Which combat sport to choose for my child?

Which combat sport to choose for my child?

If your child has the energy to spare, combat sports are done for him! But between boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, jiu jitsu… Which one to choose? We will tell you everything!

Combat sports are recommended for children who have the energy to spare. They let off steam, and thanks to the rules of conduct that codify these practices, they learn to channel their energy. They are open to children from 5-6 years old. Accessible to both boys and girls, they need to have a fighting spirit!

Here is an overview of the different combat sports to help you choose:

Which combat sport to choose for my child?

Judo, the most physical

Judo is a very physical sport: children work out a lot in one session! The goal is to control the weight of their adversaries, and the children use and develop all of their muscles. It allows a relaxation of the body and the spirit. Moreover, “judo” means “way of flexibility.”

Like all martial arts, judo inculcates primordial values . Respect and trust are among the most important values. Moral values ​​are more important than the techniques themselves. This is why, despite the dangerousness of certain holds, judo is one of the sports where injuries are rare.

Karate, for concentration

Karate is a discipline with techniques that aim to attack or defend. Like judo, karate involves all the muscles of the body. 

In addition, it requires good balance, endurance, and some coordination to perform the movements. 

Karate develops in the child the lateralization and the precision of his gestures. Teaching the different movements develops memory, concentration, and coordination. Karate can also create friendships by working in pairs or groups during training.

Boxing, to let off steam

Boxing is a complete combat sport to work physically and mentally. Contrary to what one might think, it’s not a violent sport that consists of hitting the other; respecting the instructions and the other is essential! 

Physically, the child will release steam by running, jumping, hitting, and working his whole body. Psychomotricity is also worked on in boxing since children develop their reflexes, agility, and coordination of their movementsBoxing helps build self-confidence and motivates them to achieve their goals and exceed their limits, which will help the child throughout their life!

Taekwondo, for liveliness

As Taekwondo attributes great importance to kicks, which are often spectacular, it is a good way to progress in flexibility and vivacity because the speed of the kick is essential.

It’s a physical activity that helps to work the cardio and let off steam. Finally, like all martial arts, it teaches good values. Taekwondo emphasizes courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and fighting spirit, called the “indomitable spirit” by taekwondo ists.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, for defense

BJJ is a combat sport derived from wrestling and martial art based on ground control and submission techniques.

BJJ develops strength, endurance, flexibility, motor coordination, and self-confidence (also teaches self-defense techniques). This sport helps to have a good physical condition, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps to improve reflexes.

Are combat sports recommended for children?

As a parent, we may have every reason not to want to introduce our children to a combat sport. There is a risk that our little one will become more aggressive, be dangerous to his friends and classmates, and get hurt by being hit by someone stronger than him. And then finding his kid with bruises on his face at the end of each training session is not a dream!

What if all of this was just misconceptions and unwelcome clichés? Combat sports, surrounded by experienced educators, on the contrary, offer many advantages to the little ones. At what age to start? What qualities will be developed in children? We will tell you everything!

For all, and also for all!

If we can tend to push the strongest children towards combat sports, we must first understand that they are not reserved for a particular type of physique. Whether you are small or tall, well coated or thin as a twig, everyone will be welcome on the tatami, the ring, or the dojo.

Combat sports are numerous and are not reserved for little boys. More and more girls are taking the plunge. Some have much more energy than the little guys; this generally allows them to learn to know their bodies and their physical abilities better and thus assert themselves in their future life.

Conversely, some children, boys or girls, will prefer quieter or more solitary activities and will have no interest in combat sports. It’s important to let kids try a sport and then see if they like it or not. There is no reason to deny him combat sports because of his gender, height, or weight.

At what age can we start?

Just like most sports, it will be advisable to wait around 4 or 5 years, depending on the child’s autonomy. There are no particular contraindications for the little ones, and courses are organized especially for them. There is no risk that your baby faces a child three times stronger than him.

It should be noted that only the basics are taught, namely the rules of the sport in question, good and bad positions, stretching, parries, knowing how to fall, etc. The most recommended combat sports for the little ones are karate, judo, or aikido. For French boxing, waiting until the child is 8 or 10 years old for English will be necessary.

