Martial arts for kids with ADHD
May 24, 2023
A seeming overabundance of energy, restlessness, an inability to focus and concentrate. An inability or difficulty listening and taking direction. A pendulum of mood swings.
How can a child overcome this?
How can an adult or parent deal with this in a healthy and productive way?
How can we exercise some manner or kind of control over this and direct it in a beneficial way?
Is there even a solution?
The answer is yes, there is a solution, and there is a way to deal with it and direct it in a positive and productive way, there is a way to feel better about the entire thing.
And martial arts is that way. And here’s why.
Even in the very best of circumstances kids need direction and discipline. And the martial arts is built upon a firm foundation of that. Indeed, the entirety of the experience is all about direction. It’s about moving forward, empowerment, self-betterment, and positive momentum. It is also an activity that demands a high degree of energy as you move forward, because its designed to provide for what the students need.
Some people, for instance elderly people may need something less intense, but still active. And the martial arts provides for that, and that’s perfectly suited to their needs.
But for kids who are filled with an overabundance of energy they need something that is high in intensity but yet also offers direction for that energy in a positive and productive way.
But in order to direct that energy they must receive discipline. That’s very important, and the martial arts provide that in the form of ritual, habit, and instruction.
Now when this high energy output is combined with that ritual, habit, and instruction they develop direction, they develop the ability to listen and receive instruction, they develop the ability to focus. And this changes the scope of everything they are dealing with. This can additionally affect the mood swings in a positive way because oftentimes they have mood swings because they don’t feel they can adequately control themselves, and so they feel condemned to a certain lack in quality of life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and when they begin to see the positive changes there can be a shift in their moods, they become less extreme, more controlled, and more content with how they feel about what they are experiencing.
It’s simply a matter of engaging more than simply their minds, but their bodies and hearts as well. But the problem is that too often even people who care don’t know how to deal with this issue, and they make the mistake of thinking all they need is some type of distraction, something to occupy their minds. And those efforts fail because they fail to take into account the need to engage mind, body, and spirit, with a governance of discipline and structure.
It is proven and it works, because martial arts utilizes all of these tools simultaneously and introduces the governance of discipline and direction.
And in truth it is virtually one of the only outlets which utilizes all of these together to combat a behavioral issue. And that’s where the solution lies, because these kids need help in engaging and controlling, or directing this excess of energy and difficulty concentrating. Take the concentration for instance, martial arts demands focus, it requires it, and so engages it. But it does so alongside an intensity of exercise and instruction in martial arts. So here we see that we’re dealing with both excess of energy and focus in one evolution. Now we combine discipline, habit and ritual so that a student becomes conditioned to repeat the same behaviors over again until they become second nature. Then you have mood swings and difficulty controlling them. Throughout the exercise or class exercise of training a student is intently focused, and rewarded with positive praise and feedback when they perform well. And they are simply instructed to repeat the action when they don’t perform well, and continue to repeat until it is done right.
In each instance we see that a particular problem or issue that a child has is precisely countered and a solution brought to the front. And in the wider view each, and all behavioral issues are dealt with at the same time and in the same classroom environment.
Combined with positive praise, and habit, ritual, and discipline to the point wherein the proper and accepted behavior becomes second nature we see a productive solution being implemented that requires only the consistent exposure to that martial art, and school.
Over time these issues can be productively managed and directed toward positive and life affirming goals that improve and stabilize quality of life.
And that’s what we want for all our children and young people.
So in closing, we want all our readers to know that there are solutions out there, there are resources and there is hope for a positive and productive solution that ultimately makes that child feel good about themselves, and parents or loved ones hopeful for a brighter future.
Article reposted with permission from Go2Karate.com.