Best Martial Arts For Your Kids

Training Martial Arts will cultivate confidence, respect, and work ethic. Martial Arts will help reap the many physical and psychological benefits of practicing a discipline, no matter which martial art you choose for your child, or they choose for themselves.

While most martial arts programs have some benefits, in terms of actual self-defense they are not all created equal. You’ll discover the three best martial arts for your children to train for self-defense in this article.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

One of the best martial arts for children is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Sometimes referred to as “the gentle art,” it teaches children how to subdue attackers that may be much larger than them. Jiu Jitsu uses techniques from all types of grounded positions, even choke holds and submission holds while a child is being held down on their back.

One element that makes Jiu-Jitsu particularly effective is rolling. Rolling is live grappling where two Jiu-Jitsu practitioners try to “tap” each other. A tap is when one partner signals defeat by tapping thier partner, and the match is reset. Rolling allows students to learn the techniques against live resisting opponents, in a fun safe environment. This realism plays a big role in the effectiveness of the art. Many traditional martial arts lack such realism and focus more on theory than practical use.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is an outstanding martial art for your children. Students of the “art of eight limbs” use elbows, knees, kicks, and clinching techniques to end a fight on thier feet.

Your child will develop self-control as students of Muay Thai since they spar gently, and technically using ring proven techniques. Muay Thai has demonstrated for decades its effectiveness against other stand-up striking styles such as Karate.

Mixed Martial Arts

MMA teaches kids how to fight on the ground and standing up, as compared to the disciplines listed above, which concentrate solely on their specific techniques. If you are looking for the best self defense, this is where it is at!

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Weekly Combos

3/30/2020 Combo 1

Combo 1

Suggested Programming 2×4 (1,6,3, Rear Knee)

3/30/2020 Combo 2

Combo 2

Suggested Programming 2×4 (1,6,3,2 Rear Knee)

Skipping Knees

Suggested Programming 1×3

3/23/2020 Combo 1 & 2

Suggested Programming:
2×4 Combo 1 (1,2,3, double rear knee, rear elbow)
2×4 Combo 2 (1,2, Double Switch Knee, lead elbow)

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Common Jab Mistakes in Muay Thai and MMA

In MMA and Muay Thai, the way you throw your jab is different in how you do it in boxing. This is important for boxers who want to try MMA or Muay Thai since it might make them vulnerable to counter attacks if not being addressed. So let’s go over some common mistakes people make when they’re throwing their jab. Here are some common jab mistakes in Muay Thai and MMA.

Elbow Flair

The first one is the elbow flair. When throwing a jab a lot of times people will telegraph the jab by lifting their elbow up first and then throwing their jab. This makes the opponent prepare to counter or move away. The other problem with this habit is that it reduces the power of your jab. The important thing here is to try to think of your elbow as a shock absorber.

When you fully extend your elbow then flare it, it’ll reduce the speed and power since it bends in the wrong way. Make sure that the pit of your elbow is facing up as it gives you nice shoulder stability. It will also make your jab straighter and faster.

Dropping the rear hand

The next one is a bit more common, dropping your rear hand. When you jab and you drop your rear hand or if you pull back with your right hand to get more extension with your hips, it’ll expose your legs for low kicks in Muay Thai. My advice is when you jab or pullback, keep your rear hand by your cheek. Don’t pull back and drop your rear hand.

Trailing the Jab

When you throw your jab, avoid making a circular motion with your arms. Make sure to bring back your arms as fast as you throw your jabs for you to be ready for another jab. Many beginners forget that to have an effective jab you need to bring it back to its original position. By retracting the jab lazily after throwing a jab, and by not bringing it back quickly to its original position on defense, you become open to counters.

Not Pushing off the Back Foot

When you jab without pushing off your back foot, your jab is less powerful. Make sure you put more weight on your jabs by putting the weight from your back foot. It will give you more distance to reach your opponent and make your jabs much effective.

Turning the Leg Inward

This is particularly for Muay Thai and MMA where your legs are more open for leg kicks. Don’t overextend your jabs as it makes your knee blade exposed.

Also, avoid moving in and out in a straight line. Make sure you practice your entry and exit by making angles. It will confuse your opponents from knowing where you end up after throwing a jab. This will make you avoid a preemptive counterpunch.

Never walk straight into the line of fire. Make sure you use your jab efficiently, and you’ll be snapping your opponent’s head and give you an advantage.

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6 Common Foot Work Mistakes in Muay Thai


1. Flat Feet

Being flat footed slows down your movement.  This is why jump roping is often a staple in fight training.

2. Tippie Toes

The opposite of being flat footed, many beginners believe they need to always be up on their toes this is not true.  Many movements such as evading punches, checking kicks etc. may be done with one foot flat for added stability. As a rule you always want to have at least one foot elevated.

3. Moving the Wrong Foot First/Crossing

When moving in any direction the foot closest to that direction must move first. If you move the wrong foot first while traveling to the left or right you will surely cross your feet resulting in compromised balance.

4. Moving Feet too Close Together

This is really similar to #3, however your feet may cross due to over stepping your second foot. If you take a 3 inch step one way your trail foot must take an equivalent step in order to maintain the proper balance.

5. Dragging Feet

Dragging your feet is like having an anchor tied around your your ankle. Picking your feet up will increase the speed you move in all directions.

6. Stance too Wide

Having your stance too wide will negatively effect you power out put on kicks and punches, it also will make it very difficult to defend kicks.


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What’s the point of shadow boxing?

When most people shadow box they simply see it as a way to warm up, but where you will see the most results is when you began to slow it down. Virgil Hill a multi time boxing champion and trainer, is said to have his student’s shadow box so slowly that it is painful!  As described in a previous post, the best way to learn a skill is to go slow.

A majority of the time, when working the bag or shadow boxing there is no one coaching you. So what should you do?…….Be your own Coach!


Photo Cred. @Watthana Instagram

A great tool for shadow boxing is a mirror. Most fight enthusiasts can tell the difference between good technique, and bad even if they don’t know why. Looking in a mirror gives you the opportunity to scrutinize and correct what you are doing wrong in real time. If you do not have a mirror a little focus is necessary. Start by scanning your body while moving slowly through technique.

Things you should ask yourself while shadow boxing:

I am I balanced throughout the technique?

I am I protected throughout the technique?

Is there any wasted movement?


Shadow boxing should not be a mindless exercise, you must consciously analyze technique, slow it down, correct it, and then speed it back up again. I typically spend 20 minutes each morning shadow boxing. I do not like setting a timer for short rounds, I believe this messes up the mental focus and flow. This type of shadow boxing when done correctly is almost meditative. Once you lose track of time focusing on the nuances of a jab, only then will you know that you are shadow boxing correctly. Shadow boxing slowly will not only improve your technique, but will also let you find and create new patterns and combinations. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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How to Break Down Technique: The Muay Thai Body kick

The best way to learn a skill is to slow it down enough to find and correct error. I often times like to slow things down so much that they are no longer one fluid movement (macro movement) , but several small movements (micro movements).

The advantages to this is now I can look at a technique, let’s say a body kick, and identify the key micro movements one of my students is doing incorrectly. Once I identify the key missing piece, I can then have them drill that piece separately from the whole movement. By doing so I can increase the rate at which students learn, by focusing on key missing pieces. Once a missing piece is mastered I will then have them continue the entire movement. Often times I will warm up with mirco movements that relate to the marco movement of the day.



Here are some of the key mirco movement that make up the body kick.


What piece are you missing? 

Muay Thai Master Saenchai at work!

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