Parents of children with challenging behaviors seek to find answers for effective treatments, at home and outside the home. Many have sought psychological therapy and treatment with pharmaceuticals. Can martial arts training help or hinder progress for aggressive children?
We have written about the potential benefits of martial arts training for children with hyperactivity and ADD. The right martial arts school can provide a safe and communal environment and offer those children an effective outlet to expend energy. Some behavioral experts, like Ann Skinner, a researcher with Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy, now recommend martial arts training for aggressive children.
Is martial arts training a catalyst for aggressive behavior?
Even parents with non-aggressive children often ask if martial arts training will encourage aggressive or violent behaviors. They fear that teaching children striking skills might encourage them to adapt hitting in a violent manner to their everyday lives. At The Peaceful Dragon, we understand those concerns, and know that if your child exhibits aggressive behavior already, you will be even warier of teaching them kung fu. Our martial arts school is not structured in a way that would teach your child that fighting is positive behavior. Our family martial arts program teaches not only real self-defense, it instills greater respect for others, teaches stress management, better focus and concentration, and self-confidence…just to name a few. Our goal at The Peaceful Dragon is to enhance your child’s overall health and well-being through traditional kung fu with a complete character-building-focused curriculum.
Review from a parent of one of our students: “Carrie has gained self esteem and self confidence. She also has increased her endurance and has no problem running the required distances at school. She has also learned to focus, so her attention span has increased. She has a better attitude, is more positive in her thinking and more health conscious. All the parents here are working to one goal, which is the improvement of our children’s lives.”
Martial arts can decrease aggression.
One study conducted by behavioral and brain research experts says that, “Martial arts appear to be a worthwhile intervention in reducing aggressive behavior.” This study followed more than 500 children, aged six to 18, stating that while less aggression was noted, the mechanisms by which aggression was lessened with martial arts training will require further observation. While there are no guarantees that martial arts training will be the answer to your child’s challenging behaviors, it can be an effective therapeutic addition to current treatment strategies. We must seek to first understand these behaviors to address them meaningfully.
The information provided in this blog is to address the potential behavioral improvements martial arts can provide aggressive or challenged-behavior children. It is meant to inform readers and should not be taken as clinical advice.
If you are considering martial arts training for your behaviorally-challenged child, speak with The Peaceful Dragon about our family martial arts classes. We are rated one of the top martial arts schools in the United States. Start today with a free semi-private introductory martial arts lesson and studio tour. Call to schedule. 704-504-8866