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Music, painting, football, English ... They are some of the extracurricular ones that we went through for years, however, none seemed to work. The teachers complained because the child was not paying attention and the child complained because he did not want to go. One fine day, we met a karate teacher who specializes in teaching primary and secondary school children.
The teacher told us about the benefits of martial arts for children with concentration problems and he proposed us to try. Four years later, my son continues to teach karate classes and the boy's achievements in terms of gaining attention span have been enormous.
Martial arts such as karate, judo or taekwondo teach children discipline, loyalty, self-control or channeling their own energy. They are a discipline that was created as self-defense but that, today, is practiced by thousands of children as a great way to stay physically and mentally fit.
It is also a great physical exercise for children. Martial arts are not a treatment for children with ADHD but they do help them a lot. Why?
- Routines stimulate attention: in martial arts a series of routines or coordinated movements are carried out, these movements follow an order. For example, you cannot raise your hand if you have not advanced your foot before, or you cannot rotate your hips if you have not placed your body in position before. All these routines help children with concentration problems a lot, since they promote attention and, of course, memory.
- They learn gradually: the learning of martial arts is done progressively, they will gradually learn the different katas, that is, the sequence of predetermined movements. When doing a kata, the whole mind and body must be focused on it, therefore it is an excellent way to promote concentration.
- They have to achieve goals: In martial arts, each child progresses at his or her own pace, some manage to climb the belt in a short time and others need more. However, every time they reach a higher level they get a belt of another color, this helps ADHD children to be motivated and to fight for a goal. And the thing is that children with little ability to concentrate tend to become demotivated right away if there is no achievement, a prize.
- Personal growth is reinforced: ADHD children have a hard time taking on competition with other children, which is why they tend to reject sports in which they believe that they will not stand out from other children. Karate, judo or taekwondo is based on personal improvement, there is no place to look bad in front of teammates because they did not score a goal or because they did not score a basket.
- Channel excess energy: For hyperactive children the practice of a sport is essential, it helps them release all that energy that seems inexhaustible. Both martial arts training sessions and kata themselves are an excellent vehicle to bring out your anger, frustration, or excess energy.
- Promotes self-esteem: Martial arts for children with concentration problems are great because they tend to get a lot of reprimands in general for everything and this causes their self-esteem to suffer. However, martial arts help them to believe in themselves, since they see that they are achieving achievements, and they do it with their effort, and this fosters a better vision of themselves.
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