What would be typical for a 9-year-old with 6 months BJJ

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
6,364
Reaction score
1,877
I'm aware of what TKD schools do. Teaching grappling skills is exponentially more complex than teaching TKD. I would support a kid doing TKD at age 6, potentially.

Kids can have a lot of fun doing a lot of things, but if we are talking about actually developing skill, technique and learning a martial art, 6 and potentially 9 is too young in my opinion. This is a common opinion shared by many people who actually teach submission grappling arts.

Of course there are always instructors who are focused on the money and will develop a program to "entertain kids" so they are having fun. But this has little to do with learning a martial art.
I did wrestling in middle school (starting Age 11). The kids who had prior experience were better than kids like me who had just started.

People say the same about TKD, that you shouldn't bother putting kids in TKD because their punches don't actually have power, and they don't actually learn correct fundamentals until they're older anyway. It's all a bunch of hooey.

Kids can start learning any skill at a young age. They learn it different than adults. They might not be as meticulous, but they also benefit from the fact their brains are sponges for information. And a 20-year-old who has been doing BJJ for 15 years will have a much different level of skill than a 20-year-old who's been doing BJJ for 2 years. Even though they might have learned more in those 2 years, they're still quite far behind.
 

Jimmythebull

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
798
Reaction score
261
OK relevent to this thread, i can only say that sport is a great way for a child to achieve confidence. Indeed again relevent to the OP`s post academics are not the only important thing in life ( OK certainly if you want a college degree). Animal cunning and tactics can織t always be tought in a book.
 

Jared Traveler

Black Belt
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
534
Reaction score
219
I did wrestling in middle school (starting Age 11). The kids who had prior experience were better than kids like me who had just started.

People say the same about TKD, that you shouldn't bother putting kids in TKD because their punches don't actually have power, and they don't actually learn correct fundamentals until they're older anyway. It's all a bunch of hooey.

Kids can start learning any skill at a young age. They learn it different than adults. They might not be as meticulous, but they also benefit from the fact their brains are sponges for information. And a 20-year-old who has been doing BJJ for 15 years will have a much different level of skill than a 20-year-old who's been doing BJJ for 2 years. Even though they might have learned more in those 2 years, they're still quite far behind.
I'm not talking about wrestling.
 

Jimmythebull

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
798
Reaction score
261
another thing is maturity, i was not good in school & do not think i織m an educated scholar. However i learned in the fast lane in the military & later learned Sport Admin in a foreign language. As a kid i would never have known i could be so successful in a school. I think it depends on the enviroment too.
I am sure the OP is a loving parent & wants the best for his child. sometimes you have to let the kid learn alone...develop
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
20,951
Reaction score
6,420
Location
Covington, WA
6 is far too young in my opinion to place a kid in a structured BJJ class. 9 is potentially too young also. I think putting kids in martial arts too young is one of the biggest ways to turn them off to martial arts and ruin the experience.

I would consider pulling them out. Perhaps put them in a hard art like karate. But the soft systems like Judo, and BJJ are something they would be better to wait on. With a high level of personal instruction, young kids can learn BJJ young, but it's a very complex system to learn.
Dude. There are few activities more natural and instinctive for kids than grappling.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
20,951
Reaction score
6,420
Location
Covington, WA
No. I was talking about BJJ and other forms of submission grappling, like Judo and Sambo. It is a lot different than wrestling.
Huh?? How do you think BJJ or Judo is different than wrestling? I mean, in the context of 5 to 10 year old sports.
 
Last edited:

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
20,951
Reaction score
6,420
Location
Covington, WA
OK relevent to this thread, i can only say that sport is a great way for a child to achieve confidence. Indeed again relevent to the OP`s post academics are not the only important thing in life ( OK certainly if you want a college degree). Animal cunning and tactics can織t always be tought in a book.
Agreed. Sport is great. Doesnt really matter what sport. If the kids are getting exercise and the coach is good, the kids are going to gravitate to what they like. Encouraging kids to specialize too soon is detrimental, but thats whats happening in the USA. A lot of emphasis on elite clubs, specializing, and parent paying through the nose for it.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
22,831
Reaction score
3,095
Location
Northern VA
Hi skribs, it's not about me overthinking, and my kids do enjoy class and show no signs of wanting to quit. I'm only asking the question simply because I don't know what an average 6-month BJJ student is supposed to look like.

