Basketball, football and baseball are some of the biggest seasonal sports in America. Many parents calendar are scheduled to work with these sports for their kids leaving their lives very hectic at times. The likelihood of your kid getting a scholarship for one of these sports are very small. This is why Jiu Jitsu is starting to take over as the recommended sports and parents are loving it!
Most organized sports are only a few months of the year. There are a lot of kids that play multiple sports just to stay busy year round. So this spreads them so thin between all of their activities that the first thing that suffers is school work.
This often causes these kids to have lower grades and some even fail out of school because their focus was on sports and not studies. This, in turn, means bye bye to “normal” sports. What professional organization is going to pick up a man/woman that couldn’t even get through school? That’s right, none!
Jiu Jitsu is not a seasonal sport, we practice year round with no worries of weather or when the next season starts. If their school work starts to suffer, take the time to fix it, Jiu jitsu will still be there and without the worry of missing the “cut”. I know what most parents are thinking, “we don’t have time to add something else”. Well that’s the problem, Jiu jitsu is something your child can use their entire lives! So it shouldn’t be treated as an “add”, your child needs self defense for many things, mostly, self confidence.
Of all traditional sports, there are millions of kids that start playing, less than 5% of them will play in college, and less than 8% of that 5% in college, will go pro. So out of 1000 kids, only 50 of them will play in college. Out of those 50, only 4 will go pro! Gotta love those numbers.
This is where people will say, “well how many people actually get their black belts?” I would never say that everyone will make it to black belt. I can say that it is 100% possible, for everyone who starts jiu jitsu, to make it to black belt! That it is 100% possible to take something from jiu jitsu and still be able to use it when you are 90 years old!
Can anyone say that it is 100% possible for every kid to go pro in other traditional sports?? No, and its because it isn’t completely under your control, but jiu jitsu is! You control your level of success, not your coach or any other players on the team, it is in your hands.
Don’t be afraid of what isn’t, what others would call, “normal”. Just because jiu jitsu hasn’t been around for hundreds of years doesn’t mean there is no future in it. How long did it take for American baseball to take hold?
Jiu jitsu isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle! We can guarantee that your kid will use these skills later in life. I am not shooting down any other sports, they are a part of the world and they will remain that way, don’t shoot down jiu jitsu because it isn’t as big yet!
So for all of you that have had this conversation with a parent, send them this article. We are proud of our art, it’s up to us to do our part to ensure that others get to experience it as well!
12 steps to Better Jiu Jitsu
Here is a small list of ways to be a better student; not only will this bring something positive to your academy’s culture, but you will definitely improve your jiu jitsu. For those ripe to understand what real leverage means, you may also find that a lot of it applies equally to life away from the mat.
Most people readily agree that we need to seek out a good instructor but remember, the instructor is only half of the equation – you are the otherhalf. Be the best student you can be. get the most reward for your time invested. Excel first – then prevail.
1. get a training diary. Make notes after each class. Notes on what you learned. Notes on the good things that happened in rolling as well as the problems you had. problems in RED colour.
2. drink a litre of water before you head to class
3. ask a question each class. and this is important; listen to the answer.
4. learn a fellow classmates name. Make sure to thank them, using their name, after every drill/roll
5. choose a technique, try to hit it ten times in a row.
6. sit up straight and face instructor when he or she is talking. This subtle cue will let them know you are very interested in what they are saying and teaching.
7. When drilling, try to do a couple more reps than everyone else in the time allocated. Over time this makes a huge difference. I always went for a simple 10% more.
8. Try to identify the step-by-step process of every technique rather than just thinking of the technique as one large single movement.
9. When you learn a new technique, try to ‘connect/relate’ it in your mind to some other technique. The more ‘memory anchors’ you have, the better chance of retention.
10. Pay attention to detail. if you are not good at doing this, train yourself to do so. You want detail, you need detail; then, and only then, you will become detail oriented.
11. Dial back your rolling intensity and keep your breath under control. Do this, even if you get tapped more.
12. Embrace worst case scenario; bad positions, being tired. If you can become okay with those things, anything else is upside.
One puts a lot of emphasis on training technique, cardio, gi brand, etc… One thing that has been overlooked is the cleanliness of your training armor. When one signs up to train jiu jitsu, they usually don’t get a “clean your gi” guideline. One usually picks it up by searching online, videos, asking around, or following the care description printed on the kimono. Here is a list of guidelines that will help you extend the life of your gi, and care for the armor that protects you and helps you look and smell your best.
