What Every Parent Should Know Before Enrolling Their Kid in Martial Arts

As a parent, you're always looking for ways to enrich your child's life - activities that nurture growth, instill discipline, and maybe even teach a fun skill or two. Martial arts might just be on your radar, and for good reason.

It's a journey that offers far more than the ability to throw a punch or execute a kick. It's about character building, physical fitness, and life lessons that extend well beyond the dojo. Before you sign up, there are essential aspects you should consider to ensure martial arts is the right fit for your child and your family.

Finding the Right Martial Art

From the strategic groundwork of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the dynamic throws of Judo, each style brings its unique flair. It's crucial to find a discipline that resonates with your child's interests and personality. Some prefer the high-energy kicks and punches of Taekwondo, while others thrive in the disciplined calm of Karate. Consider visiting a few classes with your child to see which style sparks their enthusiasm.

What Makes Each Martial Art Different?

The world of martial arts is diverse, offering a range of styles, each with its unique focus and benefits. Understanding these differences can help you and your child choose the one that best aligns with their interests and personality:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

This martial art focuses on ground fighting and grappling. It teaches techniques for controlling and submitting opponents, emphasizing strategy over strength. Ideal for children who enjoy tactical thinking and problem-solving.


Known for its dynamic throws and takedowns, Judo teaches students how to use an opponent's force against them. It's a great choice for kids who appreciate physical and strategic challenges, promoting balance and coordination.


This Korean martial art is famous for its high-energy kicks and strikes. It emphasizes agility, flexibility, and speed, making it a popular choice for children who enjoy dynamic and acrobatic movements.


Focused on striking techniques like punches, kicks, and knee strikes, Karate combines physical training with mental discipline. It's well-suited for kids who thrive in structured environments and are interested in a balance of physical and mental development.

Kung Fu

This term encompasses a variety of Chinese martial arts, each with its unique style. Generally, Kung Fu focuses on fluid, graceful movements and combines self-defense techniques with philosophical elements, suitable for children who are interested in a holistic approach to martial arts.


Aikido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on using an opponent's energy to gain control. It is non-competitive and emphasizes harmony and non-resistance, making it ideal for kids who are more interested in self-improvement and cooperation than competition.

When considering a martial art for your child, it’s beneficial to visit different dojos and observe classes. Pay attention to the teaching style, how the students interact, and what the atmosphere is like. This can give you and your child a better idea of what each martial art entails and which one could be the best fit.

More Than Just a Hobby

Martial arts training is a journey of commitment, requiring dedication not just from the child but also from their parents. This journey, both in terms of time and effort, involves a partnership between the child, their instructors, and you as parents.

Regular practice is crucial for skill development, and it's important to assess whether your child is ready to embrace this level of commitment. As a parent, your involvement and support play a pivotal role in this process. Here's what this commitment might look like:

Consistent Attendance

Regular attendance at classes is essential for your child’s progress. As a parent, this means ensuring they have transportation to classes and their schedule allows for consistent participation.

Home Practice

Beyond the dojo, practicing at home is key. Parents can help by providing a space for practice and encouraging regular rehearsal of techniques, enhancing flexibility and mental preparation.

Participation in Events

Engaging in martial arts often includes participating in tournaments, demonstrations, or gradings. Parental support in these activities, whether it's providing transport or being present to cheer them on, is vital for their growth and experience.

Discipline and Respect

Commitment to martial arts also involves adhering to its discipline and showing respect to instructors and fellow students. As a parent, reinforcing these values at home complements the dojo’s teachings and helps inculcate them in daily life.

Patience and Perseverance

Progress in martial arts can be gradual and sometimes challenging. Parental encouragement during these times is crucial in teaching children the value of patience and perseverance.

Balancing with Other Activities

If your child is involved in other extracurricular activities, helping them balance their time effectively is a part of your commitment to their martial arts journey. It involves coordinating schedules and sometimes making tough decisions about prioritizing activities.

Preparing for the First Class

Preparing your child for their first martial arts class is crucial in setting them up for success. It's important to discuss what they should expect, emphasizing the importance of listening, following instructions, and respecting both instructors and fellow students. Explain that feeling nervous is normal and that every student in the dojo has been a beginner at some point. Encourage them to approach the class with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

When preparing for the first martial arts class, discussing appropriate attire is important. While a uniform is typically provided by the school, ensuring your child wears comfortable, non-restrictive clothing for the initial sessions is essential. It's also beneficial to introduce your child to some basic martial arts etiquette, such as bowing to the instructor, to help them become familiar with dojo customs (but don’t worry, their first class will cover the basics!)

Above all, emphasize to your child that martial arts training, while disciplined, is also about learning new skills in a fun and engaging way. This balance of respect, discipline, and enjoyment is central to their martial arts experience, setting the tone for a rewarding journey ahead.

The Journey Ahead in Martial Arts

As your child embarks on their martial arts journey, they are not just learning a new sport; they are stepping into a realm of personal development and growth. This experience is far more than just physical exercise; it's an avenue for them to develop essential life skills that will prove beneficial throughout their life. The discipline, respect, and perseverance cultivated through martial arts are key to shaping well-rounded individuals, ready to succeed in diverse aspects of their lives."

By enrolling your child in martial arts, you're providing them with a unique opportunity to grow, not just as martial artists but as confident, disciplined, and respectful individuals. This journey is one of transformation and empowerment, promising a future enriched with strength, both physically and mentally.

If you're ready to start your child on this path of discovery and growth, we invite you to visit the Grappling University of Martial Arts. Come and see how martial arts can shape your child's future. Contact us at (862) 368-0084 and take the first step today.

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