Is Martial Arts Good for Kids with Anger Issues?

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To the uninitiated, martial arts seem violent. But we also hear about all the benefits it has for children, so is martial arts good for kids with anger issues?

Yes, martial arts are good for kids with anger issues. As a general rule, they do not inspire anger or violence. Instead, they foster self-discipline and the ability to regulate emotions. They learn how to work in harmony with others, and how to not get angry or frustrated in unexpected situations.

In short, a trained martial artist is less likely to get angry or find themselves in dangerous situations.

This is because when we learn to control and regulate our emotions, we can remain calm. And when we remain calm, it can have a calming effect on others. So it’s ultimately an instrument for helping children refine their character.

The goal is not to go about picking up fights!

But there’s a lot more to know. In this article, we’ll consider whether martial arts make children more aggressive and if Jiu-Jitsu is good for aggressive kids. But we’ll also find out if aggressive children should take martial arts lessons.

Let’s get started.

Will martial arts make my child more aggressive?

As a general rule, martial arts will not make a child more aggressive, nor do they encourage violence. In fact, martial arts help curb aggressive tendencies by helping students learn to regulate their emotions through breathwork and providing a healthy outlet for frustrations.

But the concern is understandable.

After all, at first glance, what one sees are folks who seem to be fighting or preparing to fight. In truth, the focus is on self-mastery and self-defense. They’re about fostering skills that help practitioners win at the game of life.

Practices such as mindfulness and meditation are integral to some martial arts, and they help children as well as adults to become calmer, more reflective, and consequently more able to appreciate their capacity for choosing how they respond to others.

This heightened awareness of their power to control themselves gradually helps the children eliminate, or at least greatly moderate aggressive tendencies.

But with a few exceptions, displays of aggression and fighting are not part of martial art culture.

Is Jiu-Jitsu good for aggressive kids?

Jiu-Jitsu is good for aggressive kids as it provides a controlled environment to release pent-up aggression in a playful but competitive manner. Both the warm-up and the training are extremely physical, so children have to learn to self-regulate and conserve energy, or they will tire out too quickly.

And they also have the opportunity to learn some techniques that help them control their emotions better, making them less aggressive.

They learn to show respect for others, work in harmony with others, and have better control of their minds. It is true that Jiu-Jitsu equips kids with self-defense skills, but it is ultimately a life skill where the focus is on personal development.

While sparring with others, aggressive kids can transform their aggression into something positive that also makes them feel better about themselves.

This is because instead of using anger against others, they use it as a tool to become stronger and to have better self-mastery.

Then as they begin to feel better emotionally, they naturally want to feel more of that. And that repetition gradually reduces aggressive tendencies and can make kids more at peace with themselves and the world around them.

Jiu-Jitsu, like other martial arts, is an intense full-body workout.

When kids (and adults) engage in such workouts, they often feel transported “in the zone” so much that some negative tendencies fade into the background.

There’s also the release of feel-good hormones. As we know, it’s hard to be aggressive and happy at the same time.

Should an aggressive child take martial arts?

An aggressive child should take up martial arts as they will have a healthy and monitored outlet to release their aggression. Over time, they will also reduce their anxiety and boost their self-confidence as they learn to better regulate their emotions.

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Martial arts do not foster aggression. The focus, in fact, the grand aim is the refinement of character. They are life-long pursuits that help with personal growth and development.

They are often taken up because of the need to learn how to defend themselves.

But as many children eventually learn, it offers a lot more. Intrinsic to most martial arts is a code of honor, which translates in modern times to our conception of how one should ideally carry oneself in the world.

Being aggressive or violent is not a part of this code, as an aggressive child will learn if they take up martial arts. They’ll also realize that their aggression needs to be checked and released.

Something that martial arts afford them the opportunity to do in a safe and fun manner.

To learn more about the best age for a child to start martial arts, check out a recent article of mine. I get into the age ranges most schools take, but I also cover the best age to start if you really want your kid to stick with it long-term.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How do martial arts calm an aggressive child down?

Martial arts help calm an aggressive child by offering a physical outlet for releasing pent-up aggression in a safe and fun way. But the child also learns self-regulation skills and breathing techniques that help them work through challenges without giving up or getting angry.

It’s those self-regulation and resilience skills that really are the key.

A child may have genuine reasons for being aggressive, and because they’re still young, they may not even know how to control themselves. They are also probably ignorant of the connection between their mind, their body, and their behavior. Or, if they do, their understanding might be shallow.

An environment where they can punching bags, meditate, do press-ups, stretch, meet up with new friends, spar… affords them a way to release their frustrations without resorting to violence.

They are also likely to really enjoy the exercises and the core martial arts techniques they are learning.

Naturally, they become happier as they gain better control over their mind, body, and behavior. And their self-esteem is boosted. They become more self-assertive and realize there’s little to no need for aggression.

It’s interesting how martial arts impact the body, but will it help your child at school?

This is what I explored in a recent article of mine. I get into how the skills learned in martial arts translate into our everyday lives, including how it could actually improve their grades.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What martial art is best for anger management for children?

The best martial arts for anger management in kids would be Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu, Judo, or Aikido, where there is an almost equal emphasis on both spiritual and physical training.

Avoid schools and arts that lack a spiritual component, such as an MMA or Krav Maga school.

Most martial art styles focus on discipline, self-confidence, and self-regulation. As soon as one starts learning, it becomes obvious that they are not an excuse for unbridled anger, violence, or aggression. Rather, they are highly helpful tools for becoming mentally, physically, and spiritually stronger.

One learns to control anger.

And in controlling our emotions, one begins to see how it can make it easier for an opponent to win if one is driven by anger rather than calmness. Of course, the anger is not suppressed but channeled.

And over time, it becomes a lot easier to master it.

Some martial arts are more intense and more physically demanding than others. Muay Thai falls into the first category, while Aikido belongs to the second. But both help with anger management.

Ultimately, the martial art to choose is probably a question of personal preference, although you can learn more than one martial art.

But I also suggest that you see a doctor if your child has any serious mental health challenges. For some kids, martial arts alone may not provide everything they need.

But you may have also wondered whether Karate helps with anxiety. 

You’re in luck because that’s the theme of a recent article where I explained why martial arts are good for mental health and how Karate relieves stress. But I also revealed the most peaceful martial art.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Black Belt Advice: What Martial Art will Help My Son with Anger Management and Discipline?


In the article, we considered if martial arts make children more aggressive and if Jiu-Jitsu is good for aggressive kids.

But we also found out if aggressive children should take martial arts lessons.

It turns out that martial arts actually help children better manage their emotions while equipping them with self-defense skills. Then, we looked at how martial arts help calm an aggressive child down.

Lastly, we wrapped things up by considering the martial art that’s best for anger management.

Image by Ofoto Ray from Pixabay

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