Five tools learned in Jiu Jitsu that will help prepare children and maximize their potential

The education children receive in school is as important as what is learned at home. But what can parents do to ensure their child benefits the most in school? While a parent cannot always be physically present, it is possible to give a child the right tools to succeed in school. Enrolling children in Jiu Jitsu classes will give them five important tools that will help them succeed in school and, even more importantly, to succeed in life!

1. Jiu Jitsu will help make a child bully proof

If a child is physically bullied or picked on at school, it will be hard for him or her to concentrate on learning. If bullying persists, a child’s self esteem may suffer, making it hard for him or her to care about themselves or school.

Jiu jitsu is the perfect solution for bullying. With Jiu Jitsu even a smaller child can defend themselves from a bigger, stronger opponent. Also, because Jiu Jitsu works to develop mental capacity and character, a child will grow more confident and resistant to bullying.  Bullies usually pick on mentally and physically weaker children and will avoid a strong confident child trained in Jiu Jitsu. Bullies are not just present in school but also in all areas of life. Learning to deal with bullying is an essential life skill.

2. Jiu Jitsu will make a child more social, confident, and popular

In Jiu Jitsu classes we are paired with different partners and take turns trying techniques and learning from each other. Children in Jiu Jitsu develop respect and trust for their partners so that safe learning can happen. Over time, numerous positive interactions with training partners teach children to be reliable, helpful, and fun team players.

Children in Jiu Jitsu constantly progress and develop their skills, so over time they naturally become confident and happier. A happy confident child is one that will naturally be able to attract and maintain friends at school. Making and keeping good friends will be as important to the quality of your child’s experience in school (and in life) as learning what is contained in any text book.

3. Jiu Jitsu will strengthen the relationship between a child and teacher

Respect is the foundation of most martial arts. In Jiu Jitsu students are expected to listen to their professor and to follow instructions and rules. The rules are not arbitrary but are there to create an environment where learning happens as efficiently as possible.

When students understand that teachers are there to help them, this creates a situation where students become good at listening, following instructions, and learning is facilitated. It is easy to see how the respectful and positive student/teacher relationship established in Jiu Jitsu can be transferred to the school environment, and even later in life to the work environment and in personal  relationships.

4. Jiu Jitsu will give a child love and aptitude for life-long learning

In every Jiu Jitsu class we are learning a new submission, escape, or technique. The really amazing thing about learning Jiu Jitsu is that a child has the opportunity to apply what they have learned right away, through drill specific training or rolling on the mats with a training partner. Because learning is a skill acquired through practice, if a child becomes good at learning Jiu Jitsu they will over time become better learners generally.

Another point is that learning is fun and fulfilling, so through Jiu Jitsu children also develop a passion for learning. Although the specific learning that a child acquires in a Jiu Jitsu class may not have direct applicability in school (unless they are being bullied) the aptitude and interest for learning that a child acquires in Jiu Jitsu will carry over to school and also later in life.

5. Jiu Jitsu will teach a child the values of dedication, sacrifice, and perseverance

Life is not easy, but it is worth it. We need to learn to pick ourselves up when we fall down. We need to correct ourselves when we make mistakes. We need to learn to be humble and work together. We need to sharpen our minds, our bodies, and our character, so that when unexpected challenges present themselves, we are ready to face them head on. Jiu Jitsu is very physically and mentally challenging, so it is also very good training for developing the hard work ethic and grit necessary to succeed in life.

Succeeding in Jiu Jitsu is most of all an effort in perseverance.  Sticking with Jiu Jitsu will require dedication, sacrifice, and resolve, but these are also the tools a child will need to succeed in life. If a child can stay focused and committed in Jiu Jitsu and rise up through the belt ranks, they will be well prepared for the worst of what may be ahead.

We want to prepare our children to be the best they can be, and for life’s challenges such as school. Unfortunately we can’t always we around to guide our kids every minute of every day. The lessons learned  through Jiu Jitsu will always be there to help our children even when we cannot be physically present. If we give our children the gift of Jiu Jitsu, we will provide them with at least five valuable and permanent tools that will help them succeed in school and, most importantly, help them to succeed throughout their entire lives.

By: T. d. Santos