Martial arts are great for the children with special needs because they are just an “art.” It includes self-expression and a competition against themselves rather than others; a parent’s first instinct about activities that include kicking, punching, breaking things and yelling is probably that they aren’t really the best things for their child. Martial arts are different systems and practices, including boxing, karate, taekwondo, muay thai and capoeira. And while kicking, punching, breaking things and yelling are a part of many of the practices, the skills learned are a great therapy for children with attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.
Consistency – Classes are typically scheduled once a week at the same time and moves within the practices include a lot of repetition.
Discipline – Martial arts promote respect in the practices and self respect (keeping uniforms crisp and clean is one of them).
Concentration – Remembering each move requires complete focus.
Coordination – Like many sports, martial arts help children excel physically.
Balance – This includes internal and external mind balance.
Fun exercises – While martial arts are serious practices, the exercises are also fun to learn.
Confidence – There may not be trophies like in some sports, but there is personal gratification in succeeding in certain levels of martial arts and graduating to the next level. In some of them, a new belt color is given.
These days, individuals are turning towards martial arts for the benefits of the mind and the body. So for the mind, it’s working on focus and attention, and the body, it’s working on motor skills, fine and gross, as well as core muscles. Parents of children with special needs often have to explore different ways to help their children. Some of the most unique activities can help the most!