About Kids BJJ

Supercharge Your Child’s Confidence, Fitness and Attitude!!

Give your child the gifts of confidence, fun, passion, social skills, a positive attitude and a healthy lifestyle, surrounded by great role models and instructors who care about seeing them grow and develop into healthy, happy adults.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a life-changing art, regardless of age, but for kids it brings out a focus, a determination and a poise that every parent wants to see from their child.

Giving children the tools to defend themselves builds their confidence so they feel strong enough to stand up for themselves verbally. How many of us would have benefitted from learning to set strong boundaries at a young age?

But the confidence gained on the mats translates to every area of life.

What your children will learn.
Jiu-Jitsu has two major, intertwining branches – self defence and sport. We believe there is immense value in each. Self defence training instils a physical reassurance, helping us feel safe – a state in which we can be our most creative and focused. For any child dealing with bullying, we provide the tools to put a stop to it.

Sport training not only provides the same physical confidence, adding the benefits of sportive training teaches principles for success – a goal, focus, determination, long-term thinking, hard work, plans, mentors, and so on. The confidence we get from training and growing for a competition and actually participating, facing a fear that many adults have is life-changing.

We foster a supportive environment where we train as a team to improve each other. The friendships, learning and growth that sprout from our mats is a marvel to see. Give your child that gift today. Enter your name, number and email in the box above/below and let us show you how OpenMat can help unleash your child’s greatness.

10 Reasons Your Child Should Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

1. It Instills Confidence

First and foremost, confidence. Learning Jiu-JItsu feels like discovering a superpower you never knew you had. The confidence gained applies beyond dealing with bullies – it bleeds into academics, social interactions and home-life.

2. It Fosters A Growth-Mindset And An Appreciation of Hard Work

Written by acclaimed professor of psychology at Stanford University, Carol Dweck, Mindset is a book based on decades of research into success and achievement. It is revolutionizing education and personal development theory. The key finding is the primary difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is whether they have an “fixed/entity mindset” – I am smart/not smart; strong/not strong; good/not good – vs a “growth mindset” – wherever I am now, I can improve; I can grow through hard work. Jiu-Jitsu naturally fosters a growth mindset as your child will see their skills and capabilities grow over time. Again, this mindset ripples out, everywhere.

3. Practical Self Defence

Attitude improvements are great, but not if they are not based on real-world skills, because that confidence will evaporate as soon as those skills are tested. Jiu-Jitsu has established itself as the most effective form of self defence when facing a bigger person. While we encourage students to use their words to diffuse conflict, knowing that you can hold your own is the antidote to the insecurity anyone unprepared would feel if confronted with bullying.

4. It Is Non-Violent

Unique among martial arts, Jiu-Jitsu “fights fire with water”. Rather than punch and kick, which can hurt the other person as well as ourselves, and land us in trouble with school, Jiu-Jitsu teaches us to control and negotiate. This not only means your child is more safe than in an art where they are getting punched and kicked, but they learn the larger lesson that there are peaceful ways to end conflict.

5. Body-Positivity

In a culture where we are told what normal is supposed to look like, many kids grow up feeling bad about their bodies. Through Jiu-Jitsu, every child learns to appreciate their unique body – short limbs are harder to control, while long limbs offer greater leverage. Being heavier allows us greater control over others while being small can make us fast. Learning to love our bodies is a crucial step in learning to love ourselves and Jiu-Jitsu offers that to everyone.

6. Healthy Competition

In sports it is often easy to fall into the trap of making it all about winning. Fighting to win is important and healthy, so long as it is done in a spirit of play, knowing that we are loved and valued by our coaches, our parents and ourselves – win or lose. In Jiu-JItsu, one is always both winning and losing – how we process that is vital to healthy development. At OpenMat, we teach that tapping out is not giving up, it is giving props – congratulating the opponent on good work. At the same time, we teach to treat losses as feedback that we can learn from, making our growth and development a long-term game we play with ourselves.

7. Assertiveness AND Adaptability

Children who tend to be on the kinder, gentler side of the spectrum often end up being a bit timid. For the shy child, Jiu-Jitsu teaches them to assert themselves, to speak up, to take what they’ve earned. Seeing this kind of growth in your child is invaluable. Driven children, on the other hand, can too easily fall into the trap of trying to force success. In life, obstacles will emerge and yes, it is important to persist through them, but it is often wiser to work around them. In Jiu-Jitsu, we are constantly presented with new challenges – an opponent of a different size, a surprise move, a low-energy day, etc. This variability forces us to adapt to each situation, an invaluable life-skill.

8. Stress Relief

We often think of adults as needing stress relief and forget that kids experience stress just as much as we do. Being in the midst of (playful) battle on the mats also gets us out of our head, gets our blood pumping, and fills us with endorphins – “the feel-good hormone”. Coming in to class after a long day of school, gives your child a mental, physical and emotional reset that all of us can benefit from.

9. Healthy Lifestyle

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in our society and iPads, television and video games all contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. The healthy lifestyle Jiu-Jitsu teaches goes beyond making fitness part of your life – it includes learning and practicing healthy nutrition, healthy sleep habits and a healthy mindset. Getting your child used to being active, healthy and positive early in life lays the foundation for later success.

10. Goal-Setting

In Jiu-Jitsu you are constantly setting and achieving goals. From being able to apply a certain move, to winning a match to earning a belt. Whether in school, academics or even just maintaining a clean room, success starts with having a goal. Telling your child this may have an impact, but having them experience it through their own efforts instills it as a lesson for life.

What our parents say

“We really appreciate all that you have done for my son, Raine. He loves being at the gym. Learning, interacting and just being among the Openmat family. It’s been such a positive influence for Raine. He’s developed a great work ethic, focus and drive. Even his school teacher has noticed a change. At his parent-teacher meeting, his teacher asked what type of Martial Arts he was studying. She could see how it’s helped Raine as he’s become more assertive and developed a leadership role in class. Thank you again for everything!”

“My son joined OpenMat’s Kids program almost a year ago and the transformation in confidence was immediate. The importance of control while training so as not to injure himself or his partners gives him an awareness of his own strength and teaches him to respect the strength and weakness of others. The program’s teachers inspire focus and success on the mat and in life. Many thanks to the OpenMat Team and its professional and gracious staff”

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