Today, we’ll talk about jiu jitsu for kids and why it’s something every parent should think about. I know, the moment I have kids, they’re heading straight to a jiu jitsu class.
Jiu jitsu for kids is a game-changer. They’ll learn important life skills on the mats. Of course, they’ll learn how to defend themselves, but also discipline and respect, all while building a strong mentality. On top of that, the BJJ community is just a great and fun place to be.
So stick around as we dive deep into everything you need to know about getting your kids involved in this incredible martial art.
The Benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Kids
I believe everyone should know how to defend themselves, and the sooner kids start learning, the better. The beauty of BJJ is that it mirrors the playing field.
It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, male or female. Jiu jitsu teaches kids how to use technique over brute strength, showing them how to effectively defend against someone of any size.
That right here, I think, the most important reason why your kids should start training jiu jitsu.
I feel much safer on the streets since I started training in BJJ.
2. Physical Benefits
BJJ is great for developing body awareness and motor skills. Each move has a ton of small details that kids have to get right. That helps them fine-tune their motor skills and develop balance and coordination.
These are skills that not only make them better at jiu jitsu but also come in handy in other sports and daily activities.
Plus, kids need to move! In a world where many kids are glued to screens, rolling around on a BJJ mat is a fantastic way to get them active.
I transformed my body since I started. I was inactive before, but BJJ shifted my mindset I started to take care of my body, and my body is now healthier than ever.
3. Mental Benefits
As for the mental benefits, BJJ is like a training ground for life. In kids’ BJJ classes, they’ll learn self-discipline, self-control, and teamwork. Kids learn to be consistent, gain resilience, and develop a warrior mindset.
They’ll learn how to tackle challenges head-on and not give up. I have done many other martial arts and played many other sports, but nothing did so much for my mental health and mindset development as Jiu Jitsu did.
I’m seriously asking myself what more I could ask for in preparing my kid for the real world.
The BJJ community is like a second family. Kids get to interact with peers, learn about respect, and how to deal with both winning and losing. It’s a place where they can express themselves and find their own tribe.
I have met one of the most inspiring people through Jiu-Jitsu.
What to Expect in a BJJ Class for Kids
Wondering what a typical kids Brazilian jiu-jitsu class looks like? Well, it’s not all that different from an adult BJJ class, but it’s usually more playful and less intense, so kids can be kids while learning valuable skills.
When your child walks into the academy for their kids’ jiu-jitsu class, the first thing they usually do is warm up. This includes activities like jogging around the mat, doing some drills like shrimps, and some fun exercises.
After that comes the drill portion of the class. Drilling is key in BJJ. Here, the instructor will demonstrate a specific technique, maybe a takedown or a joint lock, and then the kids pair up to practice it.
Drilling helps to make the moves second nature, so in a real-world situation, and is, therefore, the main focus during a kids BJJ class.
Positional Sparring and Live Rolls
Once done drilling the new techniques, they move on to positional sparring. This is where they start from a particular position and have to grapple their way out of it or hold it. It helps them understand the dynamics of that position in a controlled setting.
Live rolls are next, which is basically free sparring but with ground rules to ensure safety. Both activities are monitored closely by the instructor.
So don’t worry here. It might be scary in the beginning to let your kid spar with other kids, but I find that BJJ is safe. There is no hitting involved. Usually, these rolls are playful and respectful, and the injury rate is low. Especially for kids.
Instructors and Age Groups
One of the best parts about kids classes is that the instructors are often specialized in teaching children. They know how to deal with a room full of energetic youngsters and how to keep things safe and fun.
Instructors individualize the training to fit various age groups. Younger kids focus more on basic self-defense skills and body awareness, while older kids learn more complex moves and even prep for tournaments.
In a nutshell, a BJJ class for kids is a well-structured, engaging environment where your child will learn important life skills while having fun.
So, if you’re one of those many parents who want their child to learn discipline, self-control, and self-defense, enrolling your child in a jiu-jitsu program might be what you’re looking for.
Equipment Needed for Kids BJJ
When it comes to gearing up for BJJ, you need the right equipment. Let’s talk about what your child will need to start their jiu-jitsu journey.
First off, let’s discuss the Gi. A Gi is a traditional martial arts uniform, and in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it’s more than just a fashion statement.
It’s an important part of the sport. The Gi is made up of a jacket, pants, and a belt that shows your rank, starting from white and progressing to a black belt.
