So you want your kids to continue training Jiu-Jitsu? You want Jiu Jitsu to grow on them and make them love it? There are a few things you can do in order to ensure your kids enjoy rolling with you. .
1. Associate moves with animals or day to day movements
Kids love animals! Even more so, they understand movements easier when they can associate it with an animal. Whenever your kids see a move, see if there is any similar movement in nature performed by animals. Bear crawl is so much better than walking on four limbs. If that’s not possible, at least try to associate moves with a movement pattern the kid sees every day.
2. Allow your kids to pull off moves and reward success
It goes without saying that you should be as compliant as possible with your kids when they are trying to pull off a move on you, even if it means you’re basically doing it for them. Reward them verbally every time they perform a technique even remotely correctly. Remember, the goal here is to make Jiu Jitsu grow on them, not become a competitor (yet).
3. Focus on their preferred moves
Check to see if your kids have any preferred moves. If they do, try to focus your rolling sessions around those and less around the ones that they don’t like. Having fun is the most important aspect at this point.
4. Exaggerate the impact
Whenever your kids perform a move, exaggerate the impact as much as possible. This is easily done on takedowns, where you can break the fall harder and make a sound while doing it. The sense of impact will provide great joy for the little ones.
5. Let them win but provide a little challenge
Whenever you’re rolling with your kids, let them win in the end. You can always sweep them every now and then and give them a little challenge, but make sure they win in the end. They will feel rewarded for their effort and frustration build up is not a problem you want to deal with at this point.
Tickling is a great way to make them laugh but make sure you use it sparely as going overboard with it will easily make them want to quit the session.
The smile on the face of your child is the biggest indicator for you. Use whatever means are available to you to keep that smile there for as long as possible. Joking is one method to do that. Whenever you get the opportunity, make a joke that your kids will understand. Anything from pretending to be unconscious to mimicking animals.
Keep the sessions varied. Kids get bored really fast and, as such, doing the same stuff over and over again will kill the fun really fast. Warm-up movements, stretches, sweeps, takedowns, submissions – make sure to go through all these.
9. Short sessions
Keep sessions short, fun and intense. Firstly, kids have a short attention span and they get bored fast. Secondly, you want to make your kids expect and wish for the next training session to happen sooner.
Make sure to include plenty of stretching. It’s a great point in their life to improve their mobility and to help prevent injuries further down the line. It’s also low impact and can be turned into a challenge.
11. Nice clothes
Get your kids some fancy Gi or rashguard. Children love wearing rashguards with graphical designs on their chest or flashy Gi’s.
12. End each session with a game or two
Most Jiu Jitsu classes for kids involve some type of mini game at the end of the session. It’s no surprise that it’s also the part of the session the kids love the most. Include a mini game or two at the end of each session and vary the games with each session. Incorporating a BJJ lesson in a game would be ideally. One such example would be you lying on your back with a hat on and your kids trying to take your hat off from a standing position, as in to train passing the guard. After 2 minutes, the roles would be reversed.