Martial arts can teach us many practical things such as discipline, teamwork, self confidence and humility. It can also help us learn plenty of cool yet impractical stuff such as flying roundhouse kicks. However, beyond the physical benefits of learning how to defend ourselves, martial arts can also teach us mental discipline and social intelligence. Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have difficulty focusing on anything other than the here and now. They lose focus easily and this prevents them from completing a task. Martial arts training can be of tremendous benefit to children with ADHD for reasons which are outlined below.
A feature of ADHD is a lack of control and this can hamper your child’s future development. Martial arts classes emphasize the maintaining of self-control as well as teaching students to respect others. Most classes begin and conclude with the students bowing to the instructor and all participants must remain quiet, listen to the teacher and obey his commands. The increased emphasis on self-control will greatly help children affected by ADHD as the lessons they learn in class carry over to everyday life.
Children with ADHD can suffer from a lack of confidence as they find it almost impossible to complete a task without being distracted. Any activity that forces children with ADHD to wait patiently or asks them to follow complicated instructions can cause great difficulty. Martial arts classes are fun and helps the child become immersed in the activity. This enables them to complete the task and shows them that it is possible to follow through on something. The result is an improvement in self-confidence and a desire to improve.
Experts in the ADHD field suggest that exercise such as martial arts switches on the attention system of children. This is made up of the limbic system, frontal cortex and cerebellum which affect the parts of the brain responsible for sustaining attention, sequencing and working memory. The brain’s level of serotonin and dopamine are increased by exercise and this leads to enhanced alertness in sufferers of ADHD.
It is important to note that martial arts should be used in conjunction with any medicine taken by the child instead of being a direct replacement. While all forms of exercise can benefit children with ADHD, the special qualities of martial arts make it the ideal choice. This form of training provides positive role models, interaction with peers and clear rules and directions, all essential for those affected by ADHD.
My name is Becky, and I’ve seen firsthand how martial arts can positively affect the life of a child with ADHD. Arizona karate instruction at Sandoval Freestyle Karate is one such way to put your child on the right path. Feel free to look at the following Sandoval Karate reviews to learn more.