BJJ The most effective Martial Art and Self Defense you will find.
With such a good product to sell “BJJ” started to have “black belts” teaching and those neither learned from themselves and they are teaching your kids…
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu took over the Martial Arts World after the Evolution of MMA. MMA came from Vale Tudo that came from BJJ. BJJ made all the other martial arts look bad in a good way. We just separate what really works and what does not. All the traditional Martial Arts became ineffective when you compare with Braziian Jiu-Jitsu and Everyone knows the benefits that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can bring to an adult or in special to a child. We all hear everyday people saying they wish they had started at BJJ when they were kids.
The kids can socialize (they need it), improve their physical skills, learn how to protect themselves, keep distance of bad things and of course improve their self confidence and mental toughness and they will carry it for life.
To teach kids brings you a big responsibility. When coaching kids you and your instructors are responsible not only for their training you are also responsible for what they will learn for all the bad and good habits they will learn from their coaches. I have seen so many kids knocking on my gym with amazing skills set but not able to protect themselves and impressively the same apply to adults(big mistake). Other common big mistake is the kid learn from a coach how to do a fly arm bar (high level advanced technique) but never learned how to scape from a simple arm bar.
Tournaments and “sport” BJJ are perfect and learn how to fight for points and win is relatively effective for tournaments but teach kids how to submit is the key. When I was young I was in Rio de Janeiro and I had the opportunity to train at Gracie Gym Humaita and for my surprise Helio Gracie the founder of the Jiu-Jitsu showed up. My young mind was thinking. What amazing move will I learn from him today? For my surprise all we did was arm bars. We did hundreds or thousands. I was bored, frustrated and even mad. But on the next class I was getting arm bars from everywhere and so I got his message. I use it a lot for the kids class. REPETITION! Avoid to jump steps, respect the kids limitations but do not underestimate them. They do learn! With experience you will find the perfect balance.
There is an order, a sequence to teach kids. Its natural and basic and I took maybe 20 years to learn it and I believe I learned “faster” because I started to train as a kid myself. I still have flashes on my mind when I teach and I can remember how it was when I was learning as a kid. All the limitation and differences have to be respected.
Do not sell belts, stripes or whatever. At least for me I would feel terrible if I had to pay for my belt and I am not only talking about the promotion itself I am also talking about the belt itself. Belt ceremony is cool and awesome to bring the team together, but belt tests are for toddlers and that’s it! a 3..4 years old have to show you a cute take down to prove he is improving but with 5 year old and older they can show you rolling. If I have to motivate a kid You have to talk to him and not promote him. BJJ have to be effective remember? We became famous because of it. A small guy beating a big guy because of the technique that made him more effective than the bigger guy. So the way to promote is always about how effective that kid have been doing on the mats. If you promote a kid or even and adult on the wrong time it can be much worse than do not promote them. I still remember when black belts where Gods and very respected because there were not many people able to get at that level and to be there you had to work hard, for a long, very long time and earn it.
Do not teach only NO GI it proves you don’t know Jiu-Jitsu for real. If you want to teach only No Gi please advertise it as a grappling class and not No Gi. Everyone know that BJJ requires a Gi. A Gi fighter can fight Gi and No Gi, many No Gi world champions and MMA champions only train on their Gis doing small changes on their game weeks before a No Gi competition and they are very successful. Gi is a harder training, harder to protect yourself, heavier, etc.
Always separate classes by age groups, belts levels and gender for the older ones. If not possible at least avoid older kids training among younger ones. A 11 years old boy falling over a 3 years old kid can be very dangerous.
Lesson Number one is Americana, how to escape from the mount and arm bars right? BIG NOOOOOO! Always introduce the kids to the rules of the mats and dojo. Most of the Adults neither know how or when to Bow (We got you! We have a video for that too). Coaches for safety reasons the lesson #1 will always to be HOW TO TAP. Yes make sure your kids learn it. Teach them how to tap on each other and never on the mats. Imagine a fight with people screaming and a kid inside an tight arm bar and tapping on the mats. OF COURSE the other kid will not be able to hear or feel it so you can imagine the potential bad result for that. Tap humbles you and in BJJ you will always get tapped.
Kids need to be monitored the entire class, accidents can happen and that’s something nobody can avoid but lack of attention with your kids is not acceptable. Even when they are playing something bad can happen. Make sure they spar inside a safety area. Always teach the Tap rule and the let go rule. Teach them that STOP means stop everything you are doing even if the other kid is not tapping, stop means stop. What out for their joints, specially necks and back. A spine injure is something to be avoid at any circumstance.
Cleaning. Would you like to have your face on a dirty mats? Hope the answer is no. So make sure your mats are always clean. I never had any kind of infection on my mats because I personally clean it every day before classes. When a kid ask permission to leave the mats and use the restroom (Yes they do have to ask for it) make sure they wear their shoes and tell them to wash their hands after use the restroom. Do not let a kid with any kind of contagious disease be part of the class. I know the parents should see that but some just don’t.
There is a big difference between Master, coach, professor and instructor. A Master is a master the highest knowledge and experience level. A coach, professor or instructor can be anyone with a medal, skills or gym owner. So basically who is real always will know who is not.