Want to send your kids to taekwondo or karate? BJJ may be better

In Singapore, it’s something of a tradition for parents to sign their children up for taekwondo or karate classes (at the community centre), to help them learn self-defense as well as character traits such as self-discipline and respect for others.


But increasingly, more and more kids are taking up the grappling sport of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) as opposed to Asian forms of striking martial arts.


 It is widely acknowledged that the beauty of BJJ is its ability to prove how a smaller individual can defeat a larger opponent with the right technique.


 “BJJ is less violent, and teaches more about discipline and self-control,” said Professor Guilherme Mendes, one half of the famous Mendes brothers and a four-time BJJ black belt world champion.

Professor Mendes (left) at The Gentle Art (Photo courtesy of The Gentle Art)Professor Mendes (left) at The Gentle Art (Photo courtesy of The Gentle Art)


 “Kids are hyperactive and literally unstoppable, thus we need to slow them down and educate and teach them about discipline, respect and how to be good student and a good person,” he added.


 Mendes was in Singapore last month to conduct seminars at newly-opened martial arts school The Gentle Art, which hosts the only official Mendes Brothers BJJ affiliate programme in Asia.


The Mendes brothers are reputed for having the best children’s BJJ programme in the world, with some of their little students clinching consecutive titles at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Pan Kids Jiu Jitsu Championships over the last two years.


 B.T. Kang, one of the owners of The Gentle Art, commented: “As there is no striking involved in BJJ, kids can safely spar at full pace and apply the techniques taught, under complete supervision of instructors at all times. Our children’s program is also developed in collaboration with a certified early childhood practitioner.”



 “Taekwondo is a striking and standing art best complemented by BJJ,” said Arlene Lim, founder and programme director of Trifecta. “BJJ is probably the most effective martial art for children to learn self-defence as it is less about conflict avoidance (which most martial arts can teach) but rather, how a child can defend himself in a really bad situation, such as a bully trying to choke him or pushing him to the ground. In a way, it’s the last line of defence.”


 “BJJ training tends to focus more on the effectiveness of each technique and how you can make it work for you, in response to the varying resistance of different partners. Taekwondo helps to develop speed, precision and agility, while BJJ develops overall co-ordination, spatial awareness and strength,” she added.


“Bullying can really affect a child’s confidence and self-esteem during their formative years,” explained  Almiro Barros, head instructor of the programme.


 “This programme provides a world championship platform for children to inherit life skills like mental strength, agility, courage, focus, and of course, learn how to defend themselves against bullies.”
If you want your child to receive all of the long term mental and physical benefits of BJJ, Judo, and Wrestling training for kids and teens, come to Bastos BJJ Midland and try FREE classes today and see how this can change your child’s life!