Martial Arts Affects on ADD & ADHD


Can Martial Arts Help Children with ADHD?

Posted  by on Dec 24, 2012 in BlogMartial Arts | 0  comments

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common and  widespread childhood disorders, quoted by the National Institute of Mental  Health. Every day doctors either recommend or prescribe pharmaceutical drugs for  children with ADHD in an attempt to alleviate the different warning signs  associated with the syndrome. Symptom such as restlessness, lack of focus,  having difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity are all part of ADHD.  Regular exercise, a controlled environment, healthy nutritious foods, and  constructive discipline support a child’s mental and physical health. Parents,  today are more and more often turning to martial arts to help their children suffering from  ADHD.

Martial Arts for ADHD

Recent studies involving children with ADHD who  practice martial arts show they have greatly improved their ability to listen  and stay focused.

Exercise turns on “the attention system” requiring that children focus and  pay attention. Taekwondo is one of many exercises that is good for children  with ADHD, due to it involving paying close attention to the different body  movements. All martial arts have this rule with the key benefits being increased  discipline, focus, and determination. Children learn to pay attention to the  task at hand and not to give up when engaged in high levels of physical  activity. Behavior changes do occur and will be noticeable over time with  consistent hard work during martial arts training.

In addition to giving children with ADHD all of the physical  benefits of exercise, including improved cardio  health, enhanced strength, and better flexibility, taekwondo also enforces  good rules of behavior based on respect that carry over in social interactions,  at home, and at school.

Children today, face bullying and negative peer pressure more than ever  before, which is why it is essential they have the necessary skills to guard and  protect themselves. Kids who know how to protect themselves usually will not  have to because they carry themselves in a more secure manner and sometimes  confidence alone is all the deterrent that bullies need.

In martial arts, students learn when they should and should not use their  newfound skills. Children are taught that martial arts is not to be used for any  other reason than as a last resort of self-defense from an attacker or bully,  which in turn prevents the student from becoming the aggressor.

Kids today are bored and with that boredom troubled kids are often a product.  However, with karate, students are given a positive way to channel their natural  energy and hostility into something safe and positive as well as having  something constructive to do with their spare time.


Martial Arts and ADD/ADHD

“At 46, while I can still go toe to toe with 20 year olds and throw a passable back handspring, I’ve ultimately come to realize that, beyond the physical, many of the most valuable aspects of the martial arts are the lessons of social intelligence and mental discipline. That is what makes this particular activity useful for shepherding the development of skills that address the challenges of ADD/ADHD, for both children and adults.”

      Martial arts and ADD/ADHD
Published on July 7, 2008 by Michael J. Formica, MS, MA, EdM in Enlightened Living