I've been practicing martial arts since I was a child. First I did Judo and when I was 20 I started Aiki-jutsu. Judo gave me self-confidence because I saw I was able to pull bigger children than me to the ground. However, as I grew, I saw that Judo (at least in the dojo I trained) was too reglamentary, I mean, it is excessively sport-oriented: you cannot put your hands on the opponent's face, you cannot kick nor hit him, etc... I looked for some more practical martial art and I ended up with aiki-jutsu (for the general audience, something similar to what Steven Seagal does in his films).

I've already read this post that deals with the appropriate age a child can start doing martial arts, but my question focuses in what martial arts are more practical and less olympic or exhibtion-oriented and at if those specific martial arts are appropriate for being learned at young ages (below 10).

Thank you.

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    Hi Claudix - proponents of various martial arts will have opinions on this that will vary. I practiced Judo, 2 forms of Karate and Kuk Sool Won, and my kids practice Taekwon Do and A bit of Aikido. All are suitable - they can all be used for self defence, and more importantly, for self discipline.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 12:04
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    Hi Claudix. If you're interested in the subject, there are several questions on teaching martial arts to children already; this question in particular. Otherwise, if you're specifically interested in the particulars of martial arts, you might ask over on Martial Arts, or more likely search for questions there; your question as it stands is still too broad for there, but you might ask about more specific details of specific martial arts there.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 15:28
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    That said, if you want to ask a question here, you probably could fix this. You should avoid "the best" and instead ask for benefits (or drawbacks) of specific martial arts in relation to children; for example, "Is Krav Maga an appropriate martial art for children?" is a good beginning of a question (with some more detail, of course, about age and defining what 'appropriate' means). Even "What martial arts are appropriate for children learning self-defense" would be better, in my mind; and "What characteristics of a martial art suggest it is suitable for teaching a child self defense" more so.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 15:32
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    Also note that some kids might appreciate the "exhibition oriented" and formalized rule aspects of judo, so it's somewhat dependent on the child :)
    – Acire
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 17:20
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    I can't exactly give an answer on what is best for a child, what I can say is that it is also very important to think of the instructor.
    – JRSofty
    Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


"I mean, it is excessively sport-oriented: you cannot put your hands on the opponent's face, you cannot kick nor hit him, etc..."

  • Sport-oriented or Street-practical.Anything you learn, it should be for self-defense and not for amplifying violence(it seems like you just want to hit people just because you can:) or maybe I'm misunderstood)

  • Anyway, coming to what you need to choose in order to achieve a street-practical confidence as well as trained in a way to get out of any situation.

For ex: half-a-dozen-to-more opponents with weapons with anger with big biceps
One skinny guy pointing a gun right behind your skull.(I'm serious!)

You should go for Krav-maga.

  • Its for anyone and everyone.It a self-defense system and anyone could need it. Kids too young (under 13,but it differs) should not do this because the safety gear would not be appropriate for their body-size and the training is quite intense.

  • Its not a martial art and its not as much sporty as y'know karate, wing chun, judo , aikido etc. But, it will train you to stand alone and disable your opponents in the least possible time.It can be dangerous for the receiver(one who you target) because it consists of moves which target all areas of your body. It teaches you to use your attacker's force against him/her. It trains you mentally to defend and counter-attack at the same time.

  • Get a good book on Krav-maga such as 230 self defense tehniques in krav-maga(I think that's what it is named) but i recommend you join your nearest Krav maga institute because you are supposed to train around people to learn better.
    for ex: They are going to literally make you stand in the middle of a room while 3-4 opponents(your fellow training mates) will create a situation of total stress. (With careful supervision,of course)

  • Long story short, if you really want to feel safe walking on the streets or any place where people might try to steal, stab or bully you, krav-maga is what you need to approach.

  • Also, brazilian jujitsu can be quite sporty and very much street-realistic, or so I've heard.

  • A little History:
    Quoting wiki
    "In the mid-1930s, anti-Semitic riots began to threaten the Jews of Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. (The country was created from parts of Austro-Hungary in 1918- a result of World War l) Lichtenfeld became the leader of a group of Jewish boxers and wrestlers who took to the streets to defend Jewish neighborhoods against the growing numbers of national socialist party and anti-Semitic thugs. Lichtenfeld quickly discovered, however, that actual fighting was very different from competition fighting, and although boxing and wrestling were good sports, they were not always practical for the aggressive and brutal nature of street combat. It was then that he started to re-evaluate his ideas about fighting and started developing the skills and techniques that would eventually become Krav Maga. Having become a thorn in the side of the equally anti-Semitic local authorities, Lichtenfeld left his home, family and friends in 1940 on the last refugee ship to escape Europe."

Know that whatever you choose within martial arts or any self-defense training, do it for the love of knowledge and to provide defense for you, your family and anyone else who need it.

Ps: If you Combine brazilian jujitsu + krav maga + taek-won-do + wing chun + kick boxing.
You will be A-mae-zinga!

All the best!

  • This is an interesting post, but the OP specifically asks for "below 10", while your answer says "not under 13".
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 14:36
  • I know,but the age limit for krav-maga cannot be modified according to the question. I just wanted to give him my side of advice.Come on! 3 years is not a long time, they can wait.:) Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 16:12
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    If the question asks about martial arts for 10 year olds or younger, then krav maga is probably not an answer to that question.
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 16:14

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