I started to train jiu-jitsu at the age of 13 in Rio de Janeiro, in fact the sport was mainly just ‘Cariocas’ (people from Rio de Janeiro) at that time, it was where the Gracie family lived and jiu jitsu was definitely more developed. I couldn’t list all the benefits that Jiu Jitsu brought me, and how it shaped the person I am today, but I’m sure without jiu jitsu I would be an infinitely worse version than whoever writes to you right now.
My words to you today are about kids Jiu Jitsu, and why we need to share it with all the children we have access to, to have academies better prepared to help them, for teachers to make more time available for them, and for parents to give this gift to their children.
Below I have only outlined three reasons why you should take your child to a kid’s jiu-jitsu school, but believe me this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are endless benefits, and situations he will learn to deal with, and in those situations he will learn how to deal with the fight of life. I am not only talking about difficulties and obstacles or self-control and everything else you have heard several times when it comes to martial art; in my understanding the main teaching that jiu jitsu brings to children is teaching them how to treat others with respect, especially when in a position of superiority – humility must be more and more evident as one goes through life and the sooner we learn this the better. We want your child to go far, but that the destination is never better than the journey. Jiu-jitsu can help create a future with people who fight hard for their goals, but who are also both ethical and fair, who aren’t prepared to sacrifice important things for any price, who walk upright and help those who are with him, who fall down and know how to get up as many times as necessary.
But let’s go to those 3 selected reasons, and see how Jiu Jitsu can help:
1- Bullying: Probably in our school days we witnessed several aggressions and humiliations of colleagues, or maybe we were victims of what back then didn’t necessarily have a name – today this is called bullying. A survey conducted in Brazil in 2010, with students from private and public schools revealed that people that typically suffer the humiliation of bullying are quite common among students in grades 5 and 6; according to data, bullying reaches 45% of elementary school students, 3 in every 10 children have suffered from it. Preparing the child to not be the target of this type of attack is the key, his stance will change because combat is not something to be feared, and allows verbalization, which is the best way to not be a victim of these attacks, but it’s wrong to think that bullying is a problem only for the victim – the aggressor and also those who are present are also part of the process, and should have the same attention in the treatment of the problem. Jiu Jitsu is a discipline and way of respect, that makes the child understand, and learn how to live with the differences of others, that means he sees no pleasure in attacking or humiliating the weakest, and his sense of justice will mean he’ll never watch an act of cowardice in silence.
2- To be an example: The references and examples that your child experiences are what will build his character and personality, and are determinants of how he will see life. Surrounding him with good examples of health, ethics and respect can make a huge difference. The teacher of kids jiu jitsu should be a mirror of something exemplary, and helps the child in their learning, guiding them to the path of healthy eating, discipline and overcoming difficulties.
3- Friends: Socialization is also an important factor for a child to grow healthily, it is common for jiu jitsu practitioners to make their best friends on the mat, those moments of dispute and learning strengthen ties, it is incredible how a sport can bring so many benefits in the sense of cooperation, partnership and friendship – helping your friend to be better is something we learn very early on in jiu jitsu.
So what do you think? Let’s get the kids training? Look for a school near you and give the gift of the thing you love the most. Don’t forget to share and comment below!