With the rise of Mixed Martial Arts through organisations like the UFC, Bellator, Pride (now defunct) or Invcita FC over the last decade, Brazilian Jiujitsu, often referred to as BJJ or Jiujitsu or GJJ (Gracie Jiujitsu, name of the founders of the art) has become a mainstream sport, raising questions in the martial art community and attracting more and more people from all walks of life and younger people too. Well, it’s a very dangerous sport! I mean, look at these guys with their cauliflower ears, multiple knee and shoulder injuries, unable to walk straight.
This concerns you – yes you the parents who are wondering what your kid should do during his/her free time. Well, let me tell one thing straight away before the idea starts to make its way through that brain of yours, never let your kids practise BJJ! and before you ask, here are 10 reasons why:
A very happy and healthy child, not practising BJJ yet.
You have just bought the new Call of Duty 7.5, “Rise of the silver medal of power to destroy anything at the touch of a button” for your beloved youngling. Unfortunately, no more time to sit around in front of the TV on the sofa, while eating junk food (if I may add) and play this great educational game because BJJ practice is taking over, afternoons and weekends. Oh and you’re going along by the way!
There’s a slight chance (don’t be alarmed, the risk is minimum) that your offspring might interact with other people, developing friendships, hell even talk to other children about their feelings and concerns about BJJ or any other aspect of their life.
Please sit down before reading this one, that might not go down too well on some of you. They will be required, after a few sessions, to think outside the box…Oh why oh why? I can hear you sob and complain relentlessly. Do not panic, they will be given a few sets of concepts and techniques before doing so but they will need to think and apply those principles accordingly.
Humility, self esteem, confidence, respect (the big word is out!), hardwork, punctuality, healthy mind and body, need I say more?
While at practice, your little meatballs might discover and encounter positive role models who will guide them with BBJ related stuff or not. Think about the coach, the older kids at the academy or even his own training partners. “They have enough positive role models at home” I can hear you say, right?
That one is for you parents! You might have to spend more time with your kids as they tell you how much they enjoy their new activity, how often you need to be there for them to take them to practice, tournaments, special events at the academy (belt ceremony). You might even have to share their passion! But who wants to spend more time with their kids, right?
Training – feeding – sleeping – growing – training (again?) – feeding (more?) – sleeping (better?) – growing (again and more and more again?) etc…You see where this is going? They will develop strong and healthy body (don’t let me start on the mind, you’re not ready yet), increasing your food bills, clothing bills, taking you more time to cook healthy meals and making your heirs strong and healthy. Who would want their kids to grow up like that?
They will be learning valuable life lessons which will shape them into genuine individuals and all of this will happen without your control or supervision.
You will wonder and unfortunately realise, sooner or later, how the hell did your kids gain such a great amount of confidence practising BJJ? How have they become well rounded adults? What on earth happened to us -parents- to deserve this tragedy?
And last but not least, those hobbits of yours are going to have so much fun and be so ecstatic that they will be out of control. You won’t have any power over this (and over them) making you even more frustrated, losing control once again. Bitterness, anger, low self esteem…wait you’re not seriously thinking about joining a BJJ academy, are you?
Well, I hope that convinced you guys, I sure will make everything in my power not to let my kid join any BJJ academy!
This post was inspired by my good friend Marc-Olivier, who wrote a similar article about rugby, you can find it here (in French). His own post was inspired by Dave Nicoll, you’ll find his article here.
Hopefully, everyone understands this is second to third degree sense of humour and I am proud to say that BJJ changed my life and has done for me more than I ever imagined.
See you on the mats or in the treatment room.