September 5, 2022

7 Best Martial Arts for Kids (Based on Difficulty)

Martial arts are dedicated to protection and self-defense. Young and impressionable children can be taught skills with ease once it’s included in their daily habits. Starting early, they become more likely to succeed in the world of martial arts. 

Martial Arts is a competitive sport which will also work as a work-out to keep growing children in peak conditions. To be precise, certain exercises will not be taught to children because only adults can handle those. Otherwise, various martial arts have techniques and fighting styles which children can adapt easily once learned.

The main aim of practicing martial arts is to give people a way to protect themselves. With the rise of bullying and kidnappings that are committed all across the globe, children should be taught to be extra vigilant. Knowing certain techniques will undoubtedly help them in dire situations. 

While choosing the best martial art for your kid(s) it is imperative to take into account knowledge of each one. Each martial art has an advantage against the other or a disadvantage. Therefore, we take into consideration the aspects of each of them. 

1. Kyokushin Karate

Karate is generally known as one of the most popular martial arts that has been introduced to countries apart from its origins. It is, in particular, a favorite with children due to how easy it is to learn. The enjoyment of learning this art and the sparring sessions make this one of the most wide-recognized and prescribed martial art.  

Karate is mainly a striking art, including smashing, kicking, open-hand techniques, knee strikes, and elbow strikes. Many of the most recent forms today include wrestling, kicking, restraint, and more. Karate has developed over the years to make it what it is today. An amalgamation of striking techniques along with grappling and submission holds, make it a great self defense tool.

One of the commonly mistaken facts about Karate is that it focuses primarily on katas and sparring sessions, coupled with cardio exercises and light strength children. In case you are worried your child will be exposed to rigorous exercising patterns, you need not do so. This is because children are taught a separate set of skills and are trained most of the time without weights. 

Keeping the aforementioned in mind, Karate holds competitive matches all across the globe. Various competitive games even take place in dojos (very much like the traditional dojo matches that take place in Okinawa – the birthplace of Karate). Additionally, there are kids karate tournaments, also known as Kempo Arnis, which adhere to ethical codes.

After attending competitive matches, a child will slowly get entrenched within the competitive sphere of Karate, and that is a good thing. Many martial arts instructors and title-winning martial artists have studied the art of fighting since they were children. Additionally, martial arts instructors and official karate fighters can earn a lot of money.

2. Wrestling

Unlike Karate, wrestling is the result of grappling techniques and takedowns, which are geared more towards enhancing the groundwork of the martial art. Also, unlike Karate, this fighting style might not be advisable for children who are too young, below the age when they gain athletic skills and are more careful with their nutritional intake. 

However, the techniques taught in wrestling are widely recognized as one of the best self-defense techniques anyone can learn. Children under this fighting sport are trained to fight in Kids Tournaments, which is a highly competitive space even for children. Once a child starts learning wrestling, he or she will naturally get involved at school and inter-city level. 

In wrestling, one of the most predominant factors involved in the training of children and, especially pre-teens, is how early the importance of the scoring system is inculcated in them. Institutes all across the U.S allow gym instructors and wrestling coaches to begin wrestling’s training regime in middle school.

As mentioned earlier, as a wrestler, just like any other fighter, your child can make a professional career out of this based on how he does in competitive matches. Wrestlers can take jobs like wrestling coaches or gym instructors – the issue might be of a low pay grade. Additionally, many wrestlers have managed to make a lot of money through winning competitions.

3. Taekwondo

Another popular martial art like Karate, taekwondo is especially prevalent in Korean culture and is often represented as one of the best fighting styles which exist. A taekwondo learner will be expected to adapt to the use of their legs in fights more than anything. This is also partly why adults sometimes find it more challenging to learn than children.

If you want to make sure your child learns a world-class martial art, it helps in ensuring that they start learning Taekwondo at an early age so that later, it might not come across as relatively challenging. Much like Karate, it allows children to learn only those techniques which their bodies can perform without incurring any injury. 

