First, and foremost, sports should develop better people. Developing good athletes should always come second to human development.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, specifically, helps in the cultivation of:
These skills transcend the mat; they are character traits revered by society. Additionally, society holds with high esteem an individual that can win with humility and lose with grace. An exclusive aspect of training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the consistency of sparring as a means to apply lessons learned. We have an opportunity, every time we train, to practice winning with humility and losing with grace.
At Yemaso BJJ, we specifically teach what respect looks like before, during, and after a sparring session. In time, this respect grows into a heightened level of self-confidence and discipline. For the parents of an energetic child, this cultivated respect and is welcomed with open arms.
1. Your Child Will Have More Physical Activity
This is an obvious reason kids should do martial arts in this day and age – to get active and moving. As great as our nation is, we have an epidemic in regards to obesity. Children are not immune to the issue. Youth sports and physical education programs are great, but many times fall short of the required activity to support strong and healthy development of children. The martial arts offer many benefits, and the quest to martial arts mastery goes hand in hand with high levels of physical fitness. Martial arts can help your child get fit and healthy in a supportive and familial environment.
2. Your Child Will Improve Their Ability to Focus
While there are many benefits to the internet, there are many more benefits in stillness and silence. Unfortunately, stillness and silence seem to be rare to find and the unbound access to the internet perpetuates the problem. At some juncture in life, every one of us comes to learn that the greatest obstacle we face in this lifetime is ourselves. That battle is fought in the stillness of our hearts and the willingness to confront ourselves. As Bruce Lee pointed out, “behind the punches, kicks, and knees, a true martial artist learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are.”
Through years of martial arts classes, you will remember many challenges, breakthroughs, and setbacks. What you will not remember are distractions or gimmicks akin to your local health club. In our academy, there is no loud music or flat screen TVs, just hard work and sweat equity. As a martial artist, your child will learn what it is to be still, challenged and focused.
3. Your Child Will Become More Resilient
Part of life is learning that we all experience setbacks. The key is in learning how best to deal with setbacks and the steps to take to keep moving forward. This lesson seems to be lost on many in our every-kid-gets-a-trophy culture. Respectfully, we believe in teaching kids that the outcome is not as important as the journey and how you adapt to a result. In BJJ, your kid will learn to fail – a lot.
4. Your Child Will Develop Self-Respect
When you remember playing with the big kids it takes you back to those little reminders of humility – there is always someone who is bigger, stronger, and better than you. The right martial arts school will teach your child that there are no tough guys. Every martial artist ultimately learns this sense of respect and true confidence. Your child will learn that confidence and respect for others comes from a deep sense of self-awareness.
5. Your Child Will Appreciate Their Minds AND Bodies
What they don’t teach you at your local health club is how to really listen to your body. To listen to your body is to also see your thoughts and have heightened awareness of your emotional construct. A martial artist is taught to see, feel and listen – both internally and externally. Tapping into intuition, fear and courage are examples of being able to put the physical together with mental. Learning to control your nervous system in an event of acute stress is a skill that can be taught. No one wants to be taken by surprise, yet, when faced with a fight, flight, or freeze situation, it is far better to have the training to aid your mind in making the right decision; martial arts is an excellent tool for front loading these responses.
Give your child the gift of becoming a lifelong martial artist!
We believe that any child can and will benefit from participation in martial arts. Which specific martial art? Well, if you ask us (bias notwithstanding), we suggest a martial art that is predominately grappling based. We find that children have a natural affinity to rough house and wrestle around. The point is to just get them moving and focused. The key in choosing an instructor/academy is to do your due diligence when it comes to evaluating the integrity of the program.