Written by Stephanie MacDonald (Teacher/White Belt)

The endorsement of ‘rough play’ is not something one would normally hear a teacher promote, but there are so many benefits that encourage the development of students and aid in their academic success.


As we know already, kids who are more active are less likely to struggle with obesity or weight related issues. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a full body sport, that requires a large element of brain power to find what is required in order to beat another opponent. This use of strategy uses skills such as problem solving and strategy translate into the development of mathematics and technology, where problem solving skills are essential to the development of understanding. Fitness for kids has been proven to be critical for the development of the body and the brain. As adults, we use health and fitness to stave off illness and decrease age related disabilities, the younger we start educating students on their health and fitness needs, the better they will be in their later lives. – the mind to muscle and body awareness connection

Discipline and Respect

Behaviour management strategies are a large topic at the moment, with people trying to find the best way to ensure that their children or students are behaving as desired. When practising traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, students are not only learning a new skill therefore stimulating the mind, but they are taught high levels of respect and discipline that is required of the tradition. Respect is skill that is not only encouraged in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but demanded. Students will need to respect their coach in order to progress and learn, but they will also need to develop respect for their peers to ensure that they have the safest practice possible, this translates into a classroom, with students being more prepared to do as their told and work in collaborative learning tasks, as they show respect in their discussion and participation practices. Through enforcing rules such as no shoes on the mats, bowing at your coach, saying thank you there begins the learning of discipline. For a teacher, the individual discipline of a student is a large factor in academic success. It can be noted that students who have higher levels of self-discipline are more likely to have an active involvement in their schooling, by doing homework more frequently or taking more pride in assignments. These two factors are supremely beneficial to teachers as these students are easier to teach and meet differentiation requirement.


As a teacher, I have noticed a huge increase from when I was a kid to now regarding mental health, body image and decreased confidence. This is a huge concern that needs to be rectified ASAP, because students will suffer. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great way to intervene in this as it builds some much self confidence and gives students a community to attach too. A good sense of community is so valuable to the effectiveness of a classroom, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools like Grappling Education aim to give students a sense of community to belong too, regardless of difference. Building on this, the ability to defend the self, or the badassery associated with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is supremely beneficial to the development of self-confidence. Students are much more likely to be happy and succeed when they are confident with themselves, and the development of a sense of self – will aid them throughout the rest of their lives.


Whilst the anecdotal evidence that is shown through observation, and discussion is great, there is much research to aid what I have discussed. In an article by Tomenko et al (2017),a recent study demonstrated that sports such a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system, namely, the posture and the foot shape of the primary school age children, this aids in the healthy development of the body within the sedentary world in which we live and act as a method of intervention for any potential health issues such as bad posture.

Twemlow (1996) suggested that students who take part in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are more likely to take pride and value in their personal growth and development, as a teacher students who are focused on making themselves nice people are the most rewarding to teach.

The final piece of research was discussed in a dissertation by Hite (2008) where they discussed how the value of a caring educator on a students development, and how this is demonstrated within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. Hite discusses how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors build positive and caring relationships with their students to ensure their development but also ensure their safety.

Grappling Education takes pride in their kids lessons and aims to provide students with the best possible experience when it comes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Our instructors develop the lessons in sequence so students don’t get overwhelmed, as a teacher I would 10 out of 10 recommend Grappling Education for your kids.


5 classes + FREE Uniform for $39.99

You can check out more info on the kids classes

Our classes for kids are:

Ages 5 to 7: Tuesday and Thursday 4pm to 4:45pm

Age 8 to 12: Tuesday and Thursday 5pm to 5:45pm


Hite, D. (2008). The Impact of a C.A.R.E. Based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Class on Students’ Academic Achievement, Peer Relationships, and Social Interactions, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Tomenko, O., Kirichenko, L., Skripka, I., Kopytina, Y., & Burla, A. (2017). Effect of recreational taekwondo training on musculoskeletal system of primary school age children. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17(3), 1095-1100.

Twemlow, Stuart, Lerma, Barbara, & Twemlow, Stephen. (1996). An analysis of students’ reasons for studying Martial Arts Perceptual and Motor Skills, 83(1), 99.