Planning to register kids for BJJ and have so many questions...

jayoliver00

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She told me (and I'm paraphrasing) that she didn't want them to get their black belt too fast, so she was pacing them. I told her they could get their black belt, and then keep going in the black belt class and get 2nd or 3rd degree. They were a lot more regular after that. There were still periods where they took off for a while (for other reasons), but at least they didn't feel the need to artificially hold them back anymore.

So she thought that BB was the end of the road in terms of promotion; being the reason why she did that?
 

Flying Crane

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Thanks for the replies drop bear and skribs. I'm actually very keen on registering my kids for martials arts; it's because of my lack of experience and knowledge that I'm just fearful of registering them in the wrong place and possibly wasting their time and effort in the long run.

Competition is something that I can only hope that my kids develop a taste for, but it can't be forced. it'd be the best barometer for how well a student has internalized learned skills, but we'll have to wait and see if they'll even get that far.

My kids are currently scheduled to attend some trial lessons at another BJJ place this week and we'll see how things go there.

Speaking of which, we've talked about my desire to get my kids into martial arts, but what of the nature of the kids' desires? Are there any specific personality characteristics that kids have that would work for or against them entering martial arts?

My two oldest sons are essentially opposites of each other. My oldest, 8-year-old son, is essentially like Bart Simpson, but with Lisa's book-smarts. He's popular at school, but also overweight and timid, if you can imagine that combination. When I signed him up for his first trial class he said that he was worried about getting his *** kicked, and I told him that's precisely why you need to attend these classes, lol.

My 5-year-old son is a slow-learner, didn't speak his first words until 3-years-old, and still struggles to communicate with classmates. On the other hand, he always has a positive attitude, a thick skin that takes physical and verbal hits, and is more athletically-inclined. He's also very kind and considerate, which combined with his poor speaking skills, made him a easy target for bullying and teasing. When he went through his first trial class, he totally fit right in, pretty much smiling from ear-to-ear for the entire class. If only the logistics lined up better I would have sign him up already.

For my above two sons, would they be considered typical or are there any issues that need to be dealt with before joining a martial arts gym?

Please let me know if anybody else has similar stories or advice to share.

Thank you,
I would say you are over-thinking it at this point. If you are comfortable with the school, feel the instructional staff is trustworthy and strive to create a positive and supportive learning environment, then go ahead and enroll them. Pretty quickly it will become clear if the place is a good match for the kids, if they are relating to the training and engaging. If not, then Its time to look for a different school, and perhaps a different system. No system is the right match for everyone. Part of the issue is finding the right system as well as the right instructor for a person.
 

Steve

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BJJ is great, and if it's a good school, your kids will probably have a good time and learn a ton. How quickly your kids will progress depends on their aptitude, interest, and motivation. Think about wrestling teams. By the end of one season, kids on the wrestling team are pretty good... night and day from when they started. At the end of the first year, is that JV athlete as good as the varsity wrestler who has been doing it for 3 or more years? Probably not.

You mentioned the money. Something to ask about is whether the school offers a discount for multiple students. It's not uncommon for the fee to be reduced slightly for a second and third student. So, for example, it might be $100 for student 1, $90 for student 2, and $75 for student 3.

All of that aside, I hope you enroll your kids, and if you do, keep us posted.
 

skribs

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So she thought that BB was the end of the road in terms of promotion; being the reason why she did that?
I don't know. She has some eccentricities. She's one of those that turns off the wi-fi when the kids get home from school so the vibrations don't mess with their neurons.
 

harleyt26

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Hello everybody,

This is my first post. I guess I'll first introduce myself to give readers some context, because I'm sure some people will ask follow-up questions before offering some answers.

I'm a dad with three sons, aged 8, 5, and 2. I'm considering signing up my two oldest sons for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Other than my wife, which did some Judo in highschool, nobody in our family or social circle has any real martial arts background or experience whatsoever. There's so much I don't know and I have so many questions. That said, although I might not be knowledgeable, I'd like to think, or at least I hope, that I'm not ignorant.

