Gymnastics Vs Karate: Can Kidz Do Both?- Knoxville TN

Gymnastics and Karate have many things in common. There are several types of rolls and falls in some forms of Karate and in floor routines there are high kicks as well. So, are these two activities a good fit for children to learn together?

If done properly Karate and Gymnastics can be trained together. Normally they compete for the free time a family has. Yet, when training sessions are kept within boundaries both can be trained at once. Problems arise when instructors and coaches require too many training days per week.

The way I have encouraged my students to train in martial arts and other sports like gymnastics at the same time is to require only one attendance per week. This causes belt testings to take twice as long in some cases, but Karate is a life long endeavor.

Is Karate Or Gymnastics Better?

There are some activities that a group of kids may enjoy more than others. Then there are activities some children are better at than other activities because of body types, height, etc. Is there a way to state that gymnastics or Karate is better than the other?

Neither gymnastics nor Karate are better than the other for children. There are benefits and crossovers between both of them. Both build balance and coordination and both help kids get into shape. Where there is more muscular development in gymnastics, Karate has self defense.

There is even a movie and a ‘style’ of martial arts, well sort of, that put together gymnastics and Karate. It was called ‘Gymkata’. As a kid I even knew it was a bit silly, but I didn’t care. We didn’t have much to watch back then.

There is actually a style based out of North Hollywood California that purposes to put gymnastics techniques within their Karate style, and did it seriously. As a matter of fact, Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame got a black belt in it and competed nationally. It is called Extreme Martial Arts.

Though the practicality of this type of style in self defense against a bully on the playground is fairly low, it is a lot of fun to practice and watch.

At Master Booe’s Karate Kidz, we don’t offer instruction in some of these gymnastic style movements, but if you want your child to do both gymnastics and Karate they can fit together in some circumstances.

Training in gymnastics and Karate at the same time is possible if the temperament of the child and the amount of times each week each is trained fits your goals.

Should Kids Do Karate And Gymnastics Together?

Like you have seen above, it is possible to do the two activities at the same time. Yet, it may be more of a question of should rather than could. The time it takes to properly train in both require time. If coaches or instructors require 3 times per week attendance, this should make it impossible for any child.

Children that are very interested in both activities should attempt to train in both at the same time if the time required is only one or two days per week each. Even then, parents must decide if this sort of time commitment is what they envision for their kids.

It may be that not all of these things are aligned and other concerns will make that much training out of the question. In this case a choice will have to be made.

Myself, I would say the long term benefits of Karate and other martial arts outweigh those of gymnastics mentally, physically, and socially. But that is definitely a decision for parents, who know their family dynamics in a way no one else will.

Is Gymnastics A Good Second Sport For Martial Arts?

One of the problems I have been outlining here is the problem of time. This is one of the most important commodities parents with children have. How much of it do you want spent on multiple sports when there is such a limited amount of it.

If time training is kept to a minimum in both Karate and gymnastics, tumbling and other forms of gymnastics can be a good second sport to martial arts. Though the lifelong benefits may pale in comparison to Karate, it is a fun and developmental sport for some kids.

If a child works with his or her martial arts instructor, some tumbling can be added to Taekwondo, Judo, Jiu Jitsu and many other forms. Taekwondo in particular has several jumping spinning kicks and their variations that could have handsprings and backflips added into their routines.

Depending on your goals for your kid, you could help them by centering just on the martial arts, or adding a side activity of gymnastics. Just keep in mind that to get to the levels of the young martial artists in these examples, it takes probably more time and effort than you can imagine.

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Why Is Karate Better Than Other Sports?

t could be said that I am a little biased, but I have rather a lot of experience in many sports. All through childhood and into high school I participated in many of them. Soccer, baseball, football, and others were part of my weekly routine for many years.

Karate has life long skills and character traits that once learned, affects a child’s life through adulthood. Sports of all kinds can share some of these, but not to the same extent. Then there is the self defense aspect of Karate that has it rising well above other sports.

Some of the things that a child can take away from Karate and other martial arts are…

  • self discipline
  • respect
  • kindness
  • self confidence
  • self defense
  • empathy
  • honor
  • flexibility
  • strength
  • cardio vascular development
  • And the list goes on and on

It is not that other sports don’t have some of these, it is that they won’t have them all in one and Karate simply does it better. This makes martial arts in many styles much better for children of all ages and can give them an advantage other sports cannot.

Wrap Up

This all may come as a surprise to some, a Karate instructor telling parents to come less to Karate so gymnastics can be part of their weekly schedule. What I have found is that martial arts really takes a lifetime of training and can be done at a slower pace. Other sports have more of a time limit on them.

Football, soccer, and other sports have seasons, and gymnastics have meet cycles. Karate has a steady set of techniques and application expectations that can be spread out over a longer period of time.

If your little Karate Kidz want to train in gymnastics and Karate at the same time, just keep in mind family time and put some safeguards up against burnout and over-training.