For Kids, BJJ is About Way More than Self Defense

If you search for anything relating to BJJ for kids, you’ll get a million hits relating to making them “bully proof.” And sure, learning self-defense skills are a selling point. But the real reason training BJJ makes kids less likely to become victims of the schoolyard bully isn’t because they know how to do an arm bar. There are all kinds of things that happen when kids are rolling regularly, and it’s the cumulative effect that changes everything. For kids, BJJ is about way more than self defense. 

Quiet Confidence

Learning a new skill has its rewards. And with BJJ specifically, kids are tasked with problem solving in the present moment. They try, fail, and try again, putting in the work to really understand specific techniques. When you do that, you can’t help but build confidence. And confidence goes hand in hand with the mental aspect of BJJ. Learning the individual elements of a technique sharpens the mind and improves focus. A strong mind is always an asset.

The thing about bullies is that they target those they perceive as weak, and weakness is typically telegraphed in posture and body language — a hunched spine, ducked head, minimal eye contact. In BJJ, like all martial arts, respect is modeled and expected. The more kids practice things like expansive body language and eye contact, the more it becomes a standard way of operating.

It’s just not the respect that’s inherent to BJJ. Body awareness is another below-the-radar benefit. As kids become more aware of their bodies and what they can do, they may start connecting things like nutrition, sleep, and exercise to how they feel. It can often be a great introduction to healthy habits for lifelong strength and mobility. Kids with strong minds and strong bodies generally don’t make great targets for the average bully.

Getting Started

Many parents are drawn to the idea of BJJ for their kids primarily because of the self-defense aspect, and that’s fine. It’s only after their kids start that parents learn there are so many other benefits. If you’re in Reno, we invite you to visit Guerrilla BJJ so you and your child can see for yourselves.


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