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Blog KENTUCKIANA SHOTOKAN KARATE-DO How Karate Training Can  Help Kids with ADD/ADHD

It seems Like I’ve heard something about kids with developmental or behavior issues can be a handful.  Well that hasn’t been the case in the Karate Dojo that I train at. We’ve actually found that Martial Arts can be a form of natural and highly effective “medication” for these kids. And now there’s actual evidence to back that up.

ImpactADHD.com published an article by a 23 year karate practitioner, Bryan Hampton,  who has suffered from ADHD his entire life and used Karate training to deal with it. He has also worked with kids dealing with a wide range of challenges including ADD/ADHD.  He points out 4 key benefits that Karate has for these children:


1. Social development – Teaching the importance of leadership, teamwork, respect, accountability and honesty. Through in class drills and mat chats, instructors talk about key points of leadership development. Students learn how to communicate with one another in an effective manner. Giving requirements to kids with ADD/ADHD builds responsibility and independence. Holding them accountable for their actions is a huge step in their development.

Related article: 12 Reasons Karate Training is Better for Your Kid Than team Sports

2. Emotional development– Building self-confidence, mental/physical control, courage and perseverance (what I believe to be one of the most important lessons we teach). Students are challenged to go above and beyond the expectations they have set for themselves, encouraged to never give up on their goals, never letting limitations or setbacks stop them from becoming successful. For children with ADD/ADHD, mental/physical control can be very difficult to manage. Martial arts engage and stimulate the mind and body from start to finish.

3. Intellectual Development- Learning how to focus and training to become self- disciplined. (Focus was the main reason why my parents enrolled me in Martial Arts). Since our kids with ADD/ADHD constantly struggle with focusing and staying on task, we treat the brain just like every other muscle in the body, pushing it to its limits with memory and concentration games, as well as educating each student in how to apply every skill we learn in the studio, at home, at school and everywhere else they go.

4. Physical Development- Training the body to have balance, speed, agility, flexibility, strength and coordination. Every class is a challenge, working on a range of important health and fitness aspects that apply to every sport and physical activity. Everything we teach creates a strong foundation of functional movements that enhances athleticism. Physical activity is one of the best releases for children with ADD/ADHD. It helps stimulate the brain for better focus and performance.

All of these areas of development are applicable to every aspect of life. For children with ADD/ADHD, learning how to implement these is particularly important, as it enables them to embrace the positive traits of ADD/ADHD and challenge the negative ones. We teach our students to be role models and to strive for greatness, to take challenges head on and believe in themselves no matter what differences they have.


If you want to give your child the opportunity to experience the benefits of Karate training and you live in the Louisville, Kentucky area, come by our dojo and let them try it out for 2 weeks for free. Or if you know that karate training is something you want to pursue for your child you can click the button below to sign them up.

Related article: 7  Reasons to Put Your in Karate…Like Now

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