Home > Self Defence > Are Self Defence Classes Good Exercise?

Are Self Defence Classes Good Exercise?

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 7 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Self Defence Calories Fit Burn Fun

When parents are looking for a sport or activity to start their children on, self defence classes, in their many forms, often spring to mind. There is a multitude of different types of self defence classes you can enrol your little ones on, from classes set up especially for children, to full-on martial arts. But if you want your child to get fit as well as learn a discipline which will stand them in good stead should they ever get into trouble, then which one is the bets to go for? And on a wider topic, are self defence classes actually good exercise?

Martial Arts

If you are very keen on your child getting fit as well as learning a skill, then you could do far worse than enrol them in a martial arts class. Realistically, a martial arts class is more about getting fit and, later on, competing in contests rather than being able to defend themselves against bullies – especially as many class teachers will advise children to never use martial arts in anger due to the possible consequences.

But the one thing which martial arts classes are is good exercise. A child will burn as many as 350 calories in half an hour – maybe ever more. And that is only when they are actually practising the martial art. Bear in mind that many karate, judo, taekwondo teachers will also focus a lot on conditioning and you will soon see that children can get fit very quickly if they take part. Teachers will focus on strength, stamina and suppleness as well as the skills of the martial art and therefore any child who takes one up will become a well-rounded individual in terms of fitness.

Less Specific Self Defence Classes

Self defence classes which are not martial arts take less of a formal structure than the likes of karate or judo. This means that there may well be less of an emphasis on the conditioning side of things. However, as less specific classes are often aimed at younger children, there is a huge emphasis on having fun. And for younger children, having fun means running around and burning lots of energy. So, while for these types of classes it is harder to put a figure on how many calories are burned or exactly how good they are for an individual, the one thing which is true is that they encourage lots of movement and therefore are also a great way of getting fit and healthy. They will often have names such as little ninjas and jumping, running, ducking and diving will be main components of the classes.

Self defence is an excellent choice of class for children to get fit. It can also be a great choice of activity for other reasons too, such as self esteem and confidence. As long as a child understands the basics about self defence and that they should not launch into moves while in the playground or with their friends, then it can be the ideal choice of childhood activity to keep fit.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Dave121
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I see some comments on here saying that PE is compulsory, however, the Education Act of 2002 prohibits the Secretary of State for…
    12 September 2019
  • PeIsBad
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I'm in Year 10 and P.E is made a living hell for me, the girls in the class shout at you and put you down swearing at you and telling you…
    10 September 2019
  • ASN teacher
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    There is more to pe than simply sports. It is good for growing brain cells (for real). It is good for social skills (if delivered…
    25 August 2019
  • ellz
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son went through he'll at school because of his bullying pe teacher my son has a pigeon chest and shortness of breath and is currently…
    6 August 2019
  • Joel
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I’m 12 and PE in my opinion is stupid. To me, it’s an entrance ticket for bullying. My school especially needs to understand not everyone…
    8 June 2019
  • fina
    Re: Active Games for Teens
    wow interesting thanks this is my essay!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    29 May 2019
  • Waleed
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    Im in year 9 and we have 1 double lession a week and in those lessons we are forced to do exercise. The think I hate is the treadmills…
    23 April 2019
  • EndPE
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    PE needs to not be compulsory for GCSE students, if the kids are unfit that's their problem but PE does not and will not help them,…
    26 March 2019
  • Mandz
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son has actually harmed himself on the sole of his foot very badly to avoid PE with one particular teacher who tries to force him to…
    14 March 2019
  • Rainbow
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I am in year 7 and I don't do pe because of my anxiety. The teachers were okay with this and told me to at least write what is going on…
    13 February 2019