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Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes
What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)?
BJJ is about staying in a dominant position. Cassim teaches your child to stay in charge of the situation. Even if your child is the one being bullied, they must be in charge, they must know what’s going on and what to do. The bullyproofing “rules of engagement” are a big thing in the sessions, with Cassim educating the kids on when they can react and what they can react with.
Cassim Says: “One of the things parents ask is why don’t I teach the kids MMA or boxing? I can’t teach a little kid to box because his first reaction when he is faced with a situation outside the gym or in school is going to be to throw a punch. With any school education system, if you hit a kid and there is a little bit of blood, it’s considered a violent reaction and its grounds for expulsion or suspension. With BJJ, the kid comes to bully you, what’s his first reaction? If a bully comes to pick on one of our kids, what’s his reaction? To pull him down to the floor and lock him up with a joint lock or pin. If the bully goes and complains, there is no violent, visible effect.”
A small portion of every second class is dedicated to discussion. The what if’s, discussions around actual or hypothetical situation, and questions and answers so the group can work out solutions. What happens is that Cassim finds out on what is happening in the schools, what the new trends are and so on, and he is able to work with the kids to find workable solutions.
Cassim’s kid’s team has won 15 provincial golds, 12 silvers and 9 bronze medals!
Cassim had a kid started in November 2016. Prior to that, the child had 6 months of counselling because he has an anxiety of people touching him. If another kid comes to touch him or hug him, the kid freaks out. He couldn’t make friends, he wanted to be secluded. The father was paying around R7000 a month for two sessions a week with a councillor for this kid. Now he’s doing BJJ with the other kids, throwing them around, the dad is scratching his head sitting there every week like “I can’t believe this.” And he doesn’t need the counselling at all anymore!
- Regular warmups – 10 mins
- Games – 10 mins.
- Main lesson – Technical Instruction – 20 mins
- “Combat Circle” – Free rolling & Competition Style Rolling. Pairs of kids roll in the circle with personal instruction for both kids 5 – 25 mins.
The Combat Circle is one of our key psychological training tools. By having “spectators,” including parents, the children experience a range of fluctuating emotions like nervousness, pressure and so on. After the first few weeks, they get used to it so that when they do compete, they’re already over that boundary. It’s the norm.
That sort of training carries over to every aspect of their lives, with any sort of public thing. They overcome that shyness or withdrawnness and are much more confident to put themselves out there.
Cassim had this kid who was turned away from 2 MMA gyms. He just wanted to learn mma, so he went to these gyms and they started him in BJJ, but it didn’t look like he capable of learning anything, so the coaches turned to the parents and told them to take him out. He’s a Jewish kid who lost his biological dad, he’s got a lot of issues and he’s a mess. He carries himself very withdrawn, doesn’t speak to anybody, he hardly makes a sound. But he trains every day, drilling every day, asking questions every day, curious, interested and asking questions. That kid went on to win 2 national championships after 3 months with Cassim. His self esteem has shot up. His mom told me that he walked into the lounge the other day and said “look mom I’m getting muscles”. She says he’s made physical changes, he’s got a six pack, he’s getting biceps, he’s got medals. His self-esteem has shot up. He’s a different kid now.
What do I need for my kid to start?
First thing is to gauge the child’s interest. Usually wait up to 8 weeks before encouraging parents to buy a gi (the white outfit).
Gi’s cost about R600.
I’m worried about my child getting injured
Cassim has had only 1 minor injury in 4 years. Occasionally the kids bump heads to lips or noses so there’s a bit of blood. Cassim coaches the child through is, the parents are not allowed to get involvement, and 9 /10 times that kid is back on the mat rolling right away.
Won’t rolling competitively/intensely with older kids hurt my child?
Intensity ranges with higher intensity with the bigger kids, while more play-play for the younger kids.
I don’t like competition. Why is it encouraged?
Competition is encouraged because it opens the kids up, it teaches them to push the boundaries, its good for their character. They must learn that hard work brings achievement. They must be able to say I’ve been there, and done that. They must know that about themselves so they can carry themselves with pride.