I have a 14 year old son, who keeps insisting on joining martial arts, but I believe that he is too old to join martial arts at this age and that it will be harder for him to learn from this point forward so my question is, what martial art is suggested that he should join at this age?

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    As it is, it's hard to answer and basically opinion-based: How do you define "best"? Please either give some criteria or rephrase, e.g. Ask for pro's and cons of a few martial arts you are considering. More in our help center, specifically here: How to Ask
    – Stephie
    Jan 11 '16 at 8:45
  • This question might help, although it doesn't have many answers. parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/18840/…
    – Acire
    Jan 11 '16 at 11:28
  • The main problem with starting at 14 will be getting through the distracting later teenage years without giving up. Other than that I can't think of any reason why that is a bad age to start. There will likely be beginners in most age groups to train with. Jan 11 '16 at 14:47
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not primarily about parenting. You might ask a similar question on Martial Arts, though the question as asked is probably too general.
    – Joe
    Jan 11 '16 at 15:17
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    I'd say that dissuading kids from doing something simply because it may be hard for them is a bad idea. Your kid wants to challenge themself - how is that a bad thing? Support it! Karate is very repetition-oriented. Starting off with Judo or Brazillian Ju-jitsu has the advantage that every class includes practical sparring that most find fun and lets them apply what they are learning for positive feedback.. Jan 11 '16 at 18:23

There is no reason to choose one over the other based on what you have listed in your question. Martial arts that require a high level of flexibility (such as Capoeira) might be tricky if your son doesn't currently have high flexibility.

In reality, most martial arts focus on control and discipline, at least until higher levels, and can cope with entry at any age from very young to senior citizens.

I, myself, practiced Judo, Shotokan Karate, Shukokai Karate and Kuk Sool Won, and my kids have practiced Aikido and Tae Kwon Do - and the simple fact is none of them are more or less strenuous. That will depend on the class. All are approachable at any age (although I find Shotokan not so good for me now, as the deep stance causes my knees to ache)

My opinion - let him join one, but check out the instructor and class first to see how it is run. Some classes are more welcoming than others; some instructors cope better with adults, and some with kids etc;

It will give him discipline, core strength, flexibility, and even a level of self confidence.


Based on personal experience (my self and my two sons), I suggest Judo over Karate and other martial arts. Both are good for self-defense. Judo is a better workout. Judo is less likely to maim or kill a friend. Judo has more of a cognitive component as there are many different moves, especially in mat work. The people who go in for Judo tend to be nicer than than the people who go in for Karate. When your son gets older, he might want to study a more lethal martial art for even better self-defense. Your son is not too old to start learning a martial art. Many people start later than age 14.

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