The number of reasons people join martial arts reaches millions. Every decision is a personal one, whether joining martial arts for personal fitness, better health, to learn self-defense, to compete, or some other reason. One group that is striving to explore the benefits of martial arts is those struggling with attention disorders like ADD and ADHD and their families. Walking through how martial arts training can benefit these students may transform the life of someone you know and love who struggles with these disorders. There are several things that martial arts provide, including variety, goal setting, manageable routines, and improved concentration. Martial arts’ unique focus on mind and body balance helps many navigating ADD and ADHD.
Variety Beats Out Repetition
One of the incredible things about martial arts training, especially programs that incorporate multiple styles of the arts, is the variety students are exposed to and learn. SwiftKick has a well-rounded martial arts training program that includes techniques of Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, and others. Although the mind and body do well with repetition, those with ADD and ADHD find it more challenging to stick with something that becomes too repetitive and boring. Too much repetition tends to disengage these students, and they often don’t want to stick with other sports that do not offer the same variety.
Martial Arts Teach Setting Goals
A strong goal-setting focus can be an incredible help to students with ADD and ADHD. One of the factors of success is to set attainable goals that are achievable and celebrated by the student, instructor, and their peers. Studios that work successfully with students guide them to set short-term goals, so they do not get discouraged and give up. In martial arts, learning and building a foundation of knowledge and skill allows students with ADD and ADHD to feel they are accomplishing things in their lives, and they are! Students with attention disorders gain a sense of self-worth and control of their lives through discipline and practice. Setting goals is a life skill that students can apply outside the studio to other settings like school and work.
Breaking Down Tasks to Manageable Pieces
Those diagnosed with ADD and ADHD can get overwhelmed with tasks that have too many steps. Martial arts break down different techniques into manageable steps for students. There are countless movements that are linked together, and the various methods ensure every student finds an area of strength on which to build their skill set. Learning a new step, practicing it, and adding further steps indicates a well-designed program. At SwiftKick, Brian Cowell has purposefully and thoughtfully designed training programs to break steps down into manageable pieces for students. Instead of being forced to see the broad picture, students see the technique step by step and keep the process simple and more accessible to master.
The unique characteristic of martial arts training is that students move at their own pace, so there is no pressure for students to learn at the same pace in the same way. All students should feel encouraged and supported throughout their martial arts journey.
Improving Concentration Helps Students Facing ADD and ADHD
When children or adults are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, often the first symptom you hear is a lack of attention or inability to keep attention and sit still. The struggle to concentrate and stay focused on one thing for a long time can be a challenge for many students, but learning to keep attention for extended periods serves students well in martial arts and life. Students who drift off or lose concentration in training are guided back through engagement by skilled instructors. Students who begin martial arts training and learn to improve their concentration frequently claim it serves them well in school, work, and social settings.
Martial arts teach mind over body, and improved concentration is a by-product of this training. Students managing ADD and ADHD learn how strong their minds are and how much more powerful it is than the body. Even when sitting still seems impossible, using the mind and body training of an exceptional martial arts program can achieve this. Of course, martial arts are also a great physical workout, so students with excess energy also get the physical release that allows them to focus and have better mind and body balance. Intense emotions, like anger, pain, stress, or depression, can be relieved through a solid martial arts workout.
If you or someone you love is navigating the challenges of ADD and ADHD, martial arts can provide relief. It is critical to find a family-friendly studio equipped with compassionate and encouraging instructors who can engage students of all ages and help them achieve success in martial arts and life. If you live in San Diego County and want to take a free trial class at our new Bressi Ranch location, contact SwiftKick today!