View Full Version : How does martial arts help ADHD?


PookDo
06-08-12, 11:10 PM
I'm just asking because when my foot heals I'm going to start taking Kali and Muay Thai classes

TheChemicals
06-09-12, 01:19 AM
its doesnt i dont think. Ive taken martial arts for years.

beltoller
06-09-12, 02:30 AM
Muay Thai is not the ladies kick-boxing class. It stands out from the other 'Martial Arts' that you will likely see practised here. As with Golden-Gloves boxing, collegiate level wrestling, etc., it places an extraordinarly high emphasis on conditioning and fitness.

Most martial arts here in the West have been greatly watered down in an attempt to retain students, appeal to suburban kids and their mums that they have in essence become a joke as far as the conditioning goes. Muay Thai is primarily still trained by professional and amateur ( that is someone who fights amateur at a State sactioned event ) fighters and so ( at least for now ) hasn't gone the way of the 'McDojo'.

One of the women who train at our school/gym defeated Japan's Megumi Fujii who was at the time the world's top female MMA fighter!. She trained almost exclusively in Muay Thai for the standup portion of her game.

As far as help with ADHD and the like, I know a gal from Austraila who has
Asperger's Syndrome and she has been alternating between semi-pro boxing and Muay Thai now for some time. She swears by it. I've had my ADHD son training in boxing and Brazilan Jui-Jitsu and I could go on for a very long time about the benefits for people who have the disorder.

I can say that the benefits would probably not be noticed as much if the student were in a less than demanding training environment. It seems, paradoxically, that the harder the training is, the more benefit for people with ADHD and related syndroms.

Hope that motivates you to get in there and stick with it!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKlVUVrigeU&feature=related

zoekate
06-09-12, 03:35 AM
I have limited experience but...

It is a formal, structured environment and yet each student is expected to progress as an individual - this underpins a great acceptance of an individual being non-typical. Mindfulness is encouraged/supported and in the case of better teachers, taught, although they don't usually use the term. So putting those together, I think it is a form of exercise that ADHDers may find better suited to them than most other options - gyms, teamsports, etc. I don't know that it would improve ADHD symptoms beyond what you'd get from any equivalent exercise and de-stressing activity.

beltoller
06-09-12, 03:58 AM
I have limited experience but...

It is a formal, structured environment and yet each student is expected to progress as an individual - this underpins a great acceptance of an individual being non-typical. Mindfulness is encouraged/supported and in the case of better teachers, taught, although they don't usually use the term. So putting those together, I think it is a form of exercise that ADHDers may find better suited to them than most other options - gyms, teamsports, etc. I don't know that it would improve ADHD symptoms beyond what you'd get from any equivalent exercise and de-stressing activity.

I'm glad you brought that up. One problem that ADHD sufferers encounter in typical 'team sports' oriented programmes is needing to negotiate the minefield of social cues, reading body language, etc - something that plagues the ADHDer even in less stressful settings such as school.

The way things are now, you'd think your 7 year old was trying to qualify for a slot in the Manchester or Liverpool FCs. There are no more friendly little pick up games - its all high stakes and for the child who has ADHD, thats really too much to deal with.

Martial arts negates that and offers its practinioners the ability to focus strictly on their skills without having to meander the treacherous waters of social heirarchy within the 'team' evironment.

Drewbacca
06-09-12, 03:58 AM
I've read several studies that tie balancing issues to ADHD. That's not to say that it is a root problem of all ADHD, but there is some evidence that it is an underlying problem in some cases of ADHD. So, it may do nothing. It may just give you a confidence boost. It could make you feel great and energetic. In an unlikely case, it might even improve your balance and thus your ADHD. :)

beltoller
06-09-12, 04:02 AM
I've read several studies that tie balancing issues to ADHD. That's not to say that it is a root problem of all ADHD, but there is some evidence that it is an underlying problem in some cases of ADHD. So, it may do nothing. It may just give you a confidence boost. It could make you feel great and energetic. In an unlikely case, it might even improve your balance and thus your ADHD. :)

More of spatial awareness - which is definately a component of balance. The spatial awareness also segues into ability in maths - something that is often a problem with ADHD sufferers.

