Plug any age into that title – five, seven, nine, twelve – and the answer will be the same. In most cases, starting a child age five and older in BJJ is a good move. Here’s how to know if your six year old is ready for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
is it too physical?
Kids naturally resort to wrestling and grappling, which makes BJJ a pretty natural progression. At Guerrilla BJJ here in Reno, we welcome students as young as five. Our youth classes are designed with a mix of drills and games to engage kids, while reinforcing specific techniques and encouraging cooperation and communication.
So what does that mean for your five (six, eight, ten) year old? Our instructors give age-appropriate direction and instruction, and through repetition alone, children automatically start learning technique. With the youngest kids, our focus is entirely on building a foundation, encouraging listening and focusing skills, and making sure that everyone is having fun.
starting too early?
Some parents worry that starting a child in BJJ too early means their interest will fizzle. This may be true, but it applies across the board – burn out is common in kids who think their parents have just a little too much invested in their performance.
On the pro side, BJJ promotes mental strength and clarity. It encourages emotional development and social growth. It’s a unique way to teach children how to manage feelings. And if you’re the kind of parent who takes comfort in expert advice, the professional recommendation from developmental experts is that children between five and six are prepared to begin martial arts classes, including BJJ, but competitions should be delayed until between eight and ten years old. By that time, they usually have the emotional maturity to process frustration and defeat.
If you have a hunch that BJJ may be a good place for your child to burn a little energy in a structured and beneficial setting, come and check out a class. You can meet the instructors, observe class, meet other parents, and get a feel for the class dynamic as a whole. If things seem to line up, your child can even try a class for free. That’s the best way to decide if your six (seven, nine, etc.) year old is ready for BJJ.