Jocko Willink Explains How To Encourage Kids To Start BJJ: “Make It Fun”

Jocko Willink Explains How To Encourage Kids To Start BJJ: “Make It Fun”

You’d like your kid(s) to start training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Awesome! However, it’s not as easy as just “throwing them onto the mats”.

Jocko Willink knows this well, as he’s made several mistakes when he introduced his own kids to BJJ:

I did not do this well with my kids. I didn’t, it’s horrible. Especially my daughters. They were doing Jiu-Jitsu 6 days per week. And they were, like, six [years old].
And what was worse, I was also like: “Okay, and you’re also going to compete. Because competing makes you better.”

And it gets worse. It was: “When I take you to compete, since I’m the coach, I’m going to put you in a higher weight class. I’m going to put you against older kids. And you know what, if you lose, it doesn’t matter – because you’re going to be tougher.”

So, what happens? They get beat by someone who’s older, by someone who’s heavier… Is that fun? That sucks! So, by the time they’re 10, they don’t want to do this Jiu-Jitsu cr*p anymore.

So what’s the lesson? If you want to encourage your kids to start training BJJ, you’ve got to make it fun:

You have to make it fun and it’s much better for it to be fun once per week, then for them to hate it three times per week.

The kid that hates it three times a week, and you’re thinking: “I’m doing him/her a favor. Because I got her in there whether she likes it or not…” She’s three years old, bro.

Willink emphasizes that you’ve got to make it enjoyable:

The best possible thing you could do is not to MAKE them train Jiu-Jitsu right now… It’s to make them ENJOY Jiu-Jitsu right now.
So, find a good school, where Jiu-Jitsu is fun… Don’t force it down their throat.

The most important thing you can do as a parent is – make it fun for your kids.
Make working out fun, make Jiu-Jitsu fun, make school fun… Make these things enjoyable.

Learn games, drills, and techniques designed for your kids to have fun, while at the same time sharpening their Jiu-Jitsu skills.

  • Build a constructive environment for your child to flourish – this one of a kind instructional lets you introduce Jiu-Jitsu to your kids without the intimidation of a larger group class!