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JIU JITSU FOR TEENS
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JIU JITSU FOR TEENS

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One of the greatest aspects about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that there is no perfect time to start. If a student is starting jiu jitsu at an earlier age they will have definitive advantages over other students that start later in life. However, starting later is better than not starting at all. Beginning BJJ as an adolescent has many benefits that will help a student, as they get older. Children love to play, and there are many different ways that BJJ movements can be implemented into a students training sessions. A common practice for BJJ instructors is to play games that have subtle BJJ links, as this will help a child's motor skills exponentially. Children develop two types of motor skills; fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills involve using hands and fingers to control smaller objects, and a student will do this in BJJ by gripping onto the Gi, or a part of their training partner's body. Gross motor skills involve the coordination of larger muscles in the body, which make larger movements such as sweeps or takedowns. 

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HOW CAN BJJ HELP TEENS

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can help children in a number of different ways, including physical, mental and spiritual benefits. The physical attributes that a student will acquire is significant strengthening of their muscles, tendons, ligaments, and their bones. BJJ is a full contact sport that can be trained by a student without putting their bodies through significant harm, or risk of injury. Most Martial Arts in the world struggle to use full contact sparring, and this is due to the high likelihood of students receiving head injuries. BJJ on the other hand, can be extremely safe to train in full contact, as long as training partners are being respectful, and training with humility. There are other physical benefits that will help teenagers, like increases in their flexibility, agility, dexterity, and fitness levels. 

World Class Competitor Vagner Rocha shares his game plan for developing Youth Competitors.  Check it out from BJJFanatics.com!

training bjj for teens

The mental health benefits are also extremely important, as many students including teenagers, and practitioners starting bjj at 50, will use BJJ as a way to focus their mindset. BJJ is a good way for a child to use their mind, and body to think of creative ways to subdue their training partners, all while still learning how much their body can move. A huge factor that BJJ can bring to the forefront is a child's confidence. A common problem that teenagers face is becoming afraid of learning new things, especially when they are as complicated as BJJ techniques. Many kids are not as outgoing as others, and BJJ is a great way for kids to open up, and express themselves. Making new friends will give teenagers a sense of belonging, as they can often struggle meeting new people, and maintaining friendships. BJJ has a way of bringing people together, as all of the students have the same common goals in their pursuit of progressing through the art.

The one aspect that stands out the most is the self defense factor, as BJJ is all about defending themselves against bigger and  stronger opponents. Unfortunately everyone gets bullied, whether that be at the playground, at school, or at a place of work as an adult. Students will learn the ability to protect themselves at school where most of the bullying will happen. One of the most important lessons that BJJ teaches a child is how to make the right decisions, while under an intense amount of pressure. This lesson is extremely relevant to real life situations, as students will learn how to de-escalate, or engage into a high conflict scenario. 

USING STRATEGIES TO AVOID CONFLICTS 

When children become teenagers they are introduced to many problematic scenarios. These scenarios consist of substance abuse, going to parties, wagging school, and engaging in criminal activities. In most cases peer pressure is the culprit causing a teenager to make the wrong decisions. BJJ is synonymous for helping students of all ages make better decisions, not only on the mats, but in their broader lives. The best technique for any self defense situation, no matter the age, is having the ability to communicate. Using words to de-escalate the situation before there is any physical altercation, is the sort of mindset that will help kids make better decisions as they get older into their teen years.

Avoiding confrontation is one avenue, but this may not always be possible, as an attacker may have other ideas in mind. Learning how to engage an opponent without seeming threatening, but still being ready for the altercation is an extremely important skill. This is an aspect that teenagers and other members like students starting bjj at 30 will need to implement into their game styles. Understanding how to use the BJJ self defense principles is entirely different to accessing the whole range of BJJ skills. It is common knowledge in the BJJ world that students can not allow themselves to be underneath an attacker, as even though they may have extremely good guards, on the street the person that is on top has a definitive advantage. In a street situation being underneath an attacker can be extremely dangerous, as they may be able to utilise weapons, or isolate a student leaving a second or third attacker to come in and cause some serious damage. It is important for students to maintain their stance, and use their defensive skills to keep the attacker at arm's length. BJJ is all about defensive strategy, and students will be better equipped to understand all of these mechanics by training consistently inside a BJJ academy.

TRAINING SESSIONS FOR TEENS

A big challenge for teenagers when it comes to training, is the age gap. Most teenagers are too big for the little kids classes, and too small for the adult classes, so it can be extremely difficult to get the most out of their training. This is an extremely important aspect that can make teenagers feel intimidated, and shy away from their training feeling defeated. Unfortunately with many academies, there is an abundance of kids that are in the age bracket of four to twelve, while the thirteen to fifteen age category can be quite scarce. This can be problematic for teenagers, and will usually force them to train in the adult classes. This can be a good thing for students, as the best age to start jiu jitsu in the adult classes, can be as a teenager. What teenagers will find is that there are plenty of people in the adults class that will help them feel comfortable, and relaxed as they train.

