Hello my dear and fellow parents,
I’d like to share some valuable insight that we’ve gained from coaching youth Jiu Jitsu over the past seven years. But I won’t waste your time. If you have zero interest in your kids becoming completely unfazed by emotional bullying, or developing the confidence that with hard work they can achieve anything they want, then you can stop reading right now.
Having put my own daughters into the program when they were 4, I know first hand the excitement of my kids’ Jiu Jitsu journey.Hopefully like Josephine and Demi, your children were coming home after their first few classes and showing you the new things they’ve learned. But while class should be exciting and fun, it is nevertheless designed to be mentally and physically challenging, in order that students develop resilience, confidence and self control. Resilience is the ability to persist in the face of challenge and adversity. It has been shown in multiple academic studies to be the most critical factor for success in life. And I can tell you with certainty that it is necessary for success in Jiu jitsu. Developing resilience is not always fun and games. The reality is that less than 10% of children will be eager to get on the mats for every class, or will not want to quit at some point (or multiple points) if given the opportunity. Most children just haven’t developed the mental maturity, rationale or fortitude to willingly engage in a challenging, exhausting and sometimes scary activity in order to develop as a person and hone a skill. We’ve found that the students who reap the most long term benefits from our program; students who develop unshakable confidence, mental fortitude and strength of character, are those students whose parents: 1) Treat Jiu Jitsu from the outset not as an activity that their kids should choose to do for fun, but as a necessary part of life that we do to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be…similar to brushing our teeth or going to school…there really is no option not to do it. 2) Motivate and encourage their kids through suggestion and positive reinforcement to get on the mats enough to make progress and build their self image, without pushing them too hard or too often that they throw up a wall. We call this frequency of training, the “sweet spot.” We’ve found that unless your child is of the 10% who is just begging you to get on the mats more, that the below frequencies are the typical sweet spot until they do:
- 3-4 y/o: once per week
- 5-8 y/o: twice per week
- 9-12 y/o: three times per week
- 13 and up: 3+ times per week
Chances are that like most parents, you will see a positive change in your kids behavior after a few weeks of consistent training. But real, life changing results occur over the long term. Eventually, your children will advance from the novice end of the line to the more experienced. Bigger, older students and eventually adults will come into the program who your kids will easily control and submit in sparring. They will have overcome countless obstacles and achieved new skills that they could not initially achieve or overcome upon first attempt. They will recognize socially, academically and extracurricularly the benefit of the skills and focus they have gained from the program. They will have the self-confidence not to care when someone puts them down emotionally, because they will know all that they have overcome. They will have the resilience to persist in the face of adversity and the confidence that with hard work there’s nothing they can’t achieve. Because once you’ve really trained Jiu Jitsu, everything else is pretty much easy. At that point, it will be very difficult to keep them off the mats. It’s our job as parents to build positive self image at home and keep our kids motivated in the program at “that sweet spot” until they recognize the value in training for themselves, and choose to do it on their own, even though it’s scary and difficult. This is self-discipline. If your child is enthusiastic at home about training, then cultivate that enthusiasm by going over the videos in our Curriculum with them and watching matches between black belts on the IBJJF and flograppling Youtube channels.
– Coach Jordan