Values in self defense offer a depth of understanding and practice which relates to many situations. In kids karate in Toledo Ohio for instance you will find or can see how children students or practitioners get more traction on adult behavior through training. The karate programs often teach self confidence and personal balance to younger students.
The foundation of exercise balanced with self contemplation, study and meditation can all make a student more aware and conscious of what he is doing. Thus it would be an easy step forward to realizing that there is more to self defense than being able to counter violence. Violent behavior is not taught, but avoiding it is.
The basic foundation for any young person is education and karate training is something that supports this foundation. In fact some savvy parents can hit several birds with a stone by enrolling their kids in classes for this martial arts. Toledo also has many practitioners and masters of this art.
All of these can provide such excellent physical development coupled with a mindfulness that comes from the philosophy that underpins the training program. There is no actual emphasis on meditation, but being able to go to a place where they could think is important in mastering the moves for students here. And this can be the start of meditative processes.
Thus kids will follow a path of awareness and learning that is wider and more understanding. This is especially in the light of how violence can sometimes erupt, and avoiding such situations is something they can do better than most. That comes from being confident in their abilities and knowing that violence is not the answer to anything.
Your children will also develop a life long love for sportsmanship and physical exercise. The physicality is not overemphasized but the development of power in self defense is. The economy in movement, again the mindfulness that all these movements have to have reason and balance is a philosophy in itself.
It could help your kids step up higher on all dimensions of their development. The gym setting will have genuine tatami mats from the makers in Japan or they could be things manufactured right here in this country. Also, there are requirements for uniforms, and occasionally the change of belts of different colors.
These belts are symbols of progress and the ranking system within the discipline. Getting your kids to progress within the system means support, something that should be there at all times. Confidence is reinforced through this support, and perhaps supplemented by answers to some complex questions they may have.
Ohio is also a state that supports the martial arts, and many of its cities hold meets or events in which practitioners young and old can display their skills and their discipline. These events are scheduled according to the local association for karatedo that runs these for practitioners here, while those who win in these competitions could rise up to regional and even national or perhaps international levels of play.