After a year of hard training, a few cancelled competitions, but lots of team spirit, we had our end of year gradings at ROOTS BJJ Warringah Mall. There were lots of belts and stripes to be had. Getting a new belt is a major achievement for both kids and adults. We also celebrated our 3rd Birthday.
Our instructors were really happy with how everyone progressed through the year. However, what was really amazing was the positive attitude of both the kids and adults when they returned to the mats after a four-month break.
All of us at ROOTS BJJ Warringah Mall just wanted to say thank you to our community, the students, their families, and their friends for your support over the past two years.
IBJJF Kids Belt System
In the belt system for children (3 – 15), according to the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), the awarding of belts is based on achievement and age. Kids will progress through their belts on the basis of the development of their skills, their attitude towards training, and their participation in competitions. Belts are not normally awarded on the number of class or length of time that a child has been training as this is demotivating for children. The belts are awarded in recognition of progress. Most children will remain on a belt for around 12 months if they are attending training two to three times per week. As such, receiving a belt should be celebrated as a milestone that has been achieved.
Kids have different colour belts to adults and depending on how old your child is they may skip belts. Kids move on to the adult’s belt system when they are 16. Grey belts are for younger children aged 4 to 6. So, if your child starts training when they are aged 10 or above, their first belt will be an orange belt, so they may be a white belt for a couple of years before they have developed the skills and techniques to become an orange belt. If your child is 13 when they start training, their first belt will be a green belt, so they may be on a white belt for a while as they need to have achieved the requirements of a green belt. It is also worth considering here that if a child is progressed too quickly through the belts by their instructor they may be placed up against more experienced students in competitions.
If you have any questions about gradings and belts, please have a chat to our instructors as they are happy to go through the belt system with you. The belt system is also on the wall of all of our ROOTS BJJ academies.
LIttle Ninjas rule the Mats
The face of BJJ is rapidly changing in NSW and across the country. One of the main changes is the move away from seeing BJJ as an underground martial art for fighters to seeing BJJ as a sport for everyone. Across the State, there has been a rapid increase in primary-aged school children attending classes. Actually, in many of the academies and gyms, more kids are joining BJJ than adults. Parents are looking for a more wholistic activity that provides their children with physical, social, and mental strength. Many of the kids that come to our classes find their first friends on the mat.
Our Little Ninjas are Growing
At ROOTS BJJ, we have seen a massive increase in our Little Ninjas classes, which are for children ages 3 to 5. These classes focus on the basic techniques, such as safe falls and rolls. Children in these classes also learn valuable social and communication skills and learn to see their value as part of being a team.
Little Ninja Gradings
Our Little Ninjas also get graded. It is a big day for our Little Ninjas to put on their gis and to line up to see if they have worked hard enough for a stripe or new belt. Working towards a stripe or a new belt is a big achievement for our Ninjas, and, for their instructors, it is a way to celebrate the achievements of the youngest members of our academy. We have gradings at our Warringah Mall Academy on Saturday 4 December and at our Botany Academy on Saturday 18 December.
Keeping Motivated and Goal-Focused
For many of us, the COVID-19 disruptions have given us a small gap in time to re-focus on what is important to us in our lives. For some of us, this has meant changing jobs, changing fitness routines, or re-connecting with old friends. However, for some of us, the staggered return to "normal" has meant that we still cannot train, that competitions have been cancelled, and even catching up with our training partners is out of reach. This can make us feel detached and unmotivated to return to training.
Where's that BJJ To-Do list?
Well, we can't help you book overseas holidays or to get back on to the competition mats, but use this space as time to re-focus on your BJJ goals. Write a list of five things that you want to achieve in BJJ in 2022. Perhaps you want to attend the Pan-Pacific games, perhaps you want to visit another ROOTS gym, perhaps you want to do 300 sit-ups per day, perhaps you want to beat that one opponent in the next competition. Write that list and get goal-focused.
And our BJJ Kids?
This is also great strategy for kids that are getting a bit tired as they head in to the end of the year. With kids, keep it at three goals and make the timeframe shorter (e.g., two to three weeks maximum). A small reward (extrinsic motivation) can also work wonders with kids.
Make it Public
Share your list with your family, friends, or instructor. Set a time limit. Let's see how you go! Setting short to long-term goals is a great way to keep you motivated and keep focused on BJJ.
ROOTS BJJ Academy News
ROOTS HQ is the team writer for ROOTS BJJ. ROOTS HQ will cover all the news and views on BJJ. Drop us a line through the contact page if you have any news to share.