Are you a martial arts movie fan with children? My son and I are. I studied Jiu-Jitsu as a child and I also dabbled in Muay Thai and Hapkido. As many of my readers know, I’m a Canadian Father living in South Korea. My son loves ninja flicks and practices Taekwondo at a red belt level. He’s only 7 so it’s tricky trying to find kid-friendly martial arts movies, and TV shows, as many films in this genre contain adult themes and violence.
However, fear not! There are some fantastic martial arts movies for kids out there that are suitable for almost everyone. These movies not only entertain but also a great way to teach valuable lessons about perseverance, friendship, and honor. In my article, I will explore a good dozen martial arts movies for young audiences that are both family-friendly and highly entertaining.
Martial Arts Movies For Kids
1. “Kung Fu Panda” (2008)
“Kung Fu Panda” is an animated martial arts comedy that follows the journey of Po, a lovable panda(played by Jack Black) who dreams of becoming a kung fu master. When an ancient prophecy reveals that Po is destined to become the Dragon Warrior, he must train with the Furious Five and their wise master, Shifu, to defeat the evil Tai Lung. With its stunning animation, engaging storyline, and memorable characters, “Kung Fu Panda” is a must-watch for kids and adults alike.
2. “The Karate Kid” (1984)
“The Karate Kid” is a classic martial arts movie that tells the story of Daniel LaRusso, played by Ralph Macchio, a teenager who moves to a new town and faces bullying from a group of karate-trained bullies. With the help of his wise and skilled mentor, Mr. Miyagi, Daniel learns the art of karate and gains the confidence to stand up for himself. This movie teaches valuable lessons about perseverance, friendship, and the importance of hard work. “Wax On, Wax Off!” Who could forget sweet Mr. Miyagi.
3. “Ip Man” (2008)
“Ip Man” is a biographical martial arts film based on the life of Ip Man, the renowned Wing Chun master and mentor of Bruce Lee. Set during the Japanese occupation of China, the movie follows Ip Man’s journey as he defends his town and martial arts principles against oppressive forces. With its breathtaking fight scenes and compelling storyline, “Ip Man” is a captivating martial arts movie that showcases the values of honor, discipline, and resilience.
++This one is for the Dads… Unless your kids are grown enough to deal with a rated ‘R’ movie keep them away…
4. “3 Ninjas” (1992)
“3 Ninjas” is a fun and action-packed martial arts movie that follows the adventures of three young brothers who learn martial arts from their wise Japanese grandfather. Together, the good ninjas use their skills to defeat a group of criminals and protect their family. With its mix of humor, exciting fight scenes, and positive messages about teamwork and family, “3 Ninjas” is a great choice for kids who love martial arts.
5. “The Forbidden Kingdom” (2008)
“The Forbidden Kingdom” is a unique martial arts movie that brings together two legendary martial arts actors, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The film follows the journey of a young American martial arts enthusiast who is transported back in time to ancient China. With the help of a drunken beggar (played by Jackie Chan) and a wise monk (played by Jet Li), he embarks on a quest to save the mythical Monkey King. “The Forbidden Kingdom” combines action, humor, and fantasy elements to create an unforgettable martial arts adventure.
6. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990)
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is a beloved martial arts franchise that has captured the hearts of kids and adults for decades. The movie follows the adventures of four mutated turtles trained in the art of ninjutsu by their rat martial arts master, Splinter. Together, they fight against the evil Shredder and his Foot Clan to protect New York City. With its unique blend of action, slapstick comedy, and memorable characters, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” remains a favorite among martial arts fans of all ages.
The cartoon series was what I loved watching when I was younger. I mean, pizza-eating Ninja Turtles with cool names…what else could a young boy ask for? More of these ninja films keep coming out: From “The Secret of the Ooze” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles iii” in 1993 to “The Rise of the TMNT” in 2022, young audiences still love watching this group of friends fighting the forces of evil.
The soundtrack of the first film was very good and featured Vanilla Ice and several others. It’s worth a listen for you dads out there…
7. “Shaolin Soccer” (2001)
“Shaolin Soccer” is a martial arts comedy that combines kung fu and soccer in a hilarious and entertaining way. The movie follows a Shaolin Monk who forms a team with his 5 brothers to compete in a prestigious tournament. With its over-the-top action sequences, slapstick humor, and heartwarming underdog story, “Shaolin Soccer” is a must-watch for martial arts and sports enthusiasts alike.
8. “Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior” (2006)
“Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior” is a Disney Channel original movie that tells the story of Wendy Wu, a high school student who discovers she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior. With the help of her martial arts skills and the guidance of a wise monk, Wendy must embrace her destiny and save the world from an ancient evil. This movie combines action, humor, and valuable life lessons about self-discovery and embracing one’s heritage.
More Martial Arts Movies for Kids
9. “The Spy Next Door” (2010)
“The Spy Next Door” is a family-friendly martial arts comedy that stars Jackie Chan as a retired secret agent who must take care of his neighbor’s children. As he navigates the challenges of parenthood, Jackie Chan’s character uses his spy skills and martial arts expertise to protect the kids from danger. With its blend of action, comedy, and heartwarming family moments, “The Spy Next Door” is an enjoyable martial arts movie for kids and parents alike.
10. “First Strike” (1996)
“First Strike” is another Jackie Chan martial arts film that combines action, comedy, and thrilling stunts. In this movie, Jackie Chan plays a Hong Kong police officer who gets caught up in an international espionage plot. With its fast-paced action sequences, innovative fight choreography, and Jackie Chan’s signature humor, “First Strike” is a must-watch for fans of this martial arts expert.
11. “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
It has a rating of PG-13 so this might be much for young boys and girls. “Captain America: Civil War” may not be a traditional martial arts movie, but it features breathtaking fight scenes and martial arts-inspired choreography. As superheroes clash in an epic battle, characters like Black Widow and Black Panther showcase their impressive martial arts skills.
With its thrilling action sequences and superhero excitement, “Captain America: Civil War” is a movie that martial arts fans of all ages can enjoy. This one was a billion-dollar box office hit and has a high ranking on Rotten Tomatoes…but not with this Dad. I’m not a fan of Marvel…there I said it.
12. “Sidekicks” (1992)
“Sidekicks” is a martial arts comedy that stars Jonathan Brandis as a young asthmatic boy who daydreams about teaming up with his hero, Chuck Norris, to defeat his bullies. With the help of his vivid imagination and martial arts training, the protagonist learns valuable life lessons about overcoming weaknesses and finding inner strength. “Sidekicks” is a heartwarming Karate action movie that emphasizes the importance of perseverance and self-belief.
Have you ever heard of “Surf Ninjas“? It’s a 1993 starring Rob Schneider and Ernie Reyes Jr both as surfing buddies. Cheesy but satisfying especially if you like Rob Schneider.
These are just some of the top martial arts movies for kids that combine action, humor, and valuable life lessons. Whether it’s the lovable Po in “Kung Fu Panda” or the determined Daniel LaRusso in “The Karate Kid,” these movies inspire young viewers to embrace their inner strength and never give up.
So gather your family, grab some snacks, and enjoy these exciting and entertaining martial arts films together!
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