The pros and cons of kids learning toddler karate

Learn what are the pros and cons of toddler karate classes

By Rebecca jones
The pros and cons of kids learning toddler karate

The question here is what are the benefits of kids taking toddler karate classes? Most parents have a difficult time accepting karate as a form of sport for their little ones. Karate is an oriental system of unarmed combat using the hands and feet to deliver and block blows, widely practiced as a sport. It is a form of martial art, therefore just like most things, it has its good and bad side. Even though it is a fun-filled activity with lots of discipline, it can be very scary for both parents and kids if not properly managed.

Karate shouldn’t be seen as an activity that concentrates mainly on being physical, it is actually an emotional sport that connects kids with their inner feelings and allowing them to find strength and feel empowered through movement. 

Sports is naturally good for every child’s mental and physical development. 9% of kids in America suffers from attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Martial arts have historically been known to be good for kids with ADHD because these disciplines provide structure and organization. Most martial art institutions for kids will tell you that the sport doesn’t just end at teaching kids how to throw kicks and blows, but it also helps in Boosting a child’s overall confidence either academically, physically and socially. As a parent, if you need an activity that can help promote positive character and life improvements skills in your kid, then karate lessons is for you.

The following are the pros and cons of toddler karate classes:


  1. Encourages kids to be active
  2. Boost a child self-confidence 
  3. Teaches self-defense
  4. Teaches discipline 
  5. Acquired problem-solving skills 
  6. Endurance promotes parent and child bond


  1. Can be scary with the wrong instructor
  2. Gives kids a false sense of security 
  3. Can get a little pricey  
  4. Injuries can be inflicted 
  5. Hurting other kids

Pros and cons of toddler karate classes

Let’s start talking about the positive outcome of enrolling your kid into a toddler karate lesson:

Pro 1: It encourages a child to be active and agile

Martial arts movement can get a little extreme, which means your kid is going to be moving his or her major part of the body to execute some of its expectations. Learning martial arts is a physical endeavor, involving all muscle groups to help develop a student’s physical fitness. With the rate of child obesity rising, you can rest assured that your kid is going to be getting all his or her needed and regular exercise to stay fit and feel good about themselves.

Pro 2: Become an outspoken and confident individual

We’ve seen a situation where a timid and quiet child has transformed into an outspoken and confident individuals due to taking martial art lessons. The sport has a special way of making a child feel super great at all level, and pushing a child into exploring and trying new things, including making new friends and being vocal.

Pro 3: Learning how to do self-defense

Scary and unpleasant, but it is a reality we have to face. With martial arts classes like karate, your child has a higher chance of defending themselves or doing something against danger and crime.

Pro 4: More attentive and considerate

You need to learn to listen not complain and follow instructions from Your sensei (teacher) or an instructor. This type of thoughts and understanding help in teaching kids to be more attentive and considerate.

Con 1: Develop a false sense of security

Your child might get a false sense of security, kids that take karate lessons acquire more physical skills compared to kids who don’t, are at a more advantage of being physical in terms of fights, and sometimes, that sense of superiority and thinking might land them in trouble and harm ways compared to others.

Con 2: Expensive

Some karate class charges the sum of $150 a week and a thousand in months, due to its vigorous and time-consuming nature, it is a bit expensive.

Con 3: Can be discouraging

If a karate instructor is the inconsiderate type, he might end up scaring your child with his or her constant loud demands. Making the sport very scary and uninteresting instead of entertaining.

Con 4: Injuries

Injuries are constantly inflicted, I think every parent’s biggest nightmare is seeing their child hurt or in pain, with karate, things like this are not totally ruled out. Your child might end up with some minor or major injuries. It’s something you need to consider a lot before taking any chances.

