Martial Arts for Toddlers & Beyond!

Martial Arts can be a great extracurricular activity to get your children involved in, even starting at the age of 4 years! Martial Arts is a great way to build a child’s confidence, self-defense, respect, and discipline. Martial Arts can be broken down into two styles, Karate and Taekwondo. The main difference between Karate and Taekwondo is Taekwondo focuses on kicking techniques, while Karate focuses on hand strikes. Take a look below at some amazing places offering classes for children! Most charge monthly.

Martial Arts

Des Moines Jiu – Jitsu Academy

841 11th St., Des Moines, IA 50309

Des Moines Jiu – Jitsu Academy teaches the art of Brazilian Jiu – Jitsu for self-defense and confidence building. Classes begin at the age of 5 years old and are broken down into two categories, depending on age. Check out the details here!

Dojos Family Martial Arts

Located in Ankeny and Johnston!

Johnston: 8805 Chamberry Blvd, Johnston; 515-446-3630

Ankeny: 2401 SE Tones Dr. Suite 1, Ankeny; 515-963-9989

At Dojos your child will learn a combination of Kenpo Karate, Self Defense techniques and Character Building lessons. Classes start for children age 4 years old. There are two different levels, depending on age. Check out the details here!

Farrell’s Martial Arts 

Beaverdale: 2706 Beaver Ave., Des Moines; 515-255-0095

Waukee: 215 N. Warrior Lane; Waukee; 515-978-3000

Farrell’s offers Taekwondo for children starting at age 4 years. There are two different programs broken down by age groups, 4 to 6 years and 6 to 12 years. Take a look at both programs here!

Jacobs Martial Arts

3710 Dennis Drive

Urbandale, Iowa 50322

515- 270 – 1600

Jacobs Martial Arts teaches traditional Taekwondo to all ages, starting at the age of 3 years old. The children are separated by age and by rank. Check out the details here!

Martial Arts America 

Different branches all over Central Iowa

Martial Arts America offers a Tiny Tigers program that starts for toddlers at age 4 years old. Click here to see where Tiny Tigers is offered near you!

The Orange Planet: Martial Arts 

5650 Metro East Drive, Pleasant Hill; 515-556-5577

A winner of a lot of awards, this facility has something to offer every age and/or skill level. Check out the details here!

Parks & Recreation

Your local parks and recreation program may be a great place to check out! A lot of cities offer short-term programs at low cost. This may be the perfect way for you to see if your child is truly interested in Karate or Taekwondo!

Altoona Parks & Recreation

Ames Parks & Recreation

Ankeny Parks & Recreation

Clive Parks & Recreation

Des Moines Parks & Recreation

Grimes Parks & Recreation

Johnston Parks & Recreation

Urbandale Parks & Recreation

Waukee Parks & Recreation

West Des Moines Parks & Recreation


Various Locations

If you already belong to your local YMCA, signing up for one of their Karate or Taekwondo programs may be a great route for you! Register here for programs and to check out times and prices!

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