(credit: Desiree Navarro/Getty Images)

Learning a martial art is an excellent way to get kids excited about physical fitness. Through martial arts, children will learn how to set and work towards goals, practice self-control and discipline, and start to respect themselves and others. San Francisco offers a wide range of martial arts classes for children. Here is a list of five of the best. For adults interested in mixed martial arts, see here for some of San Francisco’s best studios.

One Martial Arts
850 Taraval St.
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 731-9988

One Martial Arts is a family-centric community offering martial arts classes for preschoolers through adults. Class focus goes beyond basic movements to encompass discipline and character development. Kids will learn valuable lessons in safety and self-defense, as well as confidence and focus, which can translate into and benefit everyday life. Class structure has a deep focus on respect and use of proper manners, as well as a bit of parent participation. Adult karate and cardio kickboxing classes are also offered.

Infinite Tae Kwon Do
2830 Baker St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 359-9540

Infinite Tae Kwon Do offers martial arts classes to kids ages three and up. Classes here are a great way to help those energetic youngsters learn basic focus, respect and discipline in a fun environment. Upbeat instructors are adept at engaging even the most reticent of children, and kids will be aided in learning self-motivation and goal setting. Infinite Tae Kwon Do provides a non-threatening platform for children to learn about safety, self-defense and “stranger danger.”

Community Martial Arts Center
61 Cambon Drive
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 678-8769

The Community Martial Arts Center of San Francisco teaches Hapkido and Muay Thai. The center is kid-friendly and provides a family-focused environment for children to learn discipline and self-defense. Monthly class fees are quite reasonable, and each new student is offered three free classes as a trial. Ask about discounts for multiple children within a family.

Paresh Martial Arts
447 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 665-5511

Located in the Inner Sunset, Paresh Martial Arts is a family-centric martial arts center that teaches the Korean art of Tang Soo Do. Classes are offered for children ages three and up, through adult. Families can also enjoy learning and exercising together as a unit in one of the special 45-minute family classes. Children will thrive in the disciplined and fun atmosphere fostered by the instructors. The studio also offers yoga classes.

Five Animals Kung Fu Academy
2408 19th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 580-1769

San Francisco’s Five Animals teaches the art of Kung Fu to children and adults. The family-focused school’s instructors help students develop strength and stamina, respect and perseverance. Adult students will also benefit from classes’ assistance in stress reduction and improved physical fitness. The Academy equally benefits young boys and girls who learn to work towards self-improvement and goal realization.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.