Unit 2 Fitness has developed an impressive youth martial arts program during the past three years. We train younger children, ages 5 to 8, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Karate and older children, ages 9-14, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Many parents are unclear as to why they should enroll their children in a martial arts program. Some parents fear that their children too young to fight and they may get hurt and that training in martial arts might lead to fights at home or school.
Our program for younger kids is designed as a fun way to help them learn motor skills and increase hand eye coordination. Children have a positive and fun way to get active and establish good life habits. Young kids rarely have the necessary emotional or cognitive development necessary to connect their motor skill learning with effective hand to hand combat. The experience of our youth instruct Keith Cotter-Reilly has shown that starting martial arts training does not necessarily correlate to becoming a proficient fighter later in life. It is the exception that young children can even remember the techniques.
As kids grow older, accrue more social and cognitive development through schooling and other life experiences, they become much more able to learn and retain martial arts techniques. When kids reach 9 years of age they begin to have an understanding of appropriateness and the ramifications of their actions inside as well as outside of the training hall. Students are able to learn and retain techniques and build on them to become proficient martial artists. They are able to understand and act on the concepts of sportsmanship and begin to comprehend what winning and losing is all about. At this age we introduce them to the competition experience. They are able to compete in a variety of local tournaments to test and hone their skills.
Unnecessary fighting at school or in the neighborhood is not behavior that we condone here for our students and it will not be tolerated. We teach them that by becoming a trained martial artist they have an advantage to other kids in the neighborhood and that it is their duty to stand up for the weak and defend them from bullies, and never become a bully.
Hopefully this information helps you as a parent understand why one would enter kids into a martial program like ours. I also hope that as you realize the age appropriate development that one could expect from your children will prevent any of you from having too high of an expectation for them. As long as children enjoy sporting activities and participate on their own volition, their involvement is a great reinforcement to what good parents teach at home. To expect any one coach or sporting activity to raise your kids is a formula for disaster. When used as a fun, developmental activity with the proper level of parental support, the youth program here at Unit 2 Fitness is a great option for any family.
Remember: There is no loss for those who come to win!
Dymond Jones C.S.C.S.