Check out parent recommendations for the best martial arts for kids near Chicago! These kid-favorite spots offer tae kwon do, jiu-jitsu, karate classes and more. Let our interactive map help you find the places that are most conveniently located for you.
If your family has personal experience with kids martial arts at any of these locations, please vote for your favorites and comment with your reviews to share with our community!
TAC Karate & Fitness
Kelly R.: TAC Karate offers a well-rounded children's program, with plenty of kids karate classes in Chicago that are age-appropriate for little kids, older kids and teens. Parents also appreciate a variety of other kid-focused offerings like school break camps and after school care.
Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self Defense Center
Kristy Pepping: Thousand Waves develops martial arts and personal safety curricula for children. They provide learning experiences that are age and developmentally appropriate. The spirit building and non-competitive environment at the Center enables every child to be proud of doing their best and feel successful with their efforts. You can sign up for a free trial class.
Chang's Martial Arts Academy
Kristy Pepping: Chang's Martial Arts Academy provides physical activity that will enhance every aspect of your child's life. Through Karate for Kids, your child will learn discipline, self-control and perseverance. It's also excellent for bully prevention, saying no to negative peer pressure and improving coordination for all kinds of sports. They also offer virtual martial arts classes.
Fonseca Martial Arts
Shila: Fonseca Martial Arts has programs and camps for karate, judo, jiu jitsu, self defense and more. Karate Tots as young as 3 start out focusing on motor and listening skills. As kids move up in rank, the focus shifts to building the child's character through positive social interactions with others and the instructors. Little Dragons (ages 5 & 6) can participate in dojo tournaments, earn medals, and move up in rank. Little Dragons work on a striped belt system, which is ranked in the same order as a traditional belt order, but with a fun Little Dragons twist!
Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts
Kelly R.: Degerberg Academy boasts a supportive family atmosphere, and kids classes teach a blend of kickboxing, karate, tae kwon do, wrestling and more. Instruction focuses not only on strength, conditioning and balance, but on helping kids to display leadership, self-control and good sportsmanship.
Victory Martial Arts
Kristy Pepping: Victory Martial Arts not only teaches students to become highly-skilled in martial arts, but also how to use martial arts as a vehicle to reach their potential in every arena of life. Kids will learn focus, self discipline and mental strength. If you need more convincing, check out their 14 Day Free Kids Karate & Martial Arts Beginners Classes offer!
Kelly R.: A "Black Belt School" that has trained thousands of kids over the years, Karate Academy offers programming ranging from 1-5 classes per week. Check out their after school program for local kids and school break camps, too!
W. Kim Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts
Alexandra F.: This traditional Tae Kwon Do studio focuses on physical fitness, character development and self defense. It is a popular and well-loved dojo for many local families, and many of my kids' friends have attended here, and loved it. The overarching goal of the martial arts school is to build students' self-esteem, with the idea that the practice of martial arts is all about respecting each other, encouraging and supporting each other and celebrating each other’s successes.
U.S. Elite Martial Arts & Fitness Center
Alexandra F.: Consistently voted the #1 martial arts school in the area, the numerous 5-star reviews demonstrate how much parents & kids truly love this studio. I cannot speak highly enough of Master & Mrs. Greer, and their wonderful instructors, who manage to combine a no-nonsense attitude and high expectations from students with a genuine warmth that makes the studio feel like a family. I loved the kickboxing classes, and my kids grew so much from their years in the martial arts classes, which blend Tae Kwon Do with kickboxing & self defense, and teach important life skills such as discipline, respect and confidence.
Kristy Pepping: National Karate has a reputation for being family-friendly while teaching quality martial arts classes. They offer their very own Bully Prevention and Predator Prevention programs at no extra cost as part of their efforts to help children stay safe. The Illinois schools have also been named the “Best Martial Arts Schools” by local media for 10 years in a row!
Moodo Martial Arts
Gina I.: Focus, discipline, self esteem...your child will learn all this and more at Moodo Martial Arts! This school teaches both Tae Kwon Do and Judo. All instruction is under the direction of Master Koo, a former Olympic coach (U.S. Team, Athens 2004).
P3 Martial Arts
Gina I.: At P3 Martial Arts classes are all about fun, fitness, and focusing on proper martial arts techniques. They have classes to help both kids and adults master powerful self-defense, and become more focused, confident, and empowered!
Kid's Karate Club
Kristy Pepping: Kid’s Karate Club by Naperville Park District teaches respect, discipline, self-esteem, self-confidence and leadership. This is a year-round program with belt progression through black belt. If your child enjoys competition, the Park District also hosts tournaments.
Dragon Kido Authentic Martial Arts
Barbara Harville: Dragon Kido Authentic Martial Arts utilizes an innovative teaching format--Black Belt Masters provide 1-on-1 training and semi-private lessons to members at this exclusive academy. The family-friendly school features the blended discipline of KiMudo, which combines the best elements from Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Hapkido and Weapons. Character development is a regular part of their curriculum and students enjoy participating in team-building activities too. My daughter joined Dragon Kido about 11 years ago, earned her Black Belt, and now she teaches too! It’s definitely a neighborhood favorite.
Kyuki-Do Martial Arts
Vanessa M.: Kyuki-Do Martial Arts trains children and adults in the art of Kyuki-Do, a blend of Judo, Tae Kwon Do, and Hapkido. Core beliefs of respect and integrity set a foundation that grows confidence and discipline. My daughter took classes at one of their locations, and found the classes fun, challenging, and rewarding!
Primary photo: Jyotirmoy Gupta on Unsplash
Upparent collects community-submitted recommendations and reviews, and any ideas that are shared reflect the opinions of individual contributors.