The growing popularity of Brazilian Jiu0JItsu means that the art is now available for all ages and categories of people. Not that it was different before, but the world wasn’t exposed to all the benefits of training Jiu-Jitsu. Unil not so long an ago, people that trained in grappling martial arts were mostly amateur or pro fighters. They were looking for a fighting advantage instead of a complete sport. Nowadays, BJJ is so widespread that you’d be hard-pressed to find an academy that doesn’t offer BJJ for kids classes.
When To Start
It is usual for most martial arts schools to only accept children over the age of 6 or 7. The idea is that by that age children already have a certain degree of discipline and understand teaching hierarchy. It is difficult to keep the attention of children, even in the best of circumstances, let alone when they’re not used to class-like structure.
BJJ, however, is a completely different martial art. Most academies that have a BJJ for kids programme, enroll kids as young as 4 years of age in their classes. The interesting thing is, not only these kids stay focused and interested (within the realms of reality) but also develop a strong bond with BJJ. This is rarely, if ever, the case with other martial arts when kids are at this particular age. Jiu-Jitsu classes for the youngest are organized in such a playful fashion that children simply adore them. Learning discipline through fun, all the while developing physically and mentally is a task not many educational platforms can deliver effectively. BJJ effortlessly achieves all of the above, and then some, in all age categories of children.
As a note to parents out there, who had martial arts training aspiration of their own – DO NOT force your children into anything. Enroll your kids in BJJ for the sake of proper development of their whole person. Do not expect that every kid that starts training is going to become a world champ. Furthermore, not all children are going to stay involved in BJJ as they grow older. However, if you allow them to train at their own pace, they’ll undoubtedly reap all the benefits, whether they train 3 years or 30.
More on the subject of parents forcing kids to train here: https://bjj-world.com/parents-stop-forcing-kids-good-jiu-jitsu/
Physical Benefits Of BJJ For Kids
When looking at all the possible benefits of BJJ for kids, the physical aspect is the obvious one. Almost all sports are beneficial in the physical development of kids. Complex contact sports, like Jiu-Jitsu, take things even further.
To start with, physical culture is the number one activity for proper posture development in children. In today’s world, when kids learn to hunch up in front of a computer before they learn how to run, this becomes even more important. BJJ not only enforces correct posture, but develops spine strength along with mobility.
Coordination is another huge physical benefit of grappling training. Martial arts have long been known to develop the superior coordination to almost any other sport. In those terms, BJJ rules the martial arts world. it involves the development of coordination on the feet, on the ground and in between. Every aspect of the movement is included in the Gentle Art. Furthermore, the animal drills, like bear walks, build strong muscles and tendons in addition to coordination. Plus, they’re the kids’ favorites.
On a more physiological note, training BJJ offers kids the complete physique and health package. Lower body fat levels, balanced hormones, stable blood pressure and insulin and improved cardiac output. All while having fun and solving puzzles. Do you really need more reasons to get your child into BJJ? Read on…
Mental Benefits Of BJJ For Kids
Fun fact – no other sport offers the same level of mental engagement during physical practice as Jiu-Jitsu. Logical thinking is a very important aspect of every kid’s development. Most early school subjects focus on just that area of the mind. BJJ begins to guide children towards logical conclusions even before the start school. Not only does it encourage problem-solving, it does so under very controlled circumstances. “Sparring” sessions with kids are done in a very controlled fashion, allowing them to think about the actions they are undertaking.
The competitive aspect of the sport means that kids are going to get an opportunity to test their newly acquired skills. Kids learn how to be brave under stress, how to take control of situations and how to be responsible. Competition brings out the best in everyone, and this is especially true for children. Competing in BJJ gives children the focus and confidence they’ll most certainly need later in life.
Competitiveness is an essential skill in today’s society and many sports shy away from having clear winners or losers. This is not the case in BJJ, where there are no draws, even in the earliest competitive categories. The rules are very strict and kids are very safe in tournament conditions, so they can really put in an effort. Defeat, or more importantly, coping with it is a huge life lesson. It’s better to learn this crucial lesson early in life, and there’s no better way than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions to do so.
Social Benefits Of BJJ For Kids
The social aspect is a hugely important one for human beings. In the modern society of virtual communication, making real friends is now something that doesn’t come easily to kids. Even for adults, grappling training creates strong bonds of friendship that often extend for a lifetime. With kids, these bonds can be even stronger and are way more important. Being friends with your peers, while playfully competing with them at the same time is a huge influence on the development of the social personality in children.
Martial arts have always been related to discipline and structure. While not as military-like as some Japanese martial arts, BJJ does put an emphasis on order. Through the Gentle Art, kids are going to learn punctuality, accountability, respect and the hierarchy of teaching. Knowing when to listen, how to ask questions and when to speak are skill lots of adults are lacking in.
The ability to defend themselves is just one more in the huge list of benefits of BJJ. Not only are kids going to be able to take care of themselves, they’ll build much-needed confidence. In true martial arts spirit, they’ll know how to deal with potential conflict situations without resorting to violence. Even more so, they’ll be bully proof on the playground.