Jiu-Jitsu Parent: Keep it Classy


Hopefully your child is competing for himself and not for you. Regardless of whether or not you’re child is able to meet your expected goals for them, your child deserves to have their own personal goals and should be allowed to manifest them in his or her own individual way.

I’m sure we’ve all learned valuable lessons and developed our greatest strengths from the mistakes we’ve made in our lives. Your child should have the same opportunity. With this in mind, always be supportive and not critical of your child’s efforts on the mats. Everyone loses, it’s inevitable, so teach your child how to win and lose with class. The most commonly heard phrase in jiu-jitsu is “you win or you learn.” There’s no such thing as losing if you’ve learned something from the experience.

Showboating or throwing tantrums aren’t behaviors that garner respect so help your child keep it classy. Win or lose, kid’s jiu-jitsu is about healthy competition and respect.  As a jiu-jitsu parent, how you carry yourself sets an example for your kids and everyone else.  Yes, jiu-jitsu competitions are intense. It’s easy to get heated up during a match but no matter what, keep your attitude positive.  If there’s a bad call, don’t argue with the referee.  You’re not going to change any minds and it sets a bad example for your child.  Bad calls are part of any sport.  We are all human and we all make mistakes.  It’s part of life.  Let your child’s coach handle the referee.  If you still feel the need to be heard, you can ask to speak to the referee coordinator at the event so you can plead your case.  Do so politely and professionally.

If that doesn’t work and you want to take it further, wait until the tournament is over.  Contact the organizers and let them know how you feel and what you think should have happened.  Remember, usually nothing will be changed after the fact, but perhaps for the future.  If you truly feel your child has gained nothing from the experience keep in mind that you always have a choice to participate.


By Deb Blyth – Jiu-Jitsu Magazine

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