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What Are The Best Martial Arts For Beginners?
Congratulations! You have made the first part of one of the best decisions you will ever make as a parent –deciding your child should start training in the martial arts. This was the easy part – the hard part is deciding what is the best martial art for your child as a beginner! The answer to this question depends on why you want your child to take martial arts. If you want your child to take martial arts for just self defence the choice maybe different to if they want to compete or learn awesome flying kicks or improve their focus in solitary patterns (kata) practice. Some martial arts specialize in just one of these areas while others allow kids to experience all of these different aspects and more. Read on to find out more about what different styles of martial arts may have to offer your kids as they begin their martial arts journey.
What is the most useful martial art?
There’s no one “most useful martial art”, but here are six martial arts that usually offer specialised classes for beginners, providing a starting point for your research into martial arts schools for your kids.
Taekwondo –often the first martial art parents will encounter in their search, this Korean art is known for dynamic kicking and footwork, and being an official Olympic sport. Taekwondo provides a great introduction to the martial arts for kids, with traditional values combined with modern athletic techniques. It also includes traditional patterns or poomse to help develop focus and concentration. Clubs like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy have dedicated classes for kids of all ages, and separate Taekwondo programs for those that want to compete in this exciting art.
Judo – the first eastern martial art included in the modern Olympic games, Japanese Judo focuses on throws and takedowns primarily, but also includes locks and submissions. It’s a great martial art to teach kids to control their own body in order to control their opponent.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu –developed in Brazil with an emphasis on ground techniques, BJJ is founded on the concept that a smaller person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger opponent using technique, leverage and taking the fight to the ground. Many mixed martial arts and Freestyle schools, like Perth’s Premier Academy, offer specialised BJJ classes for those kids that want to improve their skills in grappling.
Kickboxing – kickboxing is a modern martial art designed by blending traditional arts like taekwondo and karate with western-style boxing. It was designed to allow practitioners of different martial arts to compete against each other in the ring. Kickboxing focuses mainly on the sporting application of kicking and punching techniques, and does not usually include the traditional aspects of the martial arts such as patterns / poomsae / kata, or self-defence training. Some martial arts schools like Perth’s Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy, offer kickboxing as a separate stream for those kids that have the urge to compete in this dynamic art.
Boxing – the only western martial art on this list, boxing focuses entirely on attacking and defending using the hands. Most Boxing clubs offer boxing classes for young children from the ages of 6 or 7 years and up, where they can learn the skills of boxing in a safe controlled environment. Like kickboxing, it is focused mainly on competing in the ring, and this might not suit every child.
MMA / Freestyle Martial Arts – Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy has combined the best elements of Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Boxing into a dynamic kids’ mixed martial arts (MMA) and Freestyle martial arts curriculum that allows students to strike using their hands, elbows, knees and feet, as well take their opponent to the ground to use locks and submissions to defeat them. Our Academy offers programs that specifically cater for the needs of children at different ages:
- Mini Little Champions – an introduction to martial arts and physical activity for kids from the ages of 18 months to 3 years and upwards
- Little Champions – real martial arts for children aged between 3 and 6 years
- Juniors – freestyle martial arts for kids between the ages of 7 and 12
- Teens – freestyle mixed martial arts for teenagers from 13 – 17 years of age
Finding the right martial arts school
Finding the right school is the most important task for parents looking to get their kids into martial arts. Each kind of martial arts has different origins, styles and techniques. For example, karate has a strong focus on striking with punches, kicks or knee strikes; taekwondo has an emphasis on kicking; while jiu-jitsu and judo are grappling sports. Modern and progressive schools like Premier Martial Arts and Fitness incorporate a variety of different martial arts into their programs to create Freestyle or Mixed Martial Arts.
Far more important than which type of martial you select is the school’s philosophy and teaching style. Always check out prospective martial arts schools by asking about their approach to teaching kids rather than focusing too much on, say, karate versus taekwondo. Enquire about whether they have a curriculum designed especially for kids of different ages, and whether they offer classes based on age and experience to provide the best possible training environment for your child. At Premier Academy we offer differentiated classes that are divided by age and experience, rather than overwhelm your five-year-old by lumping them in a class with tweens! This allows our instructors to focus on appropriate development for each age group and experience level.
What is a good age to start martial arts for kids?
