Martial Arts

I’m considering enrolling my six year old son in some type of martial arts course. I have almost no experience related to these though. Does anyone have any suggestions or ones to stay away from. I’m concerned that some may have elements of eastern mysticism within them. I also don’t want him to have to spar with girls.


You might have to just ask multiple places if it will be fine to not spar girls.

Unfortunately it will be harder to evaluate whether they are religious without spending time observing. I did find a document at one point that evaluated the religious nature of all the martial arts. I’ll see if I can find it again. Stay away from anything that has chi. The problem is that karate, for example, can be all over the map.

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Glad you’re avoiding fighting girls. I’ve watched my oldest nephew get beaten by girls. It’s pitiful. It’d be better for him to not be in that cursed class at all. And I don’t think it’d be better if he did beat the girls.


The only winning move is not to play.

I’d recommend finding an instructor who is a believer. I’ve told my kids’ instructor that my boys won’t spar with girls and he respects that. He’s told me that if they want to compete in tournaments and such that they will need to spar with girls. OK, then, no tournaments.


I would look for an MMA gym that teaches children before a traditional martial arts studio. The attitude towards martial arts is more practical and does not have the eastern religious trappings. I don’t know about being asked to spar with girls everyone, but the increased prevalence of grappling and wrestling in MMA seems to help avoid that in the gyms around here. Note: not an expert (or even physically fit), just have researched this a fair amount for our family.


I’m not familiar with MMA at all really. But the only thing that pops into my head when somebody says MMA is UFC, and beating someone’s brains out for sport isn’t the type of attitude I’m trying to foster in my children. I’d hope that few, if any local MMA gyms are going to have that type of culture but it does concern me.

Oh, yes, you will find fans of televised MMA there among the adult classes, but typically these gyms teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, boxing, etc. You’ll hear some rhetoric about those being more practical martial arts but the focus will be on fitness, practicing and perfecting moves, learning sparring and grappling principles, safety, etc. No “real hits” or gleefulness in destruction that I have seen. You’d certainly want to research it for yourself, though.


Mr. Nathan, This is where you want to begin. This is a family of Pros and GBJJ is in many ways the current standard martial art.


I’ve been training in Dutch Kickboxing for over 6 years now (which is Muay Thai with a greater emphasis on Western-style boxing). It’s about the most practical you can get. It’s the striking style most MMA fighters will be trained in.

How to punch. How to take a punch. How to get in shape so you can keep punching…

Focus on the owner/instructor in your search. Train in whatever they specialize. A good teacher is more important than a particular style.

Unfortunately, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a gym that disallows women