The biggest thing that comes up is parents want their kids to learn discipline. That is fine but, I'm gonna be short and sweet and totally blunt here... You don't need a martial arts class to teach your kid discipline. Teaching your child self-discipline begins by teaching your kids discipline at home and eventually they will pick up keep doing the right thing. When your kids do the right thing (that which they are taught to do and is expected of them) without having to be disciplined by their parents. Its a simple cycle of positive and negative reinforcement.
When kids do something wrong they suffer negative reinforcement (i.e. punishment) and when they do things according to what they are taught, they are given positive reinforcement, (i.e. reward). Eventually the reward is removed and the child will do the right thing in accordance with their instruction expecting a reward and will eventually keep up that cycle. This is the same cycle used to train dogs, and the military. A martial arts class for 1 to 3 hours a week, cannot teach your child to have self-discipline or there is no discipline at home.
No martial arts class, can teach your kids to have self-discipline if the parents do not teach discipline at home. Simple as that... I can teach a kid to fight, I can teach a kid not to fight but I can't teach something that parents are not teaching themselves. This is both a failing of individual parents and American culture as a whole. We have become lazy, weak minded and decadent allowing children to taught by the example of video games and TVs but, forgetting the example that parents set.
In fact, attending a martial arts class can have a very harmful effect on the kid's psychological well being. A child can assume they are a "warrior" from adults talking about being "lineage warriors" (a whole other problem in martial arts) and start fights under the assumption that they "warriors." This can get worse if the parents put on a good image for others but psychological and physical abuse are issues at home. Teaching a kid to fight and even teaching them when its "ok" to fight in the gym or dojo has nothing do with the example of the parents. If as adults we don't set an example for our children, we cannot expect them to grow up as the types of people we want our children to be.
No martial arts class will teach your children to be responsible adults, if YOU are the parents and do not ACT like the Person you want your child to be they will take all your instruction as empty talk. Anyone remember this Commercial from the 90s?
There are millions of martial arts schools dedicated to taking your money while claiming to teach your kids basic life skills you aren't as a Parent. Now I know single mom's who are forced to keep their kids entertained with TV and video games. They try very hard to live in a manner they want their children to, its not easy but life is in itself not easy...
We as Americans need to deal with the ideological issues of Personal Responsibility. The internet is full of "grown ups" spreading lies and slandering their competition. They are not setting an example of respect but, are seeking to attract business by acting like "bad asses." I'm sorry I've met real bad asses and they don't need to hide behind lineage, rank or a uniform. A real bad ass, will mess you up and ain't worried about the law. They also don't get online talk trash trying to act hard...
Me personally, I'm not a Bad Ass and have no desire to be one. You see, when you're a Bad Ass you are surrounded by people who want to be Bad Asses (wannabes) but don't have what it takes or you attract people just like you. You don't get to be a Bad Ass because you have a martial arts rank, own a dojo or are even Special Forces. You get all that because you are a Bad Ass, because inside you are mentally tough and can endure the hardships and complications that come along with getting those things. You can't teach your kids to be mentally tough unless you show them that you are mentally tough. I can't teach YOUR kids (Self) Discipline but YOU can and YOU should.
NOTE: The Author Ron Collins has no children of his own. When asked how he can give parenting advice without having kids he replied "I've raised the neighbor's kids, fed them when their parents spent the food stamps on drugs and alcohol. I've dated single mothers and helped raise their kids. I've also been a team leader in the Army and all of it has taught me to set the example I want others to follow. I don't have kids because I chose to be responsible and use condoms and other means of birth control to not have the responsibility I'm not ready for. "