With a structure curriculum and professors that are deeply involved in the martial art / sport there is no limits to how good any child can get as long as they attend class on a consistently. Here is a perfect example:
Ryan Villogram ( Team Lloyd Irvin Kids) defeats BJJ Black Belt!
I have had personally the pleasure of training with Ryan who is super humble and respectful despite of his excellence at jiu-jitsu at such a young age. I will try to interview Ryan because he is truly an inspirational story…but that’s later on! Ryan has won multiple blue belts adults divisions and while he is a green belt at 15 years old I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets promoted to purple as soon as he turns 16. Even though I outweighed him by a good 20-30 pound and I am 9 years older, Ryan gave me all I can handle while training, and he hasn’t yet grown into his adult body. That’s why I treat him so nicely now ;)…because when he does….it will be trouble for everyone!
Studies show that kids spend more than six hours a day using media, from watching television and listening to music to surfing the internet and playing video games. Considering that they spend a good chunk of time at school, and another eight hours or so sleeping, six hours of passive media time is a lot of time spent not moving. Here are two strategies to help if you are struggling to motivate your child to go to their martial arts classes:
- Strategy #1: Make sure your child is doing something less interesting to him or her a half hour prior to going to martial arts class. For instance, a child doing homework or chores will usually jump at the chance to take a break and go to class. On the other hand, a child playing video games may not want to stop shooting aliens to go to class. If your child is outside playing with friends, is it any surprise that they don’t want to stop to go to class?
- Strategy #2: Help your child set short-term goals when they begin classes. For example, each new belt level is a goal. Once they achieve that goal, their new belt, they can then decide if they want to continue with the classes, but with the understanding that there will be no quitting until the next belt is achieved. Usually a child is so excited to receive their new belt they would of course want to stay and learn their new material. At each belt level our students must complete certain criteria that will allow them to be promoted to the next belt. As they complete the criteria, they are rewarded and this gives them a sense of accomplishment. It also motivates them to keep going on to the next level.
Your job, as a parent, is to introduce them to positive physical exercises, like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so they’ll learn just how good it makes them feel. Support their exercising by providing the equipment they need, transportation to and from training and events, and support, especially if they’re competing. Then, ultimately, they’ll be excited to participate, will start to look forward to exercising, and as they grow older, will continue to seek out opportunities to be physically active.
Now you may wonder how much should your child exercise?
According to the 2005 dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), all children 2 years and older should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most, preferably all, days of the week.
Here are the current activity recommendations for kids, according to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE):
|Age||Minimum Daily Activity||Comments|
|Infant||No specific requirements||Physical activity should encourage motor development|
|Toddler||1½ hours||30 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)|
|Preschooler||2 hours||60 minutes planned physical activity AND 60 minutes unstructured physical activity (free play)|
|School age||1 hour or more||Break up into bouts of 15 minutes or more|
Teens should get at least one hour of physical exercise most days of the week, and preferably, everyday, writes Dr. Steven Dowshen, MD on KidsHealth.org. But, for many kids, exercise actually declines during the teen years because they drop out of organized sports.
It doesn’t help that general physical education programs at many middle and high schools are being cut for lack of funding.
But, your child doesn’t have to be a soccer star or a football player to reap the benefits of physical exercise. Other activities, including martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, will provide the same, if not more, benefits as the traditional organized sports.
For example, when you child practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu they will:
- Practice motor skills
- Improve balance and coordination
- Gain muscle strength, including endurance and explosive power
- Become more flexible
- Improve cardiovascular fitness and stamina
And that’s just the physical benefits. They’ll also learn to interact with peers and teachers with respect and discipline, as well as to challenge their conceptions about what they are and are not capable of accomplishing. And lets not forget, they’ll learn to defend themselves.
In the next post we will discuss how to motivate children and get them to be active and involved in fitness programs.
Exercise is good for you, right? We all know that. But did you know that when your child exercises, they are getting mental and physical benefits for the present – and for years into the future.
In the present, regular exercise like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will make your child feel more energetic and strong, and will give him/her a better chance of maintaining a healthy weight. Along with those physical benefits, they’ll also gain self-confidence, feel more comfortable interacting with their peers – and they’ll have fun.
But the future benefits of exercise for your child are even more striking than the immediate ones. Regular physical activity at a young age will help prevent medical problems as your child grows up, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other ailments associated with being unhealthy and out of shape.
When children are young, they learn basic communication from their friends, adapting their words, movements and expressions to speak to each other. They solve puzzles together, imitate each other, pass on knowledge and create imaginative games.
For example, an older child playing with a slightly younger one will learn to teach the younger one words, games, ideas that the younger hasn’t experienced yet. This provides the older child an opportunity to play the role of teacher, and to rise to the challenge of explaining something he/she knows to the younger kid.
And, of course, the younger child will learn language, games, turn taking and other skills from the older.
Having friends helps kids do better in school, because children learn from interacting with others, according to a 1998 study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And, of course, kids look forward to seeing their friends, so when their friends go to their school or participate in clubs or after school programs like martial arts programs, too, they’ll be happier about participating.
To be successful in school and in life, children have to learn how to negotiate with their peers.
For example, if your child wants a toy that their friend has, they’ll ask for it first. Their friend might hand it over, but if not, they’ll learn that they can 1) grab for it, upset their friend, potentially loose their playmate and upset the adult in the room or 2) negotiate with their friend to trade for another toy so that both kids are both happy.
