Will Martial Arts Make My Child More Aggressive?

To the uninitiated, martial arts look potentially violent. So if your child is naturally quick-tempered already, it’s common to wonder, “will martial arts make my child more aggressive?”

As a general rule, martial arts do not make children more aggressive. Children actually learn valuable self-regulation skills and breathing techniques which result in a calmer and more even-keeled attitude.

But not all martial arts are created equal.

You see, it is possible to educate a youngster to be extremely aggressive; I see it mainly in schools that place high importance on competitiveness and winning tournaments.

You’ve seen these dojos; they display trophies in the window and decorate their studios with images of children participating in combative sports where defeating your opponent is critical.

So in this article, we’ll do a deep dive into how to pick the best martial arts style and class to help, rather than hinder, a child’s aggressive tendencies.

Let’s get going.

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What is the origin of the idea that martial arts promote aggression?

Many people think that martial arts promote aggression, but this is far from the truth. Martial arts actually teach discipline and respect, and can be a great way to stay fit and healthy.

Martial arts are actually a great way to learn discipline, respect, and selfcontrol.  Through rigorous martial arts training, practitioners learn to focus their energy in a constructive manner and use it to become the best versions of themselves.

It is often perpetuated by media portrayals of martial arts as violent and aggressive. However, the truth is that martial arts are actually designed to reduce aggression and promote self control.

Martial arts classes offer a unique opportunity for children to learn how to manage their emotions and express themselves without resorting to aggression or violence. Through the practice of martial arts, kids can develop the skills of focus, composure, and selfcontrol.

In addition, martial arts classes also teach children respect for themselves and others.

They learn how to interact with others in a respectful manner and understand the importance of respecting boundaries. This helps them develop empathy for others and understand why it’s important not to use violence or aggression as a means of solving problems.

Furthermore, martial arts classes also help children develop physical strength and coordination which can help them feel more confident in themselves. This increased confidence can help them better manage their emotions when faced with difficult situations or conflicts with others.

Finally, martial arts classes also provide an opportunity for children to socialize with other kids who share similar interests. This helps them build relationships with peers which can further reduce aggressive tendencies as they learn how to interact with others in a positive way.

Does Karate help kids with anger issues?

Karate is one of the martial arts that can help children with anger issues. Through discipline, as well as drills designed to safely release pent-up aggression, Karate will naturally help children be more self-regulated and calmer.

Many parents who contact Karate schools for the first time are concerned that training their children in martial arts may encourage playground violence.

It is a widely held belief that it induces aggression, whereas, in fact, the opposite is true.

It’s natural for children to kick and punch. But kicking and striking are merely the means to an end in martial arts. It is about developing self-control, discipline, respect, and endurance.

Karate is founded on historical concepts that emphasize honor, discipline, respect, and loyalty, with the warrior striving to improve their character.

Classes are serious, and students must stand still, listen, and respect their teachers.

In fact, many schools claim that dealing with aggressive youngsters and school bullies is where they have the most success. Because they teach self-control, they typically have a strong track record in coping with those who lash out.

Students acquire inner self-confidence such that they don’t feel the need to fight to prove themselves. In reality, you train to fight in order not to have to. Martial arts also teach you that sometimes avoiding the fight is the best course of action.

And, on a different note, Karate also helps with anxiety.

I talked about this in a recent article. As well as with shyness, Karate is a good diffuser of anxiety. But there’s 1 style of Karate that is better than others for anxiety.

Make sure to click the link and read the article on my website.

Are martial arts good for aggressive kids?

Participation in martial arts or team sports reduces aggression in children and is naturally beneficial for aggressive kids. And the more time a youngster spends in martial arts, the fewer aggressive tendencies they have.


As parents seeking a suitable activity for your children, it is reasonable that you have reservations about martial arts.

You might think that:

  1. Your child will become more aggressive or violent, especially if they are already aggressive.
  2. It will allow them to inflict greater harm on others.
  3. As they grow stronger and more skillful, we will lose control over them.

These concerns are entirely understandable.

But I can tell you that in all my years running a dojo with a focus on the kids program, I have never seen an instance where teaching martial arts to a child resulted in them becoming more violent.

In fact, I’ve discovered that it makes violent children less violent.

Not only that, but they become more social, their confidence and school scores increase, and their overall health and well-being improve.

So, how do martial arts reduce hostility?

While the specific process is unknown, some experts believe that violence and aggression are caused by fear and that martial arts can help reduce fear and anxiety and so diminish violent responses.

Martial arts help modulate the fight or flight response, giving students more control over their emotions.

It also helps that martial arts programs create a safe and predictable setting with a consistent schedule, which helps students become less irritated (and hence less aggressive) when they reach their cognitive capacity.

Is Jiu-Jitsu good for kids with anger issues?

Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be very beneficial for aggressive children with anger issues as the techniques and warm-ups are very physical and allow for the release of tension, fear, and anxiety, which are the underlying causes of anger issues.

Anger stems from feelings such as frustration, anxiety, failure, worry, rejection, and so on, which most individuals experience regularly.

It might happen as a result of peer pressure or excessive competition. Anger eventually takes its toll on them, both emotionally and physically. Anger also impacts a person’s capacity to think logically and make sound decisions.

Jiu-Jitsu and some forms of BJJ are largely designed for self-defense.

But a Jiu-Jitsu class can be exhausting. There is usually a strenuous warm-up followed by the repetition of 1-3 techniques performed with multiple partners.

Exhaustion is the key.

That’s because once we rid our bodies of that excess tension, that’s when the real work begins. You see that tension (tied to fear and anxiety) can actually prevent us from fully learning. Once the body is physically exhausted, we learn to move more efficiently and avoid expending energy unnecessarily. The result is we tend to end class much calmer and more at peace than when we started.

