by Ashley Valli
The reasons are already out there in the world on why you should keep your child physically active outside of just school hours. The number one reason, of course, being that unlike most adults kids are still bursting with energy once they come home from a full day at work. It keeps them healthy. It keeps them fit. And it keeps them out of the house for an hour or so. The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, however, deserves some extra focus as an afterschool sport, because BJJ doesn’t just come with the usual benefits of health and fitness, it comes with a lot more…
FOR ONE THING, IT TEACHES YOUNG STUDENTS RESPECT
There’s often this stigma running around that martial arts encourages violent behavior in children — this couldn’t be more wrong. If anything, jiu jitsu can take a violent child and slow them down a step or two. Jiu jitsu teaches children discipline, to accept and control their emotions, and to, overall, respect their training partners and instructors. BJJ is run through an organised time slot, and if you’re not punctual, you’re likely to miss out on some key techniques taught early-on in class. Children are taught to have a lot of respect for their instructors and, as time goes on, this respect quickly translates into a mutual trust and developed student-teacher relationship, helping them to succeed in their jiu jitsu practice. The respect jiu jitsu teaches its students is incredibly well-meshing with their outside life, allowing them to apply a similar respect to their surroundings outside of the training room.
IT HELPS NURTURE RESILIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE
In a previous blog post “Letting Your Kids Fail & Why It’s Important For Their Growth” we talked about the importance of allowing children to fail. Again, completely relevant here. Jiu jitsu is the sport of active failure, where kids are going to fail again and again in one-on-one combat against one another. This is a sport that is hard to argue out of when you lose. When you lose, you admit defeat and you accept it. And in jiu jitsu, failure is essential to improve. It is not seen as a horrific event of shame, but a chance to do better. It is a part of the making beneath many accomplished individual’s successes. We believe it is incredibly important for a child to experience failure again and again — thereby lessening their fear of it in adulthood and teaching them resilience when experiencing hardship.
IT’S THE SOCIAL SPORT
Jiu jitsu is up there in the ranks for improving people’s social life whilst maintaining a consistently good workout. It’s aggressive hugging: people make friends fast. Particularly, if your child struggles with making friends, they will find jiu jitsu a great way to meet new people in a fast and fun way. By allowing your child to participate in jiu jitsu, you enable them to meet healthy, confident, like-minded kids in a friendly and encouraging environment. At Kaizen, we have kids classes ranging from five and up, six–12, and classes inclusive of teenagers as well, ensuring your child does not feel left out from their surroundings.
CONFIDENCE IS KEY IN CHILDREN AND ADULTS
Children are still learning how to interact with the world (really, most adults are too). By getting them into a fun and engaging sport like jiu jitsu, you help them to build the confidence skills necessary to feel comfortable with both themselves and their environment. For kids dealing with bullying, especially, we strongly recommend our martial arts classes as a way for them to gain more self-confidence and an ability to stand up for themselves.
Our kids classes will be back on starting February. Make sure to book your class now!