The benefits of combat sports

Children’s training is always adapted to their age, but above all to their physical strength. By choosing a club with teachers holding a state or federal patent, you will surely find your children in good health after class, often even calmer and more relaxed.

They will learn the technical gestures of the sport in question, but they will especially work on their reactivity, balance, flexibility, coordination, and concentration. All this is, of course, excellent for physical development, but also intellectual. Until they are 10 years old, there is no fighting, only learning, so they have time to learn how to protect themselves properly. Then, the competitions will never be imposed; children are free, if they wish, to continue learning.

We may be afraid that our children will turn into little bullies, but on the contrary, a combat sport allows us to channel ourselves and learn humility. You quickly understand that there is always stronger than yourself, and the educators insist a lot on respect for the rules and discipline. You have to respect the teachers, but also the other children. This type of practice teaches the child to find his place within a group while allowing him to let off steam effectively.

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For shy children, combat sports are a good way to gain self-confidence and fear others less. Conversely, for a turbulent child, letting off steam will help channel him and bring him serenity. In conclusion, there is no good reason (apart from health) to refuse a combat sport to your child.

What is your interest in practicing a combat sport for your child?


  1. They improve cognitive development and performance
  2. They improve physical condition
  3. They provide a safe space to let off steam
  4. They teach important values.

It’s not uncommon for children of a certain age to be interested in combat sports 🥊. And for a good reason, there is something for everyone: judo, karate, boxing, Taekwondo, jiu-jitsu… sports of different intensities with different goals too. Some sharpen concentration and physical fitness, while others are made for defense. So, what is your child’s interest in practicing a combat sport? We enlighten you in this article.


They improve cognitive development and performance.

It is proven that practicing a sports activity improves the school results of children 🤓. This is also the case with combat sports since they are known to develop children’s cognitive performance. For example, studies have been done on individuals who have practiced martial arts and other combat sports for over 10 years. In these people, the volume of gray matter is significantly larger in areas of the brain related to cognitive processes, memory, motor learning, or execution. 

But at what age can your child start practicing a combat sport, and which one to choose? Karate and judo are the most popular martial arts among the youngest and can be taught from the age of 4. It is best to wait until the child is 7 or 8 to start more physical combat sports like Taekwondo or Aikido. 

They improve physical condition.

Combat sports are a great way to encourage kids who dislike sports or are very shy to try an activity. Martial arts get kids moving, help develop motor skills, and improve overall fitness. Research shows these sports improve physical strength, power, hand-eye coordination, flexibility, and body control. 

However, martial arts and other combat sports for children also develop cardiovascular fitness 🏋. A good way to stay in shape in a society where screens have taken over our daily lives and children are more sedentary than before. Should you force your child to do a combat sport? Like any other activity, your child will be more likely to be interested and involved in the sport if he first shows that he is attracted to combat sports. 

They provide a safe space to let off steam.

One of the main benefits of combat sports for children and teens is that they serve as an escape from the stresses of everyday life in a safe and controlled way. Children who practice this sport can see their anxiety and aggression decrease considerably.  

Many studies describe that young people who engage in different martial arts disciplines experience an improvement in their emotional well-being. Of course, there is no question of joining a boxing or martial arts class to blow off steam and ‘fight.’ The moral values ​​of martial arts go much beyond simply hitting an opponent.

They teach important values.

Martial arts and other combat sports teach everything except violence! You only need to do some research or join a group to quickly realize that martial arts aim to teach respect, discipline, self-control, humility, and patience.

Karate or judo is the most popular martial art among young people and teenagers. The main value of these activities revolves around respect for others and oneself. Children also learn social skills like cooperation, teamwork, and sharing 🤝.

The ranking and progression system in martial arts is most often represented by obtaining a different colored belt: from white to black in karate, from white to brown in judo, etc. This system allows learners to understand the importance of perseverance and surpassing oneself and face failure and frustration. Skills that will prove useful in everyday life. 

Is your child a fighter? You may therefore be hesitant to enroll him in a martial arts class, thinking that this may incite some violence outside the tatami. However, it is an effective way to teach the child or adolescent the principle of peaceful and non-violent conflict resolution to avoid physical altercations.

