What is the best age to start martial arts?

Martial Arts in Brisbane – What’s the best age to start?

The answer to this question depends largely on the structure of the classes offered by each martial arts school.  Why?  Martial arts and self-defence classes are still predominantly taught in church halls and school halls, once or twice a week, by well meaning instructors who essentially do it as a hobby beside their ‘real job’.  They typically teach all ages of kids together, and often adults and kids together.  Simply put, that’s really hard, and doesn’t really give the best outcome for anyone.  Because of the challenges created by this environment, Instructors are left trying their best to make do, which means teaching everyone the same thing.  

There’s a reason schools don’t teach Grade 1 and Grade 7 kids in the same class, or Grade 1 and university students together.  The ability of kids at such disparate ages to concentrate, their desire to learn, rate of information assimilation etc etc, varies massively.  Physically there is also a huge difference in sizes – there is a reason kids sports are separated into age groups – essentially to have a rough way of putting kids of generally the same sizes together – it makes it safer and more fun for everyone.  For those same safety reasons, having all ages together makes it difficult for instructors.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have full time professional martial arts centres, which are typically fitted out with safety mats, air conditioning and lots of equipment, but even more importantly, the bigger centres having multiple training studios and multiple instructors.  Why does that matter? It means classes can then be split by age group and experience level (just like at school or in other sports).  Why does that matter?  With classes split, you can suddenly have a syllabus which is custom designed to best suit each age group and experience level, and even adjust the class length based on age group and ability.  In other words, it allows you to create the ideal learning environment for everyone.

Returning to our question, what is the best age to start martial arts?, in a full time professional martial arts centre with appropriately trained kids instructors and classes separated by age group and experience level, 3-4yrs is a common age to start martial arts and works very well.  The kids have a great time, and make massive improvements to focus, concentration, and following instructions, as well as physically in things like balance and coordination.  These are all things that help the kids out enormously when they start at school.  At the start of each school year, we often get parents of kids who are first starting at school coming to us and saying, their teacher has been asking what we’ve been doing with him/her, they know how to listen!.. follow instructions!.. concentrate!… all small things but big things in the classroom.  

What if there aren’t any full time professional martial arts centres near me?  If there are a big mix of ages etc, everyone in the same hall, typically older will work better, maybe around 10yrs old.

One final tip – we would highly recommend doing two or more classes per week.  Two classes vs one makes a huge difference!


Getting Started with Martial arts for kids

If you’re interested in finding out more or trying a class out, we offer kids martial arts in Brisbane at BTC, Queensland’s largest martial arts and fitness centre! Our kids martial arts classes are also split by age and experience level to make sure every child is training at a level appropriate for their age, and with kids their own size ensuring they can enjoy the best balance of safety, fun, focus and challenge. We also have special beginners kids martial arts classes so that when your child first starts out, they feel comfortable, train with other kids their own age who are new starters too, and really get the attention they need. Kids martial arts offer many benefits to children that will not only help them now, but will help to create excellent habits for the future, so come and try a class today 🙂


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