5 Best Martial Arts for Dealing With ADHD | Helpful guide

fighting style

Learning martial art is fantastic for many reasons. For instance, it betters mental health. Here are the five best martial arts for dealing with ADHD.

  • Jiu-Jitsu
  • Kung fu
  • Tai-Chi
  • Qigong
  • Kickboxing

Learning martial arts has many benefits, such as increased self-confidence. If you’re interested in knowing the complete list, I wrote an article on that; I encourage you to read it. 

Additionally, it may provide an outlet for people. Because of that, people who do martial arts experience better self-esteem, as it’s a form of self-help. 

Training in martial arts has altered experiences of control and vulnerability, self-esteem, self-concept, fitness, confidence, and relaxation. As a result, some researchers characterize martial arts practice as a form of self-help.

(Columbus & Rice, 1998).

Before jumping In, I highly encourage you to buy high-quality equipment to ensure you progress outside of training. I recommend you buy this punching bag by Everlast combined with these MMA punching gloves. Let’s dive into the article!

5. Kickboxing

Different martial arts use various techniques and moves. In Judo, for instance, you’ll learn how to pin the opponent. Yet, when talking about ADHD, we want to help the child release built tension and anger. Thus martial arts that incorporate a physical workout will be suitable. 

Kickboxing is a martial art that utilizes kicking punching to beat your opponent. Such training is highly intense. Because of that, individuals can release built tension and reduce overall stress levels. As such, Kickboxing provides significant help dealing with ADHD. 

Martial arts
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Today, Kickboxing is widespread worldwide. As a result, many solid schools teach this fighting style. Consequently, finding a suitable place for your child to train in won’t be as demanding as other martial arts.

Additionally, many Kickboxing drills involve the release of aggression. For instance, striking and kicking a punching bag will be a practical technique that’ll provide a full-body workout. As a result, your junior will be capable of focusing to a higher degree. 

4. Jiu-Jitsu

One of the many valuable and practical martial arts still relevant to today’s changing world is Jiu-Jitsu. In it, you’ll learn all about mastering your opponent while being on the ground. As a result, grappling and submissions will be the main focus of Jiu-Jitsu training

Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that utilizes a “ground game” to beat the opponent. Today, law-enforcement personnel learn how to use Jiu-Jitsu techniques to assist them in doing their job. You’ll learn all about controlling and maneuvering your opponent to master him eventually. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Image by mikepesh from Pixabay 

Such martial art will provide an outlet for the child to release feelings. As a result, Jiu-Jitsu is suitable for dealing with ADHD. 

While there are two prevalent types of Jiu-Jitsu, I recommend learning one over the other. The two are GJJ (Gracie) and BJJ (Brazilian). You most likely have heard of BJJ, which is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s more known as the sport rather than the martial art

So, you may wonder, which one should my child train? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the suitable one because Gracie is better for self-defense. Yet, the sport itself will provide the proper outlet to release built tension and aggression. As a result, the trainee will highly benefit from doing it.

3. Qigong

Essentially, Qigong is the practice of Qi. What is that? We live on Qi. Our outward movements become one with our inner part while doing Qigong. It’s a series of actions whose purpose is to reduce stress- aggression and become one with life. 

Qigong is highly beneficial to children with ADHD. At first, doing it may be a challenge because it requires full attention. For a person with ADHD to do that, it’ll be difficult. However, with more practice, one will control his attention span better. Therefore, Qigong helps with ADHD.

Overall, Qigong is fantastic martial art. Although learning to fight isn’t its main effort, it’s suitable for dealing with ADHD. Additionally, because it’s a form of meditation, one will become calmer and less stressed. Both traits are related to controlling your attention span to a higher degree. 

I’ll include a video with a daily Qigong routine to deal with ADHD. You’ll notice that even by watching the video, you become calmer. Now, imagine you train it every day. 

2. Kung fu

If you’re unfamiliar with this martial, you’re in for a treat. Most people know the Shaolin monks. These are the calmest and most relaxed people in the world. Additionally, they’re highly capable of using what they learned and practiced for many years to fight. Well, their fighting style is Kung fu. 

