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Kevin Maginnis talks about the fit between ADD and Zen practice.


Benefits of Martial Arts for ADHD Students

By Lesley Jackson, High School teacher, black belt, Taekwondo teacher and deputy Editor of Martial Edge.

This High School teacher and Martial Arts teacher explains how students with ADHD can benefit from the Martial Arts, and gives some specific tips on how Martial Arts instructors can be more effective in teaching their ADHD students. She also give some links to other articles on ADHD and the Martial Arts.


Martial Arts and ADHD Behavioral Study

The Effects of Mixed Martial Arts on Behavior of Male Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Specifically Aikido, Karate and Judo By: Matthew K. Morand. Very comprehensive study check out the charts, quite dramatic changes. I've done two of those three martial arts (Aikido & Judo) & highly recommend them if it's the right fit and a good teacher.

"In this research the effectiveness of a martial arts program two times per week at increasing the percentage of completed homework, frequency of following specific classroom rules, improve academic performance, and improve classroom preparation was explored. In addition, decreasing maladaptive behaviors including necessity for redirection to task, inappropriately calling out in class, and inappropriately leaving the seat during class were explored.
Participants were assigned to a martial arts intervention, exercise intervention, or control group condition and data was collected on the behaviors exhibited in school."

"Results of this study were determined by a comparison between pre scores and post scores on the rating scale. Five of seven hypotheses were supported. Martial Arts was proven to increase percentage of homework completion, academic performance, and percentage of classroom preparation while decreasing the number of classroom rules broken and times inappropriately leaving the seat. This study lends empirical support to martial arts as a positive intervention for children with ADHD. Results of the study are discussed in terms of future interventions in the physical education classroom or in a private setting to help children control symptoms associated with ADHD."


Turning Fidgets Into Karate Kicks; Some Find That Martial Arts Ease Attention Disorders NY Times

"The martial arts demand a kind of concentration that forces coordination of the attention centers in the brain: the frontal cortex, the cerebellum and the limbic system, Dr. Ratey said. That coordination skill is erratic when individuals have attention disorders, he added. The martial arts, which are repetitive, slow, structured and individualistic, facilitate a learning of the coordination skill that is digestible for those with attention disorders, he said, adding that dancing and gymnastics might have similar benefits. ''This is not a cure,'' Dr. Ratey added, ''but it is certainly a useful intervention.''

"The most beneficial of the martial arts for children with the disorder are the ones that have less a focus on contact fighting, like akido, or seido karate, which includes meditation, parents and instructors said. The meditation forces a ''certain level of calm and concentration,'' according to Paul Sookdar, 34, the black belt instructor and founder of the Riverdale Seido Karate dojo."


The effects of yoga on the attention and behavior of boys with ADHD

From the Journal of Attention Disorders 2004. Warning contains technical language that may not be suitable for people unfamiliar with medicalese. The group doing yoga showed a reduction in oppositional behavior, emotional lability (mood swings), and restlessness and impulsivity.


Yoga for the Special Child

is a comprehensive program of yoga techniques designed to enhance the natural development of children with special needs including ADHD and Learning Disabilities. She's the author of Yoga for the Special Child

On a personal note, I've done yoga off and on for more than a decade and when I finish a class it definitely helps with my focus and energy. It gives me energy but a calm non scattered energy. Great for stress relief, body awareness and peace of mind.



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