PookDo
06-09-12, 12:40 PM
Muay Thai is not the ladies kick-boxing class. It stands out from the other 'Martial Arts' that you will likely see practised here. As with Golden-Gloves boxing, collegiate level wrestling, etc., it places an extraordinarly high emphasis on conditioning and fitness.

Most martial arts here in the West have been greatly watered down in an attempt to retain students, appeal to suburban kids and their mums that they have in essence become a joke as far as the conditioning goes. Muay Thai is primarily still trained by professional and amateur ( that is someone who fights amateur at a State sactioned event ) fighters and so ( at least for now ) hasn't gone the way of the 'McDojo'.

One of the women who train at our school/gym defeated Japan's Megumi Fujii who was at the time the world's top female MMA fighter!. She trained almost exclusively in Muay Thai for the standup portion of her game.

As far as help with ADHD and the like, I know a gal from Austraila who has
Asperger's Syndrome and she has been alternating between semi-pro boxing and Muay Thai now for some time. She swears by it. I've had my ADHD son training in boxing and Brazilan Jui-Jitsu and I could go on for a very long time about the benefits for people who have the disorder.

I can say that the benefits would probably not be noticed as much if the student were in a less than demanding training environment. It seems, paradoxically, that the harder the training is, the more benefit for people with ADHD and related syndroms.

Hope that motivates you to get in there and stick with it!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKlVUVrigeU&feature=related


I'm familiar with Muay Thai. Yes the training is brutal. I trained the phase 1 class at the Minnesota Kali Group ( which is where I will be taking classes shortly) for a week in 2002 and my arms were tore up from holding pads and I felt like I was going to die

PookDo
06-09-12, 12:42 PM
I think its awesome that muay thai makes you lean. Hard to be a good or great muay thai practitioner and be overweight or out of shape

PookDo
06-09-12, 12:44 PM
I love the stuff Tony Jaa does but I believe that's Mauy Boran if I'm right. Looks like a come of Muay Thai , Wing Chun, and Kali if you ask me

ana futura
06-09-12, 02:29 PM
I find it helps with controlling errant thoughts, and it helps develop eye contact, coordination, self awareness, and discipline, all things that ADHD'ers tedn to struggle with. It doesn't "cure" ADHD, but I think it makes living with it easier.

Muay Thai is tough! The training is very physically demanding. Muay Thai and Kali together are an awesome combo. Have fun!

PookDo
06-09-12, 03:15 PM
I find it helps with controlling errant thoughts, and it helps develop eye contact, coordination, self awareness, and discipline, all things that ADHD'ers tedn to struggle with. It doesn't "cure" ADHD, but I think it makes living with it easier.

Muay Thai is tough! The training is very physically demanding. Muay Thai and Kali together are an awesome combo. Have fun!


I know better than to expect a cure for ADHD. I wish. I just need to get in shape, get discipline, better physical and mental awareness and an oulet for the stress and anxiety I have

beltoller
06-10-12, 01:40 AM
I love the stuff Tony Jaa does but I believe that's Mauy Boran if I'm right. Looks like a come of Muay Thai , Wing Chun, and Kali if you ask me


You know your stuff...you gotta be tough as nails to boot. All I can do is salute.

Panom Yeerum or Tony Jaa - wow, methinks he actually outdid Bruce Lee in his efforts to pull together various and sundry styles from Indonesian/Mayla and what they used to call Indo-Chinese martial arts. Bruce Lee, of course had done this with respects to Chinese KungFu styles.

Even more diverse and multifaceted than Bruce Lee...well, I'm sure you already know all I do and more.

Most of what you see with Jaa is actually Muay Thai - though he was instrumental in developing interest in the long-forgotten ancient Muay Boran. Many mistakenly believe Muay Boran to be an ancient ancestor of Muay Thai, but that is not exactly accurate; Muay Boran was actually an entire fighting system that encompassed not only techniques but the philosophical beliefs, the class system of military officers and noblemen - very similar to how the Ninjitsu of ancient Japan encompassed the military class system of the upper echelon military officers of the time - not just isolated martial art forms and styles.

Muay Thai was one component of that ancient system - which, if I'm not mistaken, included proficiency with weapons as well.

Anyroads, my take on it.

