Warrior Lifestyles: Why Starting Martial Arts At A Young Age Is A Good Idea

I was asked what I would be enrolling my 5-year old daughter in for a summer activity. I replied that I was enrolling her in a karate class. There was quite a bit of shock and I was asked if I was sure I wanted to enroll her that young, wouldn’t a dance class be better instead, etc. I replied that starting martial arts training young is actually better for them. Here’s why:

It Builds Discipline

Martial arts training involves a lot of discipline. In fact, all martial arts, whether western or eastern, involves building discipline in addition to the physical regimen. Discipline is an important trait that everyone should develop. It can be argued that a lot of the trouble you see kids getting into is because of a lack of discipline. By training discipline early, you also set the foundations for the next benefit:

It Builds a Culture of Respect

One of the core aspects of martial arts training is respect. This is the aspect that focuses on teaching the student to not abuse their strengths, and to respect everyone. As with a lack of discipline, I feel it’s evident that a lot of children aren’t being taught the value of respect, but are instead being taught to embrace entitlement. Parents seem to think it’s cute in kids then realize too late that they can’t reverse it.

By teaching aspiring martial artists the value of respecting others, they are also taught to respect themselves. A lot of emotional abuse that even adults go through is because of the lack of self-respect; they believe they deserve to be in the bad situations they’re in. By teaching self-respect, kids can learn to not accept abuse from others and that their value lies within; it is not defined by others.

It’s a Practical Form of Exercise

One of the biggest hurdles in teaching kids the value of physical exercise for health reasons is they’re usually too young to see the point. After all, most kids feel invincible and a lot are fit from all the playing they do. The problem comes later in life when exercise becomes a must in order to stay fit. Given that martial arts are a practical form of exercise, it won’t be hard to get kids to get into it.

It Never Hurts To Know Self-Defense

In today’s world, with all the violence that seems to occur on a weekly basis, knowing self-defense is a must, especially for young women. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Given that even children aren’t safe from attacks or bullying, having kids learn martial arts at a young age can help them stay safe. In best-case scenarios, they’ll even be able to deter conflict, keeping themselves and others safe.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that other activities such as sports or dancing don’t have their merits or teach similar values. But as a martial arts student myself, I know firsthand what benefits it can offer children. In fact, I wish I had started learning martial arts at a younger age as I’m sure it would have helped me through a lot of the problems I had growing up.

What activities would you want your kids to learn from a young age? If you’d like them to try martial arts, is there a particular martial art you’d want them to learn?

Food Fights: The Best Food For Martial Artists

As with all physically strenuous activity, a strict diet is important to martial artists. A balance of carbs, protein, and even fats is essential. But what specific foods are good to include in your diet? Here are some of the universally considered good to include:


Quinoa can take a while to get used to, with its slightly bitter taste and strange texture. A solid substitute for rice, quinoa is a protein that can replace rice or oats in a low-carb, high-protein diet. It’s highly versatile, however, and can be served as part of a full meal, as a stand-alone snack, or even as breakfast or dessert!

Durum Wheat

Another low-carb, high-protein alternative, Durum Wheat is usually used to make pasta that’s low-carb. Unlike quinoa, the taste is almost identical to normal pasta, while actually being a bit firmer which helps you avoid soggy pasta. While not as versatile as quinoa, it’s easier to sneak into a family diet without people noticing!


Also called “leaf cabbage”, kale is considered a superfood thanks to its solid nutritional value while being low calorie. A highly popular ingredient around the world, it’s made waves in the health-centric communities recently. One popular version of serving kale is serving it as chips.


Don’t worry! Not all the items on the list are funny tasting seeds, grains, or vegetables! Blueberries are packed with nutrients while also packing anti-oxidants and vitamins. Fresh or frozen, blueberries are a healthy alternative to sweets or processed snack foods.


Maybe Millenials are on to something with their avocado toast! Avocadoes are a good source of healthy fats, vitamins and potassium, providing more potassium than bananas (and being lower on the glycemic index, too!).

Acai Berries

Need an energy boost? Rather than grabbing that cup of coffee, you may want to try out an acai berry shake instead. Not only will you get an energy boost, but acai has been found to improve cognitive function and maintain normal blood sugar levels. Most health stores carry a powdered form of the berry that you can add to your protein shakes or oatmeal.


Salmon is packed with Omega-3 and other healthy goodness while serving as a solid protein for your diet. Doctors do recommend including fish in your diet at least once a week. Given that tuna, while healthy, tends to have higher mercury content, salmon are the healthier choice.


One of the easiest to prepare and add to any meal, eggs are a great source of protein especially if boiled or poached to avoid using oil. Just remember that everything has to be taken in moderation! Be sure to factor in the cholesterol you’re getting from the eggs and how much of your daily protein intake the egg accounts for when factoring it into your diet.


After a heavy workout, your body will still need energy to repair the damaged muscles and help them grow and power-up. Yogurt mixed with fruit can give your body the energy it needs for this important task. You may want to avoid adding any processed sugars to the mix though, as processed sugars can be very bad for you.

What foods are staples of your diet? Conversely, what food do you avoid at all costs?