Teenagers are often quite dynamic, and flexible, as they will showcase resilience, heart, and escape artistry during their training sessions. It is important for all members of a BJJ academy to nurture the teenagers of their club, as they are the future breeding ground of champions. Teenagers should be confident, and allow themselves to be inspired by older members of their academy. There are many age groups in a BJJ academy including jiu jitsu for old guys, and it is these hard working students that will inspire the teenage group. The younger generation needs to show respect to the older generation, and utilise many of their life lessons in order to help progress their mindsets. Teenagers need to focus, work hard, show consistency on the mats, and ask their instructors a multitude of questions. This is the only way they will be able to improve their knowledge, and their technical application of BJJ.

COMPETITION BJJ 

Teenagers are often inspired to compete on the national, and international level. This is no surprise really, as once a student has acquired a certain level of skill, their confidence levels can be extremely high. Nowadays teenagers have many different role models that they look up to, as all of them are lighting up the world stage of competitive BJJ. One of the greatest aspects for teenagers wanting to compete is how young they are. Quite often students will be starting bjj at 40, and to some degree have missed the competitive boat. As for teenagers, especially green belts who may only be fifteen years of age, and are extremely close to earning an adult blue belt, have a lot of time to climb their way up the competitive ladder of competition BJJ.

Competing at a BJJ tournament is a great way for teenagers to fast track their progression in the art. There is no better way to battle test a student's techniques than to dive in, and battle against other members from different academies. Competing in tournaments is as close as a teenager will get to a real life fight scenario. Sometimes when adults try to compete they are full of fears, and insecurities, but for the common teenager, they are willing to throw everything into the mats. Usually a teenager will seize the moment, and showcase their dynamic skills, as they battle against other talented teenagers. Winning competitions is not always about the bling, even though hanging gold medals in a student's closet is a nice bonus. The experience that a teenager will get out of competition matches, is unattainable just training inside their academy, so it is extremely important for teens to keep testing themselves, which will ultimately help them progress.

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

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  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
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  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

FREE FOR 7 DAYS TRIAL

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HOW TO PROGRESS FROM KIDS CLASSES INTO THE ADULTS CLASSES 

Starting off as a child training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be extremely fun, as all instructors will help develop children utilising different BJJ games. As the child evolves their game style, they will learn a vast array of strategies that can help them, not only on the mats but to deal with real life situations. As they begin to grow they will hit puberty, and training can become a lot more difficult. This is especially apparent in girls, as they can grow exceedingly uncomfortable being close to other males, while trying to progress in BJJ. Training in the teens class, students will commonly feel secure, and comfortable training with people of their own age. Things will become increasingly difficult, as they are forced to jump into the adult classes, as it can be rather intimidating going up against an adult practitioner. Even though all adult students are extremely respectful, and helpful to all younger athletes, it still can be an intimidating transition.

World Class Competitor Vagner Rocha shares his game plan for developing Youth Competitors.  Check it out from BJJFanatics.com!

how can bjj help teens

The best advice that teenagers can take heading into an adult session, is to have some faith, and trust in the members of the academy. Teenagers that move up into the adult classes are all taken care of, as their well being, and mental state are extremely important to their progression in the art. In terms of technical productivity teenagers will need to listen carefully, and ask plenty of questions, as the techniques they will learn in the adult classes will be increasingly advanced. The best advice they can receive is to ask one of the higher belts to partner up with them when it comes to the technique portion of the session. This will help a teenager tremendously, as they will basically receive one on one tutoring during the technique session. Another aspect that can help teenagers adapt into an adult class is to ask everyone for a roll. There is no use sitting on the sidelines, and worrying about getting injured, as all older and stronger students will make sure that teenagers are safe while they train. This means that it is open season for teenagers to get to work, and implement many of their strategies against extensively harder opponents.

After a significant period of time, teenagers will start to feel comfortable rolling with adults, as their confidence levels will rise exponentially. As these teenagers begin to compete periodically they will become the students that will inspire many of the other members around the academy. This includes all of the younger children, as they will often look up to the teenagers, and endeavor to be just like them. Teenagers are also great assistants to a black belt instructor, as the professor will put their faith inside of a teenager in the hope that they will show many leadership qualities. This is an important concept for teenagers to explore, as they will soon come to realise that teaching techniques is the best way to learn these moves intricately. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most inspiring, and outstanding forms of combat that needs to be trained by all children, as they head into their future lives.

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