There are many reasons why I leaned towards BJJ:
- Grappling, wrestling, and ground-fighting seems to be the universal subject that's taught in military, law enforcement, and self-defense circles (not just modern times, but ancient times as well).
- Skills and experience are acquired through engaging against another living human being (as opposed to say practicing endlessly on a punching bag at home).
- BJJ seems to be a good starting point for laying the foundations to becoming a more well-rounded combatant, should my sons choose to do so in the future.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not one of those A-type tiger parents that are trying to live vicariously through their children. My sons have already did the free trial classes and I've already had the discussion with them. I told them that they are NOT there to learn how to fight and they are NOT there to learn self-defense; they are there to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is a sport with rules. However, I also told them that BJJ experience can potentially help them out if they find themselves in physical conflict with another person. If, for whatever reason, they really wanted to become an effective fighter someday, that incorporates strikes, throws, weapons, etc., they'll already have some BJJ experience under their belt. I gave them the example of if two teens suddenly decided that they want to become professional soccer players some day, the teen that already has 3 years of track & field experience will be ahead of the game compared to the teen without any athletic background.

Sorry for the long read, but I might as well get this all out now to let everybody know where I stand. I'm all for kids developing their self-esteem and improving their social skills while participating in martial arts; however, at the end of the day, I'm also a pragmatist and a realist, so I might be asking questions that some people might find provocative or controversial. They would be questions that I don't feel comfortable asking my local martial arts gyms because of conflicts of interest.

I'll stop here to see what kind of reception I get before posting some of my questions. Please let me know if I'm completely off-base or out to lunch. Once again, I'm just a nobody that doesn't really know anything and very much hope to learn from this forum.

Thank you,
Get off the bench. You train. Set an example.
 

Johnkungfu

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Hello everybody,

This is my first post. I guess I'll first introduce myself to give readers some context, because I'm sure some people will ask follow-up questions before offering some answers.

I'm a dad with three sons, aged 8, 5, and 2. I'm considering signing up my two oldest sons for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Other than my wife, which did some Judo in highschool, nobody in our family or social circle has any real martial arts background or experience whatsoever. There's so much I don't know and I have so many questions. That said, although I might not be knowledgeable, I'd like to think, or at least I hope, that I'm not ignorant.

There are many reasons why I leaned towards BJJ:
- Grappling, wrestling, and ground-fighting seems to be the universal subject that's taught in military, law enforcement, and self-defense circles (not just modern times, but ancient times as well).
- Skills and experience are acquired through engaging against another living human being (as opposed to say practicing endlessly on a punching bag at home).
- BJJ seems to be a good starting point for laying the foundations to becoming a more well-rounded combatant, should my sons choose to do so in the future.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not one of those A-type tiger parents that are trying to live vicariously through their children. My sons have already did the free trial classes and I've already had the discussion with them. I told them that they are NOT there to learn how to fight and they are NOT there to learn self-defense; they are there to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is a sport with rules. However, I also told them that BJJ experience can potentially help them out if they find themselves in physical conflict with another person. If, for whatever reason, they really wanted to become an effective fighter someday, that incorporates strikes, throws, weapons, etc., they'll already have some BJJ experience under their belt. I gave them the example of if two teens suddenly decided that they want to become professional soccer players some day, the teen that already has 3 years of track & field experience will be ahead of the game compared to the teen without any athletic background.

Sorry for the long read, but I might as well get this all out now to let everybody know where I stand. I'm all for kids developing their self-esteem and improving their social skills while participating in martial arts; however, at the end of the day, I'm also a pragmatist and a realist, so I might be asking questions that some people might find provocative or controversial. They would be questions that I don't feel comfortable asking my local martial arts gyms because of conflicts of interest.

I'll stop here to see what kind of reception I get before posting some of my questions. Please let me know if I'm completely off-base or out to lunch. Once again, I'm just a nobody that doesn't really know anything and very much hope to learn from this forum.

Thank you,
All bjj schools are different most have multiple disciplines and bjj is great however at the younger stages very competitive. Especially today. Mma geared vs self defense ? Many options and if cost is a consideration judo is more reasonable to me. More complete. Bjj is great. However in my area few gyms last long. Do your research. But i think its great.
 
