Timid kid in BJJ, should aggression be advised?

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Thanks for the kind responses, and thanks for the videos dunc! There were probably a hundred tiny things happening in that match that that would totally go unnoticed for unfamiliar guys like me. I'll be sure to show videos like that to my kids once they get more experience.

On another note, I think my son is starting to feel the benefits of attending BJJ classes. He appears less "chubby" compared to before BJJ and my Wife and I commented that he looked good, surprised at how the change occurred rather quickly. His swimming instructor, who only meets once a week, was also surprised that his speed and stamina improved significantly seemingly out of nowhere.

Well, it's still very much the early stages, we'll have to wait and see how things go over the next several months.

Thanks everybody!
BJJ is an insane cardio workout while also being tons of fun. Good combo, there. To quote Robert California from the office "Trust me, one nine minute bout is the cardiovascular equivalent of running uphill for three hours. I could go to the gym three times a week, or I could wrestle Stu once a month." He's talking about wrestling there, but I think it applies to bjj as well.
 

Anarax

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I'm a parent with two sons that have just completed over a month of BJJ (2 lessons per week); they will be be 9 and 6 years old this year. I do not have any martial arts or combat background.
It's good you decided to enroll them in a martial art. The lessons they can potentially learn will help them in life, especially from a more combative style like BJJ.
I would not comment, coach, or push my sons in any way and to allow them to grow themselves into the sport as they see fit and without bias.
I think this is a healthy way to go about it. It sounds you're being encouraging and supportive. Especially if you don't have martial arts experience yourself, encouragement and support can help him immensely.
However, I had reservations about my older son because of his gentle nature, but he still wanted to join even though he says that he was scared. The one thing I did tell my sons is that they should treat the BJJ lessons the same as if they were going to school; sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have bad days, but you still need to attend classes and complete your schoolwork regardless.
I joined two new martial arts training groups a little over a year ago, it's normal if there's some fear/anxiety about joining a new group especially if this is the first martial art he's taken. Explaining that there will be good and bad days was an honest way of trying to explain it to them.
Not surprisingly, my son, despite being taller and heavier, couldn't handle the more aggressive newbies. My son didn't complain and nor did I; he simply mentioned to me on the drive home that everybody was so aggressive. And I just mentioned that BJJ is a combat sport and sometimes you need to be aggressive and, of course, I complimented him on his effort as he always leaves class a little winded and red-faced.
Aggression isn't always the best answer to aggression even in training/sparring. It takes time in any form of training to learn to how to deal with aggressive opponents. I've dealt with this multiple times, me being on the more reserved side myself can relate. Experience, focus and control I think is what your son needs to develop.
Should I continue as is and remain hands-off? and allow my older son to discovered and determine his own mindset over time? Or should I be taking a more pro-active and involved approach, exposing him more to the competitive mentality? Would either of the above approaches be considered a disservice to a child participating in martial arts lessons?
I think your approach is a healthy way to go about it. Let him progress at his own rate and reassess ever so often.
Sorry if these sound like dumb questions, but I'm just somebody that knows very little.
No, these are great questions and you asking shows how much you care about your son's training and progression.
 

wolfeyes2323

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Hello everybody,

I'm a parent with two sons that have just completed over a month of BJJ (2 lessons per week); they will be be 9 and 6 years old this year. I do not have any martial arts or combat background.

My younger son is more athletically-inclined and was totally into it; he also had the benefit of a relatively level playing field as most of the other kids had, at most, just an extra year of experience over him.

My older son is currently quite timid by nature, and after watching his first few classes, it was clear he would be the "runt of the litter" for a while.

My philosophy going into this is that I would not comment, coach, or push my sons in any way and to allow them to grow themselves into the sport as they see fit and without bias. My younger son didn't need any convincing at the start as he seemed to fit right in, always bouncing on his toes. However, I had reservations about my older son because of his gentle nature, but he still wanted to join even though he says that he was scared. The one thing I did tell my sons is that they should treat the BJJ lessons the same as if they were going to school; sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have bad days, but you still need to attend classes and complete your schoolwork regardless.

Then one day two new kids joined my older son's class and they were essentially UFC wannabees. I, on other hand, have never shown my sons any videos of combat sports, partially because I didn't want them to get any misconceptions or preconceived notions. Not surprisingly, my son, despite being taller and heavier, couldn't handle the more aggressive newbies. My son didn't complain and nor did I; he simply mentioned to me on the drive home that everybody was so aggressive. And I just mentioned that BJJ is a combat sport and sometimes you need to be aggressive and, of course, I complimented him on his effort as he always leaves class a little winded and red-faced.

