I have 2 very energetic kids. Since they were toddlers, they both loved to wrestle with me. I found this pastime a great opportunity to introduce BJJ to my children. I’d like to share some of my key tactics to introducing your kids to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Keep them laughing! My primary focus while teaching my kids BJJ is to make it fun. This involves me making animated, painful sounding grunts and screams as they squeeze my head or arms. Pretending I can’t get up when I hit the ground after a take down, also guarantees the giggles.
Position and repeat. Teaching moves and hold downs requires patience and repetition. I tend to move their bodies to where I want them to be and I repeat that again and again until they eventually know what to do next. Kind of like we’re dancing and I’m leading.
Keep it short and sweet. When introducing BJJ to the kids, I try to be the one who stops the training before they want to stop. This way, training is viewed as fun and doesn’t become boring. Usually it lasts 10 minutes.
Be positive. Rarely do I tell the kids that they are doing something wrong when we train … unless of course, it’s dangerous. It’s all positive reinforcement and fun.
Let them win. My kids win the matches… Most of the time. 😉 It’s hilarious to see how differently they react to this. My son beams with pride when he wins while my daughter covers my face with kisses to make sure I’m ok – she doesn’t seem get the same satisfaction taking daddy down as my son does – but that’s ok – at least she’ll know how.
Let them learn from other instructors/coaches. My son is currently enrolled in judo while my daughter has chosen to take gymnastics. Both are great opportunities for them to train with a group of kids their own age. It also avoids me being their only instructor. I feel it’s important to have them experience other coaches and instructors not just their dad.
Keep it light hearted and playful and before you know it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when they are finishing you off on their own without you having to guide them!