This question has the same answer as “what martial art should I choose for my kid?” – it depends on the individual school and on what you want your child to get out of their martial arts training-. Premier Academy is WA’s leading institute of martial arts and provides a range of martial arts programs to suit kids of all ages, starting from 18 months old. Premier Academy’s programs are structured to suit the age and ability of their students, with classes differentiated by age and ability, so that kids of all ages can learn martial arts in an environment where they are encouraged to constantly improve in order to be the best they can be.
As children grow, they evolve 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. Perth’s Premier Martial Art and Fitness Academy offers junior martial arts classes that are suited to all stages of a child’s development. Our Mini Little Champions classes are designed to help kids 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 Academy’s Mini Little Champions program also helps kids learn to follow instructions, and how to interact with other children and adults. The movements involved in training in our Mini Little Champions program will develop children’s coordination, strength, flexibility and overall fitness in a way that benefits them immediately.
Premier Academy’s next step up is Little Champions – a specialised program of martial arts for kids aged from 3 to 6 years. Classes in this program are more structured in order developing the physical attributes of strength, coordination and flexibility, as well as enabling your child to learn focus, commitment, confidence and self-belief. Martial arts for kids at Premier Academy ia not all fun and games. Kids learn real, effective martial arts skills that they can use to protect themselves from bullies. Our Little Champions curriculum has been refined constantly over the past 20 years to the point where it is now the leading program for young kids’ martial arts in Perth. It is based on traditional Taekwondo, using the terminology to help accelerate kids’ language and memory skills at the same time as they are developing their physical abilities. The self-defence aspects of the curriculum come from modern mixed martial arts and will give kids the confidence to defend themselves from all types of attacks.
Children from the age of 6 to 12 years have very different needs to younger kids in their martial arts training. Martial arts training will provide a strong foundation for their continued physical and mental development. At Premier Martial Arts Academy we offer classes differentiated by age and experience for our Junior Martial Arts program. Kids learn effective martial arts that will enable them to defend themselves as well as help them to develop into strong, confident teenagers. With a strong foundation of kicking and footwork provided by Taekwondo, plus techniques from other martial arts such as Boxing, Kick Boxing, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling, our martial arts curriculum has been purposely designed to provide Perth kids with opportunity to learn a true freestyle, mixed martial arts system. The traditional aspects of martial arts training are still preserved in order to develop respect, focus and self-discipline in our students.
Choose the Right Martial Art for Your Child
There are so many different styles of martial arts – from taekwondo to karate to judo – running in fulltime purpose-built centres to rooms at the local community centre or in someone’s garage!
By focusing on the checklist below you can make sure you choose the right martial arts schools for your child:
- Free trial lessons. Most schools offer a free trial lesson or two, or a low-cost introductory program. This is a great way to try out the school and see if it is a good fit for you and your child. At Premier Martial and Fitness Academy, your child’s first lesson is always free, regardless of which program you are interested in.
- Professional, highly trained instructors. Look for instructors who hold black belts recognised beyond the actual martial arts school, such as those certified by Taekwondo’s Kukkiwon. Premier Academy has its own Instructor Training Program, and trains all of their instructors “in house”. In fact, Premier Academy only hires instructors that have been successfully completed this four-year minimum course, in addition to their martial arts training.
- Instructor to student ratios. 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, Premier Academy aims for a ratio of one instructor per five or six students in all of our Little Champions and beginner classes.
- Comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum. Any martial arts school worth investing your child’s time (and your money) in will have a comprehensive, age-appropriate curriculum. Premier Academy’s programs are based on student’s mental growth as much as on their physical development.
- Clean, safe training facilities. All martial arts schools that you should offer a clean and safe training environment for kids. The training floor should be fully matted, with range of age-appropriate punching and kicking targets available. There should be toilets and changing facilities available as well. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy has been purpose built from the ground up to provide Australia’s best martial arts training facility.
- Classes differentiated by age and experience. Premier Academy utilises the best possible class structure for a martial arts school with all students training in classes divided by age and experience. Our instructors feel this is essential for your child to get the best outcomes possible from their training.
- Flexible membership options. Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy offers a range of membership options that you can choose from. We will offer you the chance to commit to a fixed membership term, this is not something that you should be wary of as training in the martial arts is all about commitment.
At Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy, we are confident that you will not find any other school that checks all the above criteria, and offers unlimited, seven days a week training for your child. Click on the link below to get started on what could be the best investment you might ever make for your child!