By Korbett Miller
Hello my name is Korbett Miller I am a Black Belt under Saulo and Xande Ribeiro. I have competed for the last 7 years in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu winning a gold at the 2009 US Open Purple Senior 1 and Master Senior Worlds Brown Belt Senior 2. I have had my school in Kirkland Wa. for the last 18 years teaching Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Our business consistently ranks in the top 50 schools in the Nation with Membersollutions, one of the top martial arts billing companies. I have taught martial arts professionally since 1993, I started teaching youth martial arts in 1986. I have a degree in business administration from Sienna Heights College in Adrian, Michigan and have written for NAPMA (national association of professional martial artists), MAIA (martial arts insdustry association) and MASOU (martial arts school owners union)
The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Community is grappling with its identity. PUN INTENDED. In many ways we want to distance ourselves from the MMA Community while embracing the publicity that it brings. In other ways we want to have a great kids program and a professional school that provides programs for children and adults like the local karate school down the street. I know many great Professors who get frustrated that they lose their children students to the school down the street, and they wonder why? I have some opinions that I would like to share with you why teaching kids with different age groups separately makes sense.
#1 Babies and Giants The 4-6 year olds do not want to train with the “Giants”. The 7-12 year olds do not want to train with the “Babies”. This is the response you get when you ask kids why they quit if you have mixed classes. A 5th grader resents the hell out of being in the same class with a preschooler. Its also a safety issue with kids of such varied ages being together.
#2 Developmentally the difference between a 5 year old and an 8 year old is great than a 20 year old and a 40 year old! Attention span, fine motor skills, social development all are different, if you have ever had a young child break down and start crying in your class consistently, its because they are on overload. It may be more convenient for you to mix the classes however it will be hard to grow your classes if they are training together.
#3 Financially: This should be the last reason you teach the kids separately. However from a financial standpoint you can start classes for this age group early in the day. We have classes for this age group at 2:30pm and goes all the way to 5pm. Let’s be clear about this as well. The difference in market demand for youth martial arts and adult martial arts is 4 to 1.
Who sells more cars? Chevy or Ferrari? Obviously Chevy does?
The kids market is the Chevy and the Ferrari is the adult market.
Which car is higher priced? Chevy or Ferrari? Obviously Ferrari?
If you think your kids classes should be priced less, I think you are wrong. I have charged the same for my Kinderjits Program as my adult program. If anyone every says something about it, I just say that it takes more resources and skills to teach that group, and the class is built around the attention span of the younger student.
By the way if you have a program like Kiderjits Kinderjits.com you can take your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Program and overlay your program skills with our teaching template and produce great results. If you want to produce the next Saulos, Xandes, Marcellos and Rogers then our profession needs to start kids as early as possible the right way, without mixing kids of wide age varieties. Oh yea, just one spot on your schedule for pee wee kinderjits program could pay your rent every month!