5 y/o son started bjj

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La Paix

Fuck this place
First 100
Jan 14, 2015
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So two weeks ago I put my youngest into the local bjj club. He and his older sister have sat through more fights with me than most the guys I know and they really enjoy it, usually wrestle around between fights. I'm already impressed with how well he can follow directions and doesn't fuck around when it's time to listen or roll and he can't stop smiling during it all. I'm looking for some advice from those who train young kids or have been in my position for a while as far as best way to bring him along without being a crazy sports parent. I've had maybe 2 years worth of no gi off and on over the years so when he and his sister mess around I'll try to show them some simple shit and be sure they know the names of positions they get into but not much else. Do you guys recommend I keep the at home stuff all fun or is it helpful to practice a little serious from time to time? The amount of times he tries to attack me now has gone up exponentially which is encouraged but I've never been the dad to play possum all the time and just let them tune on me. I only have about 15 more years before my upper hand is gone and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.

Here's the club
Home - Pacific Top Team - Martial Arts Kelowna
 

SC MMA MD

TMMAC Addict
Jan 20, 2015
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I am a purple belt, and help coach the kids class that both my kids (now 9 and 12) are in. At five years old, I would keep the stuff at home 100% fun as opposed to trying to do specific drills etc. At that age, the most important thing you can do for him to help his grappling in the future is foster his interest in grappling- so he does not want to quit in a year or two. Just fooling around grappling with him at home can be great bonding time, and can help him "discover" the proper techniques to use in certain situations. Grapple with him how the coaches do in class- force him into the position to use techniques he knows or is learning and let proper technique work while everything else remains ineffective. My daughter learned a mount escape and armbar from mount like this before she even officially started taking class. As soon as a grappling session starts turning into work for him, or your feel yourself getting frustrated, move on to something else.

As to your comment about having limited time to have the upper hand- I share your realization. I am a IBJJF middleweight, but somehow my 12 year old plays offensive and defensive line on his 7th/8th grade football team and weighs more now than when I graduated high school. He has almost 5 years of BJJ now, so I fear it might not be long before he is gunning for his old man.
 
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First off, that is awesome, congratulations. Our gym has a good sized kids program, 7 kids in our 2-4 year old group, 60 in our 5-12 group, plus I have 12 active competitors on my competition team..... What I've discovered over all these years is 1) keep it fun for them (win or lose) 2) keep it focused and disciplined (make sure that he pays attention to his coaches).

Kids that age advance at different paces, they'll either get it or not (as in why they are doing what they're doing). I've had kids who understood transitions and attacks from day 1, and others who it took them a year or two to fully grasp. Keep him practicing warm up drills and movement drills (forward rolls, break falls, sprawls, knee drags, rockers, bridges, upa drills, shrimping drills, etc), this will get him accustom to the body mechanic motions of Jiu Jitsu. Give him accomplishment goals too, tell him if he can shrimp the length of the mat correctly, he earns something. Make him challenge and best himself in whatever he's done (10 push-ups today? Try doing 15 at the end of the month).

Focus on one attack and recovery from every position (even though there's other attacks, at this age give him one to focus on per position). Once you get home from classes, do a evening review of what you worked on that day.

These are some initial pointers.... A lot of it is feel it out as you go, I have to change how I deal with every kid almost daily. Hopefully I helped you out a little, hit me up if you need anything else.
 

La Paix

Fuck this place
First 100
Jan 14, 2015
38,276
64,567
I am a purple belt, and help coach the kids class that both my kids (now 9 and 12) are in. At five years old, I would keep the stuff at home 100% fun as opposed to trying to do specific drills etc. At that age, the most important thing you can do for him to help his grappling in the future is foster his interest in grappling- so he does not want to quit in a year or two. Just fooling around grappling with him at home can be great bonding time, and can help him "discover" the proper techniques to use in certain situations. Grapple with him how the coaches do in class- force him into the position to use techniques he knows or is learning and let proper technique work while everything else remains ineffective. My daughter learned a mount escape and armbar from mount like this before she even officially started taking class. As soon as a grappling session starts turning into work for him, or your feel yourself getting frustrated, move on to something else.

