My husband wants to start our four-year-old old son in BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) but he already gets in trouble at Kindy for punching. The teachers have spoken to me three times about it and we talk to him and stop him watching ninja shows like Power Rangers and Ninjago and his behaviour improves. This method worked as well when he was around 3 for the same issue. Am I being unreasonable saying no to BJJ? I’m worried it will only encourage the punching/fighting more (even if it’s play based) and next thing I’m worried about is I’ll be called to school because he roundhouse kicks some kid in the head. I did martial arts when I was younger and support it and agree it has lots of benefits but I want him to be a bit older and understand consequences of his actions and that’s it’s not ok to hit people, before he starts a martial arts (maybe around 7/8). I’ve explained this to my husband but he strongly disagrees and is really hung up on it. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated :)

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  • We are trying to decide the same thing! It depends whether you think they will react to the discipline side or not. I personally think my boy would need to be older to understand control properly.

  • youre right to stand your ground on this! as a mum of a kid who ended up being the victim of another child’s karate moves…. definitely wait until your kid is old enough to understand what impact their actions have on others. there is absolutely no need for a child that young to be learning how to physcially harm others – because kids will inevitably show off, no matter how much theyve been told only to use their skills in class.

  • I can 100% relate to this.
    Our son has ADHD and lashed out physically as a result.
    My husband was adamant putting him in martial arts would help and I was reluctant. We held off til he was about 10… I WISH we’d done it earlier.
    He’s doing Zen Do Kai (mixed martial arts) and it has had a HUGELY positive impact on his behaviour at both home and school. He doesn’t lash out physically, because there are repercussions at the dojo. It’s very disciplined and teaches kids not just self defence but life skills and new ways to think of things. The teachings are age relevant.
    Both our son and daughter go and are green belt; 2 off black belt. It’s a great sport.

  • My understanding of these kind of sports is it teaches discipline, you’re taught self control. I’m not sure how good a 4yo would be at this tho, but I’m all for self defence for kids

  • Thank, you for asking this question as I have been thinking about the same thing with my 4 year old son.????

  • I think it might have the opposite effect. I don’t believe these sorts of sports teach anyone to go around hurting people willy nilly, but to understand when it’s appropriate and then how. Give it a go! You never know it may completely turn him off of punching as he’ll tire of it in training!

  • This should be discussed with the Teacher of the BJJ classes without your child within ear shot. See if they feel that he should start classes and if they feel that they can educate him enough that he wont be acting like that at school then give it a shot. Do it on the understanding with your husband that if he acts up at school the classes so asap. If he agrees then give it a shot.

  • My young guy has just started BJJ and they teach him first and foremost about not hurting others and to never show it to other kids. If they show other kids then they will not know that they can tap out and break bones or even worse. Our young guy has always been in the rough housing kids and doesn’t back down but I have pushed for him to learn a martial art (any martial art tbh) as it is taught with discipline and responsibility for their actions. Along with the ability to be able to protect themself should he need to. It is a cruel world out there. Having said that, I am not sure that he would understand and retain much of the responsibility required at the age of 4.

  • I would say no. I would say it is not unreasonable. I think based on what you have said that there are already underlying issues (re: the punching) and he may not be able to determine the fact that it is in a controlled envirnoment.

  • Following sensible instincts is my go to.

  • Maybe have a chat to your local Bjj centre, sometime it might actually help the child “behave” better & not hit other kids because their leader has told them they will be expelled from the studio.

  • No I’d be worried sick !

  • You are not being unreasonable. I think 4 is too young for BJJ and the fact that he is misbehaving at preschool is worrying. Enrol him in sports to work off that 4 year old energy.

  • If you are still worried that the classes will not teach when and where to do the martial arts in the correct manner, maybe you should send your husband to cope with the teachers at Kindy over your child’s punching other children. It might win your husband over to your side of the argument, perhaps.

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