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5 BJJ Techniques to Teach Kids for Defending Themselves Against Bullies

5 BJJ Techniques to Teach Kids for Defending Themselves Against Bullies

The incidents of bullying kids are increasing around the world. Alone in the USA, every month about three million kids leave school due to bullying. Among all martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is found effective for self-defense purposes. If your kids know what to do in hard conditions and which BJJ technique to use to get out of the mess, you will be able to take a sigh of relief from them.

In this post, you will learn about the need of teaching kids BJJ’s self-defense techniques, understanding kids, key principles of self-defense, and 6 of the most effective techniques to teach kids to defend themselves against bullies.

1. Why is it important to teach your kids self-defense techniques?

Though there are anti-bullying laws enforced in the country, still the percentage of its victims is rising day by day. About 20% of kids between the ages of 12-18 experience bullying nationwide.

These facts make it essential to empower your kids with essential self-defense techniques to enable them to eliminate bullying. Teaching them self-defense techniques not only protects them from any unwanted situations but also increases their confidence and self-esteem.

Here a question can arise that which of the martial arts is the best for self-defense. Though all of the martial arts enable kids to get out of the mess, BJJ is less aggressive when it comes to self-defense as it bases on defensive techniques.

Other martial arts are mainly based on striking techniques that can turn the condition against your kids if they lose control and hit the opponent somewhere sensitive.

Related Reading: The Best Self-Defense Martial Art Style for You?


The basic purpose of learning self-defense must be to stay safe by making the minimum harm to the opponent. Therefore, if you are a BJJ parent, you must be teaching them defensive techniques like escaping and taking opponents to the floor.

2. Things to know before teaching your kids BJJ self-defense techniques

Though self-defense is one of the essential things that your kids should have in their arsenal. Teaching them BJJ techniques for self-defense purposes requires you to consider some important aspects of your kids.

For example, if your kids have an aggressive attitude, teaching them BJJ techniques can end up in serious damage to the opponent while defending themselves that can put you in tough times.

Therefore, before starting to teach them BJJ defensive techniques make sure they will use their skill to only defend themselves instead of going beyond the limits to take revenge from the opponent. Do not teach your kids these techniques if they are unable to control their aggression and lose temper early.

Similarly, if you are not aware of the maturity level of your kids, teaching them BJJ techniques can be a risk for making serious harm to others unconsciously. For example, you teach your kids chokes but they are not mature enough to understand where they should stop putting force while executing this technique, they can end up with life-threatening harms to opponents in self-defense conditions.

Being a BJJ parent, you must know your kid’s maturity level. If you think they can use just the right amount of force while executing BJJ techniques and know the limits, then you should teach them.

A BJJ instructor at any BJJ school will never allow aggressive and immature kids to learn and execute BJJ techniques like chokes, armbars, leg locks for self-defense purposes.

Related Reading: Can BJJ Improve the Psychological Health of Kids

3. Key principles of self-defense

Self-defense does not mean to harm anyone, it is a way to keep yourself safe from bullies and other such troubles. Good self-defense is making a way to get out of the mess as quickly as possible, it is not about going to hit opponents hard enough that can cause trouble later.

Here are key principles of self-defense that you should teach your kids while training them for BJJ self-defense techniques, so they must know how to react in troubled times.

3.1. The Right Distance Range


Your kids must know what is the safe distance and how close will be too close to opponents. Also, they must be able to realize who is around and can help as well as how many bullying people are. These awareness aspects can help your kids keep people away from them. Jiu-Jitsu focuses on getting away from opponents to avoid getting hit by them. Teaching kids distance management can help them in every confrontation.

3.2. Keeping Hands Up


Being a BJJ parent, you must know the significance of keeping your hands up. Keeping hands up allows you to protect your face and block your opponent's swings. You should teach your kids this principle so they stand ready for what is coming at them in bullying conditions.

This will help your kids cover their faces and close the distance to take down the opponent if circumstances permit them. In this way, your children will be able to negotiate truces verbally while not leaving themselves open for strikes.

3.3. Give Them Confidence and Strength


Lacking self-confidence is one of the things that makes your kids an easy target for bullies. Confident kids are not the target of bullies as they know such kids can respond confidently and will make them regret. While strengthening your kids, it will be vital to teach them to stand up and this happens when you enable them to believe in themselves.

