Kids as young as age 3 are welcomed to martial arts classes at Eagles Taekwondo in Flushing.
Kids as young as age 3 are welcomed to martial arts classes at Eagles Taekwondo in Flushing.

Karate and Taekwondo Classes for Kids in NYC

Whether it's for self-defense or just for fun, karate classes and martial arts classes for kids offer a great way for your child to get exercise, learn discipline, and gain self-confidence. Karate and taekwondo seem to top the list for most popular practices in NYC, and we've found studios offering both to NYC kids.

Find more enrichment opportunities in our guide to the Classes and Activities for New York City Kids.

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West Side Taekwondo – Upper West Side

2125 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at 115th Street
This dojang—the Korean term for a martial arts studio—trains everyone from 4-year-old Pee Wees to Olympic contenders. For beginners, there is a four-week trial program for $195. Sessions include form practice and level-appropriate sparring. Summer camps and birthday parties are also available.

Gotham Taekwondo – Upper East Side

328 East 61st Street, 3rd Floor (between First and Second Avenues)
According to Gotham, taekwondo isn't just a form of self-defense; it's a way of thinking and living. Gotham's Little Heroes and Martial Mind programs focus on improving basic motor and listening skills for little ones. Children 8 and older can move into the Junior Division, where the curriculum develops the major skills necessary for participation in any sport or activity. The curriculum also contains eight personal development skills that are used to reinforce the students' well-being.

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Karate classes for kids are offered at World Seido Karate
Classes at World Seido Karate Organization teach karate and life skills like respect, self-confidence, and self-control.

World Seido Karate Organization – Chelsea

252 West 30th Street
Seido means the "sincere way." This program teaches kids love, respect, obedience, and work on their confidence, coordination, and self-control. Classes are offered seven days a week for Pee Wees (4- and 6-year-olds), Juniors (7- through 8-year-olds), and Youth (9- to 12-year-olds). Seido offers trial classes.

AmeriKick Martial Arts – Brooklyn and Staten Island

Visit the website for locations.
This national chain has three NYC locations: one in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and two on Staten Island. All karate classes for kids are taught by a martial arts pro, and every child receives one-on-one instruction. Students can begin training at age 3. The classes help kids gain confidence and focus by learning self-defense, sparring techniques, and improve their balance, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. Check for monthly promotions.

United Taekwondo Centers – Queens and Brooklyn

Visit the website for locations
With headquarters in South Korea, this international chain has several NYC locations in Brooklyn and Queens. Like many other schools, United offers Peewee classes for 3- to 4-year-olds, regular children's classes for the school-age set, and teens and adults. Many of the locations offer one FREE trial class and other promotions.

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T. Kang Taekwondo is a long-running school with a hands-on grandmaster leading its program.

T. Kang Taekwondo – Tribeca and Brooklyn

Visit the website for locations.
TKT is one of the largest and oldest taekwondo schools in NYC. Led by a 9th Dan Black Belt, Grandmaster Tae Sun Kang, the school is traditional, and the grandmaster is very involved directly with the students, a rarity. Classes start for Little Dragons as young as 3 years old and go up to adult. Enrollment is a flat fee per semester, and students are expected to train twice a week.

Delgado Karate Sports of NY – Bronx

667A Morris Park Avenue
Kids ages 4 and older can take karate classes at this Bronx family martial arts center. Additional offerings include an after-school program, birthday parties, and summer camp.

TCK Modern Martial Arts – Bronx Park, the Bronx

2955 Webster Avenue
Through its unique Sharks Programs, TCK teaches kids ages 5 and older physical skills with applications beyond the karate mat, such as balance for riding a bicycle, teamwork, memory, coordination, and discipline. School-age kids can add self-esteem and respect to that list. The center also offers virtual classes.

RELATED: Virtual Camps and Online Classes for Toddlers, Preschoolers, Kids, and Tweens


Champion Martial Arts teaches taekwondo classes to kids as young as 3 years old and family classes up to age 99.

Champion Martial Arts – Multiple Locations

Visit the website for a location near you.
With a number of locations citywide, Champion Martial Arts primarily teaches taekwondo to kids as young as 3. Classes are tailored for different age groups and structured, so kids learn the basic tenets of taekwondo and have lots of fun. For teens and adults, there's the option of taking kickboxing. Champion is also one of the few dojangs that offers family classes for ages 6 to 99.

Eagles Taekwondo – Flushing, Queens

10245 Jamaica Avenue, Richmond Hill
At Eagles TKD Training center, students learn martial arts, mindfulness, and mental tools to overcome many obstacles. The school accepts students as young as 3 and organizes its martial arts classes for children around the idea that different children learn in different ways. FREE online classes are currently available.

Progressive Martial Arts – Fresh Meadows, Queens

175-25 Horace Harding Expressway
Classes here start simple and gradually become more challenging based on each child's individual pace and readiness for new material. All lessons promote positive recognition, reward, and reinforcement for effort, skill, manners, and sportsmanship. Classes are based on a diverse martial arts curriculum, including self-defense skills, karate, Filipino Kali, Muay Thai kickboxing, and jiujitsu.

This post, originally published in 2012, has since been updated.

All photos courtesy of the venues

Places featured in this article:


World Seido Karate Organization

AmeriKick Martial Arts

United Tae Kwon Do Center

Delgado Karate Sports of NY

TCK Mixed Martial Arts

United Taekwondo Center
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