BJJ FOR LIFE: Photo of Professor Friedman’s master, ATT founder Ricardo Liborio (b 1967), defeating superstar Mario Sperry (b. 1966) in 2015.
BJJ is a complete body-mind-spirit sport, but it’s not always an easy path to follow. So while the people attracted to the sport may come from different walks of life, they share hardcore traits like grit, self-motivation, fortitude and strong work ethic. BJJ practitioners seek a challenge, and are willing to push their personal boundaries, putting in the mental and physical work. BJJ practitioners share their positive energy with training partners, so a great comradery develops. So that anytime we walk onto the mat, we are in good company.
The true beauty of BJJ is that it reinforces these values and makes them stronger in participants.
In children, these values can start as a small seed planted by their families and really bloom as they grow in the sport. When parents ask if young children can train in BJJ, we tell them that BJJ is for Life.
We can give parents a LONG list of benefits the sport provides to children from weight control, to decreased stress, increased confidence, and even a better brain (read my professor Malachy’s post about building neural connections). Today, let’s focus specifically on BJJ for Life
# 1 – Self-defense. Never underestimate the importance of a child knowing how to defend himself/herself. If he/she never has to use the techniques learned in class in a real-life situation, fantastic. The good news is that fighting in school in trending down. The bad news is that 1 in 4 high school students report being in a physical altercation. Training will prepare a child to protect himself.
# 2 – No bench warmers in BJJ. No child will ride the pine. (Yes, we’ve played baseball.) He/she will not lose their place on the roster to the kid who grew 5 inches over the summer. Everyone plays so everyone improves. Big and small, girls and boys. Everyone gets fitter, smarter and more confident.
# 3 – The Endless Season. There is no off-season when there is nothing to do. BJJ can be practiced throughout the year and for as many years as they choose. You can never outgrow the sport.
#4 – Have Gi will travel. BJJ has become a global phenomenon. Professor Malachy has trained and coached on the West Coast, Florida, Mexico and Brazil, with people from all over the world and BJJ is our universal language. So wherever your child lands in life, we are confident they can find a place to train and good people to train with. We hope as many doors open for them as they have for us with BJJ.