Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by TKDRULES, Nov 5, 2003.


    TKDRULES New Member

    Hi, I'm new to this! I am not an instructor, but I am a mother of 2 and my children and I take TKD (ITF)....

    I was just wondering if any of you have taught ADHD children. Our Sabum is terrific with my ADHD son, but we are always looking for any tips that may be helpful!

    He is sometimes does great with his forms, other times, he will forget and be sloppy. He is sometimes very good in class, and sometimes very impulsive and hard to work with. I do not take the class with him.

    I was also wondering if any of you DID teach some ADHD children, where have you or parents see the MOST improvement in the cihld if there was any?

    TKD mom!
  2. Melanie

    Melanie Bend the rules somewhat.. Supporter

    Welcome to the forum :)

    Its nice to hear that more and more avenues are being opened to all types of talented children.

    I hope you find some useful tips from other members here and look forward to hearing more about you and the club you are part of :)
  3. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Hi TKDRULES and welcome to MAP!

    I too am also a TKDmom!

    Our school has had a few students who are ADHD.
    More often than not though, these students tend to disrupt the attention span of the others around them and usually need to be shown some discipline and reminded to correct their behavior, but I do believe eventually training in any martial art teaches control and behavior modification.

    Structure is enforced through the practice of forms and techniques teaching them how to concentrate on what they're doing.
    I believe it is important to offer the student a choice of short term goal such as going from one belt level to the next belt level, or from being a beginner belt level to the long term goal of black belt. Some may get too intimidated by the idea of such training and the choice should be theirs to make.

    The student should be responsible for his/her own progression giving them a sense of responsibility and a feeling of leadership which will help to control of their behavior.

    ADHD students have short attention spans and may need some special attention from their instructor (like pairing up with another student involving drill work) to keep them from being bored.... or even have help with the assisting.

    Patience is certainly an attribute for MA instructors who teach ADHD kids. They are easily discouraged, and criticism is not taken very well. Instructors need to find a way to praise even if the student's technique is not perfect. Instructors should use the concept of Praise, Correct, and Praise.
    They can be taught through martial arts training to slow down when they're going too fast, to concentrate, to focus, to pay attention with forms, to be more self confident with themselves.

    There is more discussion on this here in How do any disabilities/learning difficulties effect your training in a MA?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2003

    TKDRULES New Member

    "ADHD students have short attention spans and may need some special attention from their instructor (like pairing up with another student involving drill work) to keep them from being bored.... or even have help with the assisting."

    Thanks for the great input kickchick...Love that nickname BTW:cool: !!!

    You're right about short attention span. That is one of the major problems with my son. He is 7, not medicated, we have chosen not to medicate and go with diet elimination of what affects his behavior.

    September was 1 year that he has been in TKD...He was in grade 1 last year, and after about 1 month of TKD, the teacher noticed (and she didn't know he had started TKD) that he seemed to have more self control, more respect towards others, his self-esteem also was better.

    He has had his ups and downs. He has done some push ups, but, after doing them, the minute he does something good, Sabum praises him with High fives!

    He also has the small stripes for all kids for good behavior, or good kicks, basically for encouragement...and let me say that for an ADHD child, THAT is MORE important than getting the "big" stripe for good form. ADHD children are also very visual, so these stripes are constant reminder to him of his improvements.

    He is now yellow advanced and is working hard on going for orange.

    Thanks for your reply TKD mom! How old are your children? My son is 7, my daughter is 11.
  5. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Oh you're very welcome (like your name also!;) )

    ... my kids are a bit older 18, 16 and 9. My daughter (16) is a black belt and my older son (18) got to gold belt and the younger one stopped at blue (started playing football instead).

    Although my kids were not ADHD .... training in ma has helped them focus, made them more self confident and "fit" (I think we fail to stress the fitness that kids do lack nowadays).

    I am so happy to hear that you are choosing the route not to medicate. It's true that far too many kids are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and medicated, without first trying behavior and diet modification.

    Wish you the best in your training... your instructor seems to be doing all the right things. Bear in mind your son is still young and regular attention spans at that age are minimal!

