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“Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was the best investment I made for my child…”

“BJJ was the best investment I made for my child.”

I heard from a parent this phrase the other day and it resonates with me as I honestly get touched by this issue, especially when involves kids and teens.

Throughout the years I had many parents that came personally for a chat willing to express their appreciation. They could not be happier on the positive changes that they were noticing on their child after having embraced BJJ as a new routine in their child’s life. Many times, their eyes were full of tears and mine would go in a remarkably similar direction. It has been a massive joy to be part of this journey.

The issues that I have seen Jiu Jitsu help with, inspire, and support a transformation in the most positive way, almost like a rewiring process were:

Attention and learning difficulties at school, low self-steam, body image issues, socialization, lack of humility, anger issues, obesity, phobias, suicidal thoughts, fear, resilience, accountability, lack of discipline and lack of respect.

Why I think that BJJ helps with these issues.

1 – Bjj is a very democratic sport/martial art where every child feels accepted straight away regardless, any body shape, background, social skills etc…. There is only one group, the BJJ group. Socialization will happen with all the children.

2- Give Kids a new set of Values and Goals.

A habit of hygiene, discipline, hard work, socialization, respect, teamwork, and resilience are values that your child will develop daily on the mat. A BJJ grading system is based on hard work and commitment, which gives to the children a sense of focus and determination towards a medium-term goal by presenting a rewarding system based on their efforts and merits different from most instant short rewards gratifications that all extremely busy and unconditional loving parents ended up providing to their kids.

3 – Schools lack of real participation in kids character building and self-development.

Unfortunately, (I heard that many times,) Schools avoid dealing with any type of misconduct, bullying and fights. They would rather spell the students and let parents deal with it at home.  In a supportive Jiu Jitsu School, the coach will address any issue, having serious conversations with the children and teenagers, setting boundaries, and making clear expectations.

Having the coach as the role model for your child, allows the students (especially teenagers) to build trust and a supportive relationship with the coaches. Through supportive relationships comes a positive influence on children’s development as a human being, providing opportunities to have open conversations that sometimes would not come up with parents and family members. Which can be an extremely important ally to the parents.

4 – The big confidence and resilience booster for kids and teens.

During BJJ classes kids will learn in a safe environment how to lose, how to win and to try again without feeling insecure, ashamed, or angry. Instead, they will focus on techniques and try to think about what happened so they can try to do better next time and that is exactly the resilience knowledge that will be useful in their bright future ahead.

5 – The benefit of mindfulness acquired by the practice of Jiu Jitsu. 

BJJ training requires the child’s mind and body to be present and focus the entire time, taking away anxiety and mind rumination. It makes the child more fit and confident by the nature of this full-contact sport/ martial art. This martial art will create a good mechanism, so they become able to defend themselves and not freeze in case they are being confronted or even molested. 

This article was written by:

Eduardo Dias

Garra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brisbane head coach – 4th Degree Black Belt

Live Life – Love Jiu-Jitsu. OSS

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