ADHD: 3 Ways Jiu Jitsu Can help

A recent survey for the CDC (Center for Disease Control) showed that approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.

Deciding if a child has ADHD is often a difficult process as there is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms.

And to make it even more difficult, there are distinct differences in the way that ADHD shows up in boys versus girls.The Boys with ADHD tend to be easier to identify, as their boundless energy often disrupts activities and exhausts their teachers and parents. Girls, however, tend to be quieter and better able to mask the kinds of difficulties ADHD causes. As a result, ADHD in girls is often overlooked – sometimes until middle school, high school or even adulthood.

Here are 3 reasons can be a game changer if your child or adolescent is struggling with ADHD:

Burn the Extra Energy but no Punches and Kicks here
Many kids with ADHD experience hyperactivity, what better outlet for all that excess energy that a physical activity that is also teaching them self-defense and self-control! Many parentally of kids with extra energy steer away from martial arts because of fear their child may become more aggressive. That is a very common question and valid concern, however, kids tend to become more mindful and restful. Additionally, our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu allows us to focus on grappling hold and pinning holds as self-defense techniques so parents don’t have to worry about punches and kicks being thrown at siblings and little cousins. We also teach alongside our techniques, a heavy emphasis on character development and that techniques are only used as a last resort.

Finding Focus in Structure
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes are very structured, typically a class opening by the Coach followed by a Warm Up that involves calisthenics and Jiu Jitsu skills such as falling safely and movement drills. Following is the technique portion of the class where takedowns and pin holds as well as escapes are practiced. Each session of class requires concentration not only to execute the required movements but also to follow instruction and anticipate the next session of class. Usually, classes end with games such as tug-of-war, dodgeball or relay races.

Focus Leads to Confidence and High Self Esteem
During the first class almost every new student, kids or adults, ADHD or not – looks lost … however, in just a few classes he or she learns the rhythm and flow of class and will look as if they had been with us for years.
To first try and fail and then try and succeed, under a controlled environment, builds confidence in children like nothing else!

To see a child that has been suffering from bullying, or is struggling to keep her weight down and off course children diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and even in the Autism spectrum is generally a revelation for parents! For us too and we have to say that’s what we do best…better than teaching fighting techniques we teach the kids confidence!

The perfect picture is when one of our JR students get promoted to a higher rank! Their face is brimming with pride and confidence, they know they earned it and very importantly they get cheered on and recognized in front of all their classmates.

I could go on about the more recognizable benefits of training for your children such as self-defense, physical fitness, athleticism and even socialization but I feel focus, discipline, and channeling that endless energy that kids and teens have into something positive rank above the physical benefits.

If this article made you curious about Jiu Jitsu I urge you to find a reputable school that is a convenient drive for you and has a schedule that accommodates your and your child’s needs. It will be a game changer and an incredible empowering activity for your little or ‘not so little anymore’ one and who knows you might just not resist and jump in too…
If you would like some help finding a school near you please feel free to comment or reach me on Facebook Messenger at