Let’s be honest, kids these days have so much more than other generations ever did growing up. The technology, the activities, the information. There is just so much available to them, and it’s simply a waste to not take advantage of it.
One thing that definitely beats letting kids spend an afternoon on a cellphone or computer is exposing them to sports. We’ve all heard of soccer practice or basketball camps, but let’s face it, some of these sports are getting a little old and sometimes you want to give your child an experience that is really different and unique. Well, there is one sport that fits this bill and it has been gaining more and more popularity nowadays. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
There are many things a parent looks for when investing time and money into their child’s activities, and we don’t blame them for wanting to know the high and low of something before they get their child into it. So instead of wondering and relying on hearsay, here is a list of some great things about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that will show you how it is the perfect sport for your kids. These are things parents love about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and after reading this you’ll be buying your kid a new gi—and who knows, you might just join them on the mats!
1. They learn that size doesn’t matter
This is one of the things I love the most about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and this aspect of it can be inspiring to people of all ages. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a smaller, skinnier boy can defeat a bigger, stronger opponent by just knowing the right move. No matter how big or tough an opponent might seem, your child will learn that it is possible to defeat them by using his brain and taking advantage of the situation. This can be applied not only to bullies, but even to obstacles in life. They will learn that what matters is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
2. They become comfortable with their height and weight
Children come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, and it won’t come as a surprise if one day your child starts to feel a little conscious of their body. If your daughter stands at the end of the line, maybe she could think she’s too big for her age. If your son looks around the playground and wonders why other kids can reach the jungle gym, he could think he’s too small. But in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they will see kids who are just like them. There are weight classes in this sport, and kids can see people who could be just as tiny as them, or just as big. Most competitors tend to have the same built in each weight class, and seeing other people just like them will help them be more comfortable in their own skin.
3. It teaches them to adapt
Even if players have similar body types in competitions, in your child’s own club there might not be someone with the exact same body type as him or her. For most clubs, coaches let children roll with others from higher or lower weight classes to encourage them to adapt to whatever is given to them. Your child will learn how to use their body when it seems like the odds are against him, and they could also learn which techniques work best for different opponents. This will teach him to be resourceful, a skill which is definitely going to help him as he grows up.
4. It teaches them the concept of discipline
Every martial art is known to teach discipline, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is no exception. Each class is hinged on respect and mastery of self—whether you’re 9 years old or 29 years old. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, kids learn that they have to do certain things if they want to get better, and this entails sacrifice. The belt system helps them a lot in giving concrete evidence of their progress, unlike other sports like basketball or swimming. It gives them something to work for, and it teaches them the value of investing effort in something and reaping its rewards.
5. It actually isn’t violent
One great thing about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that contrary to popular belief, it isn’t violent. There is no kicking or punching during classes or when children practice on one another. Only manipulation of limbs and holds, and these aren’t even painful unless you refuse to tap out. Children practice moves on soft and cushiony mats, they don’t run around on a field where they can trip or bust their head open. They do not hit opponents or materials, so blood or bruising is not part of the package either. Within the walls of the club, your child is as safe as can be.
6. It is practical self defense
I’m going to go ahead and say it—there are some martial arts out there that simply don’t apply in the real world. Yes, they teach children discipline and kids find it pretty cool too. But when push comes to shove, some martial arts are just not as practical as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, especially for children. What happens when a bully pushes them to the ground? And mind you, most fights do end up on the ground. It would be reassuring as a parent that when you aren’t there to protect them, you know they can protect themselves. After all, isn’t that every parents goal?