Jiu Jitsu and Teen Self-Defense: Is It the Best Martial Arts to Protect Your Kids?

So, you are exploring self-defense options for your child and you keep hearing about Jiu Jitsu. Maybe you are wondering what jiu jitsu is and if it is even worth your child’s time (and ultimately your money)?

As a 5 year student of Jiu Jitsu and father of two kids who have actively been in Jiu Jitsu for the past 4 years, I can confidently tell you that Jiu Jitsu is the best martial arts program available today for your child, and I’m excited to explain why.

What Is Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu is a grappling martial art with roots in Japan and Brazil. You may have heard it referred to as “Brazillian Jiu Jitsu” or just “jiu Jitsu”. In jiu jitsu, a person learns how to control another person using leverage, skill and very little strength where they can ultimately end a physical conflict with a submission.

Jiu Jitsu was introduced to America in the early 1990’s and since its debut, it has become the premier martial art for adults and children alike. Why? Because it works, that’s why.

Why is Jiu Jitsu the Best Martial Arts For Protecting Your Kids?

If you have been looking for martial arts programs for your child lately, you may be in a bit of sticker shock at the price of any martial art, let alone jiu jitsu. When you start spending upwards of $150-$200 a month, understandably, you want real results.

Because of this, you do not want to enroll your child into a martial arts program just to learn that it’s not something that could work in a real life scenario your child could become faced with. Remember, there’s an old saying that applies to life (and jiu jitsu),  and it is “Cheap training isn’t good, and good training isn’t cheap”.

So, let’s explore why jiu jitsu is not only worth the investment, but also a tool to equip your child with that will set them up for success in personal defense encounters, and life in general.

Having Fun and Getting Fit

One of the best parts about jiu jitsu is that kids just love it! It’s in their nature to roll around and wrestle with each other. You will see kids from all walks of life and in all socio-economic backgrounds laughing together, training together, and just having fun!

When your child starts to grapple, there just isn’t a way to do it without using a lot of physical strength, especially when you are new and not sure how to handle it. Your child will use lots of core strength, and overall, receive a full body workout each day in class, but don’t tell them that, they are just having a bunch of sweaty fun.

It’s A Practical Martial Art for Real World Encounters

When jiu jitsu arrived in the US in the early 1990’s, no one knew what it was, but everyone quickly learned that jiu jitsu was the reigning king of martial arts when it was introduced in the very first UFC.

The beauty of the first UFC events whas how it was arranged. Any fighter of any martial art discipline could compete and settle the debate of which martial art was the best. Well, the results are in, you cant even consider being a martial arts competitor (or even defend yourself) these days without knowing how to grapple.

If you have ever been into a traditional martial arts studio, you may have noticed kids breaking boards, or maybe practicing kicks and punches from a standing position. But did you know, that the overwhelming majority of fights are taken to the ground within seconds, it’s very rare two people fighting just stand there and trade blows.

If your child has only practiced reciting kids karate kicks and punches, they may find themselves panicking the moment they are taken to the ground and not equipped to deal with this encounter.

Kids Jiu Jitsu vs Kids Karate

While karate schools do a good job of teaching kids moves, it’s just not safe for kids to practice karate at full speed and strength in class each day. Kids would be getting concussions and other injuries from daily karate matches, even if they used pads and gloves, it’s just not safe.

On the other hand, Jiu Jitsu is the only martial arts program where each day your child will get to use what they learned in actual grappling matches where other kids are using all their strength against them.

Injuries in jiu jitsu for kids are extremely low and rare. Because jiu jitsu is grappling on the ground, your child will not be punched or kicked while practicing at full speed. Once a child has a submission locked in, the other child taps either verbally or with their hand and the match is over, they “slap and bump” their hands and do it again.

At first, your child may be let down when all of the other kids in their jiu jitsu class can “beat them”. But, your child’s confidence will quickly spike the day a new kid comes into class and your child is able to control and submit them, and it only gets better from there. That’s when they start to realize the power of jiu jitsu (and so will you).

Real Confidence and Real Results

Have you ever noticed in many traditional martial arts schools how there are so many children of all ages wearing black belts? A black belt is a designation that a martial arts student has spent an enormous amount of time learning, drilling and applying a martial art, and has reached a level recognized internationally as a competent practitioner.

You will never see a child black belt in jiu jitsu, not because they aren’t good, it’s because the black belt is reserved for those that have been training jiu jitsu for MANY years, often over 10-15 years. Giving your child a black belt after two years of training in any martial art, is a good way to provide false confidence that they can deal with any physical altercation.

It might be fun to punch and break a flimsy board as often seen in karate for kids, but it won’t help you in real life, and any confidence gained from that will quickly deflate the moment a single punch or kick doesn’t work in the real world. 

Once your child leaves the jiu jitsu mats after months and years of training, they will enter the real world with real confidence as they have already put in the sweat equity and seen the results. You can’t put a price on giving a child real confidence.

Get Comfortable With The Uncomfortable

Life is tough, there is no getting around it. You may be able to shield your child from danger for the first few years, but once they enter their middle school years (and beyond), they are in a position where they can’t call on mom and dad for an immediate intervention, they need the tools now that empower them to take charge and control a bad situation whenever it arises. 

One of the best parts of jiu jitsu is learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. What does that mean? Well, jiu jitsu is almost like a metaphor for life, when weak minded people get into tough (or uncomfortable) situations, they may panic or just lack the tools needed to deal with a bad situation.

Because Jiu Jitsu requires intense physical grappling on a daily basis in class, it teaches the students to learn to think when even in the most uncomfortable situations. Fortunately, this skill carries with your child throughout life.

If you can learn to think clearly, strategize and problem solve when you are drenched in sweat with the weight of another human on top of you (who is actively trying to submit you), you can then take those same skills into any scenario in life and apply them.

Does that mean your child will try to take their teacher down to the ground and choke them? Nope, but it does mean that the same child when faced with a bad situation, will have the mental fortitude to relax, think, and problem solve without losing their cool, panicking, or making a poor choice out of fear.

How To Get Started With Jiu Jitsu

Hopefully this was helpful in pointing out a few of the many ways jiu jitsu will change your child’s life for the better and why jiu jitsu is better than any other martial arts for your child. Contact Granite Bay Jiu Jitsu today and change your child’s life for the better with a Free week of Jiu Jitsu Training!