Anyone who is remotely familiar with martial arts knows that it encompasses many positive benefits mentally and physically. First off Martial Arts, to start with, is one of the best things you can do to get in shape. Most workouts that target muscle strength and muscle endurance are done using your own body, versus using heavy weights that can slowly deteriorate your muscles, this is called muscle atrophy. Workouts include exercises such as push ups, sit ups, running, sprinting, etc.
Martial arts also is one of the best cardio workouts being some days you might have to sit in one spot and throw three or four punches or kicks as fast as you can for a minute. This forces you to explode fast causing a boost in your muscle endurance level. Children must wear what's called a Gi in class. These Gi's are very thick and are harder to maneuver in than regular clothes. This forces the student to sweat and work in an uncomfortable state, improving their technique. This mental lecture also teaches them that they might have to defend them at any given time. That if they have the mental toughness they can handle any situation that's thrown at them. Martial arts also helps with your flexibility because during class every student much stretch for about 15 minutes. Now imagine if you stretched everyday for a couple months. You would be able to do the splits, and have flexible hips and high kicks.
The biggest thing martial arts helps you with is your mental game. Half the time when you or your child is bullied or picked or even intimidated its a direct result of you being intimidated. Within a martial arts class you learn a lot more than just a punch or a kick or how to scream when you hit something. You are taught to be the bigger person all the time. If you watch any one of those cheesy kung fu movies you quickly find that the main characters are never looking for a fight. The are thrust into conflict out of necessity. You will learn that fighting should be your absolute last option. It was Gandhi who said "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind". You are taught the values of discipline, honor, respect, self control, having confidence, etc. All these aspects help shape you or your child to become a great martial artist .