Children with ADHD all too often struggle in both academic and social environments. Struggling to focus, a child’s natural ability to achieve success and thrive is hindered, leaving a discouraging uphill battle for much of their life. However, many children with ADHD have found a holistic solution that teaches self-control, confidence, mental and physical discipline and the value of goal-oriented work.
Students of Shotokan Karate – a traditional Japanese Karate art that intertwines mental and physical mastery – have found that challenges, such as ADHD, don’t define them or their ability to succeed in life.
Martial arts in general teach a variety of benefits to students, which are especially applicable to those with special needs – such as ADHD. As shown in a 2004 study on the effects of martial arts training and student academic performance, those involved in training demonstrated increased homework completion, classroom preparedness and overall academic performance, with a reduction in behavioral issues. Including commitment, discipline, the value of hard work and mental focus, students develop many skills that are easily transitioned into other daily activities – such as school, social environments and even the home.
While all martial arts forms are beneficial, traditional Japanese Shotokan Karate delivers especially powerful benefits for those with cognitive challenges.
Due to the intense emphasis on mental strength and mastery, as a foundation for physical development, Shotokan Karate’s focus aligns seamlessly with students with ADHD. Grounded in tradition, Karate is studied as a way of life. This leads to a natural emphasis on character development, practical mental strengthening and positive habit development – including respect for authority figures, appreciation of knowledge and the importance of focus for goal achievement.
Gin Ryu passionately teaches the benefits of Shotokan Karate, with a special mission of helping to serve the special needs community in Richmond and the greater Central Kentucky area. We currently serve many special needs students, and are pleased at the monumental progress they are making at the dojo and in their everyday lives.