Henry just turned five, and up until this point, he hasn't really been enrolled in any extracurricular activities (aside from a safety swimming class when he was a toddler). I definitely subscribe to the ideas explained within Simplicity Parenting around giving children wide-open time to play outside, create, explore, get bored, and decompress. I haven't felt like the benefits of extracurricular activities outweigh the drawbacks at this point. We are already a stressed out family with two full-time jobs and full-time school for the boys.
However, at our recent conference with Henry's teacher, she mentioned that she thinks he would benefit from a formalized activity that helps him channel his physical energy. She mentioned martial arts in particular.
A friend of mine mentioned Aikido, and it looks like we have a good program here in Austin. There's a 30-minute class once a week, specifically designed for 5-7 year-olds. After doing some preliminary research, it seems like Aikido is pretty amazing because it's more defensive than offensive. It doesn't involve punches or kicks (more just pinning and twisting).
Do any of you have experience with or recommendations related to various martial arts? I am totally new to this.