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Using Martial Arts as a Breakthrough for ADHD and ADD

Using Martial Arts as a Breakthrough for ADHD & ADD

By Pedro Diaz, Owner Tigers Lair Martial Arts

A diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) does not define your child. With the proper treatment and organization, many children can have a fulfilling and productive life.

Medication, therapy, and education are common ways to treat ADHD and ADD. There are other opportunities for children with these problems to learn how to focus and manage their symptoms, however.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests giving organization and structure to a child’s daily life when living with ADHD or ADD. Keeping up with scholastic requirements is crucial but having a hobby or afterschool activity may actually help children regain focus and mental clarity.

ADHD and ADD affect nine percent of American children. It does not always manifest in common symptoms such as manic states or an inability to sit still. Some children who suffer from ADHD or ADD appear to be quiet and attentive but are actually unable to stop daydreaming or listen to the lesson.

Many children participate in martial arts because it’s a fun way to exercise, parents may choose martial arts for its concentration in mental and physical strength. This makes it the perfect outlet for their child’s excess energy and to help children learn necessary life skills.

Some young people are in their own world making it difficult to communicate with them. Martial arts creates an interest and focus bringing them out of their shell. We’ve had a lot of success, it is not a quick fix, it takes time but it works.” Pedro Diaz, Owner

The origins of martial arts stem from all over the world. In Chinese martial arts, the student focuses on techniques and philosophy. Taoists and Confucius followers practiced martial arts as a way of maintaining focus, discipline, and added physical health. Meditation has become a large part of the practice and as more formal schools for martial arts such as Shaolin and temple-based education became institutionalized, the philosophy is a vital part to mastering martial arts.

Having mental clarity is necessary in the physical practice and execution of martial arts. It also help students in the classroom. Having the ability to clear your mind of the stress and clutter will make it easier to listen to the lesson and work through the projects assigned without worry. It can also help students manage stress and prioritize schoolwork.

Being able to focus during practice is essential for safety, knowledge, and understanding. In order to obtain the knowledge given in martial arts practice or in the classroom, the student needs to pay attention to the entire lecture or demonstration.

ADHD or ADD unfortunately has no cure but with the proper regimen and assistance by caring adults, many students can thrive academically. By taking martial arts and working hard in school, students learn how to maintain focus, have clear goals, and release excess energy. They are also able to take the skills they have adopted from martial arts into other aspects of their life and into adulthood. As they grow, martial arts will always grow with them.


Pedro Diaz


Tigers Lair Martial Arts

1674 N. Higley Road Suite 101

Gilbert, AZ 85234


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