There are myriad benefits to the study of martial arts. First and foremost, of course, is the physical and health benefits. Conditioning and stretching, as part of a regular exercise routine, improves ones general health, and increases immunity to common ailments.
The discipline and self-control taught through the study of martial arts can be applied to many occupations and other life situations. Many devotees who begin their studies as childen go on to excel in law enforcement and military careers. Children who practice martial arts are taught discipline and self-confidence, which lends itself to improved scholastic performance and gives the student a sense of achievement and purpose.
The philosophical principles taught in the tradional martial arts, generosity, patience, diligence, humility, courtesy, and compassion, are crucial qualities in a well rounded individual, and benefit children in countless ways as they find their place in the world.
Those who regularly attend class also have the benefit of being part of a well-rounded community, where they can be appreciated for their skills, and learn a sense of accomplishment through the attainment of higher ranks.
The practice of martial arts sharpens concentration, and promotes a general sense of well-being and health. Through kata, kihon, and other techniques, dexterity improves, as does an overall awareness of ones body and how it moves. This helps the practicioner to avoid injury, and improves overall reaction time, as well as heightening their situational awareness.
As the student begins to attain higher ranks, they are also taught leadership qualities through the teaching of others. This boosts self-confidence and improves their social skills, giving them confidence to interact with others in a variety of situations.