PookDo
06-10-12, 11:20 AM
I'm not familiar with the other person you mentioned. I will like him/her up. I think Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do was actually the basis for what is now referred to as mixed martial arts.

Ah Panom is Tony Jaa's Thai Name

beltoller
06-11-12, 11:53 AM
Lee was unique in that up till he came along, one only studied a single style of martial art - quite often you remained under the tuteledge of one master/school for the duration of your training. It was unheard of for someone to mix styles, even within the same general school - let alone blend completely seperate arts such as judo, boxing and kungfu. This was especially true of the Chinese schools, who were dead set against any comingling.

JKD - was Lee's hybrid - taking the best elements of western boxing, judo and wing chun kungfu, if I'm not mistaken, and combining them into a single, unified system.

Modern MMA is comprised of fighters who use different styles as the situation calls for. E.g. a fighter uses Muay Thai as the striking style and if/when they get taken to the ground, they switch to Brazilan JuiJitsu, greco-roman wrestling, etc.

PookDo
06-11-12, 11:20 PM
I was watching a documentary about eskrima (also called Arnis and Kali) on youtube last night called Eskrimadors. Great stuff. in parts but still worth watching. Made me so excited to start classes

tortilaman
06-12-12, 12:06 AM
I will say that there is a lot of evidence showing that exercise is good for adhd. Martial arts are no exception. This doesn't make a case explicitly for martial arts per se, but they will help.

bradjolie
06-12-12, 07:25 AM
Before you choose it, make sure you discuss all of the side effects with your doctor and ask if there are safer alternatives you can try.

TheChemicals
06-12-12, 10:39 AM
Muay Thai has been watered down. The 5 major styles left, 3 of them are what you see on UFC/MMA events. The 2 other styles you will only ever learn in places like curitiba Brazil. Real Muay Thai arts would destroy any martial art and western wrestling/boxing.
You dont have to alter your bone structure like the old school Muay Thai arts demanded; the most dangerous strike of muay thai is the Head strike. If you ever want to see some traditional Muay Thai with no limitations, watch Wanderlei Silva in Pride fighting championships, Mainly the Guy Mezger fight.

beltoller
06-13-12, 02:19 PM
Chemicals you are right in that Muay Thai practised outside out Thailand is not the same animal as is found inside Thailand. The rulesets used in western competition that prohibit many of the techniques do have the effect of changing the sport.

The same thing can be seen in Tae Kwon Do where Olympicisation of the ruleset has filtered down to every level. Now it is virtually impossible to find a dojang that teaches the actual martial art rather than the sport - the result of emphasising point-scoring and prohibitions ( punches to the head, face for example ) have weakened the art to a mere shadow of its former self.

There is less watering down of Muay Thai as has occured to TKD, karatee, etc. but that is probably changing. I had read somewhere that some old-school trainers in the Isaan, northeastern Thailand area where so many champions have come from, were lamenting the fact that western MMA was having an effect on changing the boxing style of MT - bringing it closer to western style boxing - its already happening.

Japanese Pride FC! That was the best - the golden age...breaks my heart that it went down.

PookDo
06-13-12, 03:40 PM
Have realized at this point that taking any classes is a pipe dream. I just don't have the time or money. I get one day off a week at the moment and the last thing I want to do most of the time is go anywhere. May have to just accept doing TapOut XT at some point and realize that may be the closest I ever get to a martial arts class

PookDo
06-13-12, 06:33 PM
I think what I'm going to do is I own Power 90 ( The one before P90X ) and I'm going to do that and work my way up to P90X , then Insanity and beyond. I figure with working so much being in the best physical shape is probably a damn good idea

beltoller
06-13-12, 10:01 PM
It won't happen PookDo :(

When I took my first MT lesson, I was so wasted because of bad cardio due to years of abuse that I decided that I'd need a month or so of running, training in our home gym, etc. to get to the point where I wouldn't gas out half way through the demanding hour.

It never happened. I realised that getting pushed to the point where I was gassing out badly was exactly what I needed if I wanted to accomplish what I said I wanted to.

You have to have someone pushing you to your limits or you're just kidding yourself. There are those ( I'm sure we'll hear from 'em soon ) that will swear they can push themselves just as hard on their own, but I think that true only in the sense of maintaining the level of what one has already been brought up to.

