If you’re currently thinking about Jiu-Jitsu for kids in Singapore, you might be on to something. The gentle art is one of the most popular martial arts in the world, and it equips children with skills that will be useful to them all over their lives.
The word “Jiu-Jitsu” means “the gentle art” in English. It teaches you how to use leverage and technique to overcome stronger opponents. The gentle nature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu makes it a great martial art for kids. Parents do not need to worry about their child getting struck in the face since the art focuses primarily on grappling techniques. Unlike other martial arts that involve strikes, Jiu-Jitsu students can safely spar (roll) after every class, speeding up the learning process.
Life skills Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches kids
Wondering what some of the valuable skills children learn from training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are? Let’s take a look at a few of them:
1) Improving at anything requires perseverance
Learning a martial art like Jiu-jitsu is a lifelong journey that requires lots of practice and repetition to master each technique. Most people will have a hard time keeping up with their training partners when they first start training. Makes sense since their training partners have been putting in work longer than they have.
Simple techniques might seem impossible to master at first, but with time, these techniques become part of your muscle memory. You start as a white belt, then you slowly move through the ranks until you become a black belt.
Progressing through the ranks teaches children how important sticking to anything you do is. Over time, these kids realise they can now do things that once seemed impossible to do. Eventually, these children will begin to take the lessons they have learned on the mat to other aspects of their lives like schoolwork. It isn’t uncommon for children to get better grades after starting a martial art like Jiu-Jitsu.
2) Gets rid of excess energy
Many adults do not realise how confusing the messages we send to kids are. We know their little bodies are filled with infinite amounts of restless energy, yet we are constantly telling them to be quiet or to stand still.
This can leave many kids with lots of energy they do not know how to manage. That can lead to restlessness or behavioural problems, especially if the child already has an underlying issue like attention deficit disorder (ADD). Jiu-Jitsu for kids gives children a productive way to channel their energy. They get to work up a sweat and learn cool martial arts techniques. Parents who sign up their kids for martial art classes won’t have to chase them around the home when it is bedtime since their bodies will already be tired from all the training they did earlier.
3) Improves social skills
Socialising comes naturally for some kids, while others have a harder time figuring out appropriate ways to interact with their peers. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for kids gives them an additional opportunity outside of school to interact with children of all age groups. They get to interact with children younger than them and those who are older. These extra social interactions are often the extra push a shy child needs to come out of their shell.
4) Gives them the confidence to embrace uncomfortable things
We all tend to avoid uncomfortable things. It is a form of self-preservation, but it often does more harm than good. Most of us will need to step out of our comfort zones to accomplish our goals and dreams. Observe the most successful people around you, and you will notice most of them are comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Nothing teaches you how much fun stepping out of your comfort zone can be like a good Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sparring match. You might feel tired or frustrated as you roll with your training partners, but you usually have a bunch of fun at the same time. Your training partners often become good friends due to all the good times you share on the mat.
The same applies to children. Learning Jiu-Jitsu teaches them that doing things that might seem uncomfortable at first can be very rewarding. That might give them the extra motivation they need when they have to open up a textbook containing their least favourite subject for a test at school.
Jiu-Jitsu teaches children to take pleasure in dealing with adversity and to enjoy getting past these challenges. It’s an important life skill that plays a major role in determining how successful a child will be.
5) Reminds them fun doesn’t have to include technology
Kids these days are bombarded with all sorts of distracting devices like smartphones, social media, and video games. Studies show that spending too much time on any of these mediums can be detrimental to a child’s mental health and development.
Jiu-Jitsu gives children a fun, physical activity they get to look forward to. It gets them all the exercise they need, keeping their minds and bodies healthy.
6) Improved confidence
Learning a martial art like Jiu-Jitsu leads to increased confidence. You feel good about the fact you have been able to master many techniques that were once difficult for you over the course of your training. You realise how much sticking to something consistently leads to results as you progress through the ranks.
That confidence will translate to other parts of a child’s life as they now know they can accomplish anything they put their minds to.
7) Teaches them how to stand up for themselves
The confidence children get from learning Jiu-Jitsu in Singapore will make them less likely to have to deal with bullies at school. Bullies tend to go for the quiet or timid kid. Children who learn martial arts have improved social skills, so they are more likely to have friends who will back them up when they get picked on.
Jiu-Jitsu also gives your child the tools they need to defend themselves if the bully decides to get physical with them.
This article, "Here’s How Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Helps Kids Develop Life Skills", originally appeared on Evolve MMA, Asia’s No. 1 martial arts organisation.