What Age Can Kids Start Kickboxing


Kid Kickboxer in the ring: What age can kids start kickboxing
Photo Credit: palapon

How old do you have to be to do kickboxing? kickboxing clubs welcome kids aged 5-6, some do so from 8-9 years. It solely depends on the rules of the kickboxing gym.

Kickboxing is a good sport for children and gives them perseverance, dedication, courage, the ability to think tactically, willpower, and self-control. A kid can easily earn a high performance level and become an officially recognized champion with hard work. When kids play amateur-level kickboxing, they would surely be more fit and sure about themselves. But the question is, what age can kids start kickboxing?

The Right Age for Kickboxing

The best age for your kids to kickbox is typically decided by the club you choose to take your kids. Although some kickboxing clubs welcome kids aged 5-6, some do so from 8-9 years.

In the case you take your kids at an earlier stage for kickboxing, their preparation should concentrate on general physical development. Kickboxing typically takes place in a fun manner for children aged 5 to 6. Kids can expect to performe the following activities:

  • Running
  • light pad work with the coach
  • Light movement practice (practice the motion of the popular moves such as jabs and crosses)

According to For Kids Plus (source), 5 to 6 years can be the right age for kids to start kickboxing. And it goes without saying that there is no difference in mastering the art of kickboxing among girls and boys.

Remember: Just like languages, kids brains are like sponges and their ability to learn new moves and coordination skills are really good (source). Kids at this age learn motor skills (like jumping, running, throwing) quickly.

A kid, wearing kickboxing gloves, resting after a kickboxing fight.
Photo Credit: geoff dude

Why Does the Age Matter?

A lot of things come into play when it comes to teaching martial arts to youngsters. Most studios prefer to shut off children and view them like mini-adults.

Well, this is not a good idea. Kids are somewhat distinct from their fully-grown counterparts. Of course, teaching them new skills would require a range of different strategies and approaches.

They Think Differently

The disparity is due to a mixture of prior experience and brain activity. In addition to children’s still-developing pre-frontal cortex, they still have less experience because they have not existed as long.

Functional Disparity

Apart from the apparent variations in height and weight,  there are certain other physical differences between children and adults, such as their shorter spurts of enhanced strength.

Why Consider Kickboxing for your Kids?

Martial arts have more to say than combat and self-defense. In particular, martial arts are an excellent way for children to increase their attention span, enhance self-esteem, and become more accountable (source).

The various practices also enable them to learn the cornerstone qualities that help them lead a good life into adulthood: discipline, good character, and respect.

4 kids in a kickboxing kick pose.
Photo Credit: DUP Photos

But proper teachings of this art, kickboxing, offers children a crash course in other vital life skills. That includes resolving disputes, diffusing confrontations, and coping more efficiently with bullying by non-violent means.

Learn more about how kickboxing helps with self defense.

Stages of Learning Martial Arts & Kickboxing for Kids

  1. A 10-year-old kid’s goal within the first two years is to develop physical fitness and familiarize himself with the basic kickboxing techniques. Their exercise will involve outdoor activities and acrobatic elements.
  2. Kids begin to develop their physical fitness standards over the next few years and start engaging in tournaments and training camps (should they choose to pursue that route, if not, they simply continue training at the gym).
  3. Kickboxing techniques and styles are the subjects of the courses. Kid kickboxers boost stamina, pace, and response and therefore maximize their preparedness for tournaments should they wish to pursue it. This is how a lot of the greatest kickboxers started their career.
  4. The competitor is starting to develop his own style by this time, which is evident in the manner of fighting, knowing shortcomings, and strengths.

Types of Kickboxing to Teach Kids

There is no single definition of kickboxing in today’s martial arts world, and even more so when it comes to children. Different cultures around the world are still engaged in their particular form of kickboxing.

American Kickboxing

Based on Karate, American kickboxing does not allow hitting below the waist. It is also not permitted to hit with elbows, and usually, it is not allowed to strike with shins. (source)

Japanese Kickboxing

Like Muay Thai, Japanese kickboxing has its roots in the 1960s as the first kickboxing sport. It was renamed Japanese kickboxing, as other variants grew (source).

Protecting your Kids

Many parents are afraid of sparring over their offspring. For young kickboxers, sparring is a great way to practice their moves, but it is certainly not mandatory.

Children must wear the right kickboxing equipment if they want to spar. Children should have protection against the mouth, protection against the head, and knee pads.

Kickboxing is safe for kids, as long as the facility is well maintained, equipped, and have properly trained coaches! (which is the case most of the time).

Will Your Kids Drop Out?

Children who start kickboxing often drop out a year or two later. And then, they never really get to a stage where they can compete effectively in a sparring case or match.

In the twenties and even thirties, we see many adults emerging, who had learned as a child, and who want to go there. But as there has been a multi-year delay, it would need to relearn the skills.

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