by using your fists, elbows, shins, and knees during matches.

Although it’s a lot like wrestling, Muay Thai has a lot more agility and speed associated with it than wrestling does. However, Muay Thai does require a similar amount of strength needed in wrestling. Also, because wrestling can be intimidating for smaller and skinnier kids, Muay Thai can be a great alternative for kids who are still getting comfortable with their body type.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great type of martial arts for kids to participate in because it really works out the body and the mind. Along with grappling and submission, Brazilian jiu-jitsu focuses on perseverance and determination during the match.

Because matches are won through submission, kids get the opportunity to think through different problem-solving scenarios. Along the way, the necessary mental stamina and patience required will give your child the opportunity to problem-solve and think critically through their next move.

Mixed Martial Arts

If your child can’t decide on a favorite type of martial arts to try, mixed martial arts might be the best option for them to go with. Mixed martial arts offers the option of different kinds of fighting methods.

What makes mixed martial arts so great is that you can blend different fighting styles so that your child will get exposure to both fighting on the ground and fighting standing up. Not only that, but your child will get to work out their mental stamina as well as their physical stamina during the process.


If you have older children who have an affinity for martial arts, boxing can be a great option as far as martial arts classes to enroll them in goes. Boxing requires a lot more strength, endurance, and stamina than other types of martial arts. And for some kids, especially older kids, the physical movement and act of boxing can be a great way to release stress, anger, and built-up tension.

One of the best aspects of boxing is that your kid will learn how to throw a proper punch. This can be a great life skill to have as boxing teaches necessary self-defense.


Usually, when people hear martial arts, karate is the first thing that comes to mind. And why shouldn’t it be? Karate is easily one of the best martial arts types for kids to practice at any age. This is especially a great form of martial arts if you want to start your child early in this world of athleticism.

Like other martial arts types, karate does an exceptional job of building strength, flexibility, and agility. However, karate is exceptional because it teaches students discipline, patience, and immense respect for both the sport, people, and themselves.

Final Thoughts on the Best Martial Arts for Kids

With the many different types of martial arts classes available, understanding which one is best for your child starts with a conversation. Allow your child to explore the different types of styles available, and what they think would be the best fit for their personality.

Once your child has the opportunity to play around with different styles, they’ll be able to navigate the world of martial arts and find themselves practicing the method that they enjoy and will thrive in.

Brett Gordon

The brains behind The Toy Report. Having clocked tons of time in toys research and online resource development, today, Brett is dedicated to making The Toy Report a trusted space in the world of toy reviews and recommendations.