People often ask this question because someone told them that a particular martial art was good for kids or good for them or you’ve seen it in the movies, especially if you don’t know anything about the different martial arts.
There are as many martial arts as there are languages if not more, but they can be divided into a few broad topics.
- There are the striking martial arts like tae kwon do karate,
- the grappling wrestling martial arts like judo jujitsu and sambo,
- there are weapon specific martial arts like Filipino escrima, and Japanese kenjutsu.
- Then other reality-based martial arts at Russian system or Israeli krav maga.
- Finally there are the hybrid martial arts that it seeks to combine the best of many different martial arts.
Just as our bodies are more or less similar, so too are there common movements and techniques in the martial arts.
A couple things are more important than the name of the martial arts you will study. First, there is a general focus of the school you are entering.
- The school may focus on tournament competition or trying to go to the Olympics, these are called normally sports martial arts.
- There are the traditional schools that seek to infuse an Asian culture into their training and heritage,
- There are the cage fighting martial arts,
- the self-defense and personal safety martial arts
- and martial arts that focus on teaching character development, classical virtues and life skills.
Therefore, as you look for a martial arts school, know that all schools aren’t alike. If you don’t want your child to learn just fighting you might want to choose a different school.
Most martial arts teach some form of self-defense and physical fitness, but for your child it’s critical that you find a school that will teach him good character, the martial arts virtues, discipline, focus, respect and the many life skills that are so important for kids to learn these days. You also want school that is specially trained to teach children. At our Academy my wife, Dr. Karla, a PhD in Education, oversees our instructor education program.