As parents, we all want what’s best for our children – we want them to grow into happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults. And an important part of that is making sure they get plenty of physical activity and learn useful life skills as they grow up. Two popular options for helping kids develop physically and mentally are taekwondo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). But which martial art is better for your child?
At Gracie Botany, a leading BJJ academy in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, we believe that BJJ offers significant advantages over other martial arts like taekwondo when it comes to your child’s development. Here’s why:
BJJ Develops Better Social Skills
BJJ is based around sparring and grappling with partners, which requires cooperating, communicating, and controlling emotions. Kids have to work together to improve techniques, solve problems, and avoid injuries. This teaches essential social skills like empathy, self-control, and conflict resolution.
In contrast, taekwondo involves more individual drills and demonstration of techniques rather than interactive sparring. So there are fewer opportunities to develop social skills.
BJJ Boosts Confidence
Getting tapped out over and over in BJJ sparring teaches kids how to handle failure and frustration. As they improve, the sense of achievement builds their self-confidence and resilience. Women and smaller kids can also feel empowered by learning to overcome larger opponents with good technique.
The rigid structure of taekwondo can lead to confidence issues if kids don’t progress quickly enough through the belts for their age group. And there is less opportunity to experience overcoming challenges.
BJJ Is More Applicable to Real-Life Situations
BJJ techniques are based on controlling an opponent on the ground, which reflects most real-world confrontations. Kids learn how to escape pins, chokeholds, and grabs – essential self-defense skills. The training also develops situational awareness to avoid dangerous situations.
In contrast, taekwondo focuses heavily on kicking and punching. While good for fitness, these have less real-world application due to legal issues around using strikes for self-defense in public situations.
BJJ Develops Physical Literacy
Grappling in BJJ develops core strength, balance, coordination, spatial awareness, and control over limbs. Sparring also improves reflexes and timing. These physical literacy skills form a foundation for all sports, from soccer to surfing.
Taekwondo certainly improves flexibility, kicking skill, and fitness. But the fixed stances and emphasis on demonstrations mean less development of all-around physical literacy.
BJJ Encourages a Growth Mindset
Progress in BJJ relies on constantly learning and improving, not on fixed techniques or routines. This fosters a ‘growth mindset’ where kids see abilities as changeable through effort. They don’t label themselves as inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at something. Taekwondo’s emphasis on perfecting set techniques and achieving the next belt can encourage a ‘fixed mindset’ oriented around talent rather than effort.
The Right Environment for Your Child
Equally important is providing a positive learning environment for your child. Gracie Botany offers kids classes in a supportive, inclusive setting focused on fun and development rather than winning. We welcome boys and girls from ages 3 up and have specific teen and women’s programs too. Our experienced coaches make sure every student gets the attention they need to progress at their own pace.
So if you want your child to reap all the physical, social and mental benefits of martial arts training, BJJ is a rewarding choice. Book a free trial class at Gracie Botany to help them start an exciting journey towards becoming a confident, resilient, and well-rounded person. Get in touch today to find out more about kids BJJ classes in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.