Children who participate in organized activities after school have fun, practice focus, and statistically improve their classroom behavior and participation during the school day. The after school program at Jiu Jitsu Nation in the Murfreesboro and Smyrna area relies on games, team building, and physical activity to help primary school and middle school students:
Develop a foundation of respect.
Parents know that it takes intentional training to help children understand what it means to show respect. This includes making eye contact and speaking clearly. Practicing techniques in martial arts requires children to be constantly on guard about the needs of their practice partner. This is an opportunity to practice being intentional about another person’s needs, to practice listening to feedback, and to feel respected in return.
Learn how to lose with grace.
Failure is not an emergency but a regular part of life. In Jiu Jitsu, we learn techniques to practice on a compliant partner then safely practice what we’ve learned on a peer who is resisting the movement. The goal is to make your opponent admit defeat. Essentially, an individual gives in to “submission” by tapping an opponent three times. In a way, engaging in this struggle and repeat exposure to “failure” builds confidence. It teaches children that what is perceived as losing can be shaken off and is actually just an opportunity to try again, or to learn.
Feel clever, quick, and strong.
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and Jiu Jitsu allows children to build confidence as they realize their area of skill. A smaller student who hasn’t always identified himself as athletic, for example, may realize he can easily defend himself and escape a hold. It’s also not uncommon for a girl to tap out a boy in combat. There’s no clear advantage for any size or gender.
Practice the discipline of focus.
We live in a tech-driven world, and that can make it difficult for children to hone the skill of focus. Jiu Jitsu techniques are detailed and require mastery of specific body movements as well as awareness of the body movements of a sparring partner. Our program teaches concentration using three rules: Focus the Eyes, Focus the Mind, Focus the Body.
Fellowship with a diverse group of peers in the Rutherford County area.
Research has shown that strong friendship in early childhood is directly correlated to positive mental health in adolescence. Children need to belong, and middle childhood peer relationships matter. As a part of our after school program, Jiu Jitsu Nation picks up students from area schools and transports them to our facility in Smyrna, Tenn. For details, click here.