Before I started my martial arts journey I would constantly ask myself if it was already to late to start training. When you look at most Taekwondo Dojangs and Karate Dojos, the average starting age at which one starts training is very young. This is discouraging to someone who is older because you feel as though you’re already at a supreme disadvantage. The truth is, unless your ultimate goal is become a professional MMA fighter, any age is the best age to practice martial arts.
The truth is, Martial Arts are a lifelong journey for some. It really doesn’t matter when that journey starts as long as it starts somewhere. Of course if you’re much older (lets say seventy years of age), you should perhaps consider a Martial Art like Aikido rather than joining an MMA gym. If you’re looking to start training Martial Arts but don’t know the best art to start with, visit our article.
The Best Age to Start Training Martial Arts
It all depends on the ultimate goal. Is it self-recreating, self-confidence, self-discipline, health and fitness, or perhaps you just want to get better at fighting? These are all great reasons to start martial arts, however I wouldn’t recommend someone who is much older to quit their day job to become a professional MMA fighter.
I started training Muay Thai many summers ago as a way to get in shape, I also though Muay Thai was a great self-defense tool to have. Muay Thai has helped me out in many real-life situations and I’m happy I had the skill-set to defend myself. Not only are Martial Arts a great self-defense tool, but they keep you in great shape.
If you’re only getting into Martial Arts to be a “badass”.. well you’re gonna have a bad time. Martial Arts are an expression of one-self and a passing of traditions handed down from generations of true Martial Artists. Martial Arts were never about using your skills to purposely hurt other people who mean no harm.
The Best Age to Start Training MMA
The best age to start MMA is when you’re a teenager and your body is fully or almost fully developed. This is to assume you’re training MMA to one day become a professional MMA fighter. I would recommend around the 15-16 age range to start intensively training martial arts such as Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The great thing about BJJ is that you don’t need to be big and strong to become good at it. You could be 100 pounds but be a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and be a very dangerous person to mess with.
The reason I chose the 15-16 age range is that this will allow you time to train and get a few amateur fights before you turn 18 years of age. The major MMA organizations such as Bellator and the UFC usually won’t sign anyone until they’re 18 anyway. Although there are exceptions like Aaron Pico, however it’s always best to develop your skills before you test yourself out in the big leagues.
5 Reasons why Kids should do Martial Arts
Fitness is a crucial element to all Karate and Taekwondo classes, especially where children are involved. Warmups with jumping jacks, pushups and stretches are common. Various movements of the martial art itself often challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. Martial artists are known for being toned, flexible, and physically fit. This is why martial arts are great for you and your kids.
The ability to defend yourself against an assailant is an empowering feeling. Most martial arts (including Karate and Taekwondo) use self defense as a cornerstone of the entire program. The precise methods will vary from discipline to discipline, but you can be certain that with regular practice, your child will learn to defend in a variety of different ways. Many martial arts schools also teach “street-smart” techniques to kids to help avoid problems altogether. This is also great if your child is a victim of bullying in school.
Karate and Taekwondo in general are great to instill mental focus and self-discipline within your child. Giving them the ability to concentrate on the task at hand and see it through to the end. Simple discipline in the Dojo regarding uniforms and custom techniques will help translate to other areas of life. This is including school and household chores, your child will respect you.. which brings me to our next topic.
Martial arts are all about respect in general. Punching, kicking, or any other form of martial art are all secondary to the respect that is shown from the moment someone walks into a Dojo. Children learn respect from the moment they walk in and meet their instructors and all of the people who came before them. Children also learn how to treat other students similar to “treat others how you would want to be treated”.
A child who is involved in martial arts is generally a child who is confident within themselves. Working through a martial art and the belt ranking system gives a child measurable goals to follow that is realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment a child feels by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt follows them everywhere they go.
Is Karate and Taekwondo Helpful for Kids?
Karate and Taekwondo help teach kids many useful tools that they will take on with them throughout life. Although I didn’t practice martial arts as a child, I wish my parents had put me through some sort of Karate class to develop these great skills while I was young. Martial arts such as Karate and Taekwondo are great for developing many abilities that your child will take with them throughout their life.
To successfully execute a sequence, a Karate or Taekwondo student needs confidence. Each class builds up the student’s skills, but the student must take the initiative to commit to confidently execute each action. Your child’s confidence will increase as he or she masters their art and moves up in belts. This confidence stays with them through schooling, and allows him or her to develop strong friendships and maintain a positive view of themselves.
The final thing I need to say is that no matter your age Martial Arts are always going to welcome you with open arms. I can proudly say that starting Martial Arts was the best decision of my life. Everyone always asks me why I study Martial Arts and I always tell them the same thing: I’m obsessed. This wasn’t an overnight obsession however, there were many bumps and bruises (literally) on my journey. If you need even more reasons on why to start Martial Arts, please visit our article on the 10 Reasons Why You Should Start Martial Arts.