    Do stop by the Tae Kwon Do forum and post on our "newbie thread" TKD Check In
  6. tkd ajumma

    tkd ajumma New Member

    I read a book a while ago by Sang H Kim, called Teaching Problem Children (or something like that) - it had a lot of ideas for helping ADHD kids in martial arts.
  7. ClumsyFoot

    ClumsyFoot ITA - Intnl. TKD Alliance

    Greetings, TKDRULES.

    Your post made me get off my backside and register w MAP. Have been observing KickChick and the rest of the crew for some time.

    I had trained for approx 8 years previously (TKD). With a ten-year break... marriage and kids and all... I've recently begun training again, this time with spouse and my older two kiddies.

    My current instructor (Mr. Wiley Robinson) has many years ma intruction experience, recently retired as a critical care registered nurse, and is a specialist in our organization regarding ADHD and ma instruction with youth so diagnosed.

    You might consider viewing his website: You're also welcome to email him to see what suggestions he may have:

    I'm glad you have found an instructor who is willing and able to work with your child. You are VERY fortunate in this respect.

    Best wishes,
    ClumsyFoot (TKD Dad)

    BTW, the organization that I've recently joined is ITA (International Tae Kwon Do Alliance). The level of instruction is superb (much better than my earlier years), and the organization's curriculum appears to be very well organized and formally includes advanced crossover techniques at black belt levels. I hadn't heard of this organization before, but have been very pleased in the last few months. What feedback can anyone else give me on this org?

    Re: protocol... I'm new to this forum stuff. Let me know if I should start a new thread with my inquiry and I'll go figure out how to do it!

    TKDRULES New Member

    You might consider viewing his website: You're also welcome to email him to see what suggestions he may have:

    I'm glad you have found an instructor who is willing and able to work with your child. You are VERY fortunate in this respect.

    Best wishes,
    ClumsyFoot (TKD Dad)

    Thanks for that web site clumsy foot! Really appreciate that. I will be checking it out!

    I have been enjoying the forum on differences between ITF and WTF.... now you say ITA!!!! Phew, confuse a gal eh ? enjoying reading the posts!!! Lots of info in here!

    So you're spouse trains with you and your kids? Awesome, you are a lucky man! My husband is NOT a person for fitness, so I do it and so do my children!

    And you're right, I am VERY fortunate to have a GREAT instructor for both my children and myself. TKD/Martial Arts is his life! I see too many children in this area with different instructors and it's just not the same. You can tell which one's are in it because they LOVE it and want to teach.

    Thanks again dude!
    TKD Mom! :D
  9. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Many thanks for that information ClumsyFoot (but could you please check that link because it does not seem to work) I suppose we can go to direct but which state and academy(?) )
    ... I'm sure not only TKDRULES appreciates the feedback but also others that may need this info in the future.

    As far as "protocol" ... I did see that you started a new thread in our TKD forum regarding your ITA affiliation and your intro which is just fine!

    So glad you came in to observe more closely!!:cool: :D
  10. ClumsyFoot

    ClumsyFoot ITA - Intnl. TKD Alliance

    AH! Sorry the link didn't work.

    Yes, just goto My instructor has the Franklin (Nashville) Tennessee school. You can search to access his school site.
  11. flyingblackbelt

    flyingblackbelt New Member

    my mother studying to be a clinical psychologist and she says that any sport that has a rigid schedule and physical activity will help with adhd. Of course martial arts adds a lot more discipline to that so generally it tends to be more effective.
  12. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Came across this article that listed the best sports for children with ADD to take

    The groups listed start at best and go to worst for ADD kids. These rankings are based on five key areas:
    • Opportunities for Distraction
    • Level of Physical Contact
    • Frustration Factor
    • Complexity of Rules/Strategies
    • Use of Gross Motor Skills

    Sports for ADD Kids

    Martial Arts given the Gold Medal

    TKDRULES New Member

    Thanks kickchick. That was a great article and as I was reading I kept nodding my head and saying, YUP, Yup! WE've tried the baseball with him....but, he got yelled at, he got told to wake up and look around everyone else can play but you. Stop, don't do that, enough.....and so on! He felt stupid. TKD has NONE of that. He feels great about himself. His concentration is much better also. Children with ADHD hear stop don't do that almost all day long, they don't need to hear it when they are suppose to be playing a sport and have fun!

    Thanks again. I also found this article. Thought I'd post in case there are others in the same situation as I am!

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