Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a life changing experience for children both mentally and physically. Through the gentle art they engage in everything from self-defense training, to social interaction with fellow classmates, to physical fitness training, character development, and much more. Making sure you, as a parent, make the right choices in guiding them in the right direction is crucial to their success as young martial artists.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ACADEMY
There are many things to consider when choosing a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy for your child. It is much like choosing an academic college; so the first thing you want to check is if the school provides a curriculum that will guide them through each “Belt Rank” in jiu-jitsu. The standard belt system used in jiu-jitsu belting is White, Grey, Yellow, Orange, and Green. However, this system may vary from one academy to another. What is important is that they have a written that lays out the requirements to achieve each one of these ranks. Having a focused goals to reach are very important for children to keep them motivated in training and to ensure constant growth in jiu-jitsu. The curriculum should have a strong focus on ‘Self-Defense” tactics that will teach children how to defend themselves if ever put in a life-threatening situation. Jiu-jitsu is not only a proven martial art discipline for self-defense, it is also a great sport for kids. As you child gets more involved in jiu-jitsu he or she may want to become a jiu-jitsu competitor, so check to see if the academy has a youth competition team your child can join.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT INSTRUCTOR
Most children have high energy levels that need to be driven in the right direction. This means choosing a mentor that will aid your child in reaching his or her full potential; it is perhaps one of the most important things to consider. Most schools will do a one-on-one intro class with children to get them started in the school. This intro class may be great, but it is important not to “sign up” until you see an actual class yourself. One easy way to tell what a jiu-jitsu instructor is truly capable of is watching the students of the instructor. Ask to sit in on a class and see how the students behave, how they move, how their jiu-jitsu skills appear, and how the instructor interacts with them. The class should look disciplined and organized, and have a high level of energy. The students should appear focused, while having a lot of fun at the same time.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ATMOSPHERE FOR YOUR CHILD
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools can have many different atmospheres surrounding the classes. This is all based on the ethics and guidelines of the particular academy. You want the environment to be family friendly and positive. The things that will determine this are a combination of the instructor, classmates, families, and academy staff. The growth of your child in jiu-jitsu is made up of 50% instructor and 50% the classmates. This means you will want to evaluate the students in the class to make sure these are the children you want influencing your child on a daily basis. You must remember that kids will be kids, so make sure you evaluation scale is not too harsh.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ACADEMY THAT MEETS YOUR NEEDS AS A PARENT
Every parent has certain needs they require in order for an academy to work within their lifestyle. Some of these basic needs include a good geographic location and a schedule that works for your family. Make sure the location of the school is suitable for you to take your child to classes on a regular basis and that the schedule is doable for you. Again, choosing the right academy of jiu-jitsu is very similar to choosing an academic college. This means that just because the school is right around the corner from your home, it does not necessarily mean that it is the right school for your child.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT UNIFORM OR APPAREL FOR JIU-JITSU
Some schools will already have a stranded uniform that every student must wear to represent the academy. Many schools don’t require that you wear theirs and allow you to openly choose an uniform that your child would be more comfortable wearing. You will typically need a uniform for both “Gi” and “No-Gi” training. The Gi uniform is a combination of a heavy grade jacket top, pants, and a white belt. The No-Gi uniform is a combination of grappling shorts and a tight fitting, grappling, rash guard shirt. There are many companies that make the gear you will need. Many companies make both Gi and No-Gi uniforms that vary in price and quality.
If you follow this parents’ guide to getting your child started in jiu-jitsu, you should be on your way to success. Now, all you have to do is kick back and enjoy watching your child grow as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist.
Lucky Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness Club
1607 Hart St. #100
Southlake, Texas 76092