Kids and the future of Jiu-Jitsu
I've been noticing an incredible trend lately in Jiu-Jitsu teaching. More and more academies have established or increased their kids programs and I can't help but believe how it bodes well for the future of Jiu-Jitsu. Many top academies like Gracie Humaita, Gracie Barra , Nova Geracao have had strong Jiu-Jitsu programs for a long time, but one of the pioneers of programs on kids Jiu-Jitsu is Jose Henrique Leao Teixeira. Teixeira was the first person that I recall that created a program totally focusing on the development of kids in our art. Teixeira's and others pioneer efforts are now showing fruit as many other academies currently spent great amounts of attention and energy on kids and youth programs
Fast forward to today when you have academies like Art of Jiu-Jitsu, Cleber Luciano BJJ and Gracie Humaita's Academies in San Diego, Temecula and Eastlake (just to name a few) developing talent since very young age and one can imagine what our art will be like in a few years. Take the recent results where young guns like Alyssa Mia Wilson, Ruotolo twins and others from AOJ Academy taking top medals from the World Pro BJJ in Abu Dhabi and more shows the depth and advancement that these programs are effecting on young talent. I cannot imagine what these young kids will be like when they start competing in the adult divisions after years of experience in the kids and juniors.
While competition is just one measure of the complexity that GJJ is, it is an easy one to see and measure the effect and expansion of these programs in our art. Keep an eye on these and other kids as they are the future of our sport.