My question is this: Should I continue as is and remain hands-off? and allow my older son to discovered and determine his own mindset over time? Or should I be taking a more pro-active and involved approach, exposing him more to the competitive mentality? Would either of the above approaches be considered a disservice to a child participating in martial arts lessons?

Sorry if these sound like dumb questions, but I'm just somebody that knows very little.

Appreciate any and all advice this forum has to offer.

Kind regards,
each child will ultimately decide for their self, I have 4 children (grown now), when I signed them up for something, I told them they had to do it for x amount of time, after that they could decide to continue or not. No quitting , no excuses, go to every class, participate, in the end It is up to them. They are all different, they will all surprise you, Let them BE. Just a story, I teach karate, and periodically I introduce sparring to the kids. First time for one of my gentler students, the kid got pushed around , and lost every match, kids half his size made him look bad, at the end of class as he was leaving , he came over to me and sincerely said "Sensei I lOVE Karate", years later he still shows up for every class.
 

Yanli

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Hello everybody,

I'm a parent with two sons that have just completed over a month of BJJ (2 lessons per week); they will be be 9 and 6 years old this year. I do not have any martial arts or combat background.

My younger son is more athletically-inclined and was totally into it; he also had the benefit of a relatively level playing field as most of the other kids had, at most, just an extra year of experience over him.

My older son is currently quite timid by nature, and after watching his first few classes, it was clear he would be the "runt of the litter" for a while.

My philosophy going into this is that I would not comment, coach, or push my sons in any way and to allow them to grow themselves into the sport as they see fit and without bias. My younger son didn't need any convincing at the start as he seemed to fit right in, always bouncing on his toes. However, I had reservations about my older son because of his gentle nature, but he still wanted to join even though he says that he was scared. The one thing I did tell my sons is that they should treat the BJJ lessons the same as if they were going to school; sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have bad days, but you still need to attend classes and complete your schoolwork regardless.

Then one day two new kids joined my older son's class and they were essentially UFC wannabees. I, on other hand, have never shown my sons any videos of combat sports, partially because I didn't want them to get any misconceptions or preconceived notions. Not surprisingly, my son, despite being taller and heavier, couldn't handle the more aggressive newbies. My son didn't complain and nor did I; he simply mentioned to me on the drive home that everybody was so aggressive. And I just mentioned that BJJ is a combat sport and sometimes you need to be aggressive and, of course, I complimented him on his effort as he always leaves class a little winded and red-faced.

My question is this: Should I continue as is and remain hands-off? and allow my older son to discovered and determine his own mindset over time? Or should I be taking a more pro-active and involved approach, exposing him more to the competitive mentality? Would either of the above approaches be considered a disservice to a child participating in martial arts lessons?

Sorry if these sound like dumb questions, but I'm just somebody that knows very little.

Appreciate any and all advice this forum has to offer.

Kind regards,
I personally, teach my students for enjoyment of discovering the skills that they will gain, the confidence in ones self, the assurance that they will have that they can handle themselves properly. I would highly recommend joining in, you do not have to join the class, just watch what they are learning and then practice with both your son's when you get home. Since your son is the passive type, that is great, he is less likely to use his skills in a negative way. If you make him aware, in a subtle way, he does not have to learn BJJ to be a fighter, he can learn it for all the benefits, and his instincts will kick in when need be. I always recommend one or more parents watch their children, and I tell them the same thing about practicing at home with the kid or kids. Be there to help correct the kid or the kid correcting you, sometimes one learns more from someone's else mistakes. Be sure to work with both son's, and if one disrespects the other, tell them, a MA does not show disrespect to anyone, especially to a fellow MA. As an MA, we grow to become above that. I hope this was helpful.
 

Sifu Ken of 8 Tigers

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My question is this: Should I continue as is and remain hands-off? and allow my older son to discovered and determine his own mindset over time? Or should I be taking a more pro-active and involved approach, exposing him more to the competitive mentality? Would either of the above approaches be considered a disservice to a child participating in martial arts lessons?

When choosing a school, watch the attitude OF THE OTHER STUDENTS. What is encouraged or even tolerated is essentially what becomes taught.

Some schools just raise bullies, and it's ultimately about the school, not the style.
 