Con 4: Multiple Injuries

What does the karate uniform tells me

Karategi is the formal Japanese name for the traditional uniform used for karate classes, practice and competitions. The “karategi” is similar to a “judogi” as it shares a common origin, however, the karate uniform is much lighter. The clothes are made from a smooth cotton which maybe brushed or ribbed for unrestricted movement and added comfort, it is made to withstand the vigorous nature of karate, and unlike the inferior quality which is a soft and light fabric similar to that of a summer fabric. Originally, the karate uniform was all white head to toe, but a man called Kano jigoro the founder of Judo, introduced the colored belt ranking system in 1883 in order to denote his students' ranks and progress. Some karate classes, have uniform colors that’s differentiate a teacher and a student.  

The following are all of the different colored belts in karate, with each signifying class and progress a student has achieved. 

White belt

The white belt symbolizes a birth or beginning of a person’s will to acquire the skills of karate. The white belt is basically worn by newbies, beginners.

Yellow belt

The yellow belt signifies the first beam of sunlight that gives a seedling new growth and life. As such, the yellow belt is worn by a beginner who has learnt to practice the basic moves of karate.

Orange belt

The orange belt represents the growing strength of the sun, that means the orange belt is only given when a student has mastered his or her 10 self-defense moves.

Green belt

The green belt is a representation of growth, so it is given to intermediate students who are learning to strengthen and refine their skills. 

Purple Belt

Purple belt represents the colors of dawn, so a purple belt is given to a student who is transitioning into the advanced stages of study. 

Brown Belt

Brown is a representation of the ripening of a seed during the maturing and harvesting process, so a brown belt is awarded to advanced students who are beginning to realize the fruits of their beginner studies and whose techniques have begun to mature. 

Red Belt

Red symbolizes the red hot strength of the Sun. In the same way that a growing plant must stretch its way slowly toward the Sun, students with red belts learn to be cautious of their practice. As red is also the sign of danger, a student with a red belt is learning to become dangerous in his or her knowledge and skills.

Black Belt

Black symbolizes the darkness beyond the sun, and a person who has been awarded a black belt seeks to gain a deeper and further understanding of the physical and mental teachings of karate. Many people who are awarded a black belt begin passing on their knowledge to help others advance in their own belt rank.

Safety during toddler karate

Most of the injuries sustained in martial arts are finger and toe injuries, scrapes and bruises, and head injuries. All this injuries are not to be ignored. Head injuries can lead to concussion and migraine. Kids should be under great supervision during this lessons. But before all this possible danger, here are some few things to do before enrolling and taking karate lessons.

1. See a doctor before participating

It’s always important to check in with a doctor before you enroll a child in any form of sport or activities that involves a lot of physical activities. Let a medical practitioner give you a green light before you start karate.

2. Wearing the proper uniform and safety gears

Wearing headgears when playing any form of martial art is a great way of protecting your head from impacts during kicks and blows.

3. Always take lessons and train in the best environment

Environment matters a lot, do not practice karate or any form of sport in a place that isn’t appt or designed for it. We don’t want kids jumping or running around in places like kitchen, bathrooms and so on. 

4. Getting your kid active first

Well before taking your baby on his or her first karate class, please just make sure the child is a little active and agile, he or she should be able to move easily and freely without restrictions. You don’t want the first class to be extremely weird and difficult for your child.

Toddler karate videos

Karate classes are encouraged for kids around the ages of 3-4yrs. Due to its great benefits and potentials. Below are few videos of toddler karate classes. 

3 Year Old White Belt Reciting the Student Creed - YouTube
karate kids 3-4 years old - YouTube
We now have a 3-5 year old karate class - YouTube


In a nutshell, enrolling kids in karate or any form of martial art has proven to have a positive impact on a child either socially, mentally and physically. Some of the skills learned during this period can further help a child in empowering and gaining problem-solving skills. Yes, there are some disadvantages like a child getting hurt or being discouraged, with critical monitoring and observation, all this can be prevented or minimized. Parent can also use this process as a bonding and quality time. See how your child learns and grow around kids his age.