Natural help for adhd / add through martial arts (adhd/add kids focus)

Natural help for adhd /add through martial arts
Written by a Polk County school teacher who believes in Wing Chun Kung Fu Martial Arts in Downtown Lakeland This article was provided to Wing Chun Martial Arts, Kung Fu and Jiujitsu in Downtown, Lakeland “Wing Chun Martial Arts and Kung Fu” is run by Justin Och an Advanced Wing Chun Kung Fu practitioner with over 20+ years experience in the martial arts.  Awarded by the USA Black Belt Hall of Fame “Inspirational Leader in Combative Wing Chun” and “Wing Chun Kung Fu Instructor of the Year”. Our Lakeland Martial Art School is located in Lakeland Florida (Polk County) at 116 east pine street, Lakeland Florida

Natural help for adhd / add through martial arts instruction

These days you don’t have to look far to find children suffering  from ADD, ADHD, and other sensory and mood disorders.  Some have been  carefully and expertly diagnosed.  A large contingency of people feel  that these diagnoses are handed out much too generously and without  proper evaluation, however.  A child can’t sit still in his or her  seat, and they are promptly labeled.  Parent’s are frustrated with  speedy judgments and rightly so.  But being desperate for help and  worrying that their child’s social life is soon to be suffering,  some tentatively resort to medication.

According to Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of  Medicine, ADHD is more common in boys than girls, is hereditary, and  symptoms must be present for at least six months for a true diagnosis  to be considered.  They also urge parents to get professional advice  rather than making self diagnoses.

The most common symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, inattention or  short attention span, impulsivity, short temper, and organizational  challenges.  ADD is much the same, minus the hyperactivity.   Interestingly, these characteristics are present only when children  are disinterested in the topic that they are being required to give  attention to.  According to “It isn’t that children  with ADD/ADHD can’t pay attention: When they’re doing things they  enjoy or hearing about topics in which they’re interested, they  have no trouble focusing and staying on task. But when the task is  repetitive or boring, they quickly tune out.”

As a teacher, it is especially challenging trying to make every lesson sufficiently interesting and varied so as to keep all children engaged at all times.  Even when I do my best,  it’s often still not enough to prevent some “tuning out”.   Children these days seem to lack the discipline it takes to stay in  tune with their surroundings.  Perhaps this is due to limited  practice in doing so?

When I say discipline, I’m referring to the following definition:   “training to act in accordance with rules;  drill: military discipline”. It can also refer to “activity,  exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.

My personal belief (which is shared by a majority of my colleagues)  is that overstimulation with media plays a big part in this “absence  of discipline” for several reasons.  Media is everywhere and easily  accessible.  Hand held games can be played while riding in the car.   Kids text constantly, even while in class (says my son who shall not  be named).  The internet can be accessed by phone.  What better way  to keep kids quiet and entertained?   It’s an “instant oatmeal  world” as my husband calls it. How can we teachers compare to that?   We’re not animated, we don’t have sound effects, and  unfortunately for our students they can’t “turn us off” when  they’re tired of us.  Whatever happened to good old fresh air and  sunshine?  Climbing trees?  Doing things as a family?

Over-use of technology is attributed to another growing concern when  it comes to children: obesity.  Statistics say that cases of  childhood obesity are becoming more and more prevalent.  Not only do  extremely overweight children have to endure humiliation, taunting  and teasing from peers, they are at increased risk for a myriad of  health issues.  Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood  pressure, and sleep apnea sound like conditions only an adult would  have to suffer.  However the occurrence of these health problems is  increasing at an alarming rate.  In addition, these children are at  higher risk of developing, liver diseases, orthopedic problems and  asthma.  Many continue to struggle with their weight even into  adulthood.

No matter where you look for support,  all sources will recommend some basic guidelines.  Eat healthy meals  in appropriate proportions, have healthy snack choices available,  limit “screen time”, and exercise daily. If you  suspect that your child might be carrying too much weight you can go  online to any BMI calculator website, plug in your child’s  information, and see how he or she measures up.   BMI stands for Body  Mass Index, is calculated using a person’s weight and height, and  is a fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people.

