Is Martial Arts Good For Toddlers?

Martial Arts For Toddlers

The short answer is YES! As children grow, they go through different stages of physical and mental development. One of the most crucial stages, which can have far reaching effects in later life, is when children are first beginning to develop their physical strength and coordination.

This typically happens from around 18 months to 6 years of age. At Premier Martial Art and Fitness Academy we offer junior martial arts classes in Perth that are suited to all stages of your child’s development. Our Mini Little Champions classes are designed to help toddlers from 18 months to 3 years learn to move their bodies in a coordinated manner and build a strong athletic foundation for later life. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy’s Mini Little Champions program also helps your toddler learn to follow instructions, and how to interact with other toddlers and adults. Perth’s Premier Academy strongly believes that the movements involved in martial arts training will develop your toddler’s coordination, strength, flexibility and overall fitness in a way that will show immediate benefits.

What Can Martial Arts Teach Toddlers?

In an age where many people turn to the screens of their phones, computers and television sets instead of outdoor activities, martial arts is the perfect way to make sure that toddlers make the best possible start to life by staying active and learning to love physical activity. On top of that, training in martial arts at Premier Academy builds muscle and increase cardiovascular performance, ensuring that your toddler is fit and healthy. The movements involved in martial arts will challenge and build motor skills, flexibility, reflexes and dexterity, which help develop a toddler’s athleticism. This helps create a good athletic base for toddlers that will help them excel in all other physical activities when they get to school.

Martial Arts For Children

On top of the physical skills there are important mental elements that toddlers can learn from training in the martial arts at Perth’s Premier Academy. Discipline and focus are hard to build in toddlers nowadays, and parents would no doubt agree with this. But with martial arts, a toddler will learn focus, patience, restraint, and the many qualities that come with discipline. The same level of discipline and focus obtained from practicing martial arts will become a part of their daily lives, providing a valuable foundation for when they start school. Respect for adults, authority, or anyone in an advanced position is also becoming rare among children today. However, respect is a big part of martial arts and its traditions. Toddlers will learn to be well mannered and respectful not only to their instructors, but towards everyone else as well.


A lack of confidence and self-esteem can be detrimental and plague a toddlers for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is important for anyone to develop a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem at an early age. The satisfaction of learning and achieving in martial arts will strengthen a toddler’s self-belief. Martial arts doesn’t just strengthen the body, it strengthens the mind as well. Most of the time, it is our minds that stop us from performing at our best. Martial arts will push anyone to break barriers and overcome fears and obstacles. A strong mind is a powerful tool to help toddlers overcome tough times and succeed in all areas of their life.


While martial arts teaches the importance of teamwork, it is also one of the few activities that requires a practitioner to be self-reliant and independent. Learning how to do a technique, progressing to the next level, or even winning a competition is completely based on the hard work and commitment put in by an individual. So with martial arts, a toddler will excel when the time comes to be independent.

Finally, toddlers will learn how to defend themselves. One of biggest concerns parents have is that their children would not be able to defend him or herself in times of need (i.e. being bullied). On top of teaching children to avoid trouble altogether, martial arts will also prepare them both mentally and physically to defend themselves should the need ever arise. For toddlers, this is mainly about learning to be aware and to stand up for themselves.

What Are The Benefits Of Martial Arts For Toddlers?


There are been countless stories of how enrolling kids in martial arts has changed their lives through the many benefits that come with practicing martial arts. These benefits go beyond just keeping them fit and healthy – they provide qualities and life lessons that are undeniably valuable to a growing toddler. Here are nine major benefits that your toddler will get from the Premier Academy Mini Little Champions program:

Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy focuses on individual growth, not on team competition.
Many toddlers will struggle with the pressure of having to compete with other kids. So traditional sports may not appeal to them. But in martial arts, the focus is on self-improvement. There’s no “letting down the team.”
Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy offers concrete, attainable goals.
Some toddlers may feel like they never “win” at anything. In martial arts, toddlers work at their own pace. They’re awarded a different coloured belt every time they reach a new skill level. This can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.
At Premier Academy, routines are broken down into manageable chunks.
A technique or form in martial arts can have dozens of different movements. But toddlers learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go. They learn to anticipate which step comes next and eventually put everything together into fluid movements. All of this gives working memory a workout, but in a way that toddlers find manageable.
Premier Academy emphasizes self-control and concentration.
A technique or form in martial arts can have dozens of different movements. But toddlers learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go. They learn to anticipate which step comes next and eventually put everything together into fluid movements. All of this gives working memory a workout, but in a way that toddlers find manageable.
At Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy there is a big focus on coordination.
The deliberate, repetitive movements of martial arts can help toddlers develop a better feel for their body in space, which can be useful to toddlers who struggle with motor skills. This may also help some toddlers sort out their handedness early, which is proven to be one of the best predictors of early success in reading and writing.
Martial Arts For Children In Action
The instructors at Premier Academy provide structure and clear expectations for behaviour.
Good martial arts instructors have clear rules and constantly reinforce them. They also emphasize good behaviour both in and out of class. At Premier Academy, they will even hold students back from grading if their behaviour outside the Academy is not up to the standard set by their parents!
Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy provides a safe outlet for excess energy.
Contrary to what some might expect, martial arts don’t encourage violent behaviour. In fact, Premier Academy instructors consistently emphasize that fighting is a last resort. At the same time, kicking, punching ad wrestling can allow toddlers to work out frustration or anger, while also practicing self-control.
martial arts for toddlers
The environment at Premier Academy is accepting and communal.
Respect is a core value in martial arts. Toddlers are expected to show it for their instructor and their peers. Negativity is not tolerated in class, and students are encouraged to support each other.
The martial arts are just plain cool!
Toddlers can often feel awkward or out of the loop. But lots of kids think martial arts are cool. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re wearing your uniform and doing flying kicks!