Rich Parsons

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First, don't call someone's little children, "essentially UFC wannabees".

First, Maybe don't tell people what they can and cannot do.
Second, Provide some context to your post, and why you thought it was an issue.

And third, From my experience those who read something into it many times not always have some skin in the game.

I have had UFC guys show up for FMA cross training, and want to WIN all the time and just HURT people to show they are the dominant.
When I see this start, I stop the class discuss it, and if it continues they only work with me.
I am not a UFC nor MMA. Yet when they say, yeah but I can beat you, you won't always have a stick or knife.
I say here on the training floor bring your entry and pin me. I 'll do my defense.
...
Slap the ears.
Cup the back of the head while the front of the face and wiggle the skull.
If the engage work their fingers and if they don't tap let them know what will happen. And that if it breaks or dislocates they usually can't train or fight and would be DQ'd .

They have a set of rules, and when those rules are broken they are shocked and angry. Many have staid for a while longer in their journey. Some have left. That is ok. I don't want people being hurt in my classes.

I don't always win. I seldom win. As that would be playing by their rules. I do survive.

A UFC Wannabee could be anyone who wants to compete. It could be someone who just wants to win.
It could be a jerk who can only win by playing the mind games early on and making a circus out of the event. Save that for the Big Wrestling shows.

And I honestly fail to see Breaking bricks or boards as Cobra Kai. Or Eagle Fang for that matter.
Could you explain why you draw that analogy ?
I am serious, this is a learning moment for me.
 

drop bear

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I have trained with actual UFC guys. And they are mostly pretty good.

I didn't try to break their fingers though.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I have trained with actual UFC guys. And they are mostly pretty good.

I didn't try to break their fingers though.
If you want to develop your children into a leader in his future career, the aggressive spirit is a must.

This guy is the most aggressive student that I have. He is also one of the most successful person in his career (IBM manager).

He doesn't wait for opportunity. He tries to create opportunity.

 

Dirty Dog

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I have trained with actual UFC guys. And they are mostly pretty good.

I didn't try to break their fingers though.
It doesn't sound like Rich tried to break anyone's fingers either. No more than you're trying to break someones arm when you lock them up. He put them in a position that showed he COULD break their fingers. Same as when you lock up an arm.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I have had UFC guys show up for FMA cross training, and want to WIN all the time and just HURT people to show they are the dominant.
When I see this start, I stop the class discuss it, and if it continues they only work with me.
I am not a UFC nor MMA. Yet when they say, yeah but I can beat you, you won't always have a stick or knife.
I say here on the training floor bring your entry and pin me. I 'll do my defense.
...
Slap the ears.
Cup the back of the head while the front of the face and wiggle the skull.
If the engage work their fingers and if they don't tap let them know what will happen. And that if it breaks or dislocates they usually can't train or fight and would be DQ'd .

They have a set of rules, and when those rules are broken they are shocked and angry. Many have staid for a while longer in their journey. Some have left. That is ok. I don't want people being hurt in my classes.
Just to be clear, are you saying that you have had actual UFC fighters, as in professional fighters signed with the UFC organization, show up for your class and act the way you describe? Or are you talking about MMA wannabees?

I've had the opportunity to train with a fair number of amateur and professional MMA fighters over the years, including a few who ended up in the UFC. In general they've been excellent training partners, focused on learning and improving, and operating with an appropriate level of control for the exercise at hand. The behavior you relate is foreign to my experience with professional fighters. Those who go hard save it for competition or fight prep sparring with other hardcore fighters. I've never seen one try to hurt training partners during technical drills.

Of course there are idiots and assholes among professional fighters, just like any other group of human beings, but I suspect that what you were dealing with there were some wannabees.
 

Steve

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Its a good story though. Reinforces a negative stereotype of people who train in combat sports and also promotes the I could easily take professional UFC fighters because they have rules myth. I dont believe it for a second, but its a good story.
 

drop bear

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It doesn't sound like Rich tried to break anyone's fingers either. No more than you're trying to break someones arm when you lock them up. He put them in a position that showed he COULD break their fingers. Same as when you lock up an arm.
Yeah. But I am restricted by rules and empathy. Ain't none of that in the street.
 

Rich Parsons

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Just to be clear, are you saying that you have had actual UFC fighters, as in professional fighters signed with the UFC organization, show up for your class and act the way you describe? Or are you talking about MMA wannabees?

