We all have our strengths, and sometimes athleticism just isn’t one of them. Still, physical activity is important for everyone, and that’s particularly true for adolescents (especially in this digital world). Kids who lack an athletic side may miss out on the benefits sports can bring, like physical health, team camaraderie and improved self-confidence. And in some cases, fearful of being ostracized by their peers for their athletic shortcomings, kids find it easier to withdraw completely, focusing instead on sedentary activities like video games and television.
That’s where Brazilian jiu jitsu may be a game-changer. Here are three reasons BJJ is ideal for the non-athletic child.
it’s an activity based on strategy, not natural ability
Unlike traditional martial arts, which can require some degree of coordination, speed and athleticism to be truly effective, BJJ relies on technique and leverage. Things like surviving, escaping and securing top position are learned skills that come from good coaching and practice. And the best part is, anyone can learn them. Kids without speed, agility or athleticism can still excel in BJJ because it gives practitioners the freedom to develop their own style or techniques.
the coaching is stellar
Many youth sports are coached by volunteers. These well-meaning parents may be enthusiastic, but there’s no guarantee that they have any interest beyond developing the abilities of the most athletic kids. The same is often true in high school sports – the focus is on winning games and developing the starters. In BJJ, you’re paying for the coaching and if you’ve found a good school, you can be sure it’s exceptional. Your child’s BJJ coach has a vested interest in not only creating a fun, safe environment, but in helping your child develop in the sport.
there’s no pressure
Martial arts are a unique combination of individual activities in a group setting. Kids benefit from training, drilling and working toward similar goals with their peers (and enjoy the camaraderie and positive interaction stemming from it), but learning and developing is entirely self-paced. At Guerrilla BJJ here in Reno, we understand that learning and improving in BJJ is a process that shouldn’t be rushed. Compare that to stressing about learning the play book in traditional sports, and consider which approach is more suited to your child.
BJJ also eliminates the negatives inherent to team sports – the missed shot, bad throw or whiff that upsets the other teammates. In BJJ, you aren’t letting anyone down when you roll. Every class, every drill, every sparring session – they’re all learning opportunities that give kids ample opportunity to fail, try again, and learn the value of overcoming obstacles in their path.
and one more thing
BJJ is also a year-round sport, which means steady, gradual improvement. It’s an incredible physical workout, and no one rides the bench. Every child enjoys the same level of participation in class, instead of just watching the athletic kids as they get better. And then there are the many benefits of BJJ itself – and the not-so-obvious ones.
If you’ve been looking for an activity for your non-athletic kid, BJJ is worth considering. We invite you to check out our getting started offer, visit the school, meet the instructors, and sit in on a class or two.