Every once in a while, I see people putting down the martial arts, especially when taught to children. Along those lines, the biggest argument I've encountered against the arts is teaching violence to kids. It doesn't seem to matter about all of the other things taught, like self-discipline, goal setting, and so forth; they still harp on the violence aspect. True enough, kicking and punching are violent activities, but allow me to explain it this way:
From a student's first day (especially when that student is a child) any instructor worth anything will tell that student the most important lesson of fighting is to not fight; that one should avoid fighting if at all possible, and that one shouldn't use any fighting techniques learned unless it's the very last resort. To quote everyone's favorite karate instructor, Mr. Miyagi from "The Karate Kid" movies, "Rule #1: Karate is for self-defense only. Rule # 2: Always remember Rule # 1."
Here's an analogy I often use to put this into perspective: we pay all kinds of money for insurance (health, auto, life, homeowners', etc.), but deep down, we all pray to God that we never have to use that insurance policy--but if the need arises, we're prepared (anyone ever had a wreck while they didn't have insurance?). The same applies to martial arts; no one in their right mind wants to be in a predicament in which they have to defend their lives and/or that of their loved ones, but it helps to be ready if it happens, right?