I've had the opportunity to train with a fair number of amateur and professional MMA fighters over the years, including a few who ended up in the UFC. In general they've been excellent training partners, focused on learning and improving, and operating with an appropriate level of control for the exercise at hand. The behavior you relate is foreign to my experience with professional fighters. Those who go hard save it for competition or fight prep sparring with other hardcore fighters. I've never seen one try to hurt training partners during technical drills.

Of course there are idiots and assholes among professional fighters, just like any other group of human beings, but I suspect that what you were dealing with there were some wannabees.

Tony,
To be clear actual Currently Signed UFC Fighters no.

One of Dan Severns' training partners when he lived in Flint came to our school.
He was a real good wrestler and also was polite.
We only worked on what he wanted to work on. He showed up once a week on Sundays for about an hour of our two hour class.
It was great.
When he asked me what I would do in certain situations I told him I was not allowed to fight / resist you , outside the techniques you stated were acceptable.
I had no problems with that.
I asked again later and really wanted to know. My Senior said yes.
So I rolled with him, my way. He still beat me in the end, yet I did get him a couple of times. But if it was based upon points or domination he would have won.
The point he made to me was, that he had not been pushed liked that. It removed so many of his options, and and had to play tighter, and not even relax one bit around me. He also said the trade offs was not "worth the win"


He did not come back for a while and when asked, he said there was no reason for him to be there as we were not training to be in the ring.

Don't get me wrong, Professional athletes with strength and endurance win.

This was in the mid / late 90's when Dan had moved to Coldwater. Also another nice guy.

That being said, in the 00's it seemed that one could not turn a corner in my area without finding a new MMA Club. Usually run by Blue belts looking for fresh meat to grind.

When they would get tired of that or in need the would go to clubs and Check out a class and ask questions and get on to the mats and then push things. And yes many of them were registered for local MMA Fights. Maybe not winners, maybe not what people would call UFC Caliber or Pride Caliber. Yet, they all wanted to be there. "Wannabees"

These guys usually did not care if they hurt people.

Besides these guys, I would get those who had trained with them and had a blown shoulder or broken elbow come to me and say maybe weapons training is what they need as they can no longer train in the other with the existing injuries.

I also travelled for events and sometimes people would say hay join our roll. And while not BJJ it was JJJ and there was usually a weight different in my favor. And yes those Black belts would tap me , I counted counters. For each counter I got with their rules was a personal win for me. One was in an armbar and they did not quite have it, and I was trying to counter. He heel popped me in the nose (Good Thing it is flexible) and then gave that ultra grunt for maximum strength and tried to popped backwards with shoulders and pop up with hips.
I was verbally tapping and physically tapping before it was even half way through.
He HAD to win that move with a newbie walking in off the streets to teach / attend a seminar later in the day did not matter. He was going to win. I never really played / rolled / or trained with that person ever again.

I can guarantee that anyone in the current state and local leagues in the super heavy weight class could kick my butt on a regular basis right now and that is while they are asleep.

I am not saying I am the best. Nor that I train and they don't.
I am not saying too deadly for the sport.
Because if people remember the small joint locks were legal and allowed.
Until Ken Shamrock and others could not make to the finals because of broken fingers and wrists, because they would not tap.
So those moves / techniques became illegal not allowed by the sport to gain more people and have less injuries.
Which was actually good for the sport.

If A TKD person wants to spar and we play by their rules, I will loose.

To summarize:
Yes I have played with Wannabees in State and local regional leagues. (* Usually Rude and full of I am going to win *)
Yes I have played with training partners of Professionals. (* Always Nice and polite and professional *)

Peace and apologies for any confusion
 

Rich Parsons

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Its a good story though. Reinforces a negative stereotype of people who train in combat sports and also promotes the I could easily take professional UFC fighters because they have rules myth. I dont believe it for a second, but its a good story.

Not always. Not regularly
A skilled fighter in my system, playing by my rules with relatively newer students in another art doesn't mean that those students are going to win because only MMA (* Stereo type *) are the only ones to test the techniques .
 

Steve

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Not always. Not regularly
A skilled fighter in my system, playing by my rules with relatively newer students in another art doesn't mean that those students are going to win because only MMA (* Stereo type *) are the only ones to test the techniques .

I think its really telling when guys who talk a lot about NOT training for competition also talk a lot about winning in training. Okay, fine. Im sure you really taught those rude UFC guys a thing or two.
 
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