My husband and I had always planned for our daughter Olivia, to take BJJ when the time was right. For us, BJJ is not an extra-curricular activity. It is essential training. We want her to understand how to defend herself in compromising positions, we want her to have confidence and know how to stand up to bullies or anyone that might make her feel threatened. We want to feel confident knowing that she can defend herself now and as an adult.
Now that our son is old enough to take classes at VG, he is enrolled because it is also important for him to understand how to defend himself. He’s not exactly a big kid; he’s a 5 year old in kindergarten but the size of a 3 year old. So, we also want him to have the confidence and skills to defend himself.
These physical aspects are not the only reasons why our children are enrolled in BJJ. We also want our children to experience the other benefits being enrolled in Martial Arts. My husband has been an avid student in martial arts since he was a child, and I was a dedicated ballet student from elementary to high school. We both understand the importance of dedication, discipline and goal setting to developing children. We expect our children to learn these skills on the mat and to also apply them in their daily lives. We’ve already seen an improvement in self-esteem, discipline and above average performance in school.
We are very lucky that VG is in our community (Bristow/Manassas). We didn’t have to look very far to find a place that met our needs and then more. We were looking for a convenient place within 15 minutes from home, a place that felt comfortable for both our kids and for us, as parents.
When we came to do the trial, Jenny and Destine were very helpful in showing us around the gym and in explaining the class options to us. Coach Christian and Coach Blaze were very friendly and welcoming. They were also very patient. Since Olivia had not been in any martial arts class before, it took some time for her to warm up and feel comfortable to participate. Coach Christian and Blaze made every effort to help our kids feel comfortable enough to learn and participate in class. We also chose vanguard because of Coach Doug’s history/lineage in BJJ, confirming that the quality instruction he received will be passed on to his students. We also feel that VG is reasonably priced for the quality and availability of classes for our kids and that we can be there 3-5 days a week!
The atmosphere is a good place to develop camaraderie. Its important that these kids are not just VG students, but part of the Bristow/Manassas community. They see each other at schools, they know each other’s friends and, because they are together 3-5 days a week, they grow together and support each other. The parents have also gotten to know each other well and serve as extended support systems. The coaches know each child and their skills individually, they speak with the parents and act as role models and mentors for the students.
Most importantly, “no egos allowed” is an important motto for any school/gym/learning institution. We like how Coach Doug enforces that.
Being a part of the Vanguard Gym family has given our children:
– A sense of belonging
– Increased self-esteem
– A safe place to learn and develop
We asked our kids what they learn from BJJ and their answers were:
– They feel strong, physically
– It’s fun
We then asked them to think about, how BJJ helps them off the mat, they answered:
– They think faster.” Christian and Amanda Jose, October 2014