The PRESCRIPTION for ADHD Could be
by; Bill Woodard
College Rd. Karate Dojo
I have been involved and teaching the martial arts for over 30 years. In this time I have seen and heard of
many different formulas for teaching and training children. At a recent conference held in Orlando one subject came up I have
known for many years.
Martial Arts can be beneficial in the growth and development of our kids.
Not all martial arts are helpful nor should be taught to children. Anyone interested in enrolling your child
in a class of this type should do a certain amount of research first. You should make sure the instruction you subject your
child to is on a professional level by a qualified and certified Instructor and not just one that looks pretty by someone
that once studied the art and then reinvented it to suit their economic needs.
Today many qualified Psychologist are referring their patience to Martial Arts Classes.
At a recent presentation at the North American Professional Martial Arts World Conference DR Ruth Peters
informed the industry that when she treats ADHD children she prescribes Martial Arts Classes.
Dr. Ruth Peters has specialized in treating children, adolescents and families for over 20 years. Her focus
has been upon teaching parents how to control their difficult children, as well as how to motivate kids to reach their academic
One of the solutions she attempts when working with ADHD or children with other behavioral problems
is to send them to a martial arts school. "It's one of the first things I do rather than fill them up with Ritalyn" the Dr.
This is why the right type of martial arts instructor is so important. It is important to teach these children
focus, how to manage their anger and how to develop self-discipline.
By learning focus and self-discipline they hopefully will not be "in your face kids". They will learn
their boundaries and will not be the subject or brunt of bullies because you've taught them to be good people.
Just teaching the child to say "yes sir" or yes mam" in the karate school means little, if they
do not learn to generalize and use the same behavior at home or at school.
Who are these kids Dr. Ruth Peters is sending to martial arts instructors? They are Attention Deficit kids
and uncooperative kids. Everyone knows an ADHD kid or uncooperative child. We see them at school, in the store, and at playgrounds.
About 10-15 percent of our population has been diagnosed with having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). There
are more boys than girls diagnosed with ADHD. The range goes from 4 to 1 up to 8 to 1.
Does Martial Arts Work? Dr. Peters seems to think it works about 50% of the time. She states it works
only when the instructors personality is that of compassion and kid smart. Knowing Kid's human nature-or have firm, strict
rules, can actually damage a child's composure and self-esteem. The instructor must be able to set goals for the child to
attain. This will allow them to see they can accomplish what they set out to and give them a respect not only for their teacher
but also for their parents.
The conference was very enlightening and reassuring that what I have been teaching all of these years and
have known to work has finally been brought into the medical society. I have worked with many of our local Psychologist, and
Psycho therapist with exactly what Dr. Peters is now presenting to the Martial Arts Communities all over the country.
Beth Robinson, MS. submitted the following letter to our facility here in Ocala.
I have provided individual and family counseling in Marion County since 1998 at Adult and Child Counseling
Center. I also supervise a group home of teenaged girls for the Children's Home Society. I have found over the years that
structured physical activity helps children with ADHD channel their energy in a positive constructive direction and improve
self-esteem. Martial Arts, in particular teach children with impulse problems to use physical restraint of self and others.
My personal experience lies with the difference Bill Woodard and the Karate Dojo has made in my life through my son who is
7 years old. The attitude and self-esteem change has been dramatic. Until he began Karate a year ago my son had very little
motivation to pay attention to detail. He would not try new things because he was afraid of failing. Now, he displays perseverance,
looks forward to a challenge and demonstrates a much greater respect for authority. This is due to Mr. Woodard's tremendous
patience, calm even temper and example of excellence he sets for all of the participants, especially children at his center.
I highly recommend his Karate Dojo,
Beth Robinson, MS.
My personal method of teaching my students with the Hyperactive or impulsive behavior is to use intermittent
reinforcement. I have found this works well as we do not spend to much time on any one exercise or training lesson, we may
return to the lesson in a few minutes but it gives the students mind a chance to focus on another task. In this way they will
learn by repetition and feel the sense of accomplishment. Once they have accomplished a goal there should be some sort of
a praise for their effort. This starts the feeling of I can and therefore boosts their self-esteem. You must understand that
when teaching a child with behavioral problems they do not intend to ignore or not listen to you their minds are busy, they
may hear you in the background but do not grasp concepts. My feelings is to use incentives before punishment. I will use facial
expression, or gentle verbal disapproval. Then try to use the praise again when they are doing well or listening.
These disorders do not correct themselves overnight they must be reinforced at home as well. Our children
grow up so quickly and should be enjoyed while we still have them at home. Martial Arts is a great family activity. It will
set the stage for many memories and provides a great feeling of togetherness no other sport can match.
Karate is also a wonderful exercise that can be performed in a group or solo. The amount of cardio is limited
only to the enthusiasm one puts into the routine. Karate is second only to swimming in the amount of calories burned
off by a single workout.
Bill Woodard owns and operates the Ocala Karate Dojo
which has been serving the families of Marion County
past 18 years. He invites everyone to stop and visit his facility at
2611 SW College Rd. Ocala,
FL. Or call for information 352 237 9076