Kids FAQ | Paragon Academy

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling based martial art that focuses on self-defense from the ground and subduing the attacker, either by maintaining a dominant position or applying a submission (chokes or joint locks).

Why is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu good for my child?

Besides the obvious benefits of increased physical fitness, discipline, and work ethic that training in the martial arts will give your child, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also an extremely practical choice for real world self-defense.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was designed for the practitioner to defend themselves against a larger and stronger opponent through leverage and technique. For evidence of BJJ's effectiveness, please Youtube "Royce Gracie UFC" to see a 180 pound BJJ expert use the fundamentals of the art to defeat much larger, stronger, and more athletic opponents.

Since the vast majority of fights end up on the ground, and BJJ is designed to compensate for disadvantages in size and strength, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an especially effective self-defense system for your child.

Will my child get hurt?

Your child will be closely monitored during training, but injuries are a part of any intense sport and should be expected during the course of your child's training and development. However, preventative care and maintaining a positive attitude will make all the difference in your child's recovery. If your child experiences an injury, make sure you get them medical attention from a healthcare provider as soon as possible and inform the coaches at Paragon. Even if your child is temporarily unable to participate, showing up to watch class and ask questions is a great way for them to continue learning.

Why isn't my child being promoted faster?

Your child probably has friends who train in other martial arts, and in all likelihood, these friends have "earned" their black belts after a short period of training. In many cases, these schools will promote after a set amount of classes (and with an accompanying testing fee).

The Paragon Academy is not one of these schools. We do not charge testing fees and your child will not be given a promotion just for showing up. Your child will earn their promotion through their hard work on the mats. And your child will not earn a black belt in three years. In fact, according to the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, your child will not even be eligible for a black belt until they are eighteen years old.

The conservative promotions in BJJ will likely be difficult for your child at first. In our society of "participation ribbons," many children have come to expect applause and adulation just for showing up. But life does not give awards for participation, and neither does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

At the minimum, your child will have to train regularly (at least twice a week) for six months before they will be considered for their next promotion. But attendance only will not guarantee a promotion. We will evaluate your child based on their improvement and their mastery of the technique. Because of this, your child will likely be "skipped over" at some of our bi-annual promotion ceremonies. This will likely be disappointing for your child, but learning to deal with disappointment will be another invaluable life skill for your child.

Our promotion policy may seem harsh, but it is also what sets Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu apart from other martial arts. And when you see the look of joy and satisfaction on your child's face when they have a received a belt that they have truly earned, I believe you will be convinced as well.

What are the ranks in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The ranks in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are signified by belt color. For the children's system (ages 4-15), the belts are as follows:

  1. White
  2. Grey White
  3. Grey
  4. Grey black
  5. Yellow white
  6. Yellow
  7. Yellow black
  8. Orange white
  9. Orange
  10. Orange black
  11. Green white
  12. Green
  13. Green black

When your child turns 16, they will begin in the adult ranking system. The adult belts are as follows:

  1. White
  2. Blue
  3. Purple
  4. Brown
  5. Black

If your child has trained for a sufficient amount of time and shows proficiency of technique, the instructor may promote them directly to blue belt when they turn 16.

How often should my child train?

We recommend that your child trains twice a week, though many children will want to train three times a week. Regular attendance is the key to improvement in BJJ, so try to find a schedule that will keep your child from getting "burned out."

How can I help my child with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

How about you try it, too? Paragon offers a family discount and free trial classes for parents, so you can experience this great martial art for yourself. Training in the same martial art is also a great way for families to bond.

An equally important way to support your child's training, is to help them through the physical and mental challenges they will face in BJJ. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a demanding activity that will give your child the benefit of dealing with physical, intellectual, and emotional adversity on a regular basis.

This will be a challenge for your child (trust me, it's a challenge for all of our students) but the rewards are worth the sacrifice. Through training in BJJ, your child will learn to develop a sense of calm while undergoing intense physical exercise, as well as the ability to think clearly during moments of great stress. These are both invaluable life skills.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also a highly technical sport, often referred to as "human chess," and your child will refine their analytical and decision-making skills by analyzing their position and choosing their next move.

