12 Reasons why Martial Arts are better for kids than other sports: Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland


Here at Mata Leao Combat Sports we are very enthusiastic about teaching kids Martial Arts because we see what an awesome impact it has in their lives. It’s amazing to see their transformation into stronger, more resilient and confident beings that stand out qualitatively amongst their peers as being leaders that are brave enough to stand up to bullies or for what is right.

We believe then that Martial Arts is unparalleled as a tool for refining the character of kids. Determination in the face of adversity, self-reliance, introspection, facing your fears and creativity are all elements that are cultivated to name a few.


Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

Below are a few reasons to consider Martial Arts for your Child or Adolescent:

1. Self-Defense:

Driving through town we have all seen gimmicky McDojos that have adult and kids classes mixed together and arbitrary belt systems. Places like that are not going to teach your kids how to defend themselves against bullies at school or attackers. Self-defense skills have to actually work, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is second to none as a system of self-defense. Just because kids are small doesn’t mean that they can’t bust out these serious techniques should they ever have to. However, we don’t condone violence and it’s really more about the mental resiliency that they develop through training that is most obvious benefit.

2. Self-Confidence:

I think that everyone has had times in their life where there confidence has suffered. Generally it’s understood that kids have confidence issues when they are growing up because it’s awkward and confusing. Jiu Jitsu is basically a magic bullet for massive confidence gains- and that goes for anyone, adults included. Granted, these confidence boosts take a little time, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Kids are often placed in other pressurized situations where they need to draw on their experience from Jiu Jitsu in order to make the right decisions.

3. Belts and Ranking

A major part of achieving any goal or progressing towards proficiency at a hobby is tracking your progress along your journey. Without that ability to see where you are in your journey it is easy to give into frustrations or to become disoriented or disenchanted with your ambitions. Achieving goals in life means that you are working towards something that is meaningful and connects you to a higher purpose. The Belt System in Jiu Jitsu is organized, rigorous, and actually means something when you achieve it unlike other martial arts. After your child achieves merit after merit in this honorable journey, they will look back and feel proud of themselves the same way an “Eagle Scout”  status in the American Boyscouts actually means somethin and is predictive of future successes.

4. Discipline

It is important for kids to learn discipline early in order to develop healthier habits later in life. Jiu Jitsu instills discipline in kids because it actively engages them in a learning process which is challenging to understand. In order to progress through the art of Jiu Jitsu kids and adults alike need to apply themselves in order to learn the moves and also problem-solve out of tricky situations. When they make new connections or finally make a breakthrough with something they have been struggling with, it’s a feeling of success that is invaluable towards their emotional wellness.

5. Individual Achievement: No one sits on the Bench

It’s definitely not a worthwhile investment in your kid if they are warming the bench the whole season, only to get a little bit of “charity time” on the field when “it’s safe”. Sometimes coaches are so obsessed with winning the game and strategizing that they really do not pay attention to kids that aren’t the 1st string athletes. That is the opposite of what happens when your kids are at Jiu Jitsu practice. Most parents that I have talked to after their first practice are impressed by the level of individual attention that their kids are given. They are constantly engaged versus sitting on the sidelines, watching the other kids run around and score points.

6. Gender Equality

Jiu Jitsu is a great equalizer of genders. In competitions the kid’s division only has 1 bracket and that includes both boys and girls and they compete directly against one another. This is a very unique and important distinction that is not seen in other team sports where boys and girls are segregated. Having such a radically inclusive atmosphere is very refreshing as the sport of Jiu Jitsu grows larger every year.  The techniques applied properly determine who will win or lose in a Jiu Jitsu match, period, not their gender. What a better lesson to learn for any kid at that age?

7. Weight Control

One of the amazing aspects of Jiu Jitsu is that while it is physically rigorous is that our instructors teach is as a game where the objectives are to keep moving, try not to get submitted, shoot for an escape, or try a technique. Throughout the classes the kids are working out their muscles and also getting a really healthy cardio workout. If your kid struggles with weight issues, there is no better exercise that engages all of their major muscle groups while burning fat and building stamina. Because they are constantly moving (unlike baseball where there’s a lot of standing around) you can rest assured that your kid is getting one of the best, most active workouts possible all while having fun and rollin’ around!

8. You can do it with them

Some of the fondest memories that I have of my father was when he would wrestle on the floor with me and my older brother. It was  just regular wrestling; but the idea is the same: when kids and parents practice Jiu Jitsu it brings them closer together and builds and strengthens bonds. Jiu Jitsu is a healthy family activity that is 100 times better than just sitting around watching mindless television with your kid. I also think that it’s good for kids to be actively engaged and taught these activities by their parents. There’s something awesome about the transmission of a skill set as it travels down the generational lines. That adds a very meaningful and lasting part of the family narrative as time passes.

9. The Never-Ending Season:

Unlike other sports which are just played for three months or so and then the season ends, Jiu Jitsu is a sport that can be practiced year-round, ensuring that all of the aforementioned benefits do no cease for 9 months out of the year. In order to enjoy the benefits of any exercise you need to practice it consistently. Kids that fall out of the regular practice of football may get bored and then get themselves into trouble. Even if the weather is bad outside, you can still practice Jiu Jitsu. This fact ensures that the benefits of training are always available for your kid to attain.

10. Jiu Jitsu isn’t about brute force.

Preparedness, resiliency, mental strength, and technique are the foremost elements which determine success at Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu means “The Gentle Art” and yet it is widely recognized as the most effective martial arts ( alongside Muay Thai and Boxing). It is interesting to note that relaxation, breath control and strategy are skills that are learned through practicing Jiu Jitsu because these are the things that help win Jiu Jitsu matches. This is why every time that someone who doesn’t know Jiu Jitsu but is bigger and stronger will lose against a Jiu Jitsu practitioner every time. These elements that I have just described are philosophical ideas that are easily applied to the challenges that your child will face in life.

11. Athletic Development

Jiu Jitsu builds athleticism because it is very physically demanding of your body. This impacts your health and development in major positive ways. When you are operating at peak performance and challenging yourself physically and growing stronger it builds you up emotionally and mentally as well. I can speak from personal experience and say that the endorphins that you get from pushing yourself definitely contribute to your well-being. When you are in good shape you are less likely to get injured or sick as well.  Athleticism gained through physical fitness  is one of the things that money cannot buy.

12. Jiu Jitsu is Global:

Jiu Jitsu has blown up in the last decade for a reason. All over the world are fellow Jiu Jitsu practitioners that are doing the same thing as we are doing in inner SE Portland, practicing the techniques and getting in time on the mat. As your child grows with the sport they will look around one day and realize that they are united by a community of other practitioners who are all inspired in their journey towards self-growth and development using the beautiful art of Jiu Jitsu.

I Hope this article got you interested in investigating the Martial Arts for your child. If you need help finding a school or need a recommendation please visit mataleaocs.com 


Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Portland

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