Five Reasons Why Your Child Should Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

1) It’s fun

Simply put, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is fun. Put a bunch of kids on a padded floor and they will inevitably begin to play fight, wrestle, roll and run.

Kids love to learn how to playfight. So when you show them a technique to help them to do it better, they are all over it. The next time they are wrestling with their friends on the mat, they can now escape being pinned!

When supervised, the students can safely put into practice everything they have learnt against a resisting opponent. (a resisting opponent is when an opponent resists your movements so that you can practice realistically…in a safe way. In other martial arts, you have a pretend opponent which is really hard to convert in your brain to what an opponent is actually like)

Unlike other sports, with BJJ you get the fun of competition each lesson, and often more than once. (How? Because you’re not pretending, you are practising safely)

2) It works

Simply put, BJJ works. Because it is trained against a resisting opponent, students will quickly understand what techniques are effective and what are not. Therefore, if they ever have to use their skills in a self-defence situation, they will have engrained movements that they have successfully completed many times.

They will also develop a tool box of responses. Depending on the situation, a BJJ practitioner has a range of responses available at their disposal. From sweeps and escapes, to takedowns, locks, holds and chokes. Striking arts really only have one option – to strike. So, if the practitioner wants a less violent solution they are out of options. With BJJ, you can progressively escalate the level of force and control used on your opponent.

3) They become bully proof

The confidence gained from practicing BJJ cannot be understated. Each lesson involves play fighting against people of all sizes. The benefit of this is that we have experienced conflict, thus we are somewhat inoculated to its effects.

From a kid’s perspective, if they find themselves being tackled or held down in the school yard, they won’t freeze or freak out because they have been in those positions many times before. They know what to do to escape.

(At the same time they are taught to be humble, respect others, not become a bully, only use the skills learned in class and in extreme self-defence situations).

4) Gain a new friendship group

It is quite important for kids to have diverse friendship groups and BJJ facilitates this perfectly. After a few sessions, students are catching up outside of class and are forging relationships that go well beyond the dojo floor.

5) Respect

When a child begins BJJ, they will be introduced to the etiquette, rules and rituals of the gym. It could be lining up silently before class, shaking hands and bowing or just ensuring that they are not wearing shoes on the mats.

Whilst each gym is different, some being more strict or formal then others, the mere act of adhering to these behaviours will help the student to develop respect towards the instructor and the art itself. In addition, the instructors can use their position to weave in discussions of respect and other desirable morals as part of the teaching curriculum.

Zachary Phillips – Teacher, BJJ kids instructor