All about martial arts before enrolling my child

To whom martial arts films have never made you want to take up judo or Kung Fu? In addition to providing your child with excellent physical training, the martial arts practiced in extra-curricular activities allow Loulou to learn to control and defend themselves.

Impossible to draw the robot portrait of the ideal candidate for martial arts. The difference in the face between Bruce Lee and David Douillet is striking. However, both are excellent in their respective disciplines: kung fu and judo. Tall, fat, slender, stocky, flexible, nervous… it takes everything to do martial arts. The clubs welcome all sizes, provided they are motivated.

Which combat sport to choose for my child?

What do martial arts bring to the child?

Is your child sickly shy? On the contrary, it overflows a little too much energy. Sign him up for a martial arts class! The usually introverted child gains self-confidence and discovers that he belongs perfectly in a group—a great way to overcome shyness. As for the turbulent, he must calm down to respect discipline. We don’t talk during class. We don’t fight just anyhow. One does not disrespect one’s teacher or one’s classmates. Discipline is accepted; he can let off steam and expend his energy.

In Japanese, aikido means “way of harmony.” That sums up the philosophy of all martial arts. Far from emphasizing one part of the body, they make the legs and arms work indiscriminately… Your child develops harmoniously. Thanks to the sequences of imposed figures – the “pounsé” in tae-kwon-do, for example –he also learns to coordinate his movements, recognize his right from his left and control his balance. For Didier Rousseau, a rheumatologist and doctor of the French judo teams, martial arts – particularly judo – constitute preventive education. “The child learns to position his back correctly, to lift a load, and to fall,” he explains. It is a learning that is very useful in life. »

Are martial arts safe?

If you are afraid of finding your child, break into a thousand pieces, don’t worry! Certainly, martial arts can be violent, but the rules that govern the courses make their practice perfectly safe. Provided that the teacher has his state or federal certificate, he can adapt his teaching to the age of the children. From the age of six, this is an awakening to martial arts. It is only around 11 years old that the first fights begin. Later, around the age of 15, we learn, for example, the strangulation techniques in judo. Christophe Pinna, world karate champion and teacher in Nice, assures that the only incidents he deplores during his lessons occur in the locker room when the children heckle.

However, it cannot be denied that martial arts are combat sports. It teaches self-defense techniques that often lure uneasy teenagers onto the streets. If your child asks you to, register it.

You will not encourage him to violence. Before mastering defense techniques, he will indeed learn to regain self-confidence and play down a possible attack. He will be taught how to breathe, calm down, and react appropriately. Alain Tisman, head of the “children’s commission” at the French aikido federation, specifies that “the watchword of martial arts teachers is to prohibit their use in the street.” Martial arts are not street-fighting techniques.

Which combat sport to choose for my child?

Which martial arts to choose?

The friends, the teacher, the “show off”… your child has his selection criteria. Here is a quick overview of the disciplines to help you find your way around.

  • Judo: free-hand combat technique to bring down your opponent and neutralize him. Awakening from 4 years old.
  • Karate: fighting art based on punches and kicks. Awakening from 4 years old.
  • Kendo: sword fighting technique. From the age of 8. We recommend the Chanbara sport, practiced with a foam sword for the little ones.
  • Tae-kwon-do: combat sport famous for its spectacular kicks. From 6-7 years old.
  • Kung-fu: renowned for its aesthetic side, it values ​​speed and fluidity. From 7-8 years old.
  • Aikido: it neutralizes the adversary without using force. The only martial art without competition. More suitable for quiet children. From 6-7 years old.
  • Ju-jitsu: self-defense sport that takes advantage of the opponent’s strength. Officially, there is no pedagogy adapted to small children. The teacher will decide.

How to enroll your child in martial art?

The Ministry of Youth and Sports recognizes four federations.

  • French Federation of Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Kendo, and Related Disciplines
  • The French Federation of Karate and affinity martial arts
  • French Taekwondo Federation
  • French Aikido Federation
  • French Federation of Aikido and Budo

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Which combat sport to choose for my child?

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