Jiu-Jitsu is a popular martial art that teaches self-defense, discipline, physical fitness, and mental toughness.
But is Jiu Jitsu for 3 year olds a good idea? Does it make sense? Is it safe?
While many people think of it as a sport for adults, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is very beneficial for children. The sooner your child starts, the better.
In fact, many Jiu-Jitsu academies offer classes for children as young as three years old. There are tons of young children in the kid’s classes at our gym, and they all love it.
If you’re considering enrolling your child in Jiu-Jitsu, here’s everything you need to know.
Why Jiu Jitsu for 3 Year Olds is a Good Idea
Jiu-Jitsu can benefit 3-year-olds in many ways. Amon other things, it teaches them self-discipline, self-control, and respect for others. Additionally, Jiu-Jitsu can help children develop social skills by interacting with other students and instructors.
On the physical side, it also improves their physical fitness, strength, coordination, and flexibility.
These traits will proof helpful for the rest of your child’s life, and your child will surely thank you later.
Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu for 3-Year-Olds:
Here’s a more in-depth list of what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can do for a child:
- Teaches self-discipline, self-control, and respect for others
- Improves physical fitness, strength, coordination, and flexibility
- Develops social skills by interacting with other students and instructors
- Boosts confidence and self-esteem
- Teaches perseverance and mental toughness
- Provides a foundation for lifelong fitness and healthy habits
- Encourages teamwork and sportsmanship
- Offers a fun and engaging way to learn important life skills
And the list goes on…
Jocko Willink, who’s a Navy Seal, Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, and a big name in the Jiu Jitsu scene, is a big advocate of teaching children Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He got his children into BJJ at a young age and was proud to promote them at some point.
In the following clip, Jocko talks about why you should put your kids into Jiu-Jitsu classes and why Jiu-Jitsu for 3-year-olds is a good idea.
What to Expect from Jiu-Jitsu Classes for 3-Year-Olds
Jiu-Jitsu classes for 3-year-olds are typically shorter and less intense than adult classes. They usually last around one hour and focus on basic techniques, such as falling safely and escaping from holds.
The classes are also designed to be fun and engaging for children, with games and activities that teach Jiu-Jitsu skills.
Usually, Jiu Jitsu classes start off with a playful warmup followed by an interval of technique work, which is usually kept short to keep the children’s attention.
Next, there the children will have time to learn and drill the techniques in a playful way through games and positional sparring.
In the end, the whole class will line up and bow as a sign of mutual respect. Oftentimes, the kids form friendships and will continue having fun after class.
Here’s what sparring for children can look like in a safe environment. These kids are not highly technical yet, but they are respectful towards each other, they have fun, they don’t get injured, and they learn a lot about themselves:
How to Choose a Jiu-Jitsu School for 3-Year-Olds
Choosing the right Jiu-Jitsu school for your 3-year-old is important to ensure they have a positive and safe experience. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a Jiu-Jitsu school for your child:
- Qualified Instructors: Look for a school with qualified instructors who are experienced in working with young children. Ideally, the instructors should have specific training in teaching Jiu-Jitsu to kids.
- Safe Environment: Make sure the school provides a safe and clean environment for children to practice Jiu-Jitsu. The facility should be equipped with appropriate safety gear, such as mats and pads. A good instructor understands that your child’s well-being comes first.
- Age-Appropriate Curriculum: Check if the school has a specific curriculum for 3-year-olds that is tailored to their physical and emotional needs. The curriculum should be age-appropriate and focus on developing basic Jiu-Jitsu skills in a way that comes naturally to a child.
- Class Size and Structure: Consider the size of the classes and the structure of the lessons. Classes for 3-year-olds should have a small teacher-to-student ratio to ensure individual attention and safety. Children have short attention spans and need a lot of guidance. The classes should also be structured to include fun and engaging activities that teach Jiu-Jitsu skills.
- Reputation and Reviews: Look for a school with a good reputation and positive reviews from parents and students. The best way to get authentic reviews is to talk to the kids’ parents after a trial class, for example. Ask for referrals from other parents or check online reviews to get an idea of the school’s quality.
- Location and Schedule: Consider the location and schedule of the school to make sure it’s convenient for you and your child. Look for a school that offers classes at times that work for your schedule and is easy to get to. Inconvenient times as well as getting stuck in traffic on long drives can worsen the experience.
By considering these factors, you can choose a Jiu-Jitsu school that is safe, age-appropriate, and provides a positive learning environment for your 3-year-old.
Tips for Preparing Your Child for Jiu-Jitsu Classes
Before enrolling your child in Jiu-Jitsu classes, it’s important to prepare them physically and mentally. Here are some tips:
- Make it fun: Talk to your child about Jiu-Jitsu and explain what it is. Make sure your child is looking forward to having fun in class.
- Take the fear away: For example, show videos of Jiu-Jitsu classes for children to your kid, so your child can see how other children participate and have fun.
- Meet the instructors and other students: Take your child to visit the Jiu-Jitsu academy. Most quality Jiu Jitsu schools will love you to visit and have trial classes.
- Make sure your child is physically prepared for class: Your child should be dressed clean and appropriately for class, with comfortable clothing that allows for movement. Clean and trimmed finger and toenails are fundamental to avoid injury.
- Encourage your child: Your child should participate and have fun, but you should also let them know that it’s okay to take breaks and rest if they need to.
Safety Considerations for Jiu-Jitsu Classes for 3-Year-Olds
Jiu-Jitsu classes for 3-year-olds are generally safe as children are close to the ground, don’t have the strength of adults, and they are usually very flexible.
On top of that, Jiu Jitsu is safer for your child than martial arts that involve a lot of striking. Studies consistently show that the risk of injury is far higher in striking based martial arts.
Check out our separate article on “How common are injuries in Jiu Jitsu” if you want to learn more. But keep in mind, children are less likely to get injured than adults, by far.
Nevertheless, there are some precautions that should be taken to prevent injuries and let you sleep well. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:
- Make sure the Jiu-Jitsu academy is reputable and has qualified instructors who are trained to work with young children. They will now how to cater to the needs of 3 year olds in Jiu Jitsu specifically.
- Ensure that the class sizes are small and that there is adequate supervision to prevent accidents.
- If you don’t trust the instructors or you need reassurance, watch your child during the first few classes to make sure they are participating safely and is not getting hurt.
- Teach your child the importance of listening to the instructor’s directions. If you chose a good school and team of instructors, everything else will fall in place.
How much do Jiu Jitsu Kids Classes Cost?
It is hard to give an exact number for how much BJJ kids classes cost as there are many factors, like location, that influence pricing.
However, Jiu Jitsu for 3 year olds and BJJ children classes in general usually are around the same price as adult classes.
Check out our in-depth article on “How much do Jiu Jitsu classes cost“, which includes all factors that influence pricing and what to watch out for.
Jiu Jitsu Competition for Children
When your child first enrolls in Jiu-Jitsu classes, you are not thinking about future Jiu Jitsu competitions.
However, the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) has competitive BJJ divisions starting from the age of 4 years old.
Competing is not a must, but it is usually a great adventure and a great opportunity for your child to prove themself. It is a great chance to travel with the team and grow closer. Just something to keep in mind for when the time comes.
Jiu-Jitsu can be a great activity for 3-year-olds, teaching them self-discipline, self-control, physical fitness, and social skills. However, it’s important to prepare your child for class and take safety precautions to prevent injuries.
By following these tips, your child can have a fun and rewarding experience with Jiu-Jitsu.
Another than that, don’t overthink it. Your child will be fine and learn many lifelong lessons along the way.