Young girl practicing taekwondo

Taekwondo primarily has kicking techniques, each of which differs from each other in terms of where they should connect. High kicks and spinning kicks are especially known in taekwondo as “game-changer’” Moreover, kicks allow a taekwondo practitioner to perfectly engage with an opponent from a distance, a skill especially useful for pre-teens or younger children for self defense.

4. BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)

BJJ is famously known for its meticulous techniques and grappling techniques. Similar to wrestling in terms of where the actual fight takes place for such fighters, BJJ is still more realistic in comparison to wrestling in terms of fighting style. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also similar to wrestling in terms of how it is probably not the best idea to teach your young children at an early age. A child who is also a pre-teen or leaning towards teenhood may find this martial art harder to learn. However, its training is specially developed to make an individual’s body tougher. 

This is a brutal martial art that is in line with most other forms of fighting that is inclusive of grappling techniques such as sambo. In fact, as a martial art, it has evolved and merged into MMA, thus the reason why so many MMA fighters use these techniques. If your child wishes to, they can make a successful MMA career with this martial art. 

As a student of the martial art at an early age, the best age to start proper training for this martial art should be 7 (that is the earliest you can start training). This martial art has a lot to do with self-control and confidence since it caters to the needs of those who are not as physically gifted as others. It builds confidence in children from an early age. 

5. Kung Fu

Kung Fu originally thought of as one of the most ancient martial art forms existing in the world, multiple concepts from this martial art are based on defense and counterattacks. Kung Fu is a perfect sporting exercise for kids of all ages to unleash a lot of the pent-up energy and at the same time have fun doing it.

Kung Fu is often thought of as a Chinese martial art that emphasizes on coordination as well as strength training while maintaining the calm flow while fighting. It’s great for children who might need any extra support in developing the right equilibrium and hand-eye coordination. 

Moreover, children who have ADHD and other hyperactivity concerns and symptoms appear to enjoy taking part in learning the craft. It allows them to unleash their energy in a healthy atmosphere without even excessively stressing their bodies. To add to the aforementioned, Kung Fu teaches students meditation, inducing relief. 

Kung Fu child martial artists often grow up to take part in MMA fights and other techniques, however, kung fu is best taught as a self-development tool for impressionable children still growing and learning the ways of the world.

6. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is another one of the martial arts which incorporates the use of kicks. Muay Thai fighters are technicians of the art and children can learn this art form from an early age. Muay Thai has become one of the most dominant fighting styles which exist in MMA. Almost all MMA fighters know elements of Muay Thai.

Keeping that in mind, this fighting sport may develop your children’s mental well-being from the beginning. It is a martial art that strengthens the bones of the fighter, particularly the shin areas, and it additionally hones child-fighters into adult official fighters. 

Muay Thai practitioners are known to be vicious in battle, making this martial art very important for those who are concerned for self-defense. Additionally, Muay Thai instructors are one of the highest-paid martial arts instructors in the world; this is because Muay Thai is a very high-in-demand fighting style. 

7. MMA 

Finally, we arrive at MMA, one of the most recent but prevalent fighting styles which exist in the world. The rules which govern the game that is MMA, have soon started governing any other martial artist who fights within the confines of the UFC. A child, if he or she wishes to learn, can easily have access to MMA instructors. 

This is because there are various gyms and grounds which are specially established for MMA students. MMA is a combination of multiple martial arts techniques clubbed together to teach students how to fight standing up and sitting down. In a way, it is a martial art that essentially borrows techniques from other martial arts. 

Young children who wish to learn this martial art should be rest assured that they will learn a little bit of everything. Techniques ranging from submissions and choke-holds to striking are reminiscent of Karate and Muay Thai. 

An MMA fighter usually ends up fighting in the UFC. Making a career in the UFC may not seem easy, but for those children who manage to make this fighting sport their life, they can reach places. MMA is one of those fighting styles perfect for street fighting due to the various positions it teaches practitioners that they can attack.


All martial arts have their benefits and disadvantages, thus, learning what each one is for specifically, and understanding the intensity of the training is a must for parents. 

Understandably so, in the modern era, most children are easily capable of being subjected to criminal intentions and actions. Giving them the ability to protect themselves by learning a martial art, could be one of the best gifts for them. 

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *