9 Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues | Martial Arts of West End
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Sam Kalinoski reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
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This is such a great school! They honestly care about you as a person first, not just a member. They also honestly teach you the arts and how to apply it in real life situations. This school dosen’t “sell belts” like other schools in the area; trust me... I did my homework, and did the trials; this is the best school in the area, maybe even Richmond

Doug Beisch

I have been a student of martial arts for more than 20 years and am a certified instructor in more than one art. I took my 2 young children here 5 years ago, and was impressed by the teaching acumen and the firm but fair attitude of Master Hubley and his cadre of instructors. While it may not be the most “martial” of martial arts schools, the children learn discipline, manners, self-respect, leadership, physical fitness, teamwork and myriad values that aid them them in achieving higher plateaus in their journey of life. Master Hubley is a true master in his mannerisms with children and his martial arts acumen. I am proud to send my children here and will continue to do so because it has been such a positive influence on their lives (self confidence, fitness and overall well being). Not my primary concern, but it is also one of the most affordable and enriching after-school programs available.

Aleric Harris reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End has been in my life for 7 years, and has become a passion of mine, I haven't only grown as a person physically, but in other aspects like mentally, morally, and financially. From utilizing strong self defense to beautiful traditional forms and breaking your limits even when you think you can't, Martial Arts of West End is the place to be, with amazing instructors and the one and only Master Erik Hubley, you can accomplish anything. MAWE becomes your family always backing you up and being there for you, I don't know what I'd do without it, I love it!!!

Charli Barber reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End is fantastic! The instructors are top notch, the curriculum is fast paced & fun and everyone treats you like family. Such an amazing workout and great life lessons. My son and I love MAWE!

Todd Soren reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

I simply can't say enough about Martial Arts of West End! Each instructor is fantastic and unique and brings their own style and perspective to the common values of the teachings. The family culture is welcoming and inclusive and creates an atmosphere that is always positive, encouraging, and supportive. Going to class several times a week has become a special bonding opportunity for my daughter and me to which we truly look forward. Whatever your motives -- be it learning self-defense, physical fitness, or just a hobby to keep busy -- Martial Arts of West End will no doubt exceed your expectations and help you become the very best version of yourself in the process.

Shannon Carr reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End is a fantastic place to train martial arts. Classes are fun, the people are friendly, and the instructors take the time to tailor instruction to the individual. They work with people with any sort of obstacle or challenge to best meet their needs. Training at this school is rigorous and challenging, but it is also accessible to anyone, young or not-so-young, fit or ready to become fit, new or experienced.

Jeneva Hockett reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

I can't say enough about this place. My kids have been there a few years now and I couldn't ask for a better place for them. Master Hubley not only teaches martial arts, but true deep down core values that so many children lack today. He also maintains great relationships and communication with parents. He truly cares whole heartedly for each individual child and their families. For our family martial arts of west end is not just an after school program- they're also a PART of our family

Courtenay Fisher reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Exceptional, nurturing, empowering, confidence-building, mentally and physically challenging, and so much more. These are just a few of the words I could use to describe this wonderful school.

We were fortunate to become part of the Martial Arts of West End family a few years ago. I had studied martial arts many years earlier, but wanted to begin again and give my kids the benefit of martial arts training. Master Hubley and all the instructors immediately drew us in with their family-friendly program and their genuine interest in our success.

Bill Norris reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Master Hubley and his team run a wonderful program. They teach kids discipline, respect, self-confidence, and the power of setting/achieving your goals. If you are up for it, they will teach parents the same thing. Join a great program that you can do with your children. Its well worth it.

Kelli Cannon Brown reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Martial Arts of West End provides outstanding after school and summer camp care for kids!! We've been members of Master Hubley's school for almost 7 years for two kids and I can honestly say that we've never considered another option once we started! Outstanding in every aspect!

Smita Lal reviewed Martial Arts of West End
5
via Facebook

Me and my 5 years old son joined the martial arts seven months back with apprehension because this was our first time but I am happy to say that Master Hubley, Master Davis and all other instructors and members are very cooperating, helpful and patient with us as well as with all other students. I highly recommend this martial art class. This is a great place to learn taekwando.
Front desk staff is also cheerful and helpful. Lots of respect to Master Hubley! Thank you Sir.

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9 Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

9 Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

At a Glance
Martial arts are self-defense practices, like karate, judo and tae kwon do.
They focus on individual progress and can be a good alternative to team sports.
Martial arts aren’t a “treatment” for learning and attention issues, but they can help with self-esteem, coordination and executive functioning.
Exercise is great for every kid. But children with learning and attention issues can have a hard time finding a sport or physical activity that suits them.

They may not have the social or physical skills to participate on a team. They may not have the coordination for activities like skating or ballet. They may find it too hard to follow rules, or they may be bullied or left out.

Many families discover that martial arts are an excellent option. Read on to learn about what martial arts are and why they can be a good fit for kids with learning and attention issues

What Martial Arts Are

Martial arts are an ancient practice from Asia. They were originally meant for self-defense. Today, lots of people practice martial arts as a way to build physical and mental strength.

There are many different forms of martial arts. Some—like karate and tae kwon do—focus on striking and blocking. Others—like judo and jiu-jitsu—focus on wrestling and grappling. All use deliberate and repetitive motions and emphasize the connection between mind and body.

Many parents believe the benefits of martial arts are more than just physical for their kids. They say martial arts can help to improve kids’ self-control, attention and other executive functioning skills.

There is some research supporting this, says Kimberley D. Lakes, Ph.D., of the Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. However, she warns, most studies have been done on schoolchildren in the general population. Few have focused on kids with learning and attention issues.

There’s also no solid evidence showing that martial arts can be a substitute for medication and other treatments for learning and attention issues.

What Martial Arts Can Offer Kids With Learning and Attention Issues


There are lots of reasons martial arts can be a good match for kids with learning and attention issues. Here are nine potential benefits:

1) They focus on individual growth, not on team competition. Many kids with learning and attention issues struggle with the pressure of having to compete with other kids. So traditional sports may not appeal to them. But in martial arts, the focus is on self-improvement. There’s no “letting down the team.”

 

2) They offer concrete, attainable goals. Some kids with learning and attention issues may feel like they never “win” at anything. In martial arts, kids work at their own pace. They’re awarded a different colored belt every time they reach a new skill level. This can boost self-esteem and keep them motivated.

 

3) Routines are broken down into manageable chunks. A technique or form in martial arts can have dozens of different movements. But kids learn gradually, repeating and adding steps as they go. They learn to anticipate which step comes next and eventually put everything together into fluid movements. All of this gives working memory a workout, but in a way that kids may find manageable.

 

4) They emphasize self-control and concentration. Attention is central to martial arts. Kids must stay focused to learn and to perform. When a child’s focus drifts, instructors will often ask them to take the “ready stance.” This position allows them to reset and ready themselves for what’s next.

 

5) They can help with coordination. The deliberate, repetitive movements of martial arts can help kids develop a better feel for their body in space, which can be useful to kids who struggle with motor skills. This may also help some kids understand the power of the mind over the body, which some find to be valuable for kids with ADHD.

 

6) They provide structure and clear expectations for behavior. Good martial arts instructors have clear rules and constantly reinforce them. They also emphasize good behavior in and out of class. Some even send kids home with behavior charts their parents must sign.

 

7) They can provide a safe outlet for excess energy. Contrary to what some might expect, martial arts don’t encourage violent behavior. In fact, instructors often emphasize that fighting is a last resort. At the same time, kicking and karate chopping can allow kids to work out frustration or anger, while also practicing self-control.


8) The environment is accepting and communal. Respect is a core value in martial arts. Students are expected to show it for their instructor and their peers. Negativity is generally not tolerated in class, and students are encouraged to support each other.

 

9) They’re just plain cool! Kids with learning and attention issues can often feel awkward or socially out of the loop. But lots of kids think martial arts are cool. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re wearing martial arts gear and breaking boards in half.

What to Look For in a Martial Arts Class

Your neighborhood may have classes for many different kinds of martial arts. Some, like mixed martial arts (or MMA), are more aggressive and are generally not the best choice for kids.

Most youth classes teach tae kwon do or karate. The type you choose for your child, though, isn’t as important as how a studio approaches instruction.

Before you sign on, meet with the head of the studio. Be honest about your child’s challenges. Explain what you’re hoping he can get out of the class.

For the best experience, the school you choose should:

Take a traditional approach that focuses on character development.
Provide a pre-evaluation so the instructor can assess your child’s strengths and challenges. 

You can also see if your child and the instructor are a good fit.
Have a low student-to-teacher ratio. Ideally, each class would have at least two instructors. If there are too many students, your child will not get the individualized attention he needs.
Have experience teaching kids with learning and attention issues. While it’s important for instructors to push students, they should also be supportive and understanding about your child’s challenges.


Martial arts can provide a great opportunity for your child to develop higher self-esteem, find community and experience success.


Key Takeaways:
Martial arts focus on engaging the mind as well as the body.
They emphasize respect, self-control, focus and individual achievement.
The type of martial art you choose for your child is not as important as a studio’s approach to instruction.