Can Karate Make You Taller?

Martial arts such as Karate have many benefits. It has a positive impact on your mental and physical health, and it equips you with techniques to defend yourself. But with all that kicking and stretching, can Karate make you taller?

Karate cannot make practitioners aged 18 or over taller. However, for those under age 18, Karate can stimulate the growth hormones responsible, in part, for our height. But it only plays a part, along with nutrition, in affecting children’s growth patterns.


So for those 18 and over, this is because, by the age of 18, we stop experiencing any increase in our height.

But how does it impact the growth of kids? Is it healthy to have Karate release growth hormones? How much extra height is possible and is Karate the only way to get this boost?

Let the fun begin.

Does Karate make you shorter?

Karate does not make practitioners shorter. In fact, it is believed that if it is started at an early age, Karate may help children grow taller. It is an exercise that helps with the production of growth hormones. What makes a person shorter is genetically predetermined.

One thing most of us notice when we pick up most exercises is that some parts of the body grow. Exercises stimulate the production of growth hormones which help facilitate the increase in our strength and sizes.

This is seldom the result of exercise alone.

During this phase, we are often sleeping better and eating better. So, contrary to the myth that Karate makes one shorter, it may help one grow taller, even if it’s not the sole factor.

There is no basis for the notion that it makes one shorter.

Does Karate help kids grow taller?

Exercise, including Karate, can facilitate growth in those under age 18 through its effects on the secretion of growth hormones (GH) and other anabolic hormones.


So it’s not specific or unique to Karate. But Karate or any martial art can play the same role as any strenuous exercise. It’s one of several factors that help kids grow taller.

But what other factors help with kid’s growth?

  • Foods high in protein
  • Vitamin D (ideally from being outdoors)
  • Eggs
  • Calcium
  • Leafy greens
  • Bananas

So, it’s vital to know these other factors that help kids grow taller and ensure that consistent Karate practice is also a part of the mix.

Now, is Karate even effective when one’s involved in a real fight?

I explored this question in a recent article of mine where I revealed the most effective style of Karate. I also spoke to the effectiveness of Shotokan Karate, and I explained whether Karate is deadly.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What are the advantages of Karate?

Some of the advantages of Karate include being able to defend oneself, becoming more confident, mastering the art of self-discipline, learning valuable partner skills, becoming fit, and learning how to work through a challenging situation without giving up or getting angry.

Let’s check out a few of these advantages.


This is the main reason many pick up Karate.

They want to learn how to defend themselves. And Karate more than delivers. Children get bullied. Adults get attacked. It’s smart to be proactive.

Karate is a combination of using effective punches, kicks, knee and elbow strikes, and some open-hand techniques.

In the right hands, Karate can be deadly. In fact, a combo of knee and elbow strikes might be the main technique needed to win in a real fight.

Win, by the way, might simply mean knock the opponent to the ground and leave them in great pain while you flee.

Mastering Self-Discipline

I don’t know if you’ve paid attention to an interesting commonality I have noticed in a lot of successful people: Many are into martial arts.

But how can martial arts lead to greater happiness and success?

Simple. Resilience. Martial arts teach us how to work through challenging situations without giving up or getting frustrated. When we learn to take on challenges and keep our center, we realize we can do anything we set our minds to.

We also begin to realize that most of what holds us back is not something “out there” but our own brains.

Our brains tell us we can’t possibly hold a pushup for 60 seconds or do a cartwheel. And while it’s true we have to condition our bodies and muscles first to be able to do those things, most of the time it’s our brain, not our body, that holds us back.

Martial arts help us to not overthink things and talk ourselves out of things. As a result, we can achieve more than those who get trapped in analysis paralysis and doubt.

Become Fit

Karate classes can be intense.

That’s the honest truth. It’s not for the faint of heart. But even if you’re not yet fit, you can start classes in Karate. As you follow along, you’ll gradually realize to your joy that you’re losing weight while you’re having fun.

It’s estimated that you could lose between 600 to 900 calories in a single class of Karate.

Become More Confident

At one point or another, some of us have suffered from feelings of inadequacy.

It’s not pleasant. In fact, it can have an adverse effect on one’s life. Why? Folks who are not confident tend to second-guess themselves a lot.

They often believe that they are not up to the challenges they face.

After a few classes of Karate, their self-image would most likely be impacted positively, as they realize that they are making progress and are being encouraged by many other people in the dojo.

A lot of people experience some challenges that tax their state of mind. This is one of the reasons martial arts are often suggested.

You’ve probably wondered if Karate helps with anxiety?

Luckily, this is what I explored in a recent article of mine. In it, I looked at why martial arts are good for mental health. Then, I explored how Karate relieves stress. I also spoke about the best martial art for depression.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What are the disadvantages of Karate?

