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What Martial Arts Are Suitable For Juniors?

Posted: February 09, 2022

Martial Arts is a great way for juniors to build strength, confidence, discipline, and to make new friends. With so many options to choose from, picking the most suitable can be a tough and stressful process.

One thing to point out first is, no matter which martial art you choose for your child — or they choose for themselves — they will reap the many physical and psychological benefits of studying that discipline.

Luckily, you have found this page. In this Ellis Academy of Self Defence blog, we have picked out the best martial arts for juniors, breaking down their benefits and which will be most suitable.

What Age Should You Start Self-Defence?

Some Mixed Martial Art gyms/academy’s offer classes for children as young as three years old, but it is recommended that on average the best age for your child to begin martial arts is around the five to six age mark.

The reason the recommended age is higher than the starting class is because of your child’s development. We say your child can start as soon as three, but you must take in these three factors. You must consider the type of martial art you want your child to start, the stage of development of your child and lastly, the dojo and their requirements.

The Best Martial Arts For Juniors To Learn


Karate is one of the most practised forms of martial arts in the world. It originated as a form, Japan and translates to "empty hands" in Japanese. So, karate is obviously a great option for teaching your kids self defence skills.

In traditional karate, it is believed that the self is the real enemy, so the teachings have a strong focus on spiritual development, self-control, patience, and discipline to help master oneself. Karate makes use of balanced, full-body moves, and training focuses on blocks, strikes, punches, evasions, and kicks that help your child counter-strike opponents.


Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best martial arts for kids. Often called “the gentle art,” it teaches children how to compete on the ground through grappling and submissions.

Because students have to figure out how to avoid being submitted while trying to tap out their training partners, Jiu-Jitsu helps your kids develop patience and problem-solving skills.

Jiu-Jitsu is founded on the concept that a smaller person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger opponent using the technique, leverage and taking the fight to the ground.


Wrestling is one of the oldest martial arts in the world, as it involves various takedowns, locks, and pins.

Because wrestling stands as one of the toughest sports to train and compete in, your kids will have unmatched physical and mental conditioning.

As wrestling is often a competitive sport, it also has the added benefit of teaching children accountability, as they can take credit for their wins and accept that no one else is to blame for their losses.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is an excellent martial art for children. Unlike kickboxing, which is also great in its own regard, students of “the art of eight limbs” use knees, elbows, throws, sweeps, and the clinch.

As students of Muay Thai, your child will learn self-control because sparing lightly and intentionally is a part of the training. Also, since martial art doesn’t have a ranking system, your kids learn how to set personal goals instead of working toward pre-set goals.

Muay Thai is arguably one of the easier forms of martial art to learn, as it teaches an effective stand-up striking style that doesn't involve too many complicated movements your child has to memorise.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu At Ellis Academy

Our focus here at Ellis Academy is self-defence. Our programme is based on Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, with easy fundamentals and instinctive movements, our system is designed for a real-life scenario, and we aim to teach it in the shortest possible time.

All of our instructors are certified black belts, qualified, and professionally trained to teach martial arts. Our facility is always clean, and we have an extensive schedule for all age groups.

Our academy is situated in Surrey, to find out more about our self-defence programme and the real-life benefits of learning this ‘gentle art’ don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Alternatively, If would you like any more information, tips or advice, visit our blog page.