How often should I wash my gi?
It’s best if you wash your gi after every use. If you train twice a day please use your second gi for the night session. Even if you didn’t sweat as much in the daytime class, other people do.
How many gi’s should I have in my rotation (own)?
It really depends on how many times you train a week. If you are training 2 times a week, you will be ok with one good gi. However, if you train 3+ times a week, it’s best if you own more than one gi. If you use one gi a week, after a month you’ve used it 4 times, however if you own two gi’s that’s cut in half which means your gi will last twice as long. Not guaranteed, obviously it all depends on training methods.
Is it ok to put all my gi’s in the washer at once?
No, this greatly depends on how big your washer machine is. Try not to overfill the washer, the gi’s will not properly wash. The result is a partially washed gi with a combination of other gi smell. Two gi’s are great, three are good, four… you are pushing the limit.
I want to kill bacteria, should I use a color safe bleach?
It is not recommended to use bleach on your gi. In fact, many if not all kimonos (gi) recommend not to use bleach on their care label. Bleach will greatly diminish the quality of your kimono. Avoid this at all cost. If you truly must, do it once a year.
Is it recommended to use vinegar and baking soda on my kimono?
YES! however this method is not necessary every time you wash your gi. Baking soda will greatly assist with the smell of your gi’s. Vinegar works best. Soak your gi in a 25% vinegar and 75% water solution. Let it soak for 5 hours+, then remove the gi’s and put them in the washer and wash as usual. If you desire, add some baking soda while in the washer. This will remove most if not all bad smell from a gi. For really bad funk, this step may need to be repeated.
Should I wash my belt as well?
Yes, the belt is something that is left unwashed by some. Common myth about “washing your knowledge away” is known by many, however, this is not true. Your belt accompanies you through your training sessions, it gets dirty along the way. I have washed my belt many times and even the stripes stay on wash after wash.
Dryer machine or sun dry?
Sun drying your gi is best. The sun rays will naturally kill all the bacteria on the gi. That’s the best benefit. You save electricity and they soak up the smell of nature (plus your detergent). Drying should be avoided however it is not as bad as most make it out to be. The worst thing about drying your gi in a dryer is that you risk shrinking your gi and it also shortens the life of your gi by a little.
If my kimono is not 100% dry, can I still wear it?
No, training/rolling in a damp gi will only cause more future odors from your gi. Bacteria loves to live in moisture. Therefore, having a damp gi on the mat where it’s already warm and humid mixed with sweat, blood, etc.. = not hygienic.
Tips to help you look your best while extending the life of your gi
Hand dry or dry on low or no heat
A who’s who of Surfing as well a BJJ blue-belt, Kelly Slater fully understands the benefits of practicing brazilian jiu jitsu known as the gentle art. Marcus Buchecha and the Mendes brothers in Costa Mesa, Calif sat down with Kelly Slater just last week for a brief discussion.
Slater learned a great deal as he exchanged experiences with the black-belts, and later left this piece of advice:
“I advise all parents to put their kids in Jiu-Jitsu classes before any other sport.”
Jiu-Jitsu is something so simple and harmless that any kid can practice it.
But it’s also a powerful tool to educate the young citizen. Follow Slater’s tip and sign your kid up for BJJ.
And if you want to learn about the art in all of its depth and beauty, Come roll with us here at Advantage BJJ.
One of the most common reasons parents approach me is to ask for my advice on how to help their child handle a bullying situation at school. Fear for their child’s well-being combined with a sense of powerlessness at changing peer dynamics often leaves moms, dads, and other caregivers feeling helpless. The bad news is that conflict and bullying are pervasive among school-aged kids and most students will be impacted by physical or social aggression either directly or indirectly. The good news is that there are many, many ways that parents can help safeguard their children and positively impact kids’ relationships. Here are five of the simplest—yet most powerful—do’s and don’ts parents can use to help their kids handle conflict and bullying:
1. Words Matter
Do help kids understand the difference between unintentionally rude behavior (such as butting ahead in the lunch line), mean comments said in a moment of anger between friends (e.g. “You’re not my best friend anymore”), and bullying behavior that is characteristically marked by purposeful cruelty that is repeated over time and involves an abuse of power (whether that power be size and strength or social rank at school.)
