The number one reason why most parents decide to have their child study jiu-jitsu, is to learn a how to defend themselves. Brazilian jiu-jitsu in general teaches kids to be a calm and collected person and they become better at avoiding and preventing such dangers in the first place. But brazilian jiu-jitsu helps build up the reflexes they need if ever in a dangerous situation, and gives them the confidence to stand up and defend themselves if needed.
Having the structure, respect, and discipline that BJJ provides can be transferred into many other aspects of life. They learn the following things:
Dedication: coming to class every time
Attention: being quiet when the instructor is talking
Respect: being humble around higher ranks and the instructor.
These things change the person who’s learning them. Children who are normally a bit rowdy can become calm and focused (which is always a great attribute).
In a class a student may execute a single movement or series of related movements, hundreds of times. This teaches the student that the progress that always happens during small improvements in technique and stamina, flexibility or power – will come through endless repetition.
As kids become more proficient in jiu-jitsu, their confidence gets a big-boost. They become more self-assured and confident and this spills over into other area of their life. Their instructor plays an important part in this development. The wrong instructor will deplete their confidence and the right instructor will increase it.
Many practitioners of jiu-jitsu compare it to a game of chess, and for good reason. Although jiu-jitsu is a physical martial art, there is a large mental aspect that comes along with it. Kids who train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu learn vital problem-solving skills. For every move you make, your opponent has a counter move. You must then determine to wither make that move or choose another to give you the best outcome. Like chess, technique and strategy are the keys to success. What will your next move be? How will your opponent react? Like chess, those at a higher belt can think many moves ahead and the key is to build that mind-body connection.
The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 21% in 2017. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.
The workout each student gets will not only assist in the natural development of their muscles but also help them build stronger a cardio vascular system. Even in the most active of team sports such as basketball or soccer, children don’t get that much of a workout simply because they generally don’t play the whole game and even if they do, there are still breaks in the action.
One more reason your kids should train is because of the social environment that jiu-jitsu creates. Brazilian jiu-jitsu brings in people from all walks of life and kids can meet new friends they may never have in any other way. We see each other all the time and this creates a very strong bond. We trust each other and depend on each other in order to learn.
Many kids have the chance to experience the benefits of Martial Arts early on, however a big number of children abandon their martial arts training when reaching the teen years in order to participate in school sports.
Although there are many lessons to be learned from team and individual varsity sports, the ‘make the team’ model often favors the more physically developed players while alienating the late bloomers.
Coaches have access to an endless supply of players that renews itself each year, the big and strong get picked and get to play while the less physically developed watch from the bench, this leads to an even greater disparity in skill development as the season goes by.
At Martial Arts USA, all kids get equal ‘playing time’. Naturally some kids develop their skills and physical abilities earlier than others, but we personally find that many kids who start out with underdeveloped athletic attributes such as strength, speed and size, end up becoming some of the finest technicians we have in all of our programs.
If your child is an athletic wonder who is able to stay ahead of the game with his natural talents, athletics may very well bring out the best in him or her. But if want your child’s full potential to be nurtured through years of disciplined and diligent training look for a martial art school who offers a serious program taught by world-class accredited instructor.