As to your comment about having limited time to have the upper hand- I share your realization. I am a IBJJF middleweight, but somehow my 12 year old plays offensive and defensive line on his 7th/8th grade football team and weighs more now than when I graduated high school. He has almost 5 years of BJJ now, so I fear it might not be long before he is gunning for his old man.
First off, that is awesome, congratulations. Our gym has a good sized kids program, 7 kids in our 2-4 year old group, 60 in our 5-12 group, plus I have 12 active competitors on my competition team..... What I've discovered over all these years is 1) keep it fun for them (win or lose) 2) keep it focused and disciplined (make sure that he pays attention to his coaches).

Kids that age advance at different paces, they'll either get it or not (as in why they are doing what they're doing). I've had kids who understood transitions and attacks from day 1, and others who it took them a year or two to fully grasp. Keep him practicing warm up drills and movement drills (forward rolls, break falls, sprawls, knee drags, rockers, bridges, upa drills, shrimping drills, etc), this will get him accustom to the body mechanic motions of Jiu Jitsu. Give him accomplishment goals too, tell him if he can shrimp the length of the mat correctly, he earns something. Make him challenge and best himself in whatever he's done (10 push-ups today? Try doing 15 at the end of the month).

Focus on one attack and recovery from every position (even though there's other attacks, at this age give him one to focus on per position). Once you get home from classes, do a evening review of what you worked on that day.

These are some initial pointers.... A lot of it is feel it out as you go, I have to change how I deal with every kid almost daily. Hopefully I helped you out a little, hit me up if you need anything else.

Great replies from both of you, thanks.

SC MMA MD @SC MMA MD I asked about how serious to take it at home as I had the same question for my kids swimming coach as we had a pool (just sold our house) She said the exact same thing so I just wanted to be sure and it makes sense so good points. I hate the idea of him feeling like it's work being so young but at the same time I want to find a way to let him know it's hard work to get good but that'll come with time I'm sure, I doubt he'll grasp that now. It's so cool to see how much fun he has. When drilling take downs he'll pop up after the exchange and do some Power Rangers pose and wave on a kid he's known for only a few minutes lol.

@Rhino the whole practicing the warm up drills is awesome and that's mostly what I've done with them. We practiced shrimpies, bucking and front rolls a bunch. Afterwards when they were rolling around DC mounted his sister and I was telling her "BUCK BUCK" and she did a great bridge to the side and sent him off which earned her a strong applause from me :) I told her how to trap the inside arm first and sure enough she gets mounted again and traps it and puts him into the wall, more clapping!! I think she wants to join too but she's just too busy with other sports right now.

I'll be posting more as he progresses and I'm sure I'll have more questions as well
 

maurice

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Oct 21, 2015
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At that age, you should keep it fun regardless of whether it's at home or in the gym. They have to want to do it and learn to love the sport. Overbearing parents make any youth sport miserable for kids. If they eventually choose to compete, then maybe you'll have to get a bit more structured, but you can explain that they need to work hard to achieve their (not your) goals, so it's sort of a life lesson. Praise their hard work. Tread VERY carefully if you ever criticize their performance. It's actually best to leave all criticism to the paid coaches and just focus on whether they're having fun.

Source: I have two boys who have competed in BJJ, NAGA, judo, and folkstyle wrestling. Also, I have coached youth sports for a long time. I let them choose their goals and help them achieve them. It was extremely gratifying, for example, when they won their first NAGA expert belts, because that was a long-time goal for both of them.
 

