Top Five Reasons Kids Should Train Jiu-Jitsu
More and more people around the world are training jiu-jitsu than ever before. With all the benefits you can gain from regular jiu-jitsu practice, it’s no surprise that academies and tournaments are seeing an increase in the number of practitioners every year. One of the best parts about jiu-jitsu is that it truly is for everyone and doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, or background. As the sport has grown we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of youth practitioners, with this year’s Pan Kids in Florida being the biggest since the event was founded in 2010. Kids programs at academies around the world continue to grow and with all the benefits jiu-jitsu has for kids, it’s likely these programs won’t be slowing down any time soon. The following are five reasons why kids should train jiu-jitsu.
The first reason kids should learn jiu-jitsu is because it is the most efficient form of self-defense. Why is it important to learn to defend yourself? Although many physical altercations can be avoided, some simply cannot. Bullying, and specifically cyber-bullying, has become a real issue for many kids and makes it difficult to want to go to school or take part in extra curricular activities. Self-defense skills can not only keep kids safe in case of a physical altercation, but they can also give kids the confidence to avoid these situations. Many kids programs discuss proper course of action in a self defense situation, often advocating for using your voice before allowing the altercation to become physical. While it would be great if kids never had to defend themselves, having the skills to do so will benefit them immensely.
Build Social Skills
Being part of a group that is striving for a common goal is one of the best ways to build better social skills. Although jiu-jitsu is unlike traditional team sports, it requires communication and cooperation between partners. If we didn’t have cooperative training partners, it’d be impossible to train jiu-jitsu. Exposing kids to other kids close to their age early on is essential for overall health and well being. When training jiu-jitsu, kids are repeatedly put in situations where they must work together doing warm up exercises, drills, and sparring rounds. Building better communication and social skills will benefit kids in every aspect of their lives.
Build Leadership Skills
As kids start to gain skills and confidence in jiu-jitsu, they’ll often be put in positions to work on their leadership skills. For example, kids who have more experience in jiu-jitsu will often times be partnered with a new class member during the drilling portion of the class. This will allow the more experienced practitioner to guide the newer student and make him or her feel more comfortable in the class. The confidence gained from these experiences will often be built upon as kids move from the kids class into the teen and/or adult classes. Being a leader is also about helping those around us. The better someone gets at jiu-jitsu, the more opportunity he or she will have to help those around them.
Build Healthy Habits
Healthy exercise and eating habits are essential for a long and prosperous life. The earlier these habits are ingrained in someone, the more likely they are to stick with them for life. Jiu-Jitsu is an incredible tool for building healthy exercise and eating habits. Because the art is so technical, learning it often feels just as much of a mental exercise as a physical one, often causing practitioners to forget that they’re even getting a physical workout. This combination of mental and physical exercise is invigorating and keeps practitioners coming back for more. In addition to the physical exercise habits, jiu-jitsu is also useful for building better dietary habits. Kids learn quickly that if they fuel their bodies properly, they feel better while training and are able to train more often.
Less Screen Time
These days it’s often a challenge to spend less time in front of a screen, regardless of your age. With unlimited access to entertainment and work, we’re spending more time in front of screens than ever before. Having planned time away from our devices is often the best way to ensure we remain active and spend less time consuming mindless entertainment. Even though much of the content on the internet is educational, it’s still important for us to be intentional with our movement practices. Jiu-Jitsu classes generally range from one to two hours and force kids to exercise, work on their communication skills, and stay off their devices.