Self-defense skills are useful for any stage of our life. Perhaps, they are more necessary for children, emotionally and physically. Jiu-jitsu is a life-changing discipline for children and adults.
Jiu-Jitsu is a good tool to minimize bullying. It provides the proper tools to be able to de-escelate a situation without any harm done and to know how to protect yourself and the bully if a physical confrontation occurs. Because of this it also provides confidence to stand up for yourself.
If you leave bullying unaddressed, it can lead to severe consequences. Children have vulnerable and defenseless nature. Thankfully, there are tools to help kids stand up to bullies. By training jiu-jitsu, kids develop strong character and confidence. This gentle but forceful art helps for self-defense. If you want to fight, then that makes you a bully yourself. Remember the old Japanese proverb: It’s better to be a warrior in the garden than a gardener in a war.
How Jiu-Jitsu helps a bullied child
Bullying is unwanted, intimidating, and aggressive behavior towards someone recognized as weaker. This type of behavior has the potential to be repeated and sustained over some time. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or even social, doing severe physical and emotional harm to the victim.
Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling martial art that most of the time takes place on the ground. Most other martial arts require speed or power or any other kind of athletic endurance. With jiu-jitsu, this is not the case. Everything is about technique. The whole concept is taking the opponent to the ground no matter what physical advantage they might have. It is perfect for kids to give them the skills they need to defend themselves against bigger and stronger bullies.
Another great advantage of jiu-jitsu is learning how to subdue your bully without hurting them. Jiu-jitsu also teaches how to apply submission holds that will turn away a bully for the long haul.
Physical harm is the first thing a child experiences from the bully. The child immediately feels fear which is a normal reaction. Jiu-jitsu realistically addresses this situation. For example, in real life, fights often occur on the ground. Jiu-jitsu techniques start from the ground position. In the attack, that is the most common defensive position. It teaches you how to use the strength and the size of the opponent against him. This allows a smaller person to utilize locks and holds to neutralize the stronger and bigger attacker. This way you learn how to think and analyze the situation without hurting your opponent.
Apart from this, I would argue, the most important thing jiu-jitsu does is break down the fear of physical contact. Many victims of bullying have this fear, but when you practice techniques of grappling over and over again, you will get comfortable in taking action to defend yourself efficiently without harming your opponent.
Of course, some kids develop their abilities earlier than others, but usually, those kids end up blooming onto some of the best technicians. Mental toughness and the right technique should be pursued above all physical features.
Jiu-Jitsu Prevents Bullying and Bullies
Jiu-jitsu isn’t a combat sport you should avoid. Its focus is on grappling and ground fighting. Through jiu-jitsu children of all ages learn discipline, confidence, self-esteem, and respect. Also, they learn to cope with stress, have better physical fitness, and have cognitive functioning.
A child who is constantly bullied at school can’t focus on anything – education, family, friends. Instead, their best childhood years they spend in fear and stress. The consequences of bullying are long-lasting. Some of the trauma carries on into adulthood – a bullied child becomes a bully.
The foundation of jiu-jitsu is control, respect, and patience. As Helio Gracie said: Jiu-Jitsu is for the protection of the individual; the older man, the weak, the child, the lady, and the young woman – anyone who doesn’t have the physical attributes to defend themselves.
We all face bullies our entire lives. Enrolling in jiu-jitsu is the most effective way to conquer fear. The beauty of jiu-jitsu is zero tolerance for discrimination or any kind of bullying on the mat. Anyone who wants to train is accepted as a valuable teammate.
We all know life isn’t easy, so you have to give your child sufficient exposure to the right things. No parent wants their child to go into panic and fear mode when things get hard. That is why jiu-jitsu is a treasured discipline that promotes balance and gentle but useful strategies how to deal with peer pressure and stress.
Mental Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu
The mental benefits of training jiu-jitsu are astonishing, not just for the kids but for adults too.
Bullies don’t have confidence, they prey on those who seem weak to them. To prevent this, you have to strengthen your body as well as your mind. This way, you are projecting confidence, and most likely, you won’t be the target of a bully.
Huge emphasis is on character development. It is not only the physical part and training, it’s about eye contact, shaking hands, and being polite. These simple and obvious gestures are, in fact, proof of respect and self-esteem. After a while, these will become ingrained habits outside of jiu-jitsu class.
Jiu-jitsu is excellent for shy kids too. Thanks to the jiu-jitsu class format, students build friendships based on trust. What does that mean? It means sparring with any number of students, all personalities and sizes.
Jiu-jitsu also teaches humility and resilience, how to win gracefully but also how to lose gracefully. In grappling when the opponent has defeated you, you learn to get up, accept your defeat, congratulate the opponent, and think about what to do new next time. You don’t turn your back on the opponent, and you certainly don’t turn inward in despair. All these behaviors undoubtedly carry over into life outside of the mat, making you a stronger and more compassionate person.