Some of the disadvantages of Karate are a lack of grappling, some schools do not offer sparring, some techniques are not efficient for true self-defense, things like horse stance can be highly demanding, and not everyone enjoys the choreographed style of katas.

Let’s check out a couple of these disadvantages.

No Grappling

As deadly as Karate can be, it’s a standing and striking art.

So, in a sense, it is incomplete. What do I mean? If you were up against someone who’s an awesome wrestler or BJJ practitioner, they could take you down and submit you fast. Of course, it doesn’t mean they’d walk over you.

But if they’re very good, they could deceive you.

And once a Karateka is on the ground, it’s easy for them to get overpowered since ground techniques are so unfamiliar.

No Sparring

Sparring is as close as one would ever get to fighting another person in the street.

If your style or school doesn’t have a sparring component in the training program, it would be very hard, in fact, impossible to know how good your Karate skills are.

Many people love katas (the choreographed dance-like solo performances).

They aren’t my cup of tea, and I’m not saying they don’t have martial applications. But as my friend Sensei Gene says “none of it matters if you don’t know how to fight”.

Of course, this disadvantage can be easily remedied by ensuring that you pick a style and school with sparring as one of the main attractions.

Highly Demanding

Karate is not Tai Chi or Aikido.

It’s as intense, if not more intense, than Kickboxing or Muay Thai. Kicks, punches, knee and elbow strikes, and especially stances like horse stance are tough. It can take its toll on a person who is not attuned to its demands.

It requires having a quick reflex and nimbleness. You’d have to know how to evade most punches and kicks aimed at you and how to hit back.

It is tasking. But if you’re patient, in time, you’ll be hip to its rhythm.

And, you’ll be prone to having injuries when you’re just getting started. But, if you’re attentive to the instructions you’re given, you’ll avoid most of them.

Some people believe that Karate is expensive. Is it?

You’re in luck seeing as that’s what I explored in a recent article. In it, I looked at why martial arts are so expensive and whether Karate is expensive compared to other sports.

But I also checked out how to avoid Karate schools that charge way too much. And even spoke to how to get out of Karate contracts.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can anything make you taller?

After age 18, nothing can make anyone taller. For those under age 18, the factors for height within our control include getting plenty of vitamin D, calcium, and potassium. But also eating lean protein and eggs in addition to regularly exercising.

But the key determinant is genetics. The likelihood that you would be tall is increased by having tall parents.

If you’re still very young, there are a couple of things that could have a positive marginal effect on your height. But, if you’re already a grown-up (after the age of 18), forget it.

You cannot grow taller. Shift your attention to being ripped and fit.

But say you’re young, what are some of the factors that could make you taller? (genetics aside). Before we explore them, it’s best to look at a list of all the key factors that determine one’s height.

They are:

  • Genetics
  • Gender
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise

It’s believed that genetics account for about 60 to 80 percent.

We can’t do anything about that, right? After all, we don’t get to choose our parents. We can’t do anything about our gender, either. That leaves you with nutrition and exercise.


Good nutrition consisting of the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and a lot of protein has a positive impact on the healthy growth of the body.

Proteins are vital for young children. In fact, the intake of adequate protein is the most vital factor. Vitamin D is known to promote bone health.

On average, a person grows taller as their nutrition improves. (source)


Exercise has many benefits. One of them is that it stimulates the release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which, as the name suggests, helps with growth.

But some benefits may not directly impact one’s height, but rather they reduce the possibility that one would “shrink” or be bent later in life.

Even if you can’t grow taller, should you learn self-defense if you are a woman? What’s the best martial art for women?

And how best should a woman go about choosing a martial art? I explored all these and more in a recent article of mine.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How much taller can Karate make a child?

Physical exercise such as doing Karate has been shown in studies to have a 1.45% improvement in the height of children. So a child that may have grown up to be 5′ 7″ could potentially grow to almost 5′ 8″ if they engage in regular physical activity through age 18.


But of course, there are a lot of factors that go into that.

If they hit McDonald’s for lunch or dinner regularly and drink a lot of soda and not much water, that will have an impact. And if everyone in their family tree is 5′ 4″, 5′ 8″ may not be realistic.

But it has been shown in studies such as the ones I’ve linked to, that regular physical activity such as Karate can help induce added growth in kids under age 18.

And it stands to reason the younger they start (even if it’s just walking vigorously), the better the results by the time they turn 18.



We explored some interesting questions, such as can Karate make you shorter or taller. We also looked at whether it helps kids grow taller.

We checked out Karate’s advantages and disadvantages. And we wrapped up by considering if there’s anything that can make you taller.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay Image by Tasy Hong from Pixabay

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