top of page

Which Martial Art is Best for Toddlers

As a parent, you might be interested in signing your toddler up for some classes.

Perhaps you’ve considered different ideas and have stopped at martial arts. That’s great - practicing martial arts is incredibly beneficial for everyone, especially for young kids.

They get to develop self-defense abilities from early on, build discipline, and develop incredibly beneficial habits that will serve them well into their adult life.

But there’s a problem. Which martial art should you sign your child for? There are dozens of options, each seemingly superior to all others. Each art offers its unique benefits, and it can be frustrating to make the right choice.

To help you out, we’ve put together this brief guide. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the topic. Let’s see…

Jiu-Jitsu And Wrestling?

Both arts can be incredibly beneficial for teenagers and adults. They teach fantastic self-defense skills and allow a person to tackle, disarm, and submit opponents without necessarily hurting them.

Among many things, Jiu-Jitsu teaches folks how to effectively close the distance, disarm an aggressor, and submit them. The goal is to gain control over the opponent through solid technique, strategic footwork, and skill. It’s not uncommon for a trained jiu-jitsu practitioner to quickly disarm and defeat much larger opponents.

The issue is, practices like Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling are highly technical to grasp, and toddlers don’t typically have the coordination or mental toughness for them.

So, Karate Then?

Karate is a decent martial art, and many parents start their children off with it. With that said, we don’t recommend it simply because there are better options out there.

Karate, also known as the art of empty-handed self-defense, teaches practitioners how to use their hands, feet, arms, and legs to defend themselves and deliver powerful strikes. The goal is to use quick strikes and maintain a distance to minimize risk and hopefully end a conflict quickly.

The problem is, knowing Karate alone gives a false sense of security because it isn’t that useful in the real world. Sure, it’s better than nothing, but there are superior martial arts that teach skills far more helpful in real-world situations.

Boxing And Muay Thai Kickboxing

Boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing are similar to Karate because they are also striking arts. They teach many of the same fundamentals, such as keeping a distance, using crafty footwork, and learning how to strike effectively.

But here is what makes boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing vastly different from Karate:

Karate is primarily a self-defense art, and few schools outside Asia teach effective offense. The goal with Karate is to read an opponent, try to predict their next actions, and react.

Boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing are different because aside from teaching excellent self-defense, they also develop valuable traits like:

  • Knowing when to take a step back

  • Learning how to close the distance

  • Landing a wide variety of powerful strikes to end a conflict early on

Because of that, boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing are much more useful in a real-world situation.

A Mixture Of Arts: The Benefits of This Approach

Boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing are fantastic starting points for toddlers. But we recommend exposing your child to a mixture of martial arts. First, this will help them gain a much deeper understanding of effective offense and defense. Second, this will help determine their interests and what they should continue learning as they grow up.

Specializing later on is never a bad thing, but a more general approach will benefit them more in the beginning.

If you’re interested in bringing your young child in for a class, don’t hesitate to visit us at Dream Martial Arts And Fitness in Santa Clarita.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page