Tag Archives: BJJ and kids

Banning BJJ for Kids?

For realsies?

According to White Belt BJJ, there is a change.org petition to ban children from practicing jiu jitsu, deeming that teaching children to apply a choke or a joint lock to be potentially dangerous to these kids, and the fear that children will use these techniques when there is no authority figure present, putting themselves and other children at risk.

“Applying chokeholds or submission locks to children under the age of 12 should be illegal…as they provide no societal good, put a vulnerable population at risk of harm, and could lead to an increase of children choking other children when adults are not present to provide a stoppage to such holds, if they are drilled as “go to” moves during their regular practice.”

So, what you’re telling me is rather than teach a child discipline, respect for others and the serious consequences of their actions, you’re just going to try and avoid the situation all together. Because, you know, that will end well.

Yes, jiu jitsu can be dangerous. But so is bike riding, tree climbing, jumping off a diving board into a pool. Rather than avoid these situations, teach children the importance of these actions, how these are potentially dangerous techniques and how to take care of your training partner/fellow competitor. Sure, it’s not a perfect system- children will forget, someone will get a little overzealous, but if the movie Final Destination taught me anything, it’s that there are dangers afoot with every step we take.

That do you guys think? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!


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Kids and BJJ: The Anxiety of Reffing Their Matches

We had an in-house tournament this past Saturday, and I was in charge of reffing a number of matches, including the children’s division.

arm bar

My face in this photo basically sums up the anxiety I felt during most of the matches, particularly when it came down to a submission attempt by one of the (tiny, adorable) competitors.

It’s a little nerve wracking sometimes, trying to discern if they are in pain, or they are just trying really hard. These kids know how to tap, but still, I worry (as is apparent in the photo) and tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to reffing matches.

On the other hand however you should let them try to go as long as possible, within reason of course- it’s a fine line between letting them fight out of something, attempt a submission, and stopping a match to make sure no one gets hurt.

I’m sure there are people out there who ref waaay more kids matches than I and have this down to a science, but it’s still sort of nerve wracking, personally.

Have you reffed a match before? How about specifically a kids match? Let me know your experience & thoughts: otherwise, have a great day everyone!


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Training with Kids: Harder Than it Looks

It’s one of those things you just assume will be easy: training with a little kind, we’ll say circa 6 to 8 years old. Let me tell you it’s not easy. Mainly because you are trying to maintain a delicate balance: going easy to make sure the odds aren’t unfairly stacked against them, but at the same time you don’t want them to just get away with everything. You want them to have to work for the positions.

So, my hat’s off to the instructors that train with kids and can successfully maintain this balance.

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