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One could write their dissertation on this topic as there are numerous avenues to explore. For the sake of time and space I am only going to touch on the highlights. As a parent who trains jiu jitsu I can say from experience that it is great for “ALL” kids.
Kids have an endless supply of energy which needs to be channeled in meaningful directions which allows them the opportunity to have thoughtful play that keeps them entertained and out of trouble. Kids are like sponges and are able to soak up information easily since they have not established set biases. Working with kids at an early age is crucial in helping to establish their self esteem, cognitive skills and confidence.
So why jiu jitus you ask. Jiu jitsu is physical yet controlled, this allows the kids the opportunity to expel much of that adolescent energy as they build muscle coordination, flexibility, stamina, respect, humility, and self restraint in a safe and supervised environment. However, as physical as jiu jitsu might be it is as much mental if not more. Jiu jitsu is similar to solving a life size puzzle, technique requires mental practice and repetition, and as the child’s library of techniques expand so will the need to solve more complex puzzles. These puzzles I speak of is the ability to link multiple techniques together, respond with the proper counter to the opponents attack, and the development of a personal style and strategy. The cognitive skills used in training jiu jitsu are similar to that of a chess player. And we can not forget the self confidence that kids gain from such physical accomplishments, which can serve to keep them from being bullied in school and less inclined to be involved in school yard brawls.
Kids love to grapple, it comes natural to them to roll around on the ground and horse play, so I say why not get them into an environment which lends to this natural act. Kids classes are a great opportunity for your child to make many new friends and usually are right after school making it very conveient. Many academies have free trial periods where your child can test the waters so to speak, if you have the opportunity I encourage you to take advantage of the offer if available.
Guest Article: Blue Belt Arron Sparling
As the end of 2010 winds to an end, we like to take some time to reflect on some of the accomplishments that have stood out. In a way each year holds new and exciting changes for everyone and 2010 was no exception. Let’s take a look at some of the changes we’ve all experienced.
* Promotions for the students in our adult Jiu-Jitsu classes. Blair Hedrick became our first women to achieve the yellow belt. Galen Grudnick earned the blue belt; Jess Vaughan earned his purple belt, and Instructors Nate and Zach Adamson were promoted to brown belt.
* Promotions for the students in our kids Jiu-Jitsu classes. Namely, Chance Giguere moved to Yellow Belt. Also, Duncan Fenison, Luke Verley, and Travis Jonsson were promoted to Orange Belt.
* The addition of the Alpha Strike Team kickboxing program.
* The all new Womens UltraFit Boot Camp program.
* Another awesome seminar with Assoc. Instructor Rafael Lovato Jr., as well as having our training partners and team mates from Eugene come to train with us.
* Rafael Lovato Jr. wins his first No-Gi Black Belt World Championship. Rafael and Justin Rader became the first instructor/student combination to win the No-Gi Worlds.
* Student Eric Gerdes is the first student from our academy to win the No-Gi World Championships.
* Instructor Zach Adamson becomes a two-time National finalist.
* The Inaugural Academy Christmas Party for our staff, students, members and friends.
* The launch of our new website (orbjj.com). The addition of an academy blog for students as well as our Womens UltraFit Bootcamp blog. We also added tons of new photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, and a twitter feed to keep in better contact with our members.
We are very pleased with all the improvements we’ve been able to make this year. Although we are prouder of the goals and dreams our instructors, students and friends have been able to accomplish. This has been a monumental year for us and we’d like thank you all for being apart of it. As you read this hopefully you start to think of all the awesome things 2011 will bring. Happy Holidays family!