Smiles from the warriors of the 4-6-year-olds’ program.
You can try to teach children anything you want, but unless they understand what’s expected of them behaviorally during learning time, they will never retain the material. Most importantly, they will never respect the environment they are in.
We teach our youth students to learn by enforcing (every single time there’s a “slip”) what we allow and what we don’t allow on the mat. Children are children, and while the training should always be fun, there must be a very clear message about when it’s time to play and when it’s time to learn.
Earning their respect, first and foremost, is paramount for building an organized and successful youth team. That respect is earned by staying consistent with the rules, praising them when praise is earned, holding them accountable when they make wrong choices, and rewarding them for their efforts.
Historically, youth students at Crosley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, 99% of the time, end up accepting what’s expected of them and get used to behaving that way for as long as they remain our students.
Some may take longer than others to get the message, but the system doesn’t fail. Although we know that our primary job isn’t disciplining these bright young people, as it is their dear parents’ duty, we still always do our best to show them the way.
One thing we can say for sure is regardless if they are current or former students or if they “liked” our training methods or not, they will learn what they originally signed up for Jiu-Jitsu. And with that, the values of discipline, respect, humility, and the results they get will always be in direct proportion to the efforts they apply.
The respect will always be there once they leave because they know we were part of the “good guys” in life by unwaveringly wanting their success.
To see them become kind, confident, respectful, and positive members of society is all we work for. And we get it daily by way of these smiles!