EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- One of the things parents like about martial arts is that kids as young as three and a half can take part.

They're learning balance as well as hand and eye coordination. Now, that will help them later on and keep them on track for fit city success.

Kung Fu combines both mental and physical fitness.

"It's a huge workout because, even though they're learning the technique, all the punches and kicks, is cardio," Tyler Kung Fu and Fitness Brandon Jones said. "And with children we always teach them how to escape."

Jones calls the workout "exercise in disguise." That could explain why the kids love it.

4-year-old Tony Shields started kung fu recently. His dad, Rob thought it was just what he needed.

"We just adopted him last week so yay for us," Rob said. "But he had a lot of energy that was misdirected and I thought being around some other kids, Christian based leader that really taught him some fundamentals of different techniques that would be good for him."

Kung fu isn't Tony's only sport. He also plays golf. But his parents wanted him enrolled in a sport that expends more energy.

"He enjoys the kicking and the punching," Rob said. "But he doesn't do it to anybody in our household."

In class, kids also learn balance skills, focus training, concentration and team work.

Not only are they getting a well-rounded workout, they're gaining self confidence.

Jones said kung fu works for all kids, but can be really beneficial for those who are more introverted and not ready for group sports.