Prof. Ricardo Almeida – a former UFC fighter and MMA competitor who runs a successful academy in the USA – believes that parents should ask themselves different questions about the potential benefits of their children joining jiu-jitsu classes.
“For any parent asking “Why should I enroll my kids in jiu-jitsu?” That is the wrong question to ask.”
“The actual question should be “My child is having problems making friends at school. My child is being bullied at school. My child’s motor skills are not where they shouldn’t be. Or my son is maybe too timid. My son had problems with focus. With self disciplining himself to do homework”. ”
“I believe that jiu-jitsu is the best program of self development.”
GB blog asked Prof. Fabio Villela about what kind of positive feedback have you heard from parents whose children have started jiu-jitsu?
Prof. Fabio Villela “The 1st biggest change usually is at school and inside their homes.
At school they get better grades, don’t get in trouble and be more respectful with teachers and friends.
At home they listen more to their parents and are more respectful with siblings.”
How Do Children Benefit From Jiu-jitsu?
Prof Felipe Guedes loves teaching the kids jiu-jitsu program at his Gracie Barra school and shares his philosophy on how children can benefit from training jiu-jitsu.
GB: Many parents are aware that enrolling their children in a martial arts program can help instill confidence, discipline, cooperation with others and respect in young people.
What do you feel are the primary benefits for kids to be regularly attending jiu-jitsu classes?
Prof. Felipe Guedes: I’ve been teaching martial arts for kids since 2008, to hundreds of families. And I’ve seeing Jiu jitsu helping their kids in so many ways!
Every child is different and we use Jiu Jitsu to benefits each child the best way as possible. Some kids are in one side of the spectrum being very shy, for those the first benefits that the parents notice is the level of confidence becoming higher, they start to understand what they are capable of and not allowing anyone to take advantage of them and being comfortable on their own skin and even helping them to be more decisive and confident to make decisions.
Their abilities to interact socially with other kids improve so much, and they are not afraid anymore of looking others in the eyes when having a conversation and having to even speak in public.
Now for the other side of the spectrum, we see very physical and aggressive kids, learning how to control themselves, respect authority, and follow rules. They become more gentle with others and normally great leaders among their friends.
So, we work on finding the healthy balance between building them up or mellowing them down.
Now to finish your question, commitment is a extremely important factor in martial arts, and one of the first things we learn as a student or either a parent, nothing happens over night, the day by day team work between parents and Coaches will have a positive impact into the future of our kids.
And consistent training is irreplaceable, always not forcing, but reinforcing to our kids why is so important to train Jiu jitsu and how much they have improved, recognizing their hard work.
This seems obvious, but I have to admit that today’s culture is a culture of instant gratification, where everyone wants things now, now, now! But only the ones that are willing to work hard with consistency will achieve the results.
Q: What advice do you have for parents who are thinking of starting their children in jiu-jitsu classes?
Prof. Felipe Guedes: Please don’t think twice! Give your child a chance! They will thank you for the rest of their lives!
Call the GB school near by and schedule a class, they can come and try a class for a couple of times and then make it a better educated decision on what we have to offer.
The professors want to understand how Jiu Jitsu can help your child and work from there.
If your child is super shy, you can also bring him/her to the school and watch a class from the sidelines first.
Please share this article if you know some kids who would like to try a jiu-jiitsu class.