There are a lot of very good reasons to enroll your child in martial arts classes. For one, it is an exercise that a lot of kids enjoy. It encourages them to work hard to earn their belts, giving them individual goals to strive for. It also teaches basic self-defense, which is never a bad thing to know. Plus, if you ever need firewood, they can chop a block in half with their bare hands. Well probably not, but it sounds cool doesn’t it?
But what class is right for your child? There are many different martial arts – from karate to tae kwon do to judo – and different schools. We have looked at a few of them for you.
Aikido Orlando Dojo
Aikido is a non-aggressive martial art; students will learn self-control and self-defense in a style that is meant not to injure the opponent. To that end, there are no competitions for aikido and “sparring” time is when students work in pairs to help each other. Aikido Orlando Dojo offers students the opportunity to go to as many classes as they wish, from the offerings at the school. Students as young as four can begin studying here.
Location: 3764 Howell Branch Rd, Winter Park
Phone: (407) 284-9598
Capoeria Brazilian Pelourinho
Capoeria Brazilian Pelourinho teaches Capoeira a Afro-Brazilian martial art that incorporates music, dance, acrobatics, and martial arts, to create a different style from most others. The school offers both classes and an after-school program. Classes are available for children starting at 3 years old. The after school program teaches Capoeria, yoga, and other disciplines, and provides supervised homework time.
Location: 7075 Kingspointe Parkway #10, Orlando
Phone: (407) 226-3195
Capioera Orlando offers classes for kids aged 3-12, in one combined class. Students learn capioera, acrobatics, tumbling, and dance, in a friendly and encouraging environment. Teenagers are welcome in the adult classes, for which there are two levels – beginner and open.
Location: 2400 North Forsyth Road, suite 201, Orlando
Location: 829 Woodbury Road #102, Orlando
Phone: (407) 960-3104
Gracie Barra Orlando
Gracie Barra Orlando teaches children Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, focusing on both the self-defense and sport aspects of the art. Children are encouraged to compete, but not required to, and get exercise and socialization opportunities while learning how to protect themselves. The classes are open to children aged 5-15.
Location: 923 N. Mills Avenue, Orlando
Phone: (407) 895-7010
Location: 6236 Kingspointe Pkwy #4, Orlando
Phone: (407) 903-1588
Location: 3050 Alafaya Trail, Unit #1004, Oviedo
Phone: (407) 366-0988
Location: 2800 W Vine St., Kissimmee
Phone: (407) 201-7636
Jeet Kune Do Institute
Jeet kune do is a martial art developed by Bruce Lee. The school’s kids program works with kids at their individual levels, and encourages hard work. Unlike other martial arts curricula, the Jeet Kune Do Institute does not work from memorized and standard forms. Instead, students will be tested in “real world” situations, and encouraged to practice scenarios that they might face outside of the school. The school teaches tumbling, resistance striking, grappling, and weapon use.
Orlando Martial Arts Academy
Orlando Martial Arts Academy is a tae kwon do school that offers both children’s classes and sparring opportunities. In addition, the Academy offers an after-school program, where they arrange to pick your child up from school. After school, the kids get a half hour of free time to do homework, and then they get martial arts training. When schools are closed, they provide a full day program.
Location: 7507 Kingspointe Parkway, Suite 105, Orlando
Phone: (407) 352-3388
Three Dragons Martial Arts Academy
Three Dragons is a tae kwon do academy that also focuses on the whole child. They have requirements for belt promotions that include maintaining a B average in school. Students are given workbooks to help them set and achieve their goals. Classes start for children as young as three, and each level works on age-appropriate skills. The school also offers family classes, for parents and children to train together.
Location: 4709 Distribution Ct. #9, Orlando
Phone: (407) 906-3622
Wah Lum offers kung fu classes for kids from ages 3-7, and from ages 8-12. Classes include martial arts training, as well as acrobatics, to encourage strength and discipline. Older children will also be taught how to use some of the traditional weapons associated with kung fu.
Location: 851 N. Goldenrod Rd. Orlando
Phone: (407) 275-6177