As an aside, my 6-year-old continues to struggle with literacy. It became quite apparent to us at an early age, and later, when he began attending public school, his teachers also brought it to our attention. As a response we work with him every evening on reading comprehension so that he would avoid falling further behind the rest of his class. It is because we were aware of what an average 5-6 year-old is typically capable of that we were able to get a jump on his weakness before it becomes more pronounce in the higher grades.

For a 6-month junior BJJ student, if I were to speak in extremes, I would not imagine an "average" kid obsessing over every single drill super seriously and treating every sparring session as if it was a championship match. Likewise for the opposite side of the spectrum, if a kid only continued to attend BJJ classes just for the social aspects and games, but only did the bare minimum during lessons and not even offering resistance during sparring, well, I couldn't imagine that to be an "average" student either.

Just looking to see if anybody has experiences they can share.

Thank you!
I'm not going to do an armchair diagnosis -- but I'd suspect that appropriate testing and evaluation might be in order. There are wide variety of things that impact literacy, and they're typically invisible. Things like dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, even the autism spectrum and more. All of these benefit greatly from early and appropriate intervention.

With specific regard to BJJ and 5 to 10 year olds... There's no standard that I'd want to try to apply. Each kid is different, each instructor teaches differently. I hope you see them being more comfortable in moving their body, in or out of class. Whether they know a dozen armbars or take-downs, or what a rubber guard is at those ages isn't the deal -- it's about basic skills , some discipline, exercise, and learning to be comfortable in their body. If they're excited and want to go to class each day -- that's a great sign. And DO visit and watch the class. Make sure that you're comfortable with what you see in the manner of instruction and atmosphere; you don't need to know if the technique is good or bad -- is this a place you want to leave your kids? Are the coaches people you trust with your kids? Just like any other activity.
 
OP
C

Crosswind117

White Belt
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
16
Reaction score
16
Thanks for all the kindhearted replies everybody!

And yes, skribs' follow-up reply helped put me at ease as that was the type of answer I was hoping for:

"Let me give you a longer answer. Your kids are 6 and 9. The most important things about activities they're doing is that they're learning motor skills and getting exercise, they're learning how to get along with other kids and listen to teachers, and that they have a place that's fun where they can build their self-confidence. The actual aptitude is completely irrelevant.

It may be that they're ahead of the pack, which is great. It may be that they're behind the pack, which is perfectly fine. They'll learn the skills eventually if they keep going. If they are behind, then at some point it might suddenly click. It might be a move that clicks and everything else lines up, or it might be when they get older."

The day before I signed up my sons for BJJ, I had a talk with them that they were to treat this like school. They're expected to attend class on time, behave themselves, and listen to the teachers. The teacher's job is to teach and it is up to the students to learn. However, unlike public school which is under pressure to meet certain performance criteria by the end of the school year, there will be no such time pressure with the BJJ sessions. From the beginning, the idea was to play the long game. My wife and I really weren't concern about the quantity or types of techniques they were learning; in our opinion, the true value of the sessions is the work with their peers (live training partners).

Just like learning how to shoot a basketball. Any instructor can show you how to do it properly, but you still need to shoot it tens of thousands of times before your body can internalize it and allows you to execute that skill at will and under pressure. And that's another factor that we value; if the kids do BJJ long enough, it could become a part of them that lasts into adulthood, skills and experience they could drawn on if they wanted to work on them again.

My Wife used to do Judo when she was in junior high, but then stopped doing it, after going into senior high. Ten years later, when we met and started dating, she jokingly demonstrated some things on me (thankfully without slamming me). Even though she hasn't done Judo in 10 years, her movements and footwork seemed so natural, sharp and precise; and I was easily thrown off balance even though I was nearly 50% heavier than her at the time. I remember that confused look on her face because she couldn't believe how bad my balance was and wondering if I was faking it (I was not).

