Jocko Willing needs no introduction, he is one of the biggest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu advocates out there. When recently asked how to keep kids in Jiu-Jitsu from a young age onwards, Joco had an experience-based answer, given that all his kids actively train.
At a recent camp (Origin Immersion Camp, someone asked Jocko about his daughter’s training (she has a blue bel) and how to keep kids in Jiu-Jitsu and prevent burnout, to which Willink had a very simple and straightforward answer:
“Make it fun, and you got to remember “make it fun” is different for different kids. There are kids that fun for them is playing a game. If you make a game, playing sumo makes it fun for them, it is fun because, grab a sword, fun games like that. There are other kids that fun for them is going out and annihilating the opponents. So you’ve got to figure out what fun is for your kids, and you’ve got to make it fun for them.”
Jockownt on to talk about what happens to kids in Jiu-Jitsu when they are forced to train by parents, sharing some really useful advice:
“There is no food that is so delicious that you’ll like it if I force it down your throat. And it is the same thing with Jiu-Jitsu, and it is the same with basketball and football, studying, and anything. What you’ll end up with is rebellion. Mutiny. And, you know, a kid that doesn’t want to participate in really anything that you do.
So, just use caution.”
Jocko’s previously shared his “failure” in his approach to involving his kids in Jiu-Jitsu. According to him, it is better to make training fun once a week is better than making kids hate it three times a week.
“The best possible thing you can do is not make them train in Jiu-Jitsu, make them enjoy it,” said Jocko.
His approach was to take his daughters to Jiu-Jitsu, 6 days a week when they were around 6 years old. He also made them compete, and put them in a higher weight class, against older kids, and if they lose, it won’t matter because it will make them tougher. It didn’t.
They got beat and was not fun. By age 10 they didn’t want to do it anymore.
Jocko’s advice for getting kids in Jiu-Jitsu is to find a good school, with fun Jiu-Jitsu, classes and not force it down their throat if they don’t want it at the moment.
He is also a big advocate to put kids in JIu-JItsu in order to make them bully-proof:
“Get your kid into Jiu-Jitsu immediately to start to learn how to deal with people physically and built real confidence. You want your kid to train Jiu-Jitsu. You want your kid to train boxing, you want your kid to be an actual force to be reckoned with.”