The rewards of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are great, and because of this, the challenges are even greater. At some point in their training, your child will likely struggle with their motivation. We encourage you to help your child through these difficult times, especially in the beginning of their training. Often, even our most reluctant students fall in love with BJJ after they "get over the hump" and embrace the challenges of the sport.

Do I need to wash my child's uniform after every class?

Yes! We are dedicated to maintaining immaculate hygiene at Paragon (our mats are washed and disinfected twice a day) and we expect the same from our students. Any grappling sport exposes you to various bacterial and fungal infections, but your child will be fine if you follow these steps:

  • Wash ALL gear (uniform, belts, rash guards, ear guards, etc.) after every lesson. DO NOT let your child wear the same gear for more than one lesson, even on the same day.
  • Make sure your child showers after every class. It is important they shower as soon as possible, preferably with an antimicrobial soap (Arm Bar Soap is available at the front desk, though Head and Shoulders shampoo is also antimicrobial and may also be used as a body wash). There are two showers in the locker room available for students.
  • Make sure your child wears shoes in the locker rooms and bathrooms so they don't track germs onto the mats.
  • Regularly inspect your child's skin. If you suspect your child has a skin infection, see a physician right away and DO NOT let your child train until they are medically cleared to do so.

Can my child compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments?

Yes! We encourage all of our students to compete in BJJ to challenge themselves, improve their technique, and make new friends. Tournaments take place all over California (including in-house tournaments at the Paragon Academy). Your child's instructor will inform you of any upcoming tournaments.

My child wants to learn more. What can they do?

BJJ is a very complex sport, and extra instruction is a great help for our students. Please speak with an instructor about setting up a private lesson for your child. These lessons can be tailored with your child's instructor to focus on any weaknesses in their game or set up a game plan designed for their body type, athletic ability, and skill level. Our instructors offer a wide range of pricing options for private lessons.

We also encourage our students to register at jiujitsupedia.com. Jiujitsupedia was designed by Paragon founder Franjinha and Paragon Santa Barbara head instructor Sean Apperson to provide excellent online instruction for their students. This website is an invaluable resource to review old lessons and learn new grappling techniques from Paragon instructors, world champions, and Olympic medalists.

While there are a variety of quality BJJ tutorials online, we encourage our students to use Jiujitsupedia, especially when they first start training. Unfortunately, there are many subpar instructional videos on the internet (some produced by "instructors" who falsely claim to be black belts) and until you progress in your training, it will be difficult to distinguish the trash from the treasure.

In addition, we encourage our students to join their school's wrestling team. Wrestling is a great extracurricular activity for your child, and the skills your child will learn are very complimentary to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The Paragon Academy also offers a boxing class for children twice a week. This is a great class that will not only teach your children the basics of striking, but will also greatly increase their physical endurance and mental toughness. In combination with BJJ, the boxing class will give your child a complete base for self-defense.

Why is Boxing good for my child?

The benefits of boxing for your child are numerous! On a practical level, boxing will allow your child to enjoy one of the world's most ancient sports, learn a valuable form of self-defense, improve their physical health, make friends, and have a lot of fun! In addition, boxing will help instill self-confidence, self-reliance, and a solid work ethic in your child. These attributes are invaluable in all walks of life.

Not every child who studies boxing here will become a champion. Most will never even compete. However, we firmly believe that boxing class will make every student a better person.

Is my child too small for boxing?

Unlike many other popular sports, in boxing athletes are not discouraged from participating simply because of their size. In fact, the sport is broken up into weight classes to guarantee that all boxers are given a fair and safe chance to compete. Your child may be too short for basketball, and too small for football, but there is always a place for them in boxing!

How can I help my child with Boxing?

How about you try it, too? Paragon offers a family discount and free trial classes for parents, so you can experience this great sport