Different kids will have different needs, but that doesn't mean they will need different martial arts in their lives. By getting enough information from a child's parents and school, a jiu-jitsu teacher can work miracles.
In a recent interview, Rickson Gracie talked about his method for changing kids' lives. It's useful stuff for parents and instructors seeking to effect real change, so read on.
"So, based on the conceptual idea of helping the kids, and based on the... Because, for example, you have ten kids in the class. A good scenario would be for each of those kids, I send, to their parents, two forms: one for the parents to fill up, and the other form for the school teachers to fill up. With those forms in hand, I will see what Little John needs, from the parents' perspective and from the school perspective. So, he has ADD, he doesn't pay attention; or he's too aggressive with his little sister; or he doesn't do his chores at home, he doesn't put the trash out. Whatever the family has to complain, I will know; and whatever the school has to complain, I will know, or take note of.
"So, based on this information, I will treat Little John different than I will treat Little Mark. Mark is a kid who doesn't need that kind of knowledge, but Little John needs 'Hey, Little John, how is your home? Have you talked with your sister today? You apologized yet?' So I will build up in terms of knowing how the student is and what he needs to develop: if it's patience, if it's calmness, if it's just being active, being responsive, understanding how to say 'no.'
"So every kid has something to learn; and the jiu-jitsu environment is a powerful environment, because not only are you gonna be exposed to a kid who's able to express himself with almost no limitations, so you can read the kid in very clear lines."