5 Reasons To Start Martial Arts When You Become A Parent

Woman karate kimono holds her child's hand

When my son was born, I knew that one day I had a gift to give him.

That same gift I know he will pass on to his children and so on.

That same gift I will give to my daughter when the time is right, and I know she will be infinitely safer and more secure as a result.

That gift is, of course, the gift of martial arts.

Today I will give you five compelling reasons all parents should take up martial arts, and the reasons might surprise you.

1. Because You Need To Be The Mr Miyagi In Your Child’s Life

Girl learns to beat kick leg on white background

I loved The Karate Kid.

I am of course talking about the original and not the pretty average remake.

The story of a young boy being bullied is a compelling one that we all face at some point in our life. For me personally, I faced bullying and kept it hidden. However  I needed help, I needed to learn to fight.

I recall the summer holiday that my life changed, and I experienced what you could easily call ‘my karate kid summer’.

After being bullied for most of the year, I turned to my father, an ex-boxer and a life long martial artist and told him that I needed and wanted to learn how to fight.

For him to step in he wanted me to have the desire to train, the desire to put in the hours of work and he had not thought I was ready.

However, he saw the look in my eyes and over the course of 6 weeks he taught me his skills.

I went from victim to someone that could hit hard and take care of himself and what is funny is that after that summer no one ever messed with me again. It was as if people could tell that I had changed.

My father might not have been right in his approach; he was a fan of teaching people to become a fighter rather than learning self-defence, but he was from a long forgotten era.

However for that summer, he became my Mr Miyagi.

Ask yourself this, if your child came home and told you he was being beaten up every day, could you teach him to protect himself? Could you be their Miyagi?

If the answer is no, perhaps you need to start your journey.

2.One Day You Might Need To Punch Someone Hard To Protect Your Family

Bruce Lee Self Defence

Like it or not the world is a dangerous place, and when you become a parent, you have inherited some responsibilities.

Changing nappies, the school run and, of course, making that Easter bonnet will all become the norm.

However, one thing that you have just taken responsibility for is the safety of your family.

I remember the time I was out with my kids and we went to the park for a good old fashioned British chip dinner.

We had just been to the chip shop and found a great spot to sit down and after un-wrapping the chips, a group of local yobs sat down near to us.

From that moment, we were treated to 5 minutes of profanity that would have made a Marine shocked.

I politely asked him to stop, which with his can of the worlds strongest and cheapest lager he said “alright mate.”

But there was more chance of him stopping  drinking than stopping this verbal barrage.

So the second time I spoke I was polite but firm, but I gave him a look that would kill, the look of a man who had been pushed too far,  the look of a man that meant business.

A few seconds later he left and apologised.

Would I have done that without knowing I could handle myself? I doubt it.

Others might have said, “you should have just moved”.

To this, I simply say “You can’t let everyone get away with everything. Sometimes you have to take action.”

3. Because You Don’t Want To Be The Fat Parent At The Playground

When you see the other parents on the playground, you see people in the same boat as you.

All of them busy and all of them with lives to lead.

So you have a choice, do you expand your waistline as the years progress or do you become the parent who is trim, fit and able to kick ass!

Martial arts are known for their exhausting fitness requirements but here is the secret….  you build up to it.

Day 1, week 1 will be tough. But by the time you get to day 1, week 50 you will be fitter, faster and more flexible.

Yes, you could just go to the gym but then that would be really boring and if you are reading this you sure ain’t boring!

So set yourself a challenge and get fit through martial arts

4. The Bond You Will Have With Your Child Through Martial Arts Is Stronger Than Steel

Mom and daughter in kimono punch handMom and daughter in kimono punch hand

When your child starts to take martial arts lessons they love it.

The sensation of wearing a uniform that makes them feel special, the punches,  throws, games and drills bring a smile to the face of every child.

However, nothing will prepare you for the sensation that will hit them when you put on that uniform and join them on the mat. Suddenly you join them on the martial journey.

There are very few activities which a parent and child can do together and many martial arts schools now run ‘family classes’ or organise their schedules so parents and children can be taught at the same time

Your child will see you learn, face the same challenges that they do and  as such a deeper bond will be built.

Ask yourself what other activity can deliver this?

So when your son or daughter tells you that they want to take martial arts classes, you need to say “let’s both do it!”, then sit back and watch the smiles.

5. To Your Child, You Will Be A Real Super Hero



We live in a world of superheroes.

The Avengers, Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man and many more have all come to life thanks to the wonders of special effects.

From Power Rangers to Ninja Turtles the language of your child is one of  super powers, kicks and punches. They basically see martial arts every day.

Now unless you are a billionaire being Batman or Iron Man is out, and as I am pretty certain you have never been to Asgard, overdosed on gamma radiation or been bitten by a radioactive spider.

However, you can take a huge step towards superhero status by learning the fighting styles of these superheroes.

This sounds almost too good to be true but I know my son loves the fact that I do martial arts. Every day he tries to scrap with me in the front room.

The martial arts are mystical in their nature and by taking part in them, you learn a skill that so many wish they possessed!


So there you have it. The reasons why learning martial arts is a must if you are a parent.

If your child has just been born then, start now and by the time they go to school you will be a seasoned black belt.

If your child is older and you want them to learn to protect themselves, go with them and you too need to take up the martial arts and do something amazing together.

There are endless reasons to start martial arts; I can’t really think of many reasons that you shouldn’t!

Take care


This article was written by a member of the WOMA.TV Editorial team