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Use Your Chops: Where to Practice Martial Arts

You fear for the bad habits your kids may be picking up at school, and what they’re seeing on TV. So what’s a worried mom to do to instill good values in the kiddos? Though it may not be the first thing you think of—flash to mental images high-kicking ninjas and quick-as-lightning punches—martial arts is actually a great way to teach kids a variety of positive traits, from self-discipline to respect to concentration. Starting kids out young is ideal, so find the class that suits your tot best today.

Karate (Japan)

What it does: The Little Dragons class teaches front kicks and round kicks, emphasizing listening, following directions and self-control

Where to learn it:
American Karate & Self Defense, 10918 Garland Road, Dallas, 214/327-8585; raysamericankarate.net
Metro Karate Academy, 4820 Little Road, Arlington, 817/516-8195; metrokarateacademy.com

Rates: (Call for current rates. Previous rates are below.)
For American Karate: $109 per month. Beginner classes (ages 4-6) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; advanced classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays
For Metro Karate: $99 registration fee; $104.99 per month unlimited classes (one child); $189 per month unlimited (two children); $209 per month (additional children); ages 3 and up

Taekwondo (Korea)

What it does: Means “the way of the foot and the fist;” uses kicks, jumps, spins, hand-strikes and blocks; sparring and board breaking are gradually introduced as students progress through ranks

Where to learn it:
TKDFit, 4900 El Dorado Pkwy., McKinney, 469/617-3667; mckinneytkd.com
Southlake Taekwondo & Karate for Kids, 1101 E. SH 114, Ste. 114, Southlake, 817/442-8444; southlakeata.com

Rates: (Call for current rates. Previous rates are below.)
For TKDFit: $99 for six weeks of unlimited classes plus uniform. Ages 4 and up
For Southlake Taekwondo: $115 per month. Flat fee up to four classes per week; ages 3 ½-6

Jiu Jitsu (Brazil)

What it does: Meaning “a gentle art,” it teaches kids that true strength comes from sincere respect for others; focuses primarily on ground fighting and grappling and emphasizes technique over strength

Where to learn it:
Octagon Mixed Martial Arts, 4152 Cole Ave., Dallas, 214/521-6662; octagonmma.com
Travis Lutter Fort Worth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 1901 Windsor Place, Fort Worth, 817/781-4243; travislutter.com 

Rates: (Call for current rates. Previous rates are below.)
For Octagon Mixed Martial Arts: $75 per month. Classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for kids 5-13
For Travis Lutter: Prices start at $100 per month. Classes held twice weekly; ages 5-13

Kickboxing (Thailand)

What it does: Stand-up combat based on punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes; classes focus on stamina, discipline and coordination

Where to learn it:
Jay’s Kickboxing, 2001 Coit Road, Ste. 210, Plano, 972/596-1400; jayskickboxing.com
Abundio’s Studio, 2908 Cullen St., Fort Worth, 817/885-8900; abundiotkc.com

Rates: (Call for current rates. Previous rates are below.)
For Jay’s: $65 per month for once weekly; $95 for two days per week. Ages 4 and up
For Abundio’s: $60 for a 30-minute private lesson (add $20 for an extra child); ages 4 and up

Kung Fu (China)

What it does: Sophisticated martial art involving body-mind experience; classes focus on hand technique, developmental skills and teaching children to fend off an attacker

Where to learn it:
Lee’s White Leopard Kung Fu, 6959 Arapaho Road, Ste. 589, Dallas, 972/991-1088; leeswhiteleopardkungfu.com
Authentic Kung Fu, 2701 Race St., Fort Worth, 817/244-2347; authentickungfu.com

Rates: (Call for current rates. Previous rates are below.)
For Lee’s White Leopard Kung Fu: $15 for two introductory lessons; after that one year costs $297 for the first month and $93 per month additional months. Classes Monday and Wednesday for ages 5-11
For Authentic Kung Fu: $70 per month (discounts for additional children). Classes held twice weekly; ages 5-13

This article was originally published in August 2015.