Anyways, thanks again for all the replies!
 

tkdroamer

Purple Belt
Joined
Sep 24, 2022
Messages
341
Reaction score
161
I'm aware of what TKD schools do. Teaching grappling skills is exponentially more complex than teaching TKD. I would support a kid doing TKD at age 6, potentially.

Kids can have a lot of fun doing a lot of things, but if we are talking about actually developing skill, technique and learning a martial art, 6 and potentially 9 is too young in my opinion. This is a common opinion shared by many people who actually teach submission grappling arts.

Of course there are always instructors who are focused on the money and will develop a program to "entertain kids" so they are having fun. But this has little to do with learning a martial art.
I would aver that teaching a tactile sport like wrestling or BJJ is a more direct teaching, but not necessarily a more complex teaching than TKD. In lieu of this fact, TKD is more complex to teach, at least in the traditional sense.

Let's use a semi-related high school sport as the model.
There are very similar weight divisions in both high school and collegiate wrestling (average 4lbs difference). But it is extremely rare to see a high school wrestler of near or equal weight be competitive against a collegiate wrestler. While they have had the same training throughout their high school career (4-years or more), there are many other factors involved, (mainly physical and mental process). And this is consistent across ages and competition-oriented sports.
Another proof is this. Can you teach a kid to roll in a controlled environment quicker than you can teach a kid to be ready for a TKD tournament? Absolutely. For me, the answers the question at hand.

Don't get me wrong. I Love wrestling and use derivatives of it in our classes regularly.
 

ardimo77

White Belt
Joined
Sep 11, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Hi Everybody,

I'm a non-martial artist with two sons (aged 6 and 9) that started attending BJJ lessons last April and they've just past the 6-month mark (attending two 45-minute sessions per week).

Throughout those 6 months, I have been very "hands-off" and avoided giving them any coaching or advice; I actually decided to remain unfamiliar with BJJ so that my sons could hopefully teach me about it, instead of the other way around.

However, that said, as a parent that has invested 6 months of time, energy, and fees, I'm intensely curious as to my sons' current progress and whether another 6 months of investment is advisable. Please note that I'm not being a cheapskate by any means; but if it turns out that a kid wasn't really clicking with a certain sport and would have found more benefit and joy working on another activity, then it would've be better to make the switch sooner rather than later.

So for those of you that can remember what it was like to be 6 months in as a child or instructed children up to the 6-month mark, what would be considered typical for such a student? In terms of aptitude, proficiency, knowledge, attitude, and confidence? Bear in mind kids come in all kinds of personalities and competitive mentalities, ranging from intense game face all the time to just going through the motions at another routine day; but what would be the common factors to look for that would be characteristic of kids that reach the 6-month mark?

Sincerely appreciate any and all advice these forums have to offer,

Thank you,

First of all, are your children enjoying it ? If they are not, I would find another sport that they enjoy; however, if they are enjoying it, I will tell you that having practiced BJJ for the past 8 years, the first two years are critical and difficult. BJJ is hard because it exposes your weaknesses and I can tell you this coming from a background in Kenpo. If they like it, stick with it and don't measure the art at intervals of 6 months. It is common for practitioners to hit platitudes at all levels and all belts, and since your kids are young, they will earn their blue belt at minimum age 16 under IBJJF. Remember, that on average it takes an adult around ten years to earn their black belt in BJJ. If your children like it, if you see it is building them confidence and keeping them healthy, those are good signs for a child white belt training for around 6 months.
 

Darren

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 6, 2022
Messages
128
Reaction score
49
Been at kenpo for 5 years now, started BJJ training one month ago at age 57 years old just wondering when I went totally insane!!! Train every Saturday from 9:00am-11:30am plus at home and will agree BJJ is some tough stuff!! But do love it!!!
 
Top