Finding an outlet for a child’s energy can be difficult, and it can be even more challenging if a child has attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While it may seem that an activity that requires focus and discipline isn’t a good fit, you’d be surprised. The benefits of martial arts for kids with ADHD are impressive. Here are three reasons to schedule your child’s introductory visit at Freestyle Martial Arts Academy.
For many kids with attention disorders, it’s normal to fixate on what’s happening in the moment. That means activities with long waiting times or complex instructions can make it hard for them to focus, which leads to a loss of interest or ability in the activity. In a martial arts class, children are fully immersed in the activity, with an emphasis on metal and physical involvement. Our instructors incorporate a variety of cues into their direction, including visual and auditory. When children become distracted, an instructor will redirect them by asking them to stand at attention, in ready position, or in guarding stance.
Studies have shown that complex physical activities, like martial arts, benefits neural networks in the brain. Pairing that with brief demonstrations helps kids with ADD or ADHD practice self-discipline. And when they’re able to complete an activity, they enjoy a boost in confidence and self-esteem.
- Improved Self-Control
With the emphasis on self-discipline, respect and focus, children in martial arts classes often carry these skills into other aspects of their lives, including school and at home. This is often reflected in better grades and improved behavior. Self-control can be an under-developed skill in children with attention disorders, but learning to greet instructors, bow before or after forms, wait quietly while watching others, and listen when an instructor is speaking are all positive ways of building that skill.
- Improved Focus & Concentration
The benefits of regular physical exercise are well-researched. From improved cardiovascular health to more flexibility, improved coordination and increased strength, martial arts is a wonderful physical activity. Regular exercise can also stimulate a child’s attention system – specifically, parts of the brain that control things like sequencing, working memory, sustaining attention and prioritizing. This happens through an increased output of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that have a positive impact on a child’s attention system.
At Freestyle Martial Arts Academy, our children’s classes are divided into programs for children ages 4 to 7 – our Little Dragons classes – and older children in our youth program. Study after study has linked martial arts training to positive traits including increase self-reliance, reduced aggression, better self-esteem and more in children. Our classes promote the basics of martial arts in a fun, engaging environment that is age-appropriate and effective.
We welcome you to tour our facility, sit in on a few classes and learn more about our curriculum and school. Check out our special introductory offer, or call us at 746-388 between 3 and 7 pm Monday through Friday to schedule a visit.