Whether your child has a professionally evaluated case of condition  “X” or simply has an overabundance of energy, why not consider an  exercise program that is beneficial for children in general,  ESPECIALLY those with specific needs, and for the whole family as a  unit?  Not as a cure, but as an aid to developing discipline, keeping  weight in check, and increasing self-esteem

One obvious choice is martial arts.  Of course while participating in  any group activity the technology would have to be put aside for 30  to 60 minutes.  But tell your kids it will be well worth the  sacrifice.  They’ll get all of the above benefits, and all the  while have IMMENSE fun!  Not all martial arts programs are the same,  however.  So how do you go about finding the right one?  My advice as  a mother of three and teacher of many is to actually go to a martial  arts center; ask a lot of questions, watch an actual class.  See what  fits you/your family best.

There are several in Lakeland,  including one that I’m personally very fond of; Master Wing Chun  Martial Arts on downtown Pine Street. What I like about  this particular facility is their mission statement.  Owner Justin  Och boasts that his program offers Martial Arts with a purpose; practical skills rather than flamboyant moves are  taught.  He has been employed previously by other martial arts  centers that teach “fancy moves”, kicks, and punches. This  experience is what prompted him to open his own place.  Adults and  children alike will learn self defense moves.  Adults will be taught  to protect themselves from other adults; children against potential  kidnappers and the “choke holds” other kids might put on them  (which Mr. Och says is becoming quite common).  After people have had  training in handling a sword or knife they’ll know how to use it,  not just twirl it around for show.

I actually came across Master Wing Chun  when seeking out guidance from an herbologist (Justin Och) for some  health issues. I personally have not taken a class yet, but am  anxious to do so after my daughter and I witnessed a class! We were  so excited about signing up that we went home and told the rest of  the family about it.  Now, they want to try it as well.

Several classes are offered at Master  Wing Chun Martial Arts, including Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Self  Defense, Boot Camp and more.  Everyone is welcome whether you are an  adult, child, beginner or if you have experience in martial arts.   Seven to ten instructors are present during any given class, so  personal attention is available at all times.  Check out their  website for pictures, videos, and details on classes.

Sifu (meaning “master” or  “teacher”- pronounced “see – fu”) Och is personable and  friendly, yet at the same time he is quite intense, and passionate  about sharing his knowledge.  Not only is he a master at martial  arts, he is a trained iridologist and herbologist, and can assist you  with health and weight loss issues.  After one conversation you’ll  realize that he offers a wealth of knowledge.  If you happen to stop  by while a class is taking place, be prepared to be impressed!   Students are friendly, focused, and without a doubt thrilled to be  there.

Children reap the benefits  and create healthy habits that will follow them throughout their  lives:

RESPECT: Children learn to bow  to the masters who came before them, and to their current  instructors. They also learn to treat other students as they wish to  be treated.

According to many  parents whose children have ADHD state that their kids have had great  success with these types of programs because self-control and  concentration are the precise skills that need development.  But,  say experts, it’s the respect kids learn that can be the most  important benefit: It often carries over into school, helping to  improve behavior and even grades, according to recent research.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T….As a teacher, that’s  GREAT news for me!  It’s Great news all the way around, actually.   Imagine less negative feedback and more positive feedback from your  child’s teacher.  Imagine your child showing you and others more  respect.  Imagine your child bringing home better grades due to his  increased ability to focus, and the self-pride that goes hand in hand  with an impressive report card!

FITNESS: The movements of the  martial art itself often challenge your muscles and cardiovascular  system. Martial artists are known for being toned, flexible and  physically fit.

SELF DEFENSE: The ability to  defend yourself against an assailant is an empowering feeling. Master  Wing Chun Martial Arts uses self defense as a cornerstone of the  entire program.

SELF DISCIPLINE: Martial  arts help instill mental focus in your child, giving her the ability  to concentrate on a task and see it through to its conclusion.

SELF  CONFIDENCE: A child who is  involved in martial arts is generally a child who is confident in  herself. Martial Arts helps a child develop measurable goals to  follow that are realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment a  child feels by mastering a new technique follows him everywhere he  goes.


Take the time to stop by and chat with  Sifu Och.  If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on an opportunity  of a lifetime.  As he puts it, “There’s only so much time in a  day.  How are you going to invest it?”  He issues a warning,  however:


a non-paid article written by Cheryl Pace     

Teacher, ADHD/ADD child assistant, Writer

Natural Help for ADHD/ADD Through Martial Arts

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