Sports & Wellness
Martial Arts for Kids: How To Make Your Boy a Ninja
Want to help your boy become a ninja? Then consider signing him up for martial arts classes! From karate to taekwondo, you can help him be a top fighter.
Martial arts is an extremely popular sport — so much so to where over 163,000 people in the UK participate in some form of martial arts. There are many benefits of martial arts. The sport is not only a great way to stay in shape and learn self-defence, but you'll learn the tools to control your emotions and develop self-confidence.
Many parents think that taking your child to martial arts classes is beneficial, and they're correct! So, how do you make your child the ultimate ninja? Here are different martial arts fighting styles to consider plus some tips to get started.
Best Types of Martial Arts for Kids
The first step to teaching your child martial arts is choosing the right sport. Here are some of our recommendations!
Taekwondo is a favourite sport for kids. Parents love it because Taekwondo teaches discipline and patience. Kids love it because this sport gives them the opportunity to connect with other kids.
Taekwondo is Korean and translates to "the way of the foot and the fist." This means that Taekwondo for kids also incorporates kicking moves, punching, and jabbing. However, the moves are very elaborate, so your child will have to undergo vigorous training. Don't worry, Taekwondo is a safe sport — as long as you enrol your child in a reputable school.
If Taekwondo is too intense, karate is an alternative. Karate for boys is a weaponless self-defence sport that originated in Okinawa, Japan. "Karate" translates to "empty hands." Since the sport emphasizes the no weapon doctrine, it's a popular sport for kids.
In addition to self-defence moves, karate teaches self-control, spiritual development, discipline, and patience. While it mainly focuses on moves with the arms, karate does make use of the full body.
Karate also uses the coloured belt hierarchy, starting with the white belt. As your child moves through the program, they will gain new coloured belts before reaching the final stage — the black belt.
Jiu-Jitsu is popular for self-defence, though it's ideal for older athletes since you'll learn skills to tackle opponents of all sizes. This is why the majority of jiu-jitsu athletes are women. However, there are jiu-jitsu classes made for kids to get them started as well as various beginner classes.
Instead of other fighting styles that focus on punching and kicking, jiu-jitsu focuses on grappling. Jiu-jitsu can be a physically demanding sport, but it will help build your child's strength and flexibility.
Even though jiu-jitsu originated in Japan, it made its way to Brazil where it evolved from there. That's why it's often called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).
Aikido is the least violent form of martial arts, which is what makes it a favourite for parents.
While it won't teach your child valuable self-defence moves, it will teach them how to block attacks. Aikido is recommended for those new to martial arts who aren't sure which sport to pursue. In addition, Aikido will improve your child's focus, since they will have to keep an eye on their opponent to block attacks.
Muay Thai actually translates to "Thai boxing." That's because it focuses on turning your whole body into a weapon. Muay Thai focuses on jabbing and striking with the arms and legs as well as grappling moves.
It is one of the most violent martial arts sports in the world, which is why most people pursue Muay Thai as adults. However, kids will learn amazing self-defence skills. Plus, your child will also learn how to use their arms and legs to block attacks.
Another reason why kids like Muay Thai is it's one of the easiest forms of martial arts to learn. The moves aren't complicated and your child will be in a standing position the entire time.
Tips to Get Your Child Started With Martial Arts
Does your child know which martial arts sport they want to pursue? If so, here are tips to ensure they excel.
Start Them at the Right Age
Some martial arts studios will let kids in as young as three years old, though five or six years old is an ideal age for your kid to start. However, every child is different. Your child may be ready when they're younger or older than the recommended age. The key is maturity — your child should develop the willpower to put in the effort while focusing on the moves.
Enrol Them in a School
There are professional martial arts schools all over the UK. It's recommended you enrol your child in a professional school as opposed to teaching them yourself.
A great teacher is integral to your child's performance in martial arts. You should still do your due diligence and learn about the instructors, the school, cost, and class times. You should also avoid schools that have strict contracts.
In addition, find out if the school offers a free lesson. Take your child to one lesson and see how they like it.
Create a Home Dojo
In order for your child to progress in martial arts, they have to train outside of the mat.
Create a "home dojo," or a space for your child to train at home. You can easily clear up a room and find roll-up mats to set down. Depending on the sport your child is pursuing, you may need other equipment, such as targets and gloves. From here, help your child train or watch them while they practise their moves.
Set up a Rewards System
Kids are kids. They may get distracted and would rather put their focus on other pastimes.
But if your child aspires to excel at martial arts, they will need to practise and train. Set up a rewards system that encourages them to continue training.
Every time they have a successful lesson, give them a small gift or toy. You can also give them a point every time they practise. Once they received enough points, your child can trade those points toward a larger gift, a junk food dinner, or even a small holiday.
Your Child Will Become a Ninja With Martial Arts
While martial arts are great for kids, anyone of all ages can pursue this disciplinary sport. But do you not know how to get started? Our unique program assigns you a coach to monitor your progress. This program is perfect for beginners in martial arts and anyone new to sports, in general. Plus, we offer programs for all sports — from climbing all the way to sailing.
Find your coach today!
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