Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Kids…Character Development

Larry Shealy // Uncategorized


December 8  

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Kids…Character Development

Very much has been said and written about the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu for kids, but little is said about the Character Development that a Jiu-Jitsu for Kids Class can have.  I personally have taught Jiu Jitsu for kids since 2004, and have had a ‘mat chat’ with virtually every class.

I do this because I know that the kids will learn to defend themselves with BJJ over time.  I am more concerned with their well being and character as they grow as a child and into their teen years.  So, really what I’m doing is supporting what the parents are pouring into their kids, from a different angle as their teacher.  

Here’s how it goes in my classes at Hendo BJJ:

Kids Jiu Jitsu Mat Chat Example Subject: Honesty Week of: December 13, 2021
(allotted time: approx. 5-7 minutes, held immediately after the warmup, and they’ve had water)

1. Intro to the subject: “Today we are going to talk about Honesty!”

2. Questions: 

“Who knows what honesty means?” They will raise their hands and you will get their feedback. Some will want to ‘ramble’, so it’s up to you to friendly, but firmly, keep them on task.

“Ok, so Honesty means ‘telling the truth’, right? Have you ever been in a situation where it was not easy to tell the truth because you were afraid that you were going to get in trouble?” Does anyone wish to share their story? (If they don’t I discuss a situation where I fessed up to my parents, which was the ‘right thing to do’.)

“So, that was a good story Jacob, how did it make you feel to be ‘honest’ with your parents?” Yes, I agree, it is a good feeling, even if you do have to face the consequences.”

“Have you ever had someone not tell you the truth?”  “How did that make you feel?”

We use our knowledge, and imagination to get into “their world” and structure our talk around the answers they are giving.

MY GOAL in my mat chats is to:
1: Get on their level
2. Get them talking with open ended questions
3. Listen to what they have to say
4. Appeal to their emotions, with “how does it make you feel?” I find that getting to the emotion, really clicks with most, and they will retain it, as we tend to remember how we feel more so than what we think.
5. Share how the lessons we share can impact them on a daily basis.

We have FUN, and Keep it Simple.  we cover each lesson 2x per year (26×2=52)
The repetition will drive these point home, over the course of the year(s) that these children train with us.  All in supporting the family unit and character development of the children.

Train Hard, Train smart….Train for LIFE!

Prof. Larry

About the Author

Training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu since 1994. 4th-Degree Rigan Machado Black Belt Instructor. Christian, Husband, Father, Grateful Small Business Owner.

Larry Shealy