Have you ever considered signing up your child for a martial arts class? Learning self-defence is fun and can help building (social) skills needed to deal with issues such as bullying, but also increase self-respect and respect for others.
Joining a self-defence class is a great way to keep kids active and happy, and these classes also teach them to tangibly defend themselves against physical attacks. Here are a few suggestions of martial arts schools that cater to young kids.
1. Taekwondo at Xtreme Martial Arts, Plaza Damas
My 7-year-old son has been joining the taekwondo classes at Xtreme for the last two years. He has proudly achieved his blue-red belt so far, eagerly training to continue to the next belt.
Grandmaster Bathi has trained children as young as 4 years old. He focuses on training martial arts in a safe and nurturing environment with the correct techniques and values. Grandmaster Bathi is great with children, and it shows – the kids adore him for his gentle yet firm teaching.
A-2-2, 2nd floor, Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas
2. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Art of Submission (AOS), Plaza Damas
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ is a martial arts style or combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting, and submission holds. AOS runs two junior programmes, one for age group 4 -7 years old and the other for the older kids 8 – 12 years old. My son was fascinated to learn different moves and techniques compared to his taekwondo sessions. Whilst the younger kids’ lessons are more playful in nature, the older group focuses more on technique.
My boy happily teamed up with a partner to show him some grappling and mounting techniques – a good way to let off some steam and energy. The focus on technique allows people with smaller and less athletic frames to take down people that are bigger than they are – great for kids to deal with bullies!
Block E-3-13, Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas
3. Boxing at Monarchy MMA, Bangsar
Monarchy MMA has three branches in KL and a fourth one set to open soon in Kota Damansara. They offer Boxing and Muay Thai/Kickboxing programmes to kids aged 3 – 6 and 7 – 12 years old.
My son did a trial for the boxing class, and he quickly picked up on hand and leg coordination moves. Basic hand and foot techniques were taught and explained as it had been to me, when I joined myself in the beginner adult class. These classes mean serious business, with a lot of focus on technique.
All went well until the kids were teamed up to do some sparring exercises. A tat too close into his private bubble, my son was a bit put off by the close encounters and receiving a punch or two (not very hard ones) on his body. He concluded that he did like the techniques, but wasn’t sure about his opponent.
2nd Floor, 34-2 & 36, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar
4. Capoeira at Casa do Capoeira, Plaza Damas
Lastly, there is the intriguing art of Capoeira. It is known more commonly as dance fighting. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that includes elements of dance, acrobatics, music and spirituality.
Both my kids were excited to join the trial class. The principal instructor, Professor Rafael, dedicated quite some time to explain the basic moves to newcomers. And by basic I had not expected a handstand, whereby the kids had to tap their feet together mid-air.
Prof. Rafa continued to teach the basic rocking step back and forth, combined with some turns and jumps from a sitting position. I was truly amazed to see what the beginners were able to do at the end of the class. It was an intriguing combination of martial arts, gymnastics and dancing.
B-3-2, Plaza Damas, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas
All of the places mentioned above offer free trials, so even if your child doesn’t like the class, simply move on to try another one. Nothing is lost after your trial and both you and your kid will be an experience richer!
If you have older kids, have a look at our article here about Muay Thai in KL for teenagers.