Martial arts are becoming increasingly popular in this current day and age. This is due due to ever increasing crime rates and rising obesity levels. Martial arts are a great way not just in regards to self-defense but also with keeping fit. It is a great way for children to get involved with martial arts from an early age. There are many benefits associated with this such as keeping fit, being able to defend them against the school bully. Learning martial arts gives your children a new found confidence which can help them overcome many obstacles which are face in life at that early age such as shyness and even focusing on their homework. It also enables them to learn a skill which they can carry on into their adult life.
The first step you need to take is to look for a style that will appear o your child. There are many to choose such as Judo, Karate, Kung Fu and many more. See what your child would have more interest in by taking him along to observe a few different classes. He may have a preference in a style which is more geared to high kicks and punching or he may prefer grappling and throwing. It's not just for Karate for kids that is available you know.
One obstacle I personally came up against with my two daughters was the limited choice, but I do live in a rural area. If you live in a big city then the chances are there will be many to choose from and you can have a look at the various classes available to see where you think your child will best fit in. the smaller clubs and schools although in the rural areas do have their advantages though. They often run by very experienced instructors with small class sizes which means more time is spent on each student resulting in higher ranking students in that style when compared to a large urban school in a big city.
It is paramount that you ensure the instructor is up to the job, you want to make sure your child gets the most out of it in terms of development and fun. Personally I find the large martial arts schools rather daunting for my kids. They often have anywhere between fifty and a hundred students, and in my opinion the children do not get the progress they deserve, whereas as mentioned the rural ones are the opposite.
I have martial arts to be hugely beneficial to my children. For instance it has helped my daughter to have the confidence to try new things. Before she started out in Karate she was a very shy girl and got spooked quite easily, but bow you can not stop her, she has become something of a daredevil. The longer your child studies martial arts the more self-control they develop through their early life. There is so much more available than the usual Karate for kids that you hear parents talk about.