Getting fit - truely fit - hurts. If you can drive yourself until you're vomiting then go for it. Otherwise save your P90x money and put it towards something worthwile.

You already know ;)

PookDo
06-13-12, 10:57 PM
It won't happen PookDo :(

When I took my first MT lesson, I was so wasted because of bad cardio due to years of abuse that I decided that I'd need a month or so of running, training in our home gym, etc. to get to the point where I wouldn't gas out half way through the demanding hour.

It never happened. I realised that getting pushed to the point where I was gassing out badly was exactly what I needed if I wanted to accomplish what I said I wanted to.

You have to have someone pushing you to your limits or you're just kidding yourself. There are those ( I'm sure we'll hear from 'em soon ) that will swear they can push themselves just as hard on their own, but I think that true only in the sense of maintaining the level of what one has already been brought up to.

Getting fit - truely fit - hurts. If you can drive yourself until you're vomiting then go for it. Otherwise save your P90x money and put it towards something worthwile.

You already know ;)

ok. good idea

ana futura
06-14-12, 01:41 AM
Check out the YMCA. I lived near a Y once that offered Kali for $40 a month.

With Escrima/ Kali I think there are often a lot of low profile low cost options- FMA's haven't been commercialized and co-opted as much as other arts. You will have to search harder for them, though.

JKD schools will usually cost more than an FMA club.

PookDo
06-14-12, 12:05 PM
Going to check out the Mn Kali group. Want to take weekend morning Phase classes

anestoiter
06-17-12, 07:36 PM
Most of the martial arts activities are based on excellent coordination and superb balance skills, and, of course, concentration on the task. When you add all this together you get what's called vestibular stimulation. VS, in turn, switches the brain into turbo mode. You think faster, your memory is better, your concentration is deeper. Practicing martial arts IS therapy for ADD/ADHD, just like walking on a balance beam. I made a small balance beam and have been using it for 20 years. To have an idea what I'm talking about look up nestoiter-gravity on Amazon. The bar is your suspended narrow, with oval surface balance beam. Originally I made it to resemble walking on a tightrope. Today, it's sold on Amazon as a foot massager because there is no space to explain how balance training helps with ADD/ADHD symptoms. Plus doctors would rather prescribe pills than lose patients to gym equipment. Put one of these in your kid's room, and visit the doctor less often.

beltoller
06-18-12, 02:48 AM
Most of the martial arts activities are based on excellent coordination and superb balance skills, and, of course, concentration on the task. When you add all this together you get what's called vestibular stimulation. VS, in turn, switches the brain into turbo mode. You think faster, your memory is better, your concentration is deeper. Practicing martial arts IS therapy for ADD/ADHD, just like walking on a balance beam. I made a small balance beam and have been using it for 20 years. To have an idea what I'm talking about look up nestoiter-gravity on Amazon. The bar is your suspended narrow, with oval surface balance beam. Originally I made it to resemble walking on a tightrope. Today, it's sold on Amazon as a foot massager because there is no space to explain how balance training helps with ADD/ADHD symptoms. Plus doctors would rather prescribe pills than lose patients to gym equipment. Put one of these in your kid's room, and visit the doctor less often.

You may not be aware of this, but the therapists at the Children's hospital clinics utilize such items ( I canna say they use this particular item - the balance beam) in Occupational Therapy sessions.

It won't be a majik cure-all; nothing is - but it certainly might be helpful for those ADHD patients who have mild to severe spatial awareness problems in the matrix of their syndrome(s)

beltoller
06-18-12, 02:49 AM
PookDo - let us know how your classes progress - good, bad, indifferent.

TheChemicals
06-18-12, 02:33 PM
The big problem i had in training in martial arts was that i lost interest after getting hurt. It seems it was okay when i was hyper focused on the sport and doing it all the time but as soon as i had one hurdle....i quit.

beltoller
06-18-12, 04:14 PM
The big problem i had in training in martial arts was that i lost interest after getting hurt. It seems it was okay when i was hyper focused on the sport and doing it all the time but as soon as i had one hurdle....i quit.

"Everyone has a gameplan till they get hit in the face" - Mike Tyson

I don't believe that has been the only hurdle you've faced in MA training - there's probably been lots of 'em but you managed to bowl 'em over and so they didn't lodge in your mind as a hurdle.

