ADHD and ADD are very common diagnosis in children today. Living with ADD and or ADHD can be equally as frustrating for the child and parents. At Aliso Hills Taekwon-do Owner and Master Instructor Paul D’Ambrosio (Master D.) has taught many children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In many cases schools, whether public or private, do not know how to channel a child’s energy. Master D. understands this and knows that kids with ADD or ADHD can learn and grow when given direction. Children can find direction in martial arts. Studying TKD can also greatly boost a child’s confidence and teach them to work toward goals.
At Aliso Hills Taekwon-do Master D. teaches traditional TKD with an emphasis on the 5 Tenets of Taekwon-do: Courtesy, Integrity, Self Control, Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit. It is the job of Master D., and his staff or instructors, to help kids with ADHD achieve success. “Our job is to look beyond a student’s diagnosis and find ways to motivate them while playing to their strengths,” says Master D.
“I tell my instructors that they can’t just do what’s easiest for them, they must do what’s best for the student,” he says. The staff at AHTKD incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues into their instruction, and keeps his directions and demonstrations short. When a child is distracted, Master D. sees this and redirects them by having him show a “ready stance.” The rapid pace of the classes—and the techniques practiced—keep students alert and focused.
Studies show that a complex physical activity, like martial arts, strengthens neural networks in the brain, and enables kids with ADHD to practice self-control. Movement helps them develop coordination while building strength.
Another secret of Master D’s success teaching children? He lets kids know he enjoys being with them. “These students are fun and engaging, and they make me laugh,” he says. “With understanding and direction, they will achieve their goals, dreams and learn skills that will serve them throughout their lives.”
Master D’s Approach To Teaching Taekwon-do
- Provide structure and stay positive.
- Tell students to “show you” to redirect them.
- Keep students busy by giving them jobs.
- Give short directions and demonstrations.
- Be teachable—watch and learn.
Contact Our Orange County Taekwon-do School
Aliso Hills TKD Owner Master D. offers free trial lessons to children, adults and families. Please click here to contact our Laguna Niguel martial arts school.