If you’re considering enrolling your 4-6 year old in our Little Sharks class, you probably have some questions. Maybe you’re wondering what you can expect from the program. Perhaps you’re not sure what your child will be learning, or what differentiates Lineage BJJ’s program from other types of martial arts classes for children.
What you’ll see at a Little Sharks Class
There’s truly nothing like the Little Sharks program anywhere else in St. Mary’s County. At first glance, parent observers will simply see their children having a great time. The coaches’ combined years of teaching children results in instruction that seamlessly blends technique with games and fun.
Our youngest students are introduced to basic principles of leverage and control through age-appropriate games and one-on-one practice with our coaches. As they progress through and build upon the skills we teach, we’ll carefully challenge them, and you’ll see your child naturally gaining the tools they need to maintain a lifetime of confidence in any situation.
Why Gracie Jiu-Jitsu over another type of kids’ martial arts class?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art. Much of the work is learned on the ground, as most physical altercations inevitably end up on the ground. The primary goal is to learn to control an opponent in ways that force submission through techniques that work, regardless of one’s natural size and strength.
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is unique in that the foundational focus is that of self-defense, rather than only sport, and your child will be introduced to defensive variations at appropriate times.
Five Long-Term Benefits of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for Young Children
1.) The Gift of Confidence in cases of bullying and conflict in 4-6 year-old children
Bullying is epidemic, and verbal and social abuse can quickly turn physical; even among very young children.
According to a study by stopbullying.gov, “Peer aggression has been studied extensively among young children (ages 3-5) and has been found to be very common in preschool and kindergarten. In fact, peer aggression is more likely among young children than any other age group.”
Looking forward: By the time your child finishes high school, there is at least a 20% chance she or he will be personally affected by bullying.
Every technique we teach is underlined with careful instruction, repetition, and roll-playing so your child will start learning to instinctively respond to difficult situations at a young age. We teach our students how to avoid physical fights, but give them the tools they need to protect themselves and quickly establish control of the situation if a fight is inevitable.
Like all new skills, what we teach is best applied when practiced many, many times. When you give your child the gift of managing conflict in a safe and controlled environment, you are preparing them to handle themselves without panicking if a situation escalates.
Although the focus of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu may seem mostly physical on the surface, most of the hard work really occurs in your child’s mind; children who train martial arts are inevitably more confidant in their abilities. When your child is confidant, they’re less of a target.
2.) Kindergarteners Problem-solving in Pre-school and Kindergarten
Problem solving and quick thinking are keys to success in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Self-assurance, muscle memory, patience, concentration and practice come together in amazing ways as children learn to make quick decisions about their bodies to either escape or force an opponent to safely submit.
This knack for quick thinking tends to pour over into daily life as well. According to the Sport and Exercise Psychology Lab at Florida State University, excelling in athletic training “requires more than muscles and physical prowess,” and training helps athletes of all ages quickly take in visual cues, tune out what’s unneeded, spot patterns and make a plan – in milliseconds. The groundwork of these capabilities are formed when a child is young, and martial arts is one of the best ways to form those early connections.
3.) Immediate usefulness and application of skills in young children
One of the greatest benefits Gracie Jiu-Jitsu offers a child is the chance to successfully practice techniques that do not exclusively hinge on their small size and relative lack of strength. Even preschoolers and kindergarteners will learn to work with what they have to the best of their advantage. Gaining proficiency in just a few of our practices will make them safer against bullies now, and it’ll set them up to learn and advance to higher levels as they get older.
4.) Practice Discipline and Respect
We love having fun, but discipline and respect are still cornerstones of our classes and we ensure our youngest students are engaged and respectful to their coaches and each other; It keeps us all safe and everyone’s learning experience is better. We frequently hear reports of our students’ attitudes and behavior improving outside our doors, spilling over into home and school environments as well.
5.) Get a great workout
Your child can learn at their own pace, and in accordance to their own abilities. This is a moving finish line; with each class, they’ll be a little safer, a little stronger and we’ll send them home happy and tired!
Is this right for my child? There’s a risk-free way to find out.
Regardless of your child’s natural level of athleticism, personality, and background, there is something useful to be gained in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. We ask our new students to take advantage of our two-week trial offer to see if it’s a good fit for your family. We’re looking forward to meeting your Little Shark in our classes, currently running Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Author: Kristin Beauchamp © March 10, 2020 | all rights reserved.