Though most people would list physical fitness as an obvious benefit of studying martial arts, few people really understand all the physical benefits. You will realize increased strength and flexibility, stronger bones and joints, increased stamina and energy, better coordination and balance, and weight loss.
Though the martial arts seem at first glance to be a set of physical skills, in reality the real goal is to condition the mind. It is the mind that has to learn to act quickly, often reading subtle signs and responding with a complex set of moves. The mental benefits of martial arts are possibly more significant than the physical.
Some people have the misperception that martial arts training will lead to their children acting more aggressive, more out of control, when in fact the reverse is true. Children who participate in a traditional martial arts program often show improved behavior in several ways: Respect, Achievement, Camaraderie and Calmness.
Discipline - While natural talent might carry some a long ways in many sports, the martial arts requires discipline. Many of the specific skills in martial arts can only be achieved by doing difficult exercises over and over. Mental Awareness - This attitude helps the student respond better to many aspects of life.