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Karate v Jujitsu v Taikwondo for Kids

10 January 2023

Karate, Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo are all incredibly impressive martial arts in their own right. All of these martial arts provide benefits to kids that the others don’t, but they remain unique from each other. Depending on what your kids enjoy and value most, they may prefer one martial art over the others. Let’s go through each martial art individually, discuss the differences, and develop an understanding into what type of martial art would suit your kids best.


Karate is a Japanese martial art divided into three components. Kata is the art form of karate - it involves performing a pattern of movements that displays self-defence techniques in a fluid manner. Kumite is sparring, which is not recommended for young kids. Kihon is what your kids will be learning in a Karate dojo - it involves performing various kicks, punches, movements and blocks in a non-contact manner. Students refine their techniques over time through repetition and develop their skill set further by sitting exams, increasing their rank and subsequently getting a new belt.


Taekwondo is similar in the sense that students work their entire body, earn new belts and wear a similar outfit, but what your kids actually learn will vary significantly. In Karate, students usually use their hands more and use leg attacks as a backup. Taekwondo is the polar opposite, with students focusing almost entirely on leg attacks and using their hands as backup. In Karate, you are likely to perform punches, chops and hand strikes whereas in Taekwondo the likes of jumping and spinning kicks are more likely to be used.

Choosing between Karate and Taekwondo comes down to what you value more. If your kids are interested in full-body moves with less sparring and simple moves, then Karate is a good option. If they are interested in learning more complicated techniques that are centred around kicking moves, then Taekwondo is the way to go.


Jiu-Jitsu is a completely different ball game from the other two martial arts. It involves ground movements and is very similar to wrestling. During a Jiu-Jitsu class, you can expect to learn submission techniques such as chokeholds, as well as wrestling and grappling. 

Children can often find Jiu-Jitsu to be much more challenging than Karate and Taekwondo due to it being a significantly more technical sport. It also involves more physical contact and sparring than Karate and Taekwondo, since you usually need a partner with which to grapple and wrestle. However Jiu-Jitsu is easily the most applicable martial art out of these three options, as it offers excellent self defence techniques that Taekwondo and Karate cannot match up to. 

If your kids are slightly older, looking for a challenge, and are prioritising self-defence, then Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent choice over Taekwondo and Karate.

One sure-fire way to find out which martial art is best for your children is to try all three! Getting a trial of any of these martial arts beats any form of research, so hop on the internet and book yourself a free lesson. 

Photo by Junseong Lee on Unsplash

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