I'm not a fan of kids that young taking MA, either. However, I've seen classes tailored to those ages, and none of them were actually teaching how to hurt, maim, and possibly kill, beyond the ability of a 5-year-old to hit. Most are focused on using MA movements to improve physical ability (like any sport) and helping develop patience, discipline, etc.
then it's not really martial arts in my opinion it's Tai Bo or Boxercise.
Sure it may be watered down TKD for kids or whatever, but I still fail to see your point. By that logic, basically you're saying I should enroll my kid in tap-dancing or Tee Ball or whatever age appropriate activity because TKD would be pointless at this age? In the same sentence of your argument against a 5 year old taking MA classes, you go on to say : "I'd also take issue with the description of 'suburban kids' which somehow implies they are less worthy of being taught martial arts." ...what?
I never said I was against programs that cater to suburban families just looking for an after-school activity for their kids, like the ATA, which will take kids as young as 3. I thought I made it VERY clear that the point is that if I'm going to put my kid into a school and a program I might as well do my damn homework and make sure it's something that he can carry with him for life so he's not doing the same thing I am now in 30 years.
The two questions I asked in the OP were: 1.) Can anyone confirm the association I studied in (To educate my decision on a school for him and so I will know should I want to join with my kid) and 2.) Do they keep records for previous students (so I will know should I want to join with my kid). That was it....
As far as a 5 year old taking MA classes, sure he may do the damn junior belt program and kid black belts etc etc yadda yadda, the point is what happens should he want to pursue it into adulthood? Why the hell not make sure wherever he starts training at 5 wouldn't be a place he can still fit in and train at 55?
Are there a lot of Tee Ball or Kick Ball for adult clubs and programs around? Or an Olympic Red Rover or hop-scotch program that I'm not aware of?