Family Training: BJJ

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I invited my brother and nephews (ages 8 and 10) to check out where I train. I wanted to see if my nephews liked the training so they could sign up under me on the family plan. It was a small class (5 students) this Saturday. One of the parents told me that there are usually between 4 and 15 children present. Personally, I like the smaller classes because you get more personal attention. (Although I am sure owners of studios prefer larger classes.) 

Smiley had them run laps around the academy/gym first. My eight year old newphew acted as if he was being tortured, but my oldest nephew flew around the academy like a trooper. Although he didn’t realize that he might be running for a while, he held out until the end. After the jog they stretched for a good five minutes. Smiley also had everyone go around and shake hands and introduce themselves to the other children.

They started out working the mount and then guard. They performed an exercise where they had to hold the position for 30 seconds each. My oldest nephew was into it and the youngest was going through the paces. Once when Smiley made a bet with my youngest nephew that he had to do 10 pushups if he couldn’t get out of rear mount, he made a motion as if he were going to bite his older brother’s arm to get out. (Everyone had a good laugh when Smiley told him, “No biting.”) Training for them didn’t really perk up until it was time to roll. Smiley paired them up with two other brothers in the class who were also 8 and 10. Except these guys were much shorter than my nephews and since my nephews are pretty tall for their age they also outweighed them by about 30 lbs each.

Both nephews found themselves “fighting for their lives” to keep the little guys from being all over them. You can definitely see the value of BJJ when watching two little kids dominate much larger children. The two smaller guys could have tapped out my nephews pretty quickly except Smiley told the smaller brothers, “No submissions.”

When I asked them about their rolling session in the car, my youngest nephew acted like he was in control the whole time and the oldest stated that he couldn’t stop his from “walking all over me.”  The oldest had smiled the entire time he was rolling even though he wasn’t dominating.

They said they enjoyed it, so I will see if they want to go back when the time comes. I think the youngest nephew will be motivated after having a much smaller child control him. His older brother out wrestles him all the time, so being dominated by him in a BJJ class is not new, but  being dominated by someone his own age and much smaller was a new experience.


2 thoughts on “Family Training: BJJ

    neijia said:
    July 23, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Having kids myself, I wonder what the rules and guidelines used by most children’s bjj instructors are since judo does not allow joint locks on kids. My 8 year old and I sometimes drill passing the guard as a game for fun (he thinks of it as play as he should) but that’s it. I show him whatever moves I can think of since my bjj experience is limited. Do they actually allow kids to lock kids’ joints?

    Jiujitsu365 said:
    July 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm


    I am not fully familiar with the child BJJ scene. In other places I have seen children perform chokes and simple joint locks like arm bars.I don’t know if children are allowed to use leg locks, especially since most places and competitions don’t allow adults to use or learn them until they are a higher rank.

    I do know this. Everyone that I have seen teach, regardless of what they allow, always admonished the children to be extremely careful and to go slowly.

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