About Us

Kickstart Kids is a Texas Education Agency recognized, physical education program offered during the school day that teaches character through karate to middle and high school students.

Why Character through Karate?

Within every child is the power to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. Following in the vision of our founder Chuck Norris, we believe that power can be unlocked through the martial arts. Kickstart Kids teaches character through karate to empower youth with core values, such as discipline and respect, to achieve their greatest potential. Black belt instructors deliver daily in-school lessons that create a positive impact on students, their families, schools, and communities.

Our vision is to reach every school, so all students have the opportunity to participate. We strive to empower a generation of youth with the character, resiliency and community to survive and thrive, and we remain inspired by the values and commitment of our community, and unwavering belief and optimism in Mr. Norris’s profound mission to build strong character through the martial arts.

Why Character through Karate


History of Kickstart Kids

Martial arts world champion, actor, and philanthropist Chuck Norris founded Kickstart Kids in 1990 with the help of President George H. W. Bush. The program was launched in four schools in 1992. This year, approximately 8,000 students are enrolled in 60 schools across the state of Texas. Since its inception, more than 110,000 students have benefitted from this one-of-a-kind, life-changing program. 

It’s Not Just Kicking and Punching

In addition to learning martial arts skills, Kickstart Kids classes deliberately and thoughtfully infuse character-building lessons into the daily curriculum. Our unique multi-year, intensity progressive values curriculum is delivered in the form of videos, stories and group discussion. Through this layered methodology, Kickstart Kids teaches students to be respectful, self-disciplined, driven, confident, and hardworking. It builds resilience for the individual, loyalty for the team, and compassion for their fellow students.


Safe School Houston Crime Stoppers Awards

Safe School Awards

Kickstart Kids positively impacts not only students, but schools that host the program, participants’ families, and surrounding communities as the program cultivates and encourages positive behaviors and safer environments. Kickstart Kids received the Safe School Awards by both Crime Stoppers of Houston in 2015 and the North Texas Crime Commission in 2016 as recognition of the impact of our program to create safer schools and communities across Texas.  

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