Our children have been learning Ju Jitsu since the start of the year and as we head towards the end of their first year, I thought it would be a good idea to look back and evaluate how their year has gone. Are the classes beneficial for them? Is it something that we should continue to finance? It doesn’t make sense to pay for something that isn’t going well or meeting objectives. As I sat down with a pen and my notebook, I wrote down what was going well and the changes I have seen in our children this year. Yes, of course, some changes will just be down to childhood development, but let’s see what else has occurred. Are there benefits of Ju Jitsu for children?
After a few minutes I soon realised that when presented in purple and white (I use pens of all colours when jotting down my notes), that there were many benefits to the children, so we will continue to work extra hours and pinch the budget to continue their classes. In fact, there were too many positive points to share with you in one post, so I will have to share with you again when we hit another evaluation point and I’ll compare to see where we’re at then.
5 Benefits of Ju Jitsu For Children
I have never been overly active due to unmanaged asthma during my school years, and more recently due to a few issues with my health, active sports like kids should have are just not smart for me right now. But my short-comings should not affect the children’s physical or mental health. Ju Jitsu class is always looked forward to and the children enjoy having the space to run around learn new skills. Of course, when they practice at home, they gain additional exercise, too!
Tristan had excellent fine motor skills when he was a toddler, and he was even sewing when he was three. However, his gross motor skills have not always been the best. A weak trunk can be a side effect of prematurity so I’d like him to gain some core strength without me always being a nag. The training the kids do in Ju Jitsu: the jumping jacks (which still need some improvement if I’m honest), the scissor kicks, and some of the sparring and grappling all go towards helping in these areas. I’ve watched both children improve their coordination over the past year, and no one there has commented on their lack of it, which is wonderful.
I would like my children to feel confident about themselves and their abilities. In martial arts you learn through experience; you work your way up through skill and experience. You’re not placed in a class based on your age (there are classes for elementary student and separate classes for teens, but regardless, you work through your skills). My son is not athletic, but he has found his niche with Ju Jitsu. He is great at the punches, while my daughter’s favourite move are scissor kicks.
Our children are proud of what they learn in class, and this really showed through when they were tested and were successful in receiving their white belts earlier this year. They were so darn proud of themselves! They couldn’t get over it and had silly smiles on their little glowing faces for days. Tristan took his obi (belt) to bed with him (he kept in holder that hangs from his bunk), and Kallista had me hold onto hers because she didn’t want anything to happen to it.
One of the reasons we chose martial arts over the likes of football (soccer) is that it’s an individual sport and our children can own their skills; they aren’t competing with anyone other than themselves, in reality. There isn’t a ‘star’ of the lineup, nor someone who sits on the bench. Each child has equal opportunity in class, regardless of age, size, background, socio-economic class, race, religion, or beliefs. Each child progresses at their own speed and will not be tested until they are ready. They don’t have to feel that they are behind or being held back. They may be paired up with kids twice their size; but they are equal in skill. It’s a level playing field. They work together as a team to encourage each other to do their best within the group, but ultimately it’s up to each individual to do what they are able to prepare for the next test.
Are your children involved in martial arts? What have you seen them gain through their experience? Let’s have a chat in the comments below!