There are two things that all adult grapplers have in common at Gracie Miranda. One, they all love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Two, they all wish they started 10 years earlier.
Martial arts are hobbies that can stay with you for life. Paradoxically though, you can never start too early. Many parents recognize this, seeking to sign their children up to martial arts classes of one kind or another.
The challenging question for a parent is where to start. There are so many different types of martial arts. If you’ve never trained before, it’s easy to get confused about how each art differs from others.
If you’re a parent in the Sutherland Shire, feel free to come into Gracie Miranda for a free trial class. The first class is always free, whether it’s for you or your child. It’s the best way to see what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is all about. For five reasons why this is a good idea, keep on reading.
BJJ is good for small people
This requires some explanation of what Jiu-Jitsu is. It’s a grappling martial art, where practitioners are taught how to secure dominant positions and apply submission holds. There are no strikes, and grappling almost entirely takes place on the ground.
There’s a reason BJJ is predominantly ground-based. It’s much harder to utilize strength and power if you’re on the ground. This is because generating force typically requires the use of your legs. With that ability taken out of the equation, power becomes less important and skills become more so.
This is a benefit for everyone, but it makes BJJ especially valuable for children and women. In the case of women, it means an ability to defend yourself against larger men. For kids, it means being better able to defend against bigger or older bullies.
One of Jiu-Jitsu’s most remarkable qualities is its safety. Even for adults, who train with far greater intensity than children, it’s a surprisingly safe activity.
As noted above, there are no strikes in BJJ. That means that there are no blows to the head, which can cause catastrophic injuries in other martial arts. Jiu-Jitsu also has less of a focus on takedowns when compared to other grappling arts, like Judo and wrestling.
In both of those cases, the game is almost over once one or both people hit the ground. In BJJ, that’s where the game begins. With less takedowns come less slamming, which makes injuries even rarer.
At Gracie Miranda we take care to make sure all kids are learning in a way appropriate to their age, ability and comfort levels. Safety comes first.
It’s a great way to make friends
Martial arts are a great type of sport for kids, because they offer the best of both worlds. It’s not a team sport, so children will be able to focus purely on themselves and their own self-improvement. But the entirety of Gracie Miranda is one big team. Kids will meet dozens of new people on the mats, and social bonds inevitably form through the process of learning together.
Adults who sign up for BJJ often make friends for life. Kids are no different.
There’s a healthy amount of failure
Jiu-Jitsu is a spar-heavy martial art. Because it’s possible to grapple at high intensity with great levels of safety, most lessons end with sparing of one kind or another. (In BJJ, this is called “rolling.)
No one is great at BJJ right off the bat. Everyone deals with the frustrations of being bested by another person on the mats. There are many important life lessons to be learned on the mats. Most of these revolve around failure.
Kids will learn that they get out what they put in. They learn that success requires work. Just as importantly, they’ll see that hard work pays off. Losses are a part of life, and learning from them is a life skill. This is something BJJ teaches aplenty.
It’s a great way to stay active
Phones, TV and video games are undeniably engaging, which unfortunately means kids are sitting down more often than ever. That’s not always the worst thing – but it needs to be counteracted with movement.
It’s important for children to exercise and move their bodies, as this is a key part of achieving physical wellbeing. Unfortunately, the truth is that a lot of exercise can be boring. Running, cycling or swimming are rewarding for some, but too dull for others.
Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts are a great antidote. Kids will break a sweat and get a full-body workout, all while having fun. Plus, they’ll be learning self-defense skills. It’s the whole package.