For the past year and a half, I have led a jiu-jitsu class for kids at Pato Studio Cebu Jiu-jitsu. To be honest, we weren’t planning nor were we prepared for it. We only decided to have a separate class for a couple of almost teen boys who just were not fitting in properly with the adults’ class.
When we started announcing our kids’ class schedules, we received requests to have kids as young as 4 join our class. I did not know what to do. I did not have a background in education or in childcare and the only jiu-jitsu I knew was the style taught to me by my mentors which was not exactly child friendly. Luckily, my wife volunteered to help me out as she is great with kids. In the time that I have spent with them, they have taught me as much as I have taught them and for that I am grateful. As with most teams, the children are treated by the adults as part of the family.
But why jiu-jitsu though? The most obvious answer is effectivity. Jiu-jitsu is one of the few martial arts who integrates live sparring into the training and among these few, the safest.
Two kids can go all out and still be safe from any long term damage. If I were a parent, it would be easier for me to watch my child grapple than to see him exchange blows with another child. I still remember when my brother joined an eskrima tournament and my mother tried to watch. Mama was just crying the whole time. They had pads and safety gear on but she couldn’t bear to see her son hit and get hit by another guy. On the other hand, she’s been to the tournaments her 5 year old grandson has joined. She has seen him go against a much bigger child and no tears were shed.
Before I started training jiu-jitsu, I trained in boxing and attended judo classes that was offered to criminology students at a certain local university. One day the instructor said, “Any idiot can hit another person to get him down and keep him down but to do it without damage, that takes skill.” . That has always stuck with me and that is something you might want to consider when picking a martial art for your kids.
You see, even though the striking arts are extremely effective as a form of self-defense, it’s still almost necessary to hurt your adversary to exert your dominance and control over them. With the right training and practice, any child can learn to protect themselves from bullies and control them without injuring either parties.
In the short time that I have been with these children, I have seen the shy gain confidence, the loners play with their teammates, the unathletic learn how to use and move their bodies and the meek gain courage. On the other hand, I have seen the smug humbled and those who were overconfident from their own talent and potential be overtaken by the hard workers.
At the end of the day, it is more important to us at Pato Studio Cebu Jiu-jitsu that these children learn life skills. We stand by our motto of “Building Better People Through Jiu-jitsu” and we apply this judiciously especially in our kid’s class because as much as we take pride in the medals they bring to the team, we take even greater pride in knowing that we have helped shape these children into great human beings.
Pato Studio Cebu Jiu-Jitsu is happy to announce our first Kids BJJ Summer Camp! We hope to see you and your children become part of our Jiu-Jitsu family and help them learn a new skill this summer! More details can be found below, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Pato Studio Kids Summer Camp
Registration is Open until April 9 (first day of camp)
Dates: April 9 – May 19
Lead instructor: Nino Castro
Contact number: 09177007095
Camp fee: PHP 2000
Payment method via bank transfer to:
Mikhail Andre C Wu
BPI 4740-0096-27 (checking)
via cash at our gym’s reception desk on or before April 9 (first day of camp)