Does your child do jiu jitsu, or are you thinking about enrolling your child in jiu jitsu classes? There are several benefits for children who train! Including increased fitness, self defense, understanding of discipline, confidence, and so much more! Keep reading to find out why your child should try jiu-jitsu and how it can benefit them on and off the mats!
1. A Healthy Lifestyle The jiu-jitsu lifestyle doesn’t start and end as an adult. In fact, kids as young as 4 can learn the importance of exercise and how it can help make them stronger as well as help them deal with daily stressors as they continue to grow! Between practicing techniques, drills, and sparring, kids will work up a sweat while having a good time! While having fun is a top priority for our GBK classes, we also try to emphasize the values of hard work, both physically and mentally.
2. Handling Victory and Defeat One of the key aspects of jiu-jitsu is learning how to maintain humility whether you win or lose. A big part of teaching children includes talking about how to control emotions, respecting training partners and thanking them for pushing them to work hard, as well as helping them understand the difference between bragging and being confident. They will also learn that losing a match or failing a technique is not the end, but rather that it is just part of the journey and how it can motivate them to improve!
3. Confidence and Goal Setting Jiu-jitsu is no easy martial art, and for those who stick with it and are able to overcome personal challenges, it can greatly increase confidence! As coaches, we have all seen kids grow throughout their jiu-jitsu journey, whether it be they start coming out of their shell, improving social skills, or becoming stronger emotionally and physically! As for setting goals, jiu-jitsu can help kids recognize that learning and achieving goals can take time and patience, just like achieving a stripe or new belt or working hard to win a competition. Even off the mats, these can both be great stepping stones for kids to grow individually!
4. Self-Defense The most obvious benefit of kids doing jiu-jitsu is the self-defense aspect! The ability to control someone on the ground, strike properly, and do a perfect throw are only the physical parts of self-defense kids can learn from training in jiu-jitsu. They will also learn the importance of using confidence to their advantage, situational awareness, when to avoid a situation, and the right times to defend themselves. This also takes us right back to the confidence benefit! Children will learn not how to start a fight, but rather the most practical ways to avoid them as well as practice dealing with realistic physical circumstances with their teammates in class!
5. Focus and Discipline Last but not certainly not least, kids can learn a great deal of discipline and focus from attending jiu-jitsu classes. In a jiu-jitsu class where there is so much going on; Other classes, people talking, other kids, coaches to listen to, etc. It is going to be a natural tendency for kids to not pay close attention! However, with time and practice, they will come to realize the only way to improve is to learn how to watch closely, listen to directions, try to limit distractions during class, and most importantly to keep showing up! This also goes beyond the mats. The discipline and focus learned can be carried over to schoolwork, chores at home, and other sports!