But do teenage girls usually hate Jiu-jitsu?

I discussed this in a recent article posted on my website. While some people go for Judo, most choose Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Does Taekwondo help children with anger?

Taekwondo does help children manage and control anger. Taekwondo classes are extremely physical, and much of the time is spent kicking or punching heavy bags or pads, which are a healthy outlet for releasing pent-up aggression.

Let’s be honest: worry isn’t the only natural reaction to modern living. We can also become angry.

Fortunately, martial arts training can assist us in dealing with behavioral challenges. At its most basic level, punching and kicking in a closed setting is a fantastic technique to relieve stress.

Aside from that, martial arts have been shown to assist trainees in managing their aggressive tendencies.

There was a somewhat recent study titled “An effective strategy to violence prevention: traditional martial arts in middle school”. In that study, a group of kids with aggression issues had improved control of their conduct after three months of Tae kwon do training.

So, yes, Taekwondo helps with anger. 

In a recent article, I talked about the pros and cons of Taekwondo. Taekwondo is a fighting style that focuses on kicks, like Karate.

But, like every other martial art, it has its pros and cons, including the 1 con that makes some people not even consider it a real martial art these days.

Click on the link to read it on my website.

How do martial arts reduce aggressive tendencies in kids?

Martial arts are a great way to help kids reduce their aggressive tendencies and/or violent behavior.

Through martial arts, kids learn discipline, respect, and self-control. These skills help them to better manage their emotions and reactions in difficult situations. Martial arts also teach kids how to defend themselves without resorting to violence or aggression.

This helps them to understand that physical force is not always the best solution and that there are other ways to handle conflicts.

Martial arts also provide an outlet for kids to release their energy in a positive way.

Instead of acting out aggressively, they can use martial arts as a way to channel their energy into something productive and healthy. This helps them learn how to control their emotions and reactions in a constructive manner.

In addition, martial arts can help kids develop self-confidence and self esteem.

By learning new skills and mastering techniques, they gain a sense of accomplishment which can help them feel better about themselves. This can lead to improved behavior as they become more confident in their abilities and less likely to act out aggressively when faced with difficult situations.

Finally, martial arts provide an opportunity for kids to interact with other children who share similar interests and goals. This helps them build relationships with peers which can be beneficial in reducing aggressive tendencies as they learn how to work together towards common goals instead of competing against each other or engaging in physical altercations.

How do martial arts impact children’s behavior?

Martial arts can have a positive impact on children’s aggressive behavior.

It’s well known that martial arts can help reduce aggressive tendencies in children. And that’s in addition to improving their self-esteem and confidence. And not only that, but martial arts can also help children learn discipline, respect, and self-control. (source)

One way martial arts reduces aggressive tendencies in kids is by teaching them to focus on the physical aspects of the sport rather than the emotional aspects. This helps them to channel their energy into something productive rather than something destructive.

Martial arts also teach children to be aware of their surroundings (situational awareness) and to think before they act. This helps them to be more mindful of their actions and how they might affect others.

Another way martial arts can reduce aggressive tendencies in children is by teaching them respect for themselves and others.

Martial arts emphasize respect for one’s opponent, which helps children learn to treat others with kindness and understanding. It also teaches them that violence is not an acceptable way to solve problems or express anger or frustration.

Martial arts can also help improve a child’s self-esteem and confidence by providing a safe environment where they can practice their skills without fear of failure or ridicule from peers or adults.

The physical activity involved in martial arts helps build strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility which all contribute to improved self-confidence. Additionally, martial arts provide an opportunity for kids to set goals for themselves and work towards achieving those goals which further boosts their self-esteem.

Finally, martial arts teach discipline which is an important part of developing good behavior in children.

Should an aggressive child do martial arts?

Martial arts can be a great way to help an aggressive child. It teaches discipline, respect, and self-control.

Martial arts also help to build confidence and self-esteem, which can help reduce aggression. Martial arts also teach children how to defend themselves without resorting to violence. This can help them learn how to control their emotions and reactions in difficult situations.

Martial arts also help children learn how to channel their aggression into something positive. Instead of lashing out at others, they can use their energy to practice martial arts techniques and improve their skills.

This can help them develop better coping skills for dealing with difficult situations in the future.

In addition, martial arts can provide an outlet for physical activity that is both fun and challenging. This can help an aggressive child burn off excess energy in a healthy way instead of taking it out on others or themselves. It also gives them a sense of accomplishment when they master a new technique or move, which can boost their self-esteem and reduce feelings of aggression.

Finally, martial arts classes are typically taught by excellent instructors who understand the needs of children with aggressive tendencies. They are able to provide guidance and support while teaching the techniques in a safe environment that encourages learning and growth. This helps children learn how to control their emotions while still having fun and getting exercise at the same time.

Overall, martial arts is an excellent way for an aggressive child to learn discipline, respect, self-control, and confidence while having fun at the same time.

It provides an outlet for physical activity that is both challenging and rewarding while teaching important life skills that will benefit them in the long run.

Most importantly, it does not increase aggressive tendencies but rather helps reduce them by providing positive outlets for energy and emotions while teaching important coping skills for dealing with difficult situations in the future.


In this article, we took a look at aggression in young people and whether martial arts help or hinder progress in that area.

We looked at whether Karate can help kids with behavioral issues, whether martial arts are good for aggressive kids, and whether Jiu-Jitsu is good for kids.

We then looked at which martial arts are best for girls and rounded up with whether Taekwondo helps with anger.

Ultimately,  we discovered that different forms of martial arts can have a positive effect on children with anger issues. So not only will the right martial arts school have positive outcomes on mental health overall but it will also reduce aggressive tendencies in the everyday lives of kids.

Image by Mandyme27 from Pixabay

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