Martial arts can be a great way for kids to build confidence, self-discipline, and physical fitness. However, with so many different styles of martial arts to choose from, it can be difficult for parents to know which one is the best fit for their child. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular martial arts for kids and help you determine which one is right for your child.


Muay Thai / Kickboxing

One of the cornerstones of MMA, Muay Thai and Kickboxing has exploded in popularity in recent years

Muay Thai embodies a no nonsense approach to fighting, standing square on to your opponent and ofter trading punches, kicks, elbows, knees and trips. Defence is more about absorbing your opponents strikes through a series of blocks and Parys, setting up responses and trips in order to nullify your opponent.

In its native Thailand, children start competing in official tournaments from the age of 15. However they start training and sparring much much younger than that.

Kickboxing or K1 (a ruleset subsection within Kickboxing) is more orientated around footwork and boxing combinations with knees being heavily restricted whilst elbows and throws are classified as illegal moves within that ruleset.

Muay Thai and Kickboxing are both fantastic for kids. They are tough sessions that will demand a lot from your kids, but the rewards are incredible. Cardio and strength are guaranteed to see a huge improvement which then will show benefits in mood and wellbeing. A healthy body is proven to improve the chances of maintaining a healthy brain!


Judo is a grappling-based martial art that emphasizes throws and takedowns. It’s a good choice for kids who are looking for a non-violent martial art that focuses on using an opponent’s strength against them. Judo classes typically involve a lot of partner work, which can help kids develop social skills and learn how to work with others.

Judo is a brilliant martial art for children as it gives your child strength, discipline and the ability to use their judo skills in other martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. BJJ incorporates a lot of Ne Waza ground techniques that feature in Judo.

Judo for kids is so much fun, being thrown and learning how to fall correctly (It is an art from all of its own!) are a lot of fun and solving the puzzle of implementing techniques while sparring/rolling will really bring out your Childs individuality!

There is a lot to learn in Judo, from the names of the moves (which are all in Japanese) to the structure of how you are expected to train and practice the movements. The rewards will last your child a life time!


Dubbed the hardest sport on the planet. Wrestling originates back to the original Olympic Games and is practiced all over the world under many different styles and branches. The rules are all the same, use trips , throws and take downs to then try and pin your opponent.

Wrestling is seen as the Kryptonite to many grapplers as they link the transition from standing to ground like a hungry zombie. Wrestling is all about chaining different movements and transitions to achieve their goal of getting the pin. This just so happens to be perfect for other sports like BJJ, Judo and especially mixed martial arts.

For children wrestling brings huge benefits in cardio, strength flexibility and determination. The physicality of wrestling is demanding but the benefits and mindset that moulds wrestlers is about as good as it gets!

Britain gets a bad rap for wrestling but here at GBTT we take those kinds of things personally, Our head coach Brad Pickett is known for his strong wrestling game and he is as British as a cup of tea made out of crumpets!

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a ground-based martial art that emphasizes submissions and grappling techniques. It’s a good choice for kids who are interested in self-defense and want to learn how to defend themselves on the ground.

The great thing about BJJ is that unlike a lot of traditional martial arts, your personality is allowed to fly free, uninhibited by the structures of this is how you have to do this move. In BJJ you have a rule set of how you can win a match and how you get there has so many different variables it’s almost limitless.

In the short time that BJJ has existed, you have seen a huge shift away from the gi into what is known as no gi. A rule set that flipped the sport on its head, removing the ability to grip the opponents clothing and having to essentially re imagine the entire structure of chokes and joint locks.

BJJ is probably the biggest martial art in the world in 2023. It is an excellent martial art for kids to get into because it is so versatile. You can be literally any age from 5 to 95, it is one of the most inclusive and adaptive sports on planet earth and teaches its students on how to control and subdue opponents much bigger than yourself in the safest way possible which is incredible for building confidence and bully proofing your child!

Conclusion Choosing the right martial art for your child can be a difficult decision, but by considering their personality, interests, and goals, you can find a style that is a good fit for them. Whatever they choose, there are huge physical and mental positives that will stay with your child for the rest of their lives.

We offer classes in all of the disciplines mentioned above. To take advantage of our free weeks trial and try all of the classes click here to register

We offer classes in all three disciplines here at GBTT with Judo being the newest addition to our class structure starting on the 23rd of April