3.4. Teach Kids To Push Back


Though you should not be teaching to push people, they must be able to push people back when they get pushed. But in case of lacking self-confidence, this can be nerve-racking for your kid. So, ask them to negotiate loud when they face bullies to seem less intimidated. Continuous training and practice will be the key here.

3.5. Situational Awareness


Situational awareness is another important factor that can help your kids to take the right action by sensing the impending danger. You should teach your kid to differentiate between normal people and the threat around them. Also, teach kids to not let themselves be surrounded and cornered. By sensing the danger, kids should move to a place or position where they could not be cornered or bullied. Shouting loud can also help in getting the attention of people around kids so bullies should not find them alone.

4. Defensive BJJ techniques to teach your kids

Once you are sure that your kid understands the limits of using BJJ techniques for self-defense and is mature enough to take all aspects into account before responding to bullies, it is time to teach them the following basic defensive techniques.

4.1. Positions


In BJJ, positions are of great importance and can be advantageous in self-defense as well. Teaching your kids the right BJJ position can help them in being at advantage and make the opponent pay for their bullying act.

Mount, side control, rear mount, and turtle positions can enable kids to get an advantage over the bullies in no time. You should also teach them that they should not give away their positions. They will not come across the BJJ fighters always, there might be bullies with different skills or even with no fighting skills.

So, when you get into the right position whether it is mount or back control, whatever fighting skill your opponent may have, they could not do any harm. Being a BJJ parent, you should teach them how to be in an advantageous position in different circumstances.

4.2. Escapes


Your child may not be able to get an advantageous position every time during the street fight and can get dominated by bullies. Considering this prospect, you should also teach them how to escape from different positions taken by the bullies.

Opponents may be using mounts or side controlling techniques to torture the kid, but if kids know how to escape and to get on an advantageous position, they cannot make any specific harm.

There are three major types of escapes like an escape from the back mount, escape from the side mount, and escape from triangle chokes that you should teach your kids to stay safe in every aspect. Your kids should be practicing each of them to escape from the opponent's moves easily and make the opponent open for the counters.

4.3. Guards


Teaching your kids BJJ guards can also be helpful for them in taking opponents to the ground. Specifically, when opponents are taller or stronger than your kids, the usage of guard techniques can give them an advantage over opponents.

There are five major types of guards in BJJ including closed guards, x guards, butterfly guards, half guards, and spider guards that you should be teaching to your kids. If your kids know how to execute these guards, only BJJ practitioners will be able to guard and pass them and they will easily bring the opponent to the ground.

Once your kids bring opponents down to the earth, they can apply different leg locks, chokes, and other BJJ techniques to make opponents feel the pain or can easily get out of the mess before opponents get up.

4.4. Standing Up in Base


Any technique that the Gracie family recommends for self-defense must have something in it for you as you cannot ignore this family when it comes to BJJ establishment and knowledge of the sport. Standing up in the base is one of the techniques that the Gracie family recommends for self-defense. This technique enables you to fend off opponents’ attacks when you are knocked down. This technique also gives you the upper hand while scrambling.

To enable your kids to defend themselves in every situation, teach them this tactic too. This will help them keep the bullies at a distance while they stand up in a ready-to-fight stance.  

4.5. Headlock Defense


Headlocks are one of the most common things that we can see in all street fights. If your kids are trained well in defending headlocks, they can easily get out of the mess by escaping and placing any choke or joint lock.

If you enroll your kids in any BJJ school, their instructor will surely teach this technique on priority considering the frequency of usage of headlocks in street and playground fights. But, if you are teaching them at home, do not neglect to teach them avoiding and escape headlocks.

5. Takeaway

Enabling kids to defend themselves against bullies and reducing bullying incidents is one of the important needs of society. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has multiple beneficial techniques from a self-defense point of view.

Above mentioned techniques are proving helpful in self-defense. Teaching kids such techniques can empower them with confidence, strength, and the ability to realize the situation and make the right action to get out of the mess before it becomes troubling.

Though self-defense is one of the essential things for kids nowadays to avoid being bullied, there are multiple aspects to consider before teaching them these techniques. Once again, make sure your kids are mature enough to control the force and muscle extending limits before teaching stated techniques for self-defense purposes.

Also, ensure that they will not be overreacting or showing instant aggression while defending themselves.

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