Every parent wants the best for their kids in all aspects of life. A strong sense of self, respect for others, a positive outlook, and a fit and healthy body. So, how do you equip your child with the skills and experiences they need to set them up for success in life? These days there are a growing number of extra-curricular activities and sports to choose from. I may not be a parent but I’ve been training BJJ for more than 15 years and teaching kids for 6. And as a Jiu-Jitsu coach I’ve seen incredible transformations once children begin to train BJJ. The positive effects are almost instant. Kelly Slater once said ‘Put your kid in Jiu-Jitsu before any other sport’. At Melbourne Jiu-Jitsu Academy we couldn’t agree more. So we’ve put together a list of some of the main reasons why BJJ is great for kids.
There is still a fair bit of debate around children participating in martial arts. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; often referred to as the ‘Gentle Art’ is not a rough or dangerous martial art. Where other combat sports use elbows and fists as their defence, BJJ empowers students to use verbal assertiveness, and non-violent self-defence techniques to stay safe.
The ground based martial art teaches children how to defend themselves on their back without the use of striking or punching. They learn take downs, escapes, passes, and leverage-based control holds to neutralize threats without violence. They will develop the ability to take an attacker to the ground and control them. They will also understand how to escape from uncomfortable positions or avoid being pinned underneath a bigger and stronger attacker.
Children will be equipped to control a provoker without hurting them, or themselves.
Martial arts are always instructed with the philosophy that people should not go out and use their newly learnt skills unless it is unconditionally required.
However, children with the knowledge and understanding of how to defend themselves in a safe and controlled manner will have incomparable levels of confidence. With that confidence they are less likely to become victims of bullying or harassment. But we don’t just focus on the physical movements. We equip kids with a range of verbal strategies they can use in different scenarios.
Even at the most basic level, children are empowered to speak up for themselves, and for others in all kinds of everyday situations. I’ve seen even the most painfully shy child eventually break out of their shell to find their own voice, and communicate with others.
Your child will be equipped with a number of non-violent strategies to deter bullies, without becoming one.
Fitness & Fun
At Melbourne Jiu-Jitsu academy our kids program focuses on making self-defence and physical education fun. We use skill-oriented and conditioning games to engage and challenge kids. The program has been carefully developed over a number of years and concentrates on balance, posture, co-ordination and body position.
Individual movements are broken down and put together through a series of sequences aimed at developing flexibility, balance, core strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
We also introduce students to the concept of the ‘Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle’. Which is a positive and healthy way to live your life on and off the mats. In short, how to be the best version of you physically and mentally every single day.
Through the practice of BJJ children can develop a strong mind, body, and coordination. They will have more energy, focus and stamina for other sports and activities.
New Friendships & Social Skills
Jiu-Jitsu classes give children a unique opportunity to interact with a range of peers of varying ages and abilities. Much of the class format will require kids to work with a partner to learn a new technique, play a game, or practice a new sequence. It teaches children invaluable lessons on how to communicate and interact with others. It also ensures that a child develops the necessary social skills which will stay with them throughout their life and into their careers. I’ve seen many children with learning, and behaviour difficulties transformed through regular training of Jiu-Jitsu. It’s impossible to learn by yourself, and to improve you need to help your partner to improve too.The special bonds which are formed as a result of this shared learning environment create friendships which can last a lifetime. Some of my closest friends are those I first trained with as a teenager, and have had my back until this day.
Positive Life Values
Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu kids program goes way beyond the physical benefits for your child. It will also teach them valuable life skills such as discipline, focus, courtesy, team work, mental strength, and self-control.
It starts from the very moment they step on to the mats. We bow to the master Helio Gracie, and we bow to each other. We make sure our belts are tied, our hands are clean, and we shake hands with new members. Students learn that they are responsible for their uniform, and hygiene. They learn that courtesy, camaraderie and respect for others are very important not only on the mats, but off the mats. They learn to function in a team and respect everyone equally. That it takes time and patience to learn new techniques, and that it you will fail before you succeed –but that’s fine.
Remember a black belt is a white belt that never quit.
So, what are you waiting for? If you want to help your child build the foundation for a life of success and positivity sign up for a free trial.