IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and nowadays more children and more women are joining to learn more than just self-defense.

Tae-kwon-do and Karate are two of the most popular forms. Martial Arts Academy in Idaho Falls teaches Kung-Fu, which is a street style fighting originally from China. The ancient form is 4,000 years old.

Besides learning self-defense one of the main points the instructors teach is learning never to give up, in a fight and in life.

Eighth degree master black belt, Kenneth Hensley said martial arts used to be a hard core sport that a very specific group of people would practice, but it has all changed in the last few decades.

"Now you see grandmas grandpas, special needs, law enforcement, military, all walks of life doing martial arts now," said Hensley
     
Today, more children and more young girls are taking to the sport.

"We teach the kids self defense, plus leadership skills. How to be leaders not followers. That's huge in our school," said Hensley.

Hannah Klink, 10, a purple belt said she wants to follow in Hensley's footsteps.

"I want to get my master black belt is my goal," said Klink.

She's been taking Kung-Fu for two years. Her teacher is Hensley's son, a black belt himself who's been training since he was five years old.

"For kids it's very important. it teaches confidence, self esteem it teaches them to have a goal," said Kenny Hensley.

"It helps me in school a lot, it makes me get better grades it teaches me to be respectful to other people and stuff like that."

Learning to fight for self defense and gaining the skills to fight through life is what this sport is all about.

The yelling in martial arts is for power, but also to control breathing. If people find themselves in a situation and need to use their skills, they will have the ability to control breathing and power through.

Martial Arts Academy Idaho Falls offers classes for children, teens and adults.