Don’t allow kids to over-label rude and mean behaviors as ‘bullying.’ In recent years, gratuitous references to bullying in schools and communities have created a “little boy who cried wolf” phenomena, resulting in jaded adults failing to take action when needed and vulnerable children missing out on the adult support they desperately need.
2. Conflict is OK
Do teach your child that it is perfectly normal to disagree with a friend. Differences of opinion are perfectly acceptable and learning how to communicate them respectfully is a critical social skill.
Don’t worry that you’re too much of a helicopter parent if you intervene in your child’sfriendship conflict. Kids are not born knowing how to resolve conflict (goodness knows too many people make it to adulthood without this knowledge!). Young people need supportive adults to coach them in how to disagree without arguing and how to apologize after they’ve behaved badly.
3. Bullying is Not OK
Do talk to your child about the qualities of a good friendship and help them to set healthy boundaries on how they are treated by others. Having a fight with a friend is one thing—being on the receiving end of persistent cruelty is quite another. All young people should be empowered to know the difference.
Don’t second-guess your child if he or she tells you that they are being bullied. Listen to them, convey that you believe them, tell them you ae sorry for what they are going through, and help them problem-solve when they are ready for this step. The experience of feeling heard and understood is invaluable for a young person.
4. BFF’s Do Not Have to Be Together 24/7/365
Do let kids know that it’s totally natural for friends to get on each other’s nerves from time to time and that these feelings of irritation and annoyance are very different from actually “not liking each other anymore.” Help your child understand that time away from a BFF can be a healthy thing and that spending time with other friends (or alone!) is not a sign that a friendship is over, but rather a wise choice.
Don’t let kids get caught up in all-or-nothing thinking patterns that cause them to think that a period of annoyance with a BFF must result in the end of the friendship altogether. Bullying too often begins where friendships end; besties become frenemies when a slight snowballs into a fight. Adults play a key role in teaching young people that time apart can actually bring friends closer together.
5. Stronger at the Broken Places
Do believe that your child is strong enough to cope with the emotions associated with conflict and bullying, including anger, sadness, embarrassment, confusion, and even humiliation. Empower the young person in your life to work through difficult situations and negative emotions and provide them with unconditional love and support all along the way.
Don’t rescue your child from every problem situation and challenging emotional state. While it can be incredibly difficult to watch a young person struggle with painful feelings, not allowing them to cope is far worse! You are raising your child to become an adult and as such, he or she needs to know how to handle whatever life throws at them.
Does this mean you should allow your child to navigate conflict and bullying entirely on their own? Of course not. As noted above, kids need adults to teach them helpful skills to cope with friendship troubles.
Am I saying kids should be exposed to intense levels of stress in order to “build their character?” No way. It’s never healthy for kids to become stressed beyond the limits of their coping abilities.
What I am saying, however, is that kids need to be allowed to feel their feelings and—with the support of a caring adult—to learn how to cope with these feelings in healthy ways during their childhood and adolescence. Kids who lack these experiences become adults who have no resources for managing the inevitable conflicts of relationships and theworkplace
If you are like most people, when you are looking for an effective workout you look to celebrity trainers for advice and inspiration. After all, celebrities often have the hardest, fittest physiques and their jobs depend on looking great and being in shape for whatever their next role demands. One of the hottest trends in celebrity fitness today is the Brazilian art of Jiu Jitsu. Read more
Each day millions of children face the torture of being bullied by other children. For some children the agony of being a victim becomes more than they can handle, such as when a Girl battles back from bullying through sports. Twelve year old Claire Teitgan, used to be bullied and felt down about herself, but not anymore. Today she is a gold medal winning hotshot on the mats.
New York News Robert Consulmagno, a Marine Veteran Says Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Changed His Life. Consulmagno spent his childhood trying to avoid Read more…
Here is a great article that describes the health and functional benefits of Jiu Jitsu. It is written by Jason Shield, doctor of chiropractic, expert on bio-mechanics, movement and health from Voss, Norway. Jason is also a blue belt in BJJ who has won the bronze medal at the IBJJF Europeans in 2004. This is a great article worth reading that can help you better understand and explain to others the health benefits of practicing Jiu Jitsu.
Duarte’s list of accolades in our sport is tremendous, not just on the mats, but outside of them as well. Unfortunately for us, her career drifted her away from jiu jitsu, but wherever she went, and whatever she dedicated her resources too, she was heard and respected. A winner on all accounts and a great BJJ icon.
Thank you Yvone Duarte!