SCADA

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Oct 10, 2016
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Good shit man....the younger the better, IMO. The only issue I have, is there are some kids that don't have the focus and are a destraction. As long as they aren't, I'm all for it. My son, started Muay Thai just a few months before his 5th birthday...he'll be 8 this December, and he just started BJJ as well. So now he trains 6 days a week with two classes on Sat. But he loves it, and loves to hit pad with me at home as well. I love it because he's tiny, so he'll be able to take care of himself...and I get to workout while he's in class. Here is a taste of a future 125lb champ:



 

SCADA

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Oct 10, 2016
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Those are almost a year old, I'll have to upload some new ones soon.
 

La Paix

Fuck this place
First 100
Jan 14, 2015
38,276
64,567
At that age, you should keep it fun regardless of whether it's at home or in the gym. They have to want to do it and learn to love the sport. Overbearing parents make any youth sport miserable for kids. If they eventually choose to compete, then maybe you'll have to get a bit more structured, but you can explain that they need to work hard to achieve their (not your) goals, so it's sort of a life lesson. Praise their hard work. Tread VERY carefully if you ever criticize their performance. It's actually best to leave all criticism to the paid coaches and just focus on whether they're having fun.

Source: I have two boys who have competed in BJJ, NAGA, judo, and folkstyle wrestling. Also, I have coached youth sports for a long time. I let them choose their goals and help them achieve them. It was extremely gratifying, for example, when they won their first NAGA expert belts, because that was a long-time goal for both of them.
Great advice and it makes sense, thanks.
 

Leigh

Engineer
Pro Fighter
Jan 26, 2015
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For home stuff you cannot beat Gracie Bullyproof. An excellent program for parents to work jiujitsu with their kids.
 

La Paix

Fuck this place
First 100
Jan 14, 2015
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So I'm away at work but it seems it only took two weeks r so before big sis wanted to give it a go.




She's 7 and is in gymnastics so I think she'll get most the warm up drills pretty quick. Plus she did 6 months of TKD last year so the whole feel if the gym won't be as foreign. This picture made my day :)
Just a trial run as her schedule is packed as it is but I'm gonna do my best to never say no to them when it comes to trying new things like this. I expect some great battles before dinner in the future.
 

SCADA

Posting Machine
Oct 10, 2016
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So I'm away at work but it seems it only took two weeks r so before big sis wanted to give it a go.




She's 7 and is in gymnastics so I think she'll get most the warm up drills pretty quick. Plus she did 6 months of TKD last year so the whole feel if the gym won't be as foreign. This picture made my day :)
Just a trial run as her schedule is packed as it is but I'm gonna do my best to never say no to them when it comes to trying new things like this. I expect some great battles before dinner in the future.
I'm jelly bro. I wish my daughter (12) would also get into this stuff...but sadly she is not into any sports at all. Guitar and computers.
 

SC MMA MD

TMMAC Addict
Jan 20, 2015
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So I'm away at work but it seems it only took two weeks r so before big sis wanted to give it a go.




She's 7 and is in gymnastics so I think she'll get most the warm up drills pretty quick. Plus she did 6 months of TKD last year so the whole feel if the gym won't be as foreign. This picture made my day :)
Just a trial run as her schedule is packed as it is but I'm gonna do my best to never say no to them when it comes to trying new things like this. I expect some great battles before dinner in the future.
Cute kids. They look very excited to be on the mat and in uniform- exactly how they should look at the academy
 

La Paix

Fuck this place
First 100
Jan 14, 2015
38,276
64,567
Cute kids. They look very excited to be on the mat and in uniform- exactly how they should look at the academy
Thanks doc. I'm going to follow the advice here and keep it all fun and he's when it's messing around outside of the gym. It's awesome to see them get excited each class.
 
Aug 2, 2022
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Congratulation to you. Well, you should make your children properly equipped because there would be a lot of chances of injury in it. The must-have proper GI with a rashguard beneath it. It is because they could learn BJJ without the fear of injury. I wish them good luck with their endeavors.