What Should I Look For In A Martial Arts Class For Toddlers?

There are so many different styles of martial arts – from taekwondo to karate to jiu jitsu to judo – and many different types of schools – from fulltime purpose built centres to rooms at the local community centre to someone’s garage! It makes choosing the right school for your toddler very difficult! Here are seven things you should look for when choosing a martial arts schools for your toddler:

Free trial lessons
Most schools these days will offer a free trial lesson or two, or a low cost introductory program. Some may even offer a low cost school holiday program. These all offer a great way to try out the programs at a martial arts school and see if the school is a good fit for you and your toddler. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions during the trial to make sure the school offers everything you are looking for. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy will always offer new customers a free trial lesson, beginners program and runs a very popular School Holiday Program during every school break.
Professional, highly-trained instructors
Did you know it is possible for anyone to buy themselves a black belt, call themselves an instructor and open a martial arts school? Unfortunately, like all industries, the martial arts industry also has its share of frauds and pretenders. Look for instructors who hold black belts recognised beyond the actual martial arts school, such as those certified by Taekwondo’s Kukkiwon in Korea. Having a black belt, even a certified black belt, is not an instructor qualification however. Look for a school that has its own Instructor Training Program, and where all of their instructors have been trained “in house”. It’s also a big positive if instructors have training in other areas such as Fitness, Education, Sports Science, Nutrition or Psychology as this brings a wealth of other experience to the martial arts school. In Australia, all instructors must hold a valid Working with Children Card as well. All instructors at Premier Academy are Kukkiwon-certified black belts, have been training with the Academy since White Belt, have obtained other qualifications or are currently studying at University or TAFE, and all Premier employees hold valid Working with Children cards.
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Instructor to student ratios
Many toddlers are capable of learning in a class of 20, but many will also get lost. Look for school’s that make sure that large classes have more than one instructor, especially in beginner’s classes. There is no ideal ratio, but schools with a ratio of one instructor per five or six students are ideal. By the same token, schools with very few students – especially those with intermediate or higher ranks – may have a problem with retaining and motivating students and should be approached with caution. All toddler’s classes at Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy have at least one instructor per six students to make sure you child gets the best possible start to their martial arts journey.
Comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum

Any martial arts school worth investing your toddler’s time (and your money) in will have a comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum. They will teach more than just “karate” or “martial arts” – their program will based on student’s mental growth as much as their physical development. At Premier Academy our curriculum for toddlers is divided into phases based on their age and experience. Our lessons run in cycles so that classes get the best out of your toddler at all times.

Clean, safe training facilities
Wherever a prospective martial arts school is located – from a purpose-built Academy to a community hall to a backyard shed – it should offer a clean and safe training environment. The training floor should be fully matted, with range of punching and kicking targets available. These targets should be age-appropriate as well to avoid injuries to small, developing bodies. There should be toilets and changing facilities available as well. This sort of environment is best provided by a purpose-built building such as at Perth’s Premier Academy. Here there are four different training floors, all fully matted and each fully equipped with a range of age-appropriate equipment.
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Classes differentiated by age and experience

The best possible class structure for a martial arts school will have all students, including toddlers, training in classes divided by age and experience. This is essential for your child to get the best outcomes possible from their training. Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy offers over 150 different classes a week, all divided by age and belt level in order to provide the most appropriate training environment for every student. This structure also provides a clear progression for students as they get older and more experienced.

Little champions
Flexible membership options

A good school martial arts school will offer a range of membership options that you can choose from. These may range from month to month arrangements to fixed term memberships. There should be flexible payment schedules on weekly, fortnightly or monthly frequencies. Most professional schools will use an outside company to collect their fees as they are usually too busy teaching students to chase after late payments! While most schools will ask you to commit to a fixed membership term, this is not something that you should be wary of as training in the martial arts is primarily about commitment. For example, Perth’s Premier Academy offers casual memberships for toddlers through its Mini Little Champions program, but expects parents to commit for a fixed term once students join the Little Champions program for 3 to 6 years olds.

How do I Get Started?

If you and your child would like to get a taste of the dynamic Little Champions Three-Year-Old martial arts toddlers program and experience what Premier Martial and Fitness Academy can offer your family, then click here  to find out about our no obligation, special trial program.