Martial arts for kids is fast gaining popularity in Singapore. Help your child learn new skills, stay active and unleash their inner warrior!
Martial arts can be a positive, healthy activity with a ton of great benefits for your kids. These include building up fitness, self-discipline, self-confidence and basic socialisation skills. From karate to taekwondo, judo, silat and aikido − there are many different options available for your little fighters to choose from.
We know it can be confusing for parents to pick the right class or centre for their children. To help narrow things down, here’s a list of the best martial arts centres in Singapore where your budding Jackie Chan or Michelle Yeoh can start on their journey to becoming the next karate kid.
aikiForest is one of the best aikido schools in Singapore, and officially recognised by the Aikido World Headquarters. It provides aikido programmes for preschoolers, kids, youth and adults, with classes that make traditional aikido more entertaining, easy and fun. Unlike other aikido centres, 80 per cent of its instructors are full-time professional aikido teachers, not just volunteers with a day job. This means you know that your kids will be getting the best instruction from fully dedicated staff.
Where Bukit Merah Central | Safra Toa Payoh | Rivervale Mall (opening soon)
(See also: Groom Your Future Olympian at These Top Sports Academies for Kids)
2. Evolve Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Consistently voted the #1 school for MMA in Asia year after year, Evolve was founded by a Harvard graduate with almost three decades of martial arts experience under his belt. It’s currently the largest martial arts school in Singapore, and provides classes in a number of different disciplines. These are taught by seasoned World Champions from all over the globe. While it normally caters to adults, the school also has a Little Samurai programme. It’s aimed towards helping kids from six to 13 years build life skills like confidence, mental strength, discipline and focus through martial arts. Sign your child up for a free 30-minute introductory class.
Where Far East Square | One KM | Orchard Central | PoMo Mall
With over 20 years of experience, Jagsport offers judo and fitness programmes for children and adults, as well as classes in a wide range of martial arts including aikido, sambo and wrestling. Here, martial arts is emphasised as a means of developing an individual’s self-esteem. With low student-to-trainer ratios (not more than six students per instructor), students here reap the benefits of close, personal supervision. They also get to learn useful skills like stress management, discipline and building self-confidence. It costs $40 for a regular walk-in session, though newcomers are advised to sign up for a two-session trial package at $60.
Where 340-B King George’s Avenue
4. Kilter Avenue
A 300-year-old Brazilian tradition, Capoeira is an art form that combines elements of fight, dance and contest. This is the basis for the KilterKids Music & Movement classes at Kilter Avenue. It teaches kids − as young as 18 months old! − body and spatial awareness, sharpens the mind and boosts mental and physical development. Conducted by Professor Pitbull from Capoeira Senzala Singapore, the course includes a kids batizado (grading ceremony), where belts will be awarded. Classes are kept to a maximum of five children, with parental involvement for tots under three years old. Purchase the KilterKids trial pass at $30, which will be waived off the term fees should your kid decide to sign up.
Where OUE Downtown Gallery, 6A Shenton Way
(See also: 12 Not-so-ordinary Arts Activities That Give Your Child an Extraordinary Talent Boost)
5. Shitoryu Karate Association (SKA)
The SKA is one of the most widely recognised karate institutions in the country, with over 50 years of history and experience. Their kids’ programme isn’t quite your run-of-the-mill karate class either. It’s designed to instill a love for Shitoryu karate in its students by teaching basic skills and traditional techniques in a fun and playful manner. Classes are taught by patient and dedicated karatekas, with a focus on ensuring that every child receives the necessary attention, care and coaching that they need. Annual membership for members below 18 years is $40 ($50 for black belt members). There are also monthly training fee options.
Where Civil Service Club, 60 Tessensohn Road
6. Sports Silat Academy (SSA)
Founded by one of the most successful silat practitioners in Singapore (multiple-time gold medallist Muhammad Imran), the SSA is the only silat school in Singapore that offers its own studio. The instructors here are the crème de la crème: world and national silat champions chosen by Muhammad Imran himself. They train students according to a comprehensive syllabus distilled from his own extensive competitive background. Kids from 3.5 to 17 years can join different programmes, carried out in small or large groups under professional supervision. You can check this page for a list of membership packages.
Where Kaki Bukit Recreation Centre, 7 Kaki Bukit Avenue 3
Taekwondonomics is an award-winning boutique taekwondo studio for children of all ages (starting from as young as three years of age). This studio is the perfect option for parents who want to get their little champions started with supervised contact sports. It boasts coaches that are handpicked from expert black belt practitioners, and the latest facilities for training. Here, learning taekwondo is a fun, interesting adventure, and children will be able to improve their physical, mental and social abilities as they grow. Sign your kids up for a free trial.
Where Eastpoint Mall | Loyang Point | One KM | Safra Jurong | Safra Punggol | Safra Toa Payoh | The Wisteria Yishun (opening soon)
(See also: 9 Adrenaline-Pumping Obstacle Courses Where Kids Can Train to Be Modern-Day Ninjas)
8. The Little Gym
With over 300 studios worldwide − including two in Singapore − The Little Gym offers a good mix of karate, sports, gymnastics and dance classes for children between four months and 12 years of age. They provide a focus on three-dimensional learning through an age-appropriate curriculum. Children progress at their own pace, developing their confidence as they develop their skills. Students can also choose to enrol for Chopsticks, which is a non-contact karate class with some gymnastics mixed in. You can book a free introductory class for your child.
Where Forum The Shopping Mall | Marina Square
9. Vanda Boxing Club
Vanda Boxing Club is one of Asia’s top boxing and Muay Thai gyms. It offers boxing and Muay Thai classes, and has been around for over a decade. It’s also one of the few boxing clubs in the country which provides a junior academy for children. They offer regular training, exposing kids to a wide variety of movements and exercises that work in synergy with their growing bodies. It will also teach them important values like perseverance and respect. Sign up for a free trial lesson. A one-year membership costs $140 per month (for those below the age of 21 years).
Where 108 Robinson Road
10. Wing Chun Ken Lau Singapore
Shifu Ken Lau teaches this Wing Chun class for children aged six to 12 years. Wing Chun Ken Lau is Singapore’s only official representative for Grandmaster Ip Chun, eldest son of legendary Grandmaster Ip Man. There are no free trials, complicated packages or expensive membership fees here. Instead, kids will experience traditional martial arts culture while learning integrity, discipline, moral values and etiquette. In the spirit of Wing Chun, Shifu aims to foster harmony within self and physical, social and spiritual development, while imparting proper conduct in line with martial arts ethics.
Where Civil Service Club, 60 Tessensohn Road
(See also: Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir: Newly-Revamped with Even More Fun for Kids)
By encouraging your children to take up martial arts, you’re helping them develop positive traits such as increased self-esteem, respect for others, teamwork and better overall fitness levels. All of these will benefit them in other aspects of their lives, now and in the future. So don’t hold back on sending your baby black belts for training. You might find yourself raising a future Bruce Lee!
Header image: Image cc licensed (CC BY 2.0) flickr image Karate Kids by David Vega
Feature image: aikiForest