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Crosswind117

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Well, my oldest son (8 years old), just had a trial lesson at a different BJJ gym today, and let's say it totally pays to compare!

The class looked pretty full at about 18 kids and there was one main instructor with 2 assistant instructors. About 2/3 of the students appeared to be regulars. There was a warm-up, a series of ground movement races/drills, then stand-up distancing drills/practice, and then pairing-up and sparring for the remainder of the time slot. There was a big glass window where parents are allowed to sit and watch and I wished it was one-way glass because my son kept looking at me rather than paying attention to the lessons.

The first thing that my son says as we left the building was, "that first place we went to was better", and I totally agreed.

And this is where I'm going to throw in my opinions; please correct me if I have misunderstood something in some way. At the first BJJ gym we visited, I also watched the lesson, but my son rarely looked my way during the entire time. The class was smaller at the time at just 7 students, and there was just one instructor, who was also the business owner. He didn't smile much, but he was friendly, considerate, and engaging; each student received individual attention and coaching. There was a warm-up routine, and then it went straight to instruction followed by practice. Teaching things like achieving full mount, how to maintain side-control, and I still don't know what "crossing the guard" means. He even had the kids practice "tap out etiquette" by having them rear naked choke a training dummy and then using the dummy's hand to tap against the students' arms. The last part of the lesson was sparring and my son was paired up with the least senior student and shown what to take turns practicing on.

At the BJJ place we visited today, the biggest takeaway is the "dead inside" expressions of the assistant instructors. The lead instructor seemed to be good with kids with the demeanor of a cheerful pre-school teacher. her co-workers, however, mostly just stared out into space, barely said anything, and seemed to be so tired of their job that they cannot even fake an expression of being attentive to their students. My son was not only a fish out of water, he was also shy and tentative. he also has this trait of not automatically conforming to a group or following the herd, for example if all the students suddenly sat down, he'd still be standing up and vice versa. When it came down to actually coaching my son, his shyness must've been time-consuming and off-putting because he spent the entire end sparring session, just sitting on the mat with nothing to do and talking to no one (for at least the last 10 minutes of the session).

This reminds me of another question: what do martial arts gyms do if a kid suddenly stops paying attention in class or no long shows interest or motivation for martial arts? Would they work towards regaining the student's interest? Would they report to or discuss with the parent(s)? Would they advise that the student cease martial arts lessons? Or would they just carry on, receive monthly membership fees, and reason that you can bring a horse to water, but you can't make it drink?

Please let me know if anybody has any related experiences that they'd be willing to share.

Thank you,
 

skribs

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what do martial arts gyms do if a kid suddenly stops paying attention in class or no long shows interest or motivation for martial arts?
It's kind of hard to be on the mat and not pay attention. If it seemed like it was going on for a long period of time, I think most places would have a talk with the kid and/or their parents. However, sometimes you need a break, and one way of taking a break is coasting for a while.

One of the biggest things I learned when I started teaching is that a student who stays for 5 years learning at a slow pace will learn more than someone who learns a lot in 3 months and gets burned out.
 
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Crosswind117

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Thanks for sharing skribs, that's good to know.

If we do decide to get our kids into martial arts, we'd be thinking about the long game. There's just so much to learn and it'd definitely be worth the time to learn and practice skills properly at a measured pace.
 
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Crosswind117

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Well, plunge taken. Two of ours sons are now in BJJ twice a week (at different times because they're different age groups). We'll have to wait and see if all the time, money, and effort pays off in the long term.

Both my Wife and I never participated in any organized extracurricular activities when we were kids, mostly because of money. Make no mistake, this is a load on the entire family, which includes grandparents, that now have to divvy up their time between babysitting my brother's kids in order to assist my kids with pickup and drop-off. I can't imagine how dedicated sports families handle it, such as hockey parents with kids waking up to practice in mornings before going to school.

Here's to looking on the bright side and hoping that this can become a positive experience for everyone. Thanks to everybody in this forum that helped us greatly with this decision!
 
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