As parents, we all know that kids need to stay active and learn how to be a part of a team. Martial arts is a great way for kids to do both these things, but the added benefit is that it’s a year-round program. Instead of seasonal sports where progress is slower, kids who participate consistently in a martial arts program will see guaranteed changes in behaviour at home and school.
At De Souza Dojo, we focus on building kids’ life skills while they are making friends and learning martial arts. While we can think of 10,000 reasons why kids should train BJJ, here are the top 5 reasons why our kids’ martial arts program is so important:
1. Physical benefits: Children who train Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are learning a healthy lifestyle by staying active, which, as most parents know, is difficult to do in the age of video games and social media! Staying active burns calories, increases good cholesterol, decreases bad cholesterol, increases flexibility, increases balance and coordination, improves fitness, maintains healthy joints and keeps the heart rate up, all while learning how to defend yourself! Proper martial arts training should be fun and educational, all while increasing a child’s self-confidence, which can in turn manifest itself in many positive ways of a child’s life.
2. Self-Esteem: Self-esteem is developed in martial arts due to the ability to grow and set goals. At first, kids in BJJ class start off setting short-term goals (getting a feel for the movements). These goals are realized after a few short months and are rewarded with a new belt or stripe. The student realizes that the effort and work put forth in the martial arts class pays off, in this case, a new belt color. Once they realize that BJJ is for life they begin to reach for a higher goal, attaining the coveted black belt, but along the way, self-esteem and self-confidence is growing, along with the child.
3. Bullyproof: Bullying is a well-documented and growing problem in schools these days. And with no signs of slowing down, martial arts training can give much needed tools to the child on how to better deal with bullies and bullying situations. Martial arts teaches children to stand up for themselves and for others if there is a bullying situation. Preventing bullying does not mean resorting to violence, it means having the confidence to stand up for what is right. However, what’s worse for parents than learning their child is being a bully, is that their child is a bully him/herself. At De Souza Dojo, we focus on developing strong human beings, learning to help others, not hurt them.
4. Mental Health: Apart from self-esteem, BJJ is very mentally challenging which helps kids develop character. Compared to other martial arts, it can take up to 10 yrs for adults to reach black belt because of the complexity of the art. The ability of a BJJ student to learn how to deal with obstacles in a controlled environment gives the benefit of increased mental health because the student develops the ever-important “Never Give Up” attitude. That attitude is imperative in developing leaders and strong individuals who don’t see a limit to what they can accomplish and learn how to navigate their way through challenges. Along the way, your child will gain self-discipline, self-confidence, focus, and respect, just to name a few of the many mental benefits of training.
5. Awareness: The last thing any parent wants is a lost child. Typically, the child is fine and found in a few minutes. But what if the worst case scenario presented itself? Realistically, can a child defend themselves against an adult? Probably not. But a child can learn how to be aware of their surroundings, and take the necessary steps to prevent dangerous situations. BJJ teaches children to be flexible, make quick decisions, and take action while remaining calm.