Seriously fun martial arts for kids in Sequim
The other day, one of our youth students was participating in the adult class.* 11-year-old Aidan was working with an adult on a control method. Unprompted, Aidan noticed: “You can go for the arm bar because his score is only one. His structure and posture are broken!” Aidan had remembered a central concept we teach adult and youth students alike: “alignment” can be thought of as a score of 1 point each for base, posture and structure. You (and your opponent) are strongest at a score of three. The time to attack is when the score is 1 or 0. Very often, beginners have a tough time because they’re trying to do a technique they’ve mindlessly drilled without understanding when to apply it. It’s expected that “they’ll figure it out”, slowly and painfully, through sparring. Yet Aidan had already learned the precise “when” very early in his jiu jitsu training.
Solarte’s martial arts for kids in Sequim engages students to help them learn.
That’s because Solarte’s program is based on a solid teaching method for efficient, long-term learning. We’ve found that students learn more quickly and effectively if they learn the right skills in the right order, tied together with reliable concepts and principles. For our youth program, we believe kids are smart, resourceful and capable, especially if they’re encouraged to develop these qualities. We want kids to have fun while focusing on learning how to effectively grapple. We don’t dumb down the lessons and we challenge kids to solve problems, ask questions and share their ideas. They get a good work out and actively apply problem solving while doing jiu jitsu games and rolling (the BJJ term for sparring). As a group, they think about and discuss what they’re learning. The result: children who develop independent thinking, social skills and confidence.
The teaching method we use is based on Island Top Team‘s internationally renowned program. Further developments were added on by Solarte’s head coach, Jenn Lozada. Jenn says, “I’ve seen a lot of teaching methods used for a variety of martial arts—not only Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Based on what I’ve seen, I knew that Solarte could create a program that does more for its students, especially the kids.” She notes that many youth martial arts programs focus on memorizing techniques, keeping them busy and trying to tire them out. But she believes kids are capable of doing far more than that. “Memorizing/encoding is important. But real learning requires elaboration and generation of novel solutions. And kids want to do that. We’ve found that the response from the youth students has been wonderful when we ask them to do more and to really work to solve problems.
And that’s how we end up with kids like Kellan and Ashlynn who are so articulate when helping other students learn. Coach Jenn recalls when Kellan was teaching a new 7-year-old student how to do a technical stand up (a method for standing while maintaining strong alignment). Kellan explained to the little boy that he had to match the force vectors with the angle of his post. And those girls are not teaching assistants. All the children are encouraged to help each other learn and to troubleshoot problems together. It’s a mutually supportive environment that get kids thinking and moving.
Even Better: The Solarte BJJ for Youth Program is donations-based!
Our suggested donation per child per class is $5 to $10, on a self-determined sliding scale. For one child, we suggest $40 to $60 per month. However, no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. If the suggested donation rates don’t work for you, we value every child’s presence on the mats and you can pay what you can. If you will have more than one child or family member training at Solarte, please contact us at 360-808-3197 for group/family suggested donation rates.
Children as young as 5 can participate if…
…they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. We suggest that kids ages 5, 6 and sometimes 7 have an adult helping them on the mats. Around the ages of 6 and 7, many kids are able to be on the mats on their own, but this is determined on a case-by-case basis. There should be at least one adult for every two young children. Please contact us at 360-808-3197 if you have any questions!
Solarte BJJ’s martial arts for kids in Sequim are every Tues/Thurs, 4 to 5pm.
Learn more about Solarte’s martial arts for kids in Sequim. Contact us today if you’d like to join us as we learn together!
*Youth students are welcome to join adult classes if they demonstrate strong interest and maturity.