If your little one has been channeling the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lately, it might be time for some martial arts classes. Not only do the classes harness that wild kid energy into a positive outlet but, as a gigantic bonus, they also teach them how to deal with bullies and lead to greater self-confidence. The following are our top six picks for self-defense schools that are perfect for little ninjas, ages two and up, ready to earn their chops.
photo: Portland Ninja School by Olson Circus, via Facebook
Portland Ninja School
A school dedicated to the Hapkido style, this school offers classes for teeny tots, beginning at age four. The same age that Master Eddie began his training – and now he has a 6th degree Black Belt! In small groups, children will be using their entire self as they learn and grow with this skillfully, stealth family. The school’s space is open, with big windows, and lots of tools for each little ninja to master. Stress-free parking is located in the rear and low energy parents can fuel up with the Starbucks next door.
6019 NE MLK Jr Blvd.
This friendly mixed martial arts school located in the Rockwood neighborhood, exposes students to all sorts of styles like, MMA, Jiu Jitsui, Kickboxing, Boxing, Wrestling, Karate, and Tae Kwon do. Team Quest’s multi-disciplined space is just a five minute walk from the library and beginning at age four, students can start their personal journey in self-defense.
18206 SE Stark St.
photo: Traditional Taekwon-do via Yelp
Located in a spacious studio on Belmont St. in the Sunnyside neighborhood, this dojang has been around for 20 years. This is a family friendly atmosphere where students are welcomed to progress at their own pace. Wondering if they are a good fit for you? They recommend coming over and checking it out in person. We recommend checking out their pretty incredible board breaking video on their website!
2940A SE Belmont St.
photo: Tulen Center via Yelp
Offering a self-defense workshop for kids 6-11, called No Go Yell Tell, students learn the skills to be their strongest and most confident selves.They will yell, run and learn simple self defense techniques to keep them strong and safe in any situation that comes their way. A major perk for parents, it’s accessible to four neighborhoods (Raleigh Hills, West Slope, Raleigh Park, and Hillsdale) and it also offers a parent’s dream of plentiful, easy parking with a New Seasons across the street for those hungry tummies after class!
4710 SW Scholls Ferry Road
photo: Rick S via Yelp
US World Class Taekwondo Association, Kids Love Martial Arts
Physical fitness and self-control are main components to this Taekwondo class, two things parents can universally agree are good things. Children will balance and kick their way through life, respectfully in the Kids Martial Arts program. Do you live in Washington County? They have five locations there. Maybe, Clackamas? They have two locations there. Oh, Multnomah! Yes, they have a location there too!
8001 SE Powell Blvd.
photo: Aim High Academy of Martial Arts
Aim High Academy of Martial Arts
Itty bitties as young as two can join in the Mini Warriors classes at this parents’ favorite martial arts academy on the west side. Not only is there a great viewing area for parents to see their kids learning self defense through modern martial arts and taekwondo, but the instructors are extremely patient and experienced with short attention spans. The whole family can get into the act, too, with their Fusion Martial Arts and Family Kicks Taekwondo classes. Yet another reason to love this place, the Aim High Foundation exists to help the community with school programs, scholarships for economically disadvantaged families and classes for survivors of human trafficking, among other worthy causes.
16205 NW Bethany Ct., #100
What’s your favorite martial arts school? Let us know in the comments below!