What is the best martial art for children to learn? Parents have been asking this question long before Google was around to muddy the waters with 1,000 different answers.
A case can definitely be made for Karate, Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and the always popular Taekwondo all of which provide kids with a solid foundation in striking arts but what if they end up on the ground?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is is a martial art system that relies on leverage over strength with an emphasis on ground fighting and submission techniques. Wrestling is also a great skill set to have in your tool belt when you end up on the ground.
If you want to believe that one martial art or another is the best option you probably won’t have much trouble finding an article or 10 online that will back you up. This isn’t going to be one of them though.
The best martial art for your child to study might not be what is best for someone else’s child. It depends on your goals. If your child is dealing with a bullying situation you’re going to be more interested in self defense. If your child is shy and has trouble making new friends you’re going to be more interested in martial arts’ ability to build confidence.
…and so on and so forth.
Here’s the thing. The most important thing to look at when deciding where you want your child to study martial arts isn’t the martial art itself but the gym. It’s the instructors. It’s the environment that your child will be in for a few evenings every week.
How are the classes set up? Are they going to be in a positive environment that reinforces the values that you are trying to teach at home? Do they spend time in every class discussing and coaching the real world application of lessons with regards to bullying and stranger danger situations?
Is it fun? Don’t forget about that part. That’s important. If your child is having fun they will stay interested and learn more. It makes a difference.
All parents know that keeping a child interested in any activity for any length of time can be a challenge unless you mix it up. That’s one of the reasons why mixed martial arts is growing so fast as a go to option for parents who want to get their children involved in a program.
The term MMA tends to scare a lot of parents off because they immediately think of UFC and the octagon. That makes sense. The UFC has spent millions of dollars marketing their brand but the fact is MMA is just an acronym for mixed martial arts and mixed martial arts is just that; a mix of many different martial arts styles.
Striking, grappling, leverage, submission moves – it’s all there. If you choose mixed martial arts for your child you don’t have to decide on a single style. You simply need to decide on a gym and an atmosphere that is right for you child and that is really the most important thing anyway.
Our youth program is always growing at Gladiators MMA in Colts Neck, New Jersey and we’d love to show you around. Give us a call or stop by any time to schedule a free lesson on us. We look forward to seeing you there!