Is Competition Necessary for BJJ Kids with Tom DeBlass

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Competition is a consequence of our love of Jiu Jitsu--Photo by Garden State Photography and Courtesy of Tom DeBlass

In this exclusive video for The Jiu Jitsu Times, Professor DeBlass weighs in on the controversial topic of BJJ kids and competition and whether or not it is necessary or should be encouraged.

Key Points:

Competition As Consequence–Competition should be a consequence of one’s love of jiu-jitsu.  It should be another way to test oneself and gauge one’s progress.  Is it necessary to become better at jiu-jitsu?  No, not necessarily.  Competition can be seen as another skill that one can work to perfect.  Whether one competes or not should entirely be up to the individual. This goes for children as well.

Winning/Losing–For younger students, we should not put too much weight on winning and losing.  Our goal with our BJJ kids should be to encourage a lifelong love of the martial art.

Parents/Coaches–Many times, parents and coaches, though they usually mean well, can instill too much anxiety into younger students.  We should be thankful that they are embarking on a journey that will have lifelong positive benefits if they stick with it.

Other Sports–In the majority of other sports, there is practice and then there is competition, whether it’s a soccer game, baseball game, or whatever.  In BJJ, once students are old enough and capable of live sparring, they are competing in every class.  Adding official competitions to their schedule may not be beneficial to the goal of building a true love of jiu-jitsu.  Again, it must be a decision between the child, parents, and coaches, and it must always be made with the goal of building a lifelong practitioner.

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