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The Best Age To Start Karate & What Are You Should Know First

kids in karate

If you are considering enrolling your child in Karate lessons, you will want to know when the right time to start is. Martial arts have wonderful benefits for kids, but starting too young can come with costs. The best time to begin will vary from child to child, depending on a few factors.

Karate is one of the best activities you can choose for your children. It offers skills that last a lifetime and an opportunity for continuous learning and development. Kids who practice karate have excellent focus and develop useful self-defense skills. The martial art keeps them fit and lets them thrive within a community of strongly bonded friends.

Martial arts are truly amazing for kids, but kids who start too early in life might face certain challenges. Overuse injuries or injuries from unsafe play are becoming more common in young children who practice Karate.

Plus, if classes are too rigorous and not fun for a young kid, they may end up resenting the art and not continuing it when they are old enough to decide. This robs them of many of the benefits of continued practice.

READ MORE: 10 Ways Martial Arts Can Change Your Child’s Life

When kids reach the age of about eight to ten, they are ready for highly structured Karate classes. These kids can handle the challenge and enjoy learning and progressing through the Karate belts.

Young girl in kimono exercising on karate class
Credit: iStock

On the other hand, some kids can handle fun, age-appropriate, Karate-inspired classes at as young as four. The exact age to begin depends on the individual child and the type of class.

The teacher makes a difference as well. Some teachers are amazing with kids, while others may not have the temperament or understanding of child development necessary to properly teach Martial Arts to children.

It is important to remember that some of the most honored and talented Martial Arts instructors might not actually be a good fit to teach children. Parents should meet with the instructor prior to enrolling.

Lastly, remember to talk to your family doctor if you are not sure. Your pediatrician will be able to give you more details on what a young child should and should not be doing physically. She should also complete a physical exam before giving you the green light to start Karate.

Karate offers lifelong lessons, but just make sure you start it when your child is ready.

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