Review: How to Raise your Child’s Confidence Through Jiu-Jitsu

By: Danny O’Donnell

In Jiu Jitsu Confidence: A Parent’s Guide to Raise Confident, Disciplined and Bully-Proof Children, author Nigel Kurtz asserts that Jiu Jitsu is “the perfect vehicle to developing a child’s full human potential.” The book is a clear, concise guide on why Jiu Jitsu is the perfect sport for children and how to help them get the most out of it. Parents will certainly get a lot of value from the book regardless of how long their child has been training. However, it would be best utilized if read upon enrolling your child at a Jiu Jitsu academy, serving as a meaningful guide in this new world of martial arts. The book is divided into various sections that cover the top 10 reasons to train, how Jiu Jitsu differs from team sports, the Jiu Jitsu mind and lifestyle, competition and parenting tips. The following paragraphs highlight some of the main concepts of the book, many of which are unique to the sport of Jiu Jitu.

While competition through all sports will aid in the development of children, Jiu Jitsu has many unique benefits. In Jiu Jitsu Confidence, Nigel lists the top 10 reasons to learn Jiu Jitsu and then goes into great depth with each. The first reason presented and one that really stood out is “Fail to Learn.” Because Jiu Jitsu is often practiced against a fully resisting opponent, it is inevitable that a child will experience failure and likely experience it often. Even the greatest Jiu Jitsu champions often remark how their early days of training were filled with failures, often getting beat by people with inferior physical capabilities. In the author’s words “Your child will fail at some point; it’s a given. How they recover from that and what they do with those lessons will set them apart.”

A second benefit that stood out in Jiu Jitsu Confidence is described as “Adulthood.” Children practicing Jiu Jitsu will be exposed to adults from diverse backgrounds learning the same techniques and strategies as them. They will notice how some adults thrive while learning a new skill while others will complain and make excuses. Children will learn to identify the individuals with a positive approach to learning and have role models that can guide them throughout their journeys. Two other benefits, that often go hand in hand, are confidence and bully-proofing. Bullying is a big problem in today’s world, especially with the ability to bully on social media. Overcoming obstacles with Jiu Jitsu will give a child the knowledge that they can successfully learn an employ a new skill. This increased confidence along with the technical abilities to subdue a potential physical threat will likely limit any instances of bullying.

Parents always want the best for their children in all aspects of life. Often when their child is playing a sport, they want to offer advice and encouragement. This is fantastic but must be done in the correct way if a child is to get the most out of Jiu Jitsu. In one of the most important sections of the book, Nigel gives parents tips on how to guide your child on his or her journey in Jiu Jitsu. One of these tips is to not put too much pressure on your child to win, either directly or indirectly. The focus should be on growth and improvement. This will give your child more satisfaction and reduce the rate of burnout. This goes along with another tip, which is how to properly goal set with children. While having goals to win tournaments or beat certain opponents are certainly acceptable, they are not entirely in one’s control. Nigel discusses the importance of performance goals, which often come in the form of executing a specific technique or strategy. These goals are easier to control and “put less emphasis on winning and more on growing their technical ability under pressure.”

In summary, Jiu Jitsu Confidence does a tremendous job outlining the benefits of Jiu Jitsu for children. The most valuable aspect of the book, however, lies in the execution of how to guide children through the sport and introduce them to similarities between it and the challenges and accomplishments they will deal with all throughout their lives. One of the overarching themes throughout is that Jiu Jitsu should be used as a vehicle to bring out the best in children and help mold them into the best people they are capable of becoming. If you would like a more in depth discussion of these concepts and many more, you can purchase Jiu Jitsu Confidence: A Parent’s Guide to Raise Confident, Disciplined and Bully-Proof Children on Amazon at the following link:

Epi 200 Kids BJJ Revolution Korbett Miller

We are proud to reach episode 200. We could have not made it without great listeners and guests. At this landmark episode we are thrilled to bring you an interview with BJJ black belt Korbett Miller. Korbett is dedicated to helping schools grow and promoting BJJ to the next generation of grapplers.

We talk about:

  • Being a successful school owner
  • The potential for a youth program in a BJJ school
  • Some of the benefits for kids doing BJJ
  • Kids BJJ compared to other martial arts programs for kids
  • Kids BJJ Revolution online training
  • Having over 200 kids at his school
  • Scheduling a kids class based off of when school gets out
  • How to get kids to pay attention and learn techniques
  • Having drills work like a game
  • Slow and right and fast and tight drills
  • Building grit in kids with BJJ
  • How to properly praise a student by talking about effort or strategy
  • Rolling vs drilling for kids and adults
  • How kids earn their white belt in his program
  • Goals of a kids program
  • Controlling the environment the kids are in not the kids themselves


Quote of the week: “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” Babe Ruth

Article of the week: 5 Common Mistakes in Cutting Weight

Mat Tale Epi 22 Saturday Schedule












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Epi 168 Keys To A Strong Kids Program With Korbett Miller

This week we are proud to bring you Korbett Miller. Today you will learn a lot about developing the next generation of BJJ practitioners. Miller is a first degree BJJ black belt under Saulo and Xande RIbeiro. This episode is a must listen for anyone involved with teaching BJJ to adults or kids.korbett-miller

We talk about:

  • Overcoming difficulties as a kid with martial arts
  • The current coaching environment for kids programs
  • How to teach kids differently than adults
  • Teaching on command
  • Drills that are played as games
  • Getting deliberate practice
  • The “Dead Bug” drill to help learn the hip bump sweep
  • Character development for kids in BJJ over other martial arts
  • Fixed mindset vs growth mindset
  • Why you should avoid “Person Praise” to students
  • The importance of a great introductory lesson for kids
  • Some of the details of the introductory lesson
  • Why he does not give kids a belt without earning it first
  • The importance of focus and respect
  • Having kids be a first time listener and doing things the right way right away
  • Not just letting the new kids just blend in with the rest of the class
  • Why almost no one regrets long term martial arts training
  • Developing a talent hot bed in your school
  • Why he encourages kids to compete
  • What to say to a kid after a loss
  • Lessons learned while competing
  • How to let kids start rolling
  • How to teach kids submissions
  • How he has attracted 250 kids to his BJJ school
  • Developing a kids program
  • Marketing a kids martial arts program


Quote of the week: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin

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Gary’s audio book is called “How to sneak into the kids division and get gold or a cold”

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