Your child will learn techniques that involve grabbing the Gi, so it’s not just for show; it’s a functional piece of training gear.
No-Gi Jiu Jitsu
Nowadays, there’s also a no-gi option where kids train in rash guards instead of a Gi. The techniques are a bit different since there’s less fabric to grab onto.
I prefer No-Gi. It’s higher pace, less formal and I find it to be better for self-defense.
Want to know more about the differences between gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu? You can find out in another post I’ve written here.
If your kid really enjoys their jiu jitsu classes and wants to practice at home, consider getting a grappling dummy.
This allows them to drill techniques when they can’t get to the gym or if they want extra practice time. It’s like a training partner who’s always available!
Last but definitely not least, don’t forget to buy a mouthguard for your kid. Safety is key in any sport, and BJJ is no exception.
A mouthguard helps protect against accidental hits or bumps, ensuring your child’s teeth are safe when they grapple.
Dealing with Concerns About Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Parents, I get it. Safety is a top priority when it comes to our kids. And when we hear words like “choke,” “takedown,” and “joint locks,” it’s natural to wonder if Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the right choice. Let’s dig into those concerns.
Is BJJ Safe?
First off, yes, jiu-jitsu is a contact sport. That means, like in any sport, there’s a chance of bumps and bruises. But let me offer you some peace of mind: BJJ is probably the safest martial arts out there.
Children learn techniques like takedown, choke, and joint locks in a controlled environment, closely monitored by skilled instructors.
So, of course, you’ll get injured, but I think most of them you can prevent. We need to emphasize the importance of safe sparring. Then the injury rate is low.
The Risks of Not Learning Self-Defense
You may also be concerned about the concept of self-defense itself. But consider this: One of the riskiest scenarios is when a child doesn’t know how to defend themselves, especially in today’s world.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu equips kids with self-defense skills that protect them from bullies in real-world situations. It’s not just about learning how to fight; it’s about knowing how to protect oneself.
So with BJJ you learn how to defend yourself without getting much damage in the process.
Building Resilience Through BJJ
Finally, let’s talk about the emotional and psychological benefits. My favorite topic. Enrolling your child in a BJJ class is a step toward teaching them how to deal with life’s challenges. They’ll learn discipline, face adversity, and gain a level of humility.
So, while the idea of your child practicing MMA might seem scary at first, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Your child may get a scrape or a bruise, but the skills and lessons they’ll learn in their Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes will serve them well in the long run.
So I’m a big believer in putting kids into BJJ.
When Should You Start Putting Your Child In Jiu-Jitsu?
If you’re wondering when to start your kid in jiu-jitsu, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Some kids can start as young as 3 years old. That’s when they usually have enough balance and can follow simple rules.
But every kid is different. Some might not be ready at 3 and need a few more years. That’s okay too!
Most jiu-jitsu gyms have classes split up by age: 3-5 years, 6-9 years, and 10-15 years.
The best thing to do is to take your kid to a trial class or a trial week. See how they like it and how they do. Then you’ll know if it’s the right time to start.
How Do You Get Your Child Interested In Jiu-Jitsu?
If you want your kid to get into jiu-jitsu, you have to make it fun. Don’t force them to go if they don’t wanna. That’s a quick way to make them hate it.
Start by keeping things light and fun. Save the serious competitions for later. At first, it’s all about having a good time.
Lead by example. Hit the mats with them at the gym or in your living room. Make it a game. Show them cool techniques, you know! Don’t criticize them for not getting a technique. Don’t correct them too much when they are doing something wrong.
You can’t force them to love it. Your job is to make it as fun and easy as possible. If they’re not into it, that’s okay. Give it some time and try again later. Always keep the door open, but don’t push them through it..
Final Words: The Lasting Impact of Jiu Jitsu on Kids
The benefits of enrolling your child in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu program are many, both physically and mentally. From teaching essential self-defense skills to boosting physical capabilities like body awareness and motor skills, jiu-jitsu for kids is an all-around win.
But it doesn’t stop there. Your child will learn priceless life skills such as self-discipline, resilience, and teamwork, preparing them for challenges both on and off the mat.
Every parent wants to give their child the best opportunities in life. Jiu-jitsu offers kids a chance to grow in a safe, structured environment.
Here’s my final advice: Give your child the chance to try training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Seriously. If you’re on the fence, many jiu-jitsu schools offer free trial classes. So, there’s nothing to lose. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that there are few activities as beneficial for your child as Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
I’m a fan, and I hope you and your kid will be too.