The Hands-Down Best Way to Know if Your Child is Ready for BJJ

We field a lot of questions from eager parents about when their child might be ready to start rolling. And we get it! There are all sorts of physical, emotional, and social benefits to Brazilian jiu jitsu. But here’s the thing — your child will only enjoy those benefits if they start training at the right time. Too early, and they may not be prepared to listen, learn, and grow, turning what should be a great experience into a chore (and we all know how kids feel about chores). So when should a child get started? There’s no single answer that applies across the board, but we can share the hands-down best way to know if your child is ready for BJJ.

Is Your Child Ready?

The best way to know is by giving it a go. But first, ask yourself the following — and be honest.

  • Does my child have the listening skills needed to follow directions? More importantly, will they try to follow those directions?
  • Can my child participate for the duration of class time, or are they too easily distracted?
  • Does my child know anyone in this class?
  • Can we commit to attending classes regularly, given the schedule and the school’s location?

Kids are all unique, and some six year olds really do have the attention span and interest to do well in BJJ. You’ll also get the occasional eight, nine, or ten year old who has a hard time sitting still, paying attention, and following directions. The point is, the number itself isn’t necessarily an indication of a child’s readiness. Social maturity and the skills learned in first grade and beyond, like being respectful, listening and paying attention, following directions, and being a good friend, are all important for success on the mat. And that’s true regardless of age.

Getting Started

If you think your child may be ready, but you’re still not entirely sure, find an experienced coach who can do a little evaluation. At Guerrilla BJJ here in Reno, we’re happy to discuss our class format and answer any questions you may have. You and your child can watch a class and see what you think. Be honest about where your child is in terms of abilities and teachability, and you’ll be in a good place to decide where this is the right time to begin BJJ.

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