Karate is not entirely about punching or kicking, or fighting. Karate is about equipping a person with the tools to face themselves, to rise to the challenges, to gain the confidence to live life fully and a bonus of this training is self-defense both mentally and physically.
It has been proven time and again, that when a person (children included) has confidence, they are less likely to be victims of bullying or attacks. Why? Because they have been equipped with the tools to handle situations that might come to visit in their lives.
When a child is equipped with the physical tools of self-protection, chances are they will never have to use it. People sense self-confidence in others. The way your child walks, talks and carries themselves tell potential bullies if they are a victim or not. Bullies look for easy targets. "A master reveals it in his every action."
Ok, now you know there are many benefits for learning martial arts as a child. So now, what?
If you have decided to enroll your child in a martial arts program, you must first look at the instructor. Make sure the instructor is a legitimate teacher, with verifiable certifications. What is the teacher's lineage for teaching the martial arts? Who did they learn from? Go visit the school, both the kids classes and the adults. Pay special attention to the attitudes of the instructors and students. The student's attitudes will reflect the teacher's attitude if they have spent some time training at the school. If you have seen the original movie The Karate Kid, remember the Cobra-Kai students and the way they acted? It was a direct reflection of the teacher's attitude. The teacher was a bully and then so the students became bullies also.
Make sure the instructor is of good reputation and good character. This is of utmost importance! A martial arts instructor will have an influence on your child, and you don't want that influence to be a negative one. Check the instructor's background and make sure they are not criminals or sexual predators. Talk to other parents from the school, and hear what they have to say. There is a martial arts saying, "It does not matter what the style is as long as you have a good teacher." I don't know who said it but there is a lot of truth to the quote. I hope you understand me on this point of finding a good teacher, I can not emphasize it enough.
Remember if you have questions or would like to discuss martial arts/ self-defense related topics, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you with that.