Getting hurt in MA is no joke. Its waylaid many professionals who've made a career out of it and it often takes months of painful recovery to get back at it.

What are we talking about? Torn ACL? back injuries (those are bad)?

TheChemicals
06-18-12, 05:18 PM
"Everyone has a gameplan till they get hit in the face" - Mike Tyson

I don't believe that has been the only hurdle you've faced in MA training - there's probably been lots of 'em but you managed to bowl 'em over and so they didn't lodge in your mind as a hurdle.

Getting hurt in MA is no joke. Its waylaid many professionals who've made a career out of it and it often takes months of painful recovery to get back at it.

What are we talking about? Torn ACL? back injuries (those are bad)?

My greatest attribute in all the years ive boxed and grappled in tournaments is that the more im being physically beaten, i can control my thoughts,emotions, and mind perfectly. Everything appears in slow motion when engaged in fight sports and i can think better. So yeh....that Tyson line doesnt pertain to me lol.

I was training a 15 yr old at my camp one night and while leaning over him, he decided to completely collapse onto the mat which sent me flying shoulder first into the mat. My rotator cuff was completely ripped and i couldnt use my arm for 9 months. I never went back after that. Just kinda lost interest. My shoulder still makes an annoying cracking noise when i throw a right hook but for the most part......it healed completely withut any need for the surgery my doctor kept trying to push on me.

beltoller
06-18-12, 11:39 PM
My greatest attribute in all the years ive boxed and grappled in tournaments is that the more im being physically beaten, i can control my thoughts,emotions, and mind perfectly. Everything appears in slow motion when engaged in fight sports and i can think better. So yeh....that Tyson line doesnt pertain to me lol.



Emotion control...that's the whole reason why I have my lads doing it. If they can get to the point where they can control their thoughts during tunnel vision - instead of freezing and buckling - I'll consider the time and tears put in a blinding success.



I was training a 15 yr old at my camp one night and while leaning over him, he decided to completely collapse onto the mat which sent me flying shoulder first into the mat. My rotator cuff was completely ripped and i couldnt use my arm for 9 months. I never went back after that. Just kinda lost interest. My shoulder still makes an annoying cracking noise when i throw a right hook but for the most part......it healed completely withut any need for the surgery my doctor kept trying to push on me.

Ouch!! Rotator cuff tears are bad news. Devestating and moreso for fighters than other athletes such as football players due to the degrees of freedom needed in our sport.

I remember when Cain Velasquez had a 90% tear after the Lesnar fight. It took a year for it to heal and then they were worried he'd never be the same afterwards.

Have you missed it (the sport)? Does the ADHD seem to have a stronger 'base' now that you are not training?

ana futura
06-19-12, 02:47 PM
I kept getting hurt too, but it was more my age that stopped me from continuing. I started really getting hurt, and not recovering like I would when I was younger. I found that training at a higher level meant I had to stay in better condition, and staying in that condition got progressively harder. I'm not terribly old, and I trained with people who were 20 years older than me who never got seriously hurt, but they seemed to know something I didn't- they just had more control over their bodies than I have over mine. That didn't matter as much when I was 18, but it matters now.

Ironically, I think my undiagnosed ADHD was a huge part of the reason I kept getting hurt. I realize now that I was so into martial arts because it helped my ADHD symptoms, and those same ADHD symptoms are part of the reason I eventually quit.

I was never injured while sparring, only while doing conditioning excercises. I'm a poor judge of my limits.

Now that I've been diagnosed, I really want to get back into it. I finally "know" why I needed martial arts in the first place. I was always nagged by the fact that I didn't have a really good reason for doing it- I didn't care about competing, and if someone mugs me I'm handing them my wallet and running!

When I learned I had ADHD, a light went off in my head- I finally knew why I was so into it. Also, now that I'm more aware of my limitations, I think I can better avoid injuries.

ana futura
06-19-12, 02:56 PM
Muay Thai has been watered down.
I wasn't aware of this- I have been terrified of Muay Thai for years because I didn't want to have to hit my shins with sticks and roll bottles over them and what not. It makes sense that a lot of the training techniques would have to change to make it palatable for westerners.