Martial Arts for 9-year-old who loves to get physical

I'm looking for a martial arts studio recommendation for my soon to be 9 year old son.  I'd like it to include:

-one on one grappling (he loves getting physical and some places allow only very specific technique learning contact)

-techniques he can eventually put to use for real life self defense 

-inclusion for the kids in the studio's overall community (learning to take care of the space, big brother sensibility etc.)


Thank you!

Parent Replies

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Berkeley Cuong Nhu Karate — Rohai Dojo on San Pablo  Sensei John is fabulous.  Both my son and I enjoyed the classes and the dojo includes all the aspects you named.  Also classes at Cuong Nhu Redwood Dojo with Sensei Didi.

Try to find a Brazilian Jiu jitsu place- lots of grappling and also very usable for self defense.  We love our school in Alameda (Team Sliva Jiu Jitsu- Sergio Silva), but that may be too far for you.  They emphasize respect without submissiveness and focus on the individual.

We love West Wind Schools in Berkeley.  They teach a mixed style combining elements or karate and kung fu.  The teachers are very enthusiastic and know how to get kids excited.  Both my sons have spent time there and loved it.

I really like Oakland Kickboxing. The teachers are great, there is a nice community, they have great recommendations, and they do seem to get physical too.