Martial arts is a well-beloved form of exercise and self-defense the world over. In fact, it’s spilled over into pop culture, with classic films like Karate Kid (you know Mr. Miyagi, right?) and personalities like Bruce Lee. That said, the term itself is pretty broad. Contrary to popular belief, it’s definitely not just about karate chops and whatnot.

So, What’s Martial Arts, in a Nutshell?

Martial arts are combat systems and traditions, practiced for a number of reasons such as:

  • Competition
  • Entertainment
  • Law enforcement use
  • Mental development
  • Military use
  • Physical development
  • Self-defense
  • Spiritual development

In a nutshell, using unarmed or armed martial arts can either be centered around combat, health, or spirituality.

Is Martial Arts for Everyone?

The short answer is: yes, absolutely! It can seem rather confusing since karate dojos and taekwondo dojangs alike are usually rife with little kids. Teenagers, young adults, and even those more advanced in age can start martial arts. No matter what age you’re at, there’s no such thing as starting martial arts either too late or too early.

Martial Arts: Is It Ever Too Early or Too Late to Start?

Age restrictions will apply for the most part only if your goal is to have a career as a professional MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter! Otherwise, whether you’re 23 or 52, go right ahead. Seniors, or those around 65 years old and above, will benefit more from the wonderful martial art that is Aikido! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also a popular combat sport among the senior population.

Is There an Ideal Age for Getting Started With Martial Arts Training?

As previously implicated when it comes to mixed martial arts, your goal for pursuing martial arts plays a role in training. Do you need improvements when it comes to fighting? Are you looking to boost your self-confidence? Will you be going into it for self-recreating? Do your health and fitness need a considerable boost? Is your self-discipline in need of furthering along? Take all of that in mind as you look into your martial arts journey.

Let’s explore common martial arts and ideal ages to begin:


  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) – A common misconception is that there has to be a certain body mass to do BJJ. In truth, even someone that weighs 100 pounds could be a BJJ black belt holder. The best starting point is around 15 to 16 years old.
  • MMA – The teen years are the best age period for training to start. At that point, the body is all but fully developed. Amateur fights and training can be done for some years before hitting 18. That is the minimum age most organizations like UFC require before signing anyone.
  • Muay Thai – Much like BJJ, around 15 to 16 years old is the ideal age to start training Muay Thai. It’s ideal for self-defense as well as attaining several fitness goals.



Martial arts are combat systems and traditions that can also be rooted in health or tradition. They can be unarmed or armed, though usually unarmed. Training for martial arts can start at any age unless you’re looking to be a professional MMA fighter. Otherwise, children and adults alike can start anytime!

Looking into BJJ, MMA, and taekwondo classes in Clarence? Check out Pride Martial Arts Academy! Reach out for a free trial today, and we promise you’ll sign up for more sessions!