Our children are blank slates, white canvases ready to be marked by influences in their immediate environments. As parents, we always try our best to protect our children from any sort of danger. The reality is, however, that it is impossible to protect our kids at every given moment, which is why it’s crucial that they develop tangible life skills that will help them navigate a complex world.
One of the best things we can do for our children is enrolling them in a martial arts class. Martial arts has a host of benefits for kids, imparting in them discipline, values, and the knowledge of self-defence. Some martial arts disciplines, in particular, can really help shape the way a child develops.
Among the more popular martial arts for kids is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), which has an extensive program for young children and adults alike. BJJ, also known as ‘the gentle art,’ involves neutralising threats instead of going on the offensive, which is perfect for self-defense situations.
Enrolling our children in BJJ class is the first step to empowering them with confidence, which kids often lack these days. Placing them in the care of experienced instructors is very important. Instructors essentially guide our children and help them navigate through life when we’re busy with other things.
BJJ for children offers a wide range of understated benefits. It teaches lessons that eventually integrate into all aspects of life. Let’s take a look at a few of those teachings.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five lessons Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches our children.
1) It teaches them to understand failure
BJJ training is one that is steeped in failure. It’s not about success at all, but about failing many times until you understand a certain technique fully. Failing over and over teaches kids an invaluable lesson of humility. There’s no place for arrogance in BJJ.
The acknowledgement of defeat and acceptance of failure is so important, because in life, you’re not going to win all the time. In fact, losing is perhaps the biggest part of victory. The more you lose, the greater your appreciation is for what you’ve accomplished, and what you have.
It’s best to teach kids to embrace failure early, and help them see the value in failure. At the same time, BJJ actually teaches kids to refuse to submit and accept defeat, and not give up until victory is achieved.
This beautiful lesson translates well into real life. Embracing defeat and recognising shortcomings is essential to self-improvement. Nurturing humility in children positions them to succeed in life. They become better equipped to handle problems as they arise, and thus are placed in the best position to achieve their goals and become successful.
2) They learn how to play well with others
Perhaps more so than any other martial art, BJJ is a discipline built on the foundation of teamwork. There is no advancement in BJJ without the help of others. BJJ training, then, requires our children to learn how to work and play well with others.
Interacting with other students, and knowing how to deal with different personalities, is important for children to grow their social skills. BJJ in and of itself is a social sport that can build positive relationships inside the gym, and that transcend the gym walls.
With the guidance of instructors, our children will learn how to interact with others positively, regardless of any given situation. In fact, the company you keep is what makes BJJ training so enjoyable. Teammates progress and achieve milestones together, and no one is left behind. Everyone moves forward.
BJJ is naturally a competitive sport, but it is one that cannot effectively be practiced alone. The very nature of the discipline instills the value of cooperation and teamwork, teaching our kids that the greatest amount of growth happens when people work together.
3) Improving problem-solving skills
BJJ is essentially a set of problems that need solutions. Every situation on the mat presents a unique puzzle just waiting to be solved.
Apart from it being an intense workout, BJJ also strengthens the mind. It facilitates good cognitive development in children by giving them problems to train their minds. As a highly technical discipline, every situation on the mat involves strategy and critical thinking. Being able to adopt mental clarity under immense pressure is a valuable skill that will benefit our kids for the rest of their lives.
Furthermore, the fundamental principles that govern the art of BJJ will prove useful in effectively addressing and resolving hurdles that will no doubt come up in our kids’ lives. When faced with difficult problems, BJJ teaches our kids to be patient, move with efficiency, and maintain physical and mental control at all times.
4) Physical fitness is important
One aspect of life that is often overlooked in today’s society is physical fitness.
The amount of unhealthy junk food that children are exposed to is unimaginable. Food that is detrimental to health is also easily accessible. Moreover, with the rapid advancement of technology, children unknowingly receive just too much screen time. It’s a common problem for all parents. And frankly, children just need more exercise.
Enrolling our children in BJJ class can help solve these problems.
Of course, exercise is essential to healthy growth and development in children. It facilitates cognitive growth and motor development, improving concentration and focus, as well as strengthening the muscles and bones, and improving cardiovascular health.
Childhood obesity is a real plague in today’s society. BJJ training can help with that by developing good habits in our children as they grow older. It’s good to teach our kids about the value of physical fitness while they’re still young.
5) It makes them bully-proof
Last but not least, BJJ empowers kids with the knowledge of self-defence.
In fact, BJJ is one of the most effective self-defence systems available to learn, and it doesn’t matter how young or how old you are. You can still walk through the BJJ gym doors and start learning.
By providing our children with the knowledge of self-defence, we also effectively make them bully-proof, not just by teaching them how to fight, but also by teaching them the responsibility of knowing how to fight. And that is one of the most important things BJJ teaches.
Knowing when to fight and when to flee is an important ability, and it can only be taught through experience. Placing our kids in a controlled environment where they can learn this safely is tantamount to helping protect them from childhood bullying, or preventing them from becoming bullies.
Bullies target the weak and the weak-spirited, and BJJ practice teaches children to protect themselves and others, builds up their confidence and self-esteem, and keeps them bully-proof as a result.
So if you’re looking for a way to teach your child important life-long lessons, give martial arts a go!