Today, developing a healthy mindset is harder than ever. To overcome these barriers, jiu-jitsu lessons play an effective role. Many martial arts, like jiu-jitsu, were created for developing numerous mental health benefits like self-control, focus, patience, discipline, and self-awareness. It’s priceless to see your child able to defend themselves.
Decision Making Skills
Usually, you see a kid in a jiu-jitsu class simply rolling around on the mat but there is so much more than that. With each move, they use strategic thinking to avoid the opponent’s move. This new way of thinking carries over into real-life situations. They have to analyze the situation they are faced with, to have the most successful outcome. So when bullied, they will have to think rationally about what to do. They have to rely on themselves to make a valid and reliable choice about the situation. This way, they can make the right decision and stop becoming a victim.
Also, what is important: a child with this skill won’t become a bully either because now they understand the consequences.
When training jiu-jitsu, you gain confidence in yourself. Bullies lack confidence. When they confront the confident person, they understand immediately that you aren’t the person to mess with. Building confidence is the most effective way not to get bullied. When a child has inner confidence, they know they are valued, they can stand tall, make eye contact, be polite, and friendly. In the same way, a confident person won’t find the need to bully others.
Unfortunately, sometimes a child is in a situation where they need to use force but not impulsively. Jiu-jitsu teaches skills how to defend from the attacks and at the same time how to keep yourself safe. Kids learn violence is the last option, and if necessary, how to take down the opponent in the least violent way. Teaching kids when they can use jiu-jitsu skills and when not, is the priority. It is important to learn not to abuse power but also not to hesitate to take a stand for themselves when bullied. The number one motto is: Always avoid fighting at all costs.
Respect for Differences
When you are on the mat, there is no room for prejudices. We are all different. Thanks to differences, we all adjust in our own way on the mat – we are in this together. Jiu-jitsu is practiced by all sorts of people from other cultural backgrounds. Behavior on the mat carries on into real life. If a child gets along with other kids and it’s not isolated, the bully won’t touch them.
A child who is alone all the time in school, and has no friends is a perfect target for bullies. Because jiu-jitsu is a contact sport, the child will learn not to fear rejection from the group. Athleticism and size don’t matter as much as paying attention and following instructions, so every child fits into the group. That way, the child feels comfortable with who they are and can make friends. You can’t learn jiu-jitsu alone. Because of this, sharing and helping one another is immensely important. Children work and learn together new concepts, movements, techniques, and play games. This creates a welcoming atmosphere where instructors and children are working together to help everyone to get better.
When you are on the mat, you deal with a stressful situation but in a safe environment. Physical exercise is a great stress reliever. So when you face a stressful situation outside of the mat, you can deal with it calmly. If a child has no stress relief from daily troubles, that will create a sad child where all their troubles are amplified. Jiu-jitsu helps how to value patience. It’s all about the process, not the ultimate goal. Being patient helps manage stress levels.
Discipline is a skill learned for establishing self-control, good habits, and strong willpower. In jiu-jitsu, discipline isn’t punishment; it’s about getting prepared and forming control of thoughts, emotions, and overall behavior. Discipline is like a muscle that needs to grow stronger. Overcoming distractions and focusing on the task is challenging.
It’s about being disciplined at all times. Jiu-jitsu teaches to use only the necessary amount of power to subdue an opponent without using punches and kicks. The biggest benefit of discipline is how it translates into other areas of life. It creates mental toughness.
Why Jiu-Jitsu is Powerful Against Bullying?
Jiu-jitsu teaches non-violent self-defense techniques to stay safe in a case of a physical assault. These techniques don’t include punches or kicks; they include leverage-based control holds to neutralize danger without violence. Not being able to stand up to a bully is rooted in fear of physical harm. Jiu-jitsu teaches them to stand up and defend themselves against physical attack. The rest will follow soon.
All the techniques are absolutely defensive and utilize no strikes. They learn how to neutralize the threat and take control until help arrives. Another important skill against bullying is eye contact and confident posture to stop or prevent bullies from targeting them.
Some parents are hesitant to put their children through martial arts out of fear of becoming violent. The truth is quite opposite. Learning self-defense and how to defend makes children calmer and less likely to become aggressive. Starting jiu-jitsu, children meet people with different experiences and ages. They want to roll with someone who is better and help others get better.
Jiu-jitsu is a mental skill and art of movement. It is a non-striking martial art that teaches children perseverance and respect. Known as a gentle art of mental and physical skills, it teaches about diffusing a situation before it gets serious, it teaches control and submission. Most importantly, it teaches your children how to be strong and kind people. Training jiu-jitsu shows your child how to solve problems. Every time on the mat, they are faced with new situations and problems. That way, children are sharpening their developing minds. No one should ever be a victim in their lives.