Jiu Jitsu for Kids: No Gi Jiu Jitsu for Kids in Bastrop, TX

There are a myriad of reasons why we heartily believe that training jiu jitsu can make a massive impact on the development of kids. Whether we’re talking about a young person’s personal development, gaining an athletic skill and strength, or even learning grappling for self defense from bullying, jiu jitsu kids are just built different. These kids gain a level of empowerment and self control that they will carry with them throughout their lives. Here are some of our thoughts on offering jiu jitsu training for kids out here in Bastrop, TX.

Parents, we’re gonna surprise you here and actually lead off with the cons list first, and that’s because we can only think of one… You may notice your kids doing a little more wrestling horseplay after starting jiu jitsu. They get a little excited about how fun jiu jitsu is to do (but hey, so do us adults), and sometimes it’s challenging to get them to stop. To be fair, when you learn a new submission, all you want to do is practice it, whether at the gym or at home on the floor. Fear not, as coaches, we do everything we can to help reinforce the idea that doing jiu jitsu is appropriate only on our jiu jitsu mats. 

But the truth is, no matter what, whether it comes to simple sibling wrestling or something serious like addressing a bully, the knowledge kids gain on the mats carries through automatically to the rest of their lives. That’s because kids tend to have an innate interest in grappling. It’s an instinct that most of us have, and jiu jitsu classes are the right place for kids to explore their physicality in grappling in a safe environment.

Which leads us to the pros list! At the top of the pros list obviously is the sense of empowerment that jiu jitsu offers for children. It’s not that different from the self esteem that adults get from engaging in grappling. It’s a big world for our little ones, and they don’t often get to experience a sense of real control or responsibility. On the mats, they are in control of themselves at all times and must remain so, particularly when they are not in a dominant position and are playing defense. Often, they are in control of their training partner too as they run through the dominant positions. And at all times, they experience the sense of real responsibility to care for their teammate and keep everyone safe. 

We help kids understand that the difference between jiu jitsu at the gym and a real fight is that, while we may be ‘fighting’ here, we are all still teammates in the gym. This skill, separating their own physical frustration while sparring (rolling) from the emotions that make them want to act out aggressively, is a massive lesson for kids learning how to exercise control of their own emotions in a nuanced manner.

Beyond kids learning self control in jiu jitsu, the additional impacts are obvious. Kids that have an outlet for physical aggression and skills training in martial arts are far more equipped to handle a physical altercation with a bully, whether because they know how to walk away or because they know how to protect themselves from an inevitable fight. We want our kids to have the confidence that they can defend themselves or their vulnerable friends whenever necessary. 

Finally, let’s talk competition for kids. Parents, you know already that giving your kids a place to compete gives them a step up in preparing for the real world, but nothing offers the challenge that jiu jitsu competitions do. Kids need to prepare and understand the rules that they will be competing under and they need to work to handle the pressure of competition. Competing teaches kids valuable lessons whether they win or lose, and it’s crucial to us that they do either one gracefully. While competition is not required for kids, or adults for that matter, at Airlock, we endorse the benefits of putting your jiu jitsu under pressure!

We want every kid to have the chance to experience this level of self control and safety. We train no gi kids jiu jitsu here at Airlock Jiu Jitsu in Bastrop, which means that you parents don’t have to buy and wash a stinky gi all the time – an athletic t-shirt and shorts will do just fine for our kids class. Recommended age for our kids class is 8-12 years old, but we do make special considerations based on a kid’s size and maturity level. So come on by for your free week, and let your child give it a shot. Their instincts and enjoyment may surprise you both. 

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