Kids also get emotional support from their friends, especially as they get older. When your child is a middle schooler and is facing challenges of puberty, cliques and growing up, having good, positive friends will help him/her cope and make the right choices.
This is why so many teachers, pediatrist, parenting websites, and field experts recommend martial arts for children. When it comes to socialization and friendships a professional martial arts program will:
- Teach them how to play together.
- Help them avoid the “being left out feeling” and teach them how to deal with such situations.
- Teach them how to share.
- Teach them how to take turns.
- Teach them to sportsmanship and how to in cordially.
- Teach them to deal with losing.
- Teach them the importance of respect.
- Teach them the importance discipline.
- Teach them the importance effort & hard work.
- Teach them the importance friendships.
- Teach them the importance honesty.
- Teach them communication skills.
- Teach them to solve puzzles together.
- Teach them to pass on knowledge.
- Teach them to be good teachers and role models.
- Teach them to be good students and follow directions.
We could go on..
The Importance of Socialization for Children- Part 2: Developing friendships in the later years of childhoodSeptember 29th, 2008
Kids’ friendships grow as they grow , but your children’s friendships are very different from adult friendships, and they grow and change as each child matures socially and emotionally.
Pre-school-age kids aren’t likely to understand loyalty, trust and permanence that most adults associate with their relationships with close friends, writes Sharon Kickertz-Gerbig, North Dakota State University.
But as they get older, friends become more important. Between 6 and 9 years old, children come to understand more about the loyalty and some of the obligations that come along with friendship, Kikertz-Gerbig says. They form close emotional bonds, and as a result, they are hurt if another child announces “I’m not your friend anymore.”
By middle school, kids often group themselves into cliques. Being inside a clique can give a middle schooler a sense of security, but being left out – or even temporarily excluded – can be painful. It might be hard for a parent to watch their child struggle with middle school’s atmosphere of cliques and inclusion/exclusion, but parents have little control over the friendship behavior of other children.
It’s best to encourage your children to respect everyone and to choose their friends carefully, explains Kickertz-Gerbig. With this direction, they’ll hopefully find positive friends and come to understand that treating those friends with respect is important.
And friendship only gets more important as kids get older, because they slowly learn the life skills that will lead to future independence from their parents. Who your child’s friends are, what activities they do together and how those friends influence your child can be crucial when children become young adults and start to set goals for the future.
This why you can’t go wrong with introducing your child to a professional martial arts program. Make sure that they have rules for children, and that they go over them with your child in their firts class. If they don’t, then it is time too look for another martial arts program. This rules usually are based on:
- Effort & Hard Work
- And many more important values.
Your child will be introduced to an environment where for other children it has become second nature to follow and respect this rules. In our next post we will discuss more the importance of friends and friendships and identify many ways in which a quality martial arts program can help your child dvelop social skills.
As kids grow from toddlers into young children, they start to play with other kids and develop social connections.
At first, they play together without truly interacting – which is called parallel play. For example, if two kids are sitting side by side and building houses out of blocks, but not working together, they are engaging in parallel play, explains Angela Oswalt, a social worker, in an article on MentalHelp.net.
Between the ages of 3 and 6, children start to play more cooperatively, working together in a small group and often playing “lets pretend”-type games like cowboys and Indians or playing house. According to Oswalt, pretend play can begin as early as the toddler years and usually peaks at about 4 or 5. At this age children begin to understand the ideas of sharing, of taking turns, of going ” first” or “last” , of winning or losing.
Then the group grows larger-to three children and to four-and by the time the child enters kindergarten, he is able to join and to enjoy group experiences and to take his lumps with the others. Now their games have rules, especially as they get closer to 6, and kids start to have favorite friends who they really like to play with. Children also start rough and tumble play including running, racing, climbing and competitive games. These kinds of games can help children learn important social skills including learning to take turns and following simple rules.
Sometimes some children do not develop social skills as easily as others. A common scenario is when they begin to seek peer relationships without any positive results ( rebuffs, cruelty, etc…).This may cause them to retreat to the safety of home, family, and their own company. At the same time this can be very painful for a parent.
Professional martial arts programs do a wonderful job of helping kids socialize with peers. In our next articles we will discuss how the right martial arts program can help your child when it comes to socialization and why it is so important to constantly help your children improve their social skills.
Remember: Discipline is how adults teach children to grow to be happy, safe, well-adjusted members of society. Raising children is a tough job, but as children learn to control their own behavior, discipline gets easier and easier and the benefits more noticeable. It’s well worth the initial effort as your children become responsible for their actions. And you can feel proud that your loving care guided them on their way! Stop using words that hurt. Start using words that help.
Some facts about discipline styles and children:
Parents are extremely permissive when they . . .
- * Have few rules.
- * Allow children to do as they please.
Parents are extremely strict when they . . .
- * Expect immediate obedience.
- * Give no explanation for demands.
- * Use physical punishment often.
Parents are moderate when they . . .
- * Set limits and allow children to decide within those limits and make their own mistakes.
- * Allow the natural and logical consequences to do the teaching for them.
- * Are firm, with kindness, warmth, and love.
When parents are extremely permissive . . .
- * Children are spoiled, cranky and whining, as well as very aggressive. They want their own way all the time.
When parents are extremely strict . . .
- * Children are timid and withdrawn, as well as very dependent or rebellious. They defy authority.
When parents are moderate . . .
- * Children are responsible and cooperative, with a good self-concept. They are considerate of others.