Kung fu is a suitable martial art for dealing with ADHD- because it involves both meditations and aggression drills. As a result, the trainee can benefit from both realms altogether. Not only will you release anger and stress, but you’ll also learn to fight appropriately. 

Overall, Kung fu is incredible. It’s highly effective both for self-defense and self-development. As a result, you’ll experience many benefits from training in it. For instance, you’ll witness your confidence and self-esteem increasing as you become one with the martial art

Additionally, because it incorporates meditation techniques, you’ll learn how to be at peace with yourself. Thus you’ll reduce overall stress and aggression levels. By doing so, you’ll better control your attention span, which is what we’re looking for in dealing with ADHD. 

The following video is a demonstration of Shaolin Kung fu.

1. Tai-Chi

The best martial art for dealing with ADHD doesn’t focus on fighting. Although one may think the opposite is true, such training can highly assist with attention span. Instead, Tai chi’s primary effort is a form of Qi.

Tai chi is a martial art whose central focus is meditation rather than fighting. As a result, the experiences one will experience from consistent training are lower stress levels, better attention span, increased self-esteem, less anxiety, and being more peaceful. 

Overall, many people believe Tai chi is solely for the elderly. Yet, that can’t be further from reality. Not only is Tai chi for all ages, but it’s also for the elderly. As a result, if you’re hesitant to learn it, I encourage you to try it for a week. That’s it. I guarantee you’ll find rapid success with training Tai chi. 

Because you’ll better control your attention span, you’ll be more capable of focusing on what you wish. Consequently, you’ll become calmer and more peaceful, which may counter the opposing effects of ADHD. Thus you’ll constantly improve yourself by doing Tai chi. Yet, you won’t learn to fight appropriately, unlike Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing. 

What makes a martial art suitable for dealing with ADHD?

First, understand that every martial art assists with dealing with your attention. You’ll become calmer, more peaceful, less worried, and overall more confident in yourself. 

A martial art that provides an outlet for the person is suitable for dealing with ADHD. In Kickboxing, for instance, you’ll have a platform to release built tension and aggression. Consequently, you’ll have a more manageable time dealing with your attention span, which is ADHD. 

I would recommend everyone start training a fighting style as it has changed my life. I’m confident in the ones I listed because of my experience.

According to a study, martial art decrease overall levels of physical and verbal aggression and overall anger. (Source). Because they provide an outlet for its trainees to release anger, they’re able to control their stress and anxiety outside of training. Such trait is suitable for dealing with ADHD.

 I’ve lived the same issues you’re experiencing today. I’ve solved them by taking a few actions, such as deleting social media platforms and learning Kung fu.

Martial arts reduce aggression
Comparison of the level of aggression dimensions between the respondents’ results and the normative value.

Will martial arts cause other harmful effects? 

The quick answer is no. There’ll be no harmful side effects to training in martial arts. The long answer is no. 

Martial arts have benefited me to such a degree that I assure you; there are no side effects to training martial arts appropriately, although there are plenty of fraud schools. However, if you research your area and check for a valid martial art instructor, you’ll find one. They’re really standard. 

Yet, training in martial arts has no side effects. Not only that, but they’ll also decrease violence levels. Most people believe learning to fight will make you want to use your newly acquired skills. Yet, that’s simply not true. Martial arts decrease stress, aggression, anger, and violence.


All martial arts have their pros and cons. If you’re hesitant to learn one, I highly encourage you to read an article of mine on the pros and cons of martial arts. It’ll give you a better perspective on the issue. 

Training in martial arts has changed my life. I was constantly procrastinating and couldn’t focus on issues that frankly counted. As a result, I wanted to change myself. Yet, with today’s world and social media, it was challenging. 

Training in Kung fu, Krav Maga, and other martial arts assisted me in developing myself. Now, I can focus on what I want to achieve. Me writing this article requires plenty of attention. Yet, training in Kung fu has taught me plenty on concentrating on issues, such as this one. 

Every martial art assists in dealing with ADHD. Yet, the five I mentioned in the article are the most suitable for the job. As a result, if your goal is to minimize the effects of ADHD, training in one of them is more valuable. 


I've served in the military as a special forces operator for 4-years. In that period, I've trained in many martial arts, including karate, MMA, BJJ, boxing, and even Krav Maga. I want to share my passion with you, so here it is!

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