Having your child get bullied is a worry that many parents have. Rob Schultz was no different. A little over 2 years ago, Rob brought his young son Zach into my kids Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class. He did this because Zach was a smaller kid for his age and he was worried that he would get bullied. I actually didn’t know this till this morning wh
Over the last 2 years Zach has developed from a young unconfident kid to a skilled young pre teen who walks with his head up and chest high. He even has enough confidence in himself to color a stripe down the top of his head. Which gives him his signature nickname in the gym, “Red Stripe.”
Zach’s road wasn’t easy though. He is definitely not a natural athlete. I had many children that started at the same time as he did who were far more gifted naturally. But he was able to exceed them. He had parents who were supportive and pushed him to continue and he was willing to work hard. Like the old saying goes, “hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard.”
Because of this, I think that Zach has developed skills that will help impact his life for the better.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a different type of martial art when compared to many other styles of children’s martial arts. It has less belts, involves more sparring and has a different atmosphere. It’s also different because it’s incredibly effective. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is such an effective way of hand to hand fighting. Being able to take down someone or how to defend yourself if you are taken down is huge! Most hand to hand street fights end up or have the potential to end up on the ground. Being skilled in BJJ allows someone to take control of the situation when this happens.
BJJ allows children a means to ground their attacker, nullifying strikes, and control them without having to cause excessive damage. An efficient means to defeating a bully rather than exchanging punches and kicks.
I’ve had several students end up standing up to their bullies. I’ve not had one of them lose a fight. They were all able to safely defend themselves and control the situation.
Developing work ethic
Many children these days seem prone to giving up with things get tough. If it’s not easy or if the reward isn’t immediate they quit. As I said before Zach wasn’t a natural at this stuff and he spent a good time getting roughed up in the gym and losing tournament matches. But he kept doing it over and over again. Now, he wins matches in tournaments and does a good deal of the “roughing up” when it comes to training with kids around his age. He is now very good at it and also enjoys Brazilian Jiu-jitsu more than ever.
He may not realize it but Zach has learned a valuable skill. That is, how to “grind.” What I mean by this. Is when things get hard, when things get tough, how do you react? Do you give up, or do you push through it?
Often times anything that’s worth something requires hard work and perseverance.The rewards aren’t immediate and it requires the ability to stick it out, even when things get rough. Zach is learning this skill by being able to stick out the tough days on the mat. I personally learned this lesson from the sport of Wrestling when I was a teenager and it’s absolutely changed my life.
Nothing improves someone’s confidence as much as being good at something. Whether it’s sport related or something else. Often times, if someone is really good at something, that confidence spills over into other facets of their life. A lack of confidence is often a root cause to many of the poor decisions people make. We all know the story of peer pressure. Being good at a martial art like Brazilian Jiu-jitsu which involves going toe to toe with another person is a huge mental boost. It develops inner strength and self-reliance.
I’ve personally watched many children step through our doors with their heads looking down and their shoulders slumped. After a couple of months they start to stand a little taller, speak a little louder and you can tell they are more at ease. Many of my parents also tell me of the positive impact it makes.
Get your kid into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a powerful art. What I’ve listed above are just a few of the benefits. If you have a kid and want them to learn a powerful martial art that has the potential to make a positive impact on their life. I urge you to try Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I’ll be honest, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu isn’t for every kid long term. It’s tough and some kids have other interests like sports. But even with just 6 months to 1 year of consistent training, your child will experience a boost of confidence and will have the ability to take care of themselves in a hand to hand fight..