Studies have found that martial arts, in which you have to pay close attention to body movements, tax the attention system: a very good thing for adolescents with behavioural disorders.

Here are three reasons why you should be sending your preteens and teenagers to Kung Fu:

It will calm them the hell down.

Dealing with a moody teenager can be difficult at the best of times, especially when there are other behavioural factors at play. Martial arts training, in particular, has a profound effect on ADD sufferers and it decreases aggression, hostility and neuroticism.

It will improve their self-confidence.

There is a positive correlation between shirt colour/rank and self-confidence. We all know how good it feels to achieve something you've worked hard for. There is a long-term value and sense of achievement knowing that your hard work has earned you rank in an organisation which comes with special rights and privileges.

Gives them an intellectual boost (no, seriously)

The highly focused and attention demanding system of martial arts develops the prefrontal cortex of the brain which applies the mental power of these physical skills to other areas in the adolescent's lives. In other words, you are not only working your body but your mind too. Learning and remembering forms definitely requires brain power!

As an adult and healthcare professional I have come to rely heavily on my bi-weekly dose of Kung-Fu with the Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre. I have found it deeply rewarding and hope that this will make you aware if the many benefits martial arts can offer you and your children.