About Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a non-striking, grappling Combat Sport that focuses on ground based techniques. Typically, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu match would start with two opponents engaging from a standing position with one opponent eventually getting the match to the ground. Points are awarded for performing certain moves and/or attaining certain positions. The match can be won either by a collection of points, or if one gives up by “tapping out” when a technique has been applied that they feel they cannot escape. Which techniques may be legally applied in competition vary widely depending on the tournament organizer, the age, and belt rank of the competitors. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is widely considered the authoritative figure for competition. While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a widely practiced Combat Sport with specific rules, it’s effectiveness as a form of self defense and fighting system has been popularized in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition and by the Gracie family, the founders of this wildly popular art.
Youth Program Curriculum
Yamasaki Academy is a registered school with the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). As a result, we follow the competition rules and standards set forth by the Federation as the main reference point for what is taught in classes as well as for ranking and grading students. We generally will cover techniques specifically for the youth divisions, but will cover Self Defense and anti-bullying aspects that go beyond the scope of sport competition. That being said, we do not condone the intentional harming or bullying of our teammates or competitors. Students must, however, learn and understand how and why a technique is effective. For that reason all students are expected to treat each other with utmost respect regardless of experience level. Our goal is to teach our youth how to be a competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor while learning self defense and anti-bullying techniques in a fun and positive learning environment.
Unlike many other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools, all Youth classes at Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge are taught by 1st Degree BJJ Black Belt Head Instructor Joe Cunningham. These classes are designed for children aged 8 – 14 years old.
Youth Competition Team Training
Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge encourages all youth students to compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and/or Submission Grappling tournaments. There are a number of benefits to competing:
- It increases your ability to be recognized for belt promotion.
- Gives you purpose in training.
- Builds confidence and self-discipline.
- It builds comradery with the other competition team members.
We do not require youth students to compete in tournaments. Anyone competing regularly (more than three times a year on average) will receive a Yamasaki Academy Competition Team patch. For larger tournaments where travel expenses are high, the Academy will do fund raisers to support the Competition Team members and parents when possible. Being on the Competition Team has some incentives like merchandise discounts, sponsorship, and assistance on competing expenses.
Anti-Bullying/Self Defense Training
At the Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge we strongly believe that Self-Defense doesn’t have to be Self-Offense. By training in a Combat Sport like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu our youth learn how to control a bigger and stronger opponent of lesser skill. They learn that they don’t have to strike or hurt someone to stay safe and win in competition This is very often an important distinction for people seeking self-defense and anti-bullying training in that we don’t have to be more violent than our “opponent”. We stress teaching this in the classes; that we only use what we are learning as part of the sport aspect. We keep it on the mat. We are building strong, confident individuals not bullies.
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