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The Benefits of Martial Arts {karate} for Children

Updated on February 18, 2011

If you are wondering what extra-curricular activity would be good for your child, one option may be martial arts.  There are many benefits to taking martial arts classes, and the benefits seem to double when it is a child taking the classes.

Listed below are some of the things children garner from taking martial arts classes.  These are from my own personal research and experience.  My son, who is eight, has been taking karate since he was three.  

Self-Mastery, or Discipline

Martial arts aids children in developing discipline.  They are taught not to fight, to be obedient, and to follow rules.  These principles are communicated in the class (dojo) by the teacher (Sinsei).

Martial arts is FUN!
Martial arts is FUN!


Children are taught to respect themselves, their teachers, their parents, the dojo, and the martial arts.  These precepts are embedded in everything that is taught.  

The respect the children gain for their Sinsei is why they are so open to learn the other principles taught within the class.


The level of concentration to do some of the moves, or forms, is phenomenal. Children can learn to tune out distractions and to concentrate on the task at hand.  Watch my son in the video below.  It's hard to believe he is seven-years-old with that level of concentration.

Once they have mastered this within martial arts, it is much easier for them to bring the principle to other parts of their lives, such as their schoolwork.

Self Esteem or Self-Worth

This goes right back to respect.  The children learn to respect themselves as they advance through the ranks and learn new things.  They learn to feel that sense of value and worth.


Confidence is gained when someone can believe in their own abilities.  Children get to demonstrate their knowledge during martial arts classes, and they can prove to themselves that they can really do these exercises that they've been taught.  This bolsters their confidence, and it carries over into other aspects of their lives.

More Great News!

Children who take martial arts are:

  •  Getting regular exercise
  •  Getting positive interaction with positive people
  •  Having positive communication with others
  •  Learning about themselves
  •  Sleeping better
  •  Having better fitness and balance
  •  Eating better
  •  Learning how to defend themselves
  •  Learning to assist others who may be attacked
  •  Improving their overall health
  •  Improving their quality of life
  •  Improving their flexibility

Stress Relief

Children who have the attributes listed above are much less likely to have stress in their lives.  Work will come easier to them, as will fitness and communication.

Martial Arts is Fun

Martial Arts can be very fun and enriching for a child.  Whether or not you find martial arts to be a good fit for your child, I would stress the importance of finding some confidence building extra-curricular activity.  Good luck!


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    • cheapsk8chick profile image

      cheapsk8chick 6 years ago

      Yeah, his siblings don't mess with him either! Thanks for the comments! We love having a kid in martial arts and the benefits that he receives from it.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 6 years ago from NY

      Great video- I wouldn't mess with him- lol! Seriously though I think your absolutely right that there are many healthy benefits martial arts offer children. This is an excellent exercise and traits such as discipline, respect, concentration, self worth and the many more you mention in this wonderful hub are extremely valuable life taught lessons, and how awesome to learn and such early ages.

      Awesome Hub!