Taekwondo for Kids with ADHD
It’s kinda funny, when I look around at my Tae Kwon Do school I’m thinking lots of us have ADHD.
Martial arts seem to be one sport where kids with ADHD do really well. A quick search on Google for “ADHD & Martial Arts” will bring up all kinds of good things. Self-discipline, self-control and concentration are often regarded among the benefits of martial arts for kids with ADHD.
For me, Tae Kwon Do has always been a place where I can be myself and get my energy out.
Learning Tae Kwon Do
I started Tae Kwon Do to learn how to defend myself against the bullies when I was 12. I don’t know if I ever used it against any bullies, but I know I had more confidence knowing that I had a few moves up my sleeve if I needed them.
Now I’m too close to earning my black belt to quit. I think earning the belts has really helped me be more inspired to keep doing it.
Setting small goals and winning small wins has kept it interesting for me. From the very beginning, we can achieve belts and also compete, although I just entered my first competition this year.
Tae Kwon Do keeps me active. Working out with the same friends for so long has bonded us. We really help each other. It’s not like school where everyone’s worried about other people’s opinions; here we are all the same, helping each other work towards goals we all share. I learn from the Black belts and the colour belts learn from me.
It’s less pressure than a lot of other sports, because even though I’m training with others, I don’t have others counting on me.
Here I focus on learning one belt at a time, working with others instead of competing against them and taking responsibility for my own goals.
And I guess there’s a chance to be a leader as well, which really appeals to me. When you’re not finding success at school, it’s nice to find other places where you can step up and be successful.
CHADD.org (Children and Adults with ADHD), the nationally recognized authority on ADHD writes about Tae Kwon Do for kids with ADHD. Benefits include physical fitness, self-confidence, discipline, and the ability to protect oneself if necessary.
Tips for parents when choosing a martial arts program for kids with ADHD:
- Find a school where the martial arts instructors have experience with kids who have ADHD
- Look for smaller class sizes (eg. 20 kids in a class as opposed to larger)
- Don’t put a child into TaeKwonDo if they don’t want to be there; and don’t take TaeKwonDo classes away as a punishment
Let’s keep the conversation going. Are you a kid with ADHD who does martial arts? Have you found something else that’s a great fit for your ADHD?
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