Attending martial arts class is about more than getting a workout and learning self-defense tactics. Each student can get something different out of his or her experience, but training can be especially rewarding for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Martial arts teacher Rodger Pyle knows this firsthand as he was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, he told ADDitude magazine.
Pyle struggled as a child because his public school didn’t know how to deal with his condition, and it wasn’t until he found martial arts that he was able to overcome some of his mental hurdles. Now he uses his experience to help children with the disorder. After all, many studies show complex physical activity, like martial arts, helps students strengthen neural networks in the brain and learn how to control their impulses.
“My job is to look beyond a student’s diagnosis and find ways to motivate him while playing up his strengths,” Pyle told the magazine.
Martial arts helps children with ADHD find direction
Suffering through ADHD himself has allowed Pyle to feel rewarded as his students take steps to build their mental strength. Martial arts can be critical in the development of children as it helps them learn life lessons that they can carry with them after their time at the school is over. Here are some of the benefits that students with ADHD are able to take away from martial arts training:
- Improved ability to communicate: Not only does martial arts require students to work together on their craft, but it also teaches respect. This can be worthwhile for children with ADHD because they can often lack the patience necessary to get along with others. Learning how to work together in a team environment is a timeless skill.
- Higher self esteem: Children with knowledge of their disorder may feel embarrassed or have low self esteem. With martial arts training, students can get a sense of achievement as they move up the ranks. This will help with their self-confidence outside the school.
- Better self-discipline: Martial arts students must learn to control their brains before they can be successful in class. While this can be an especially difficult challenge for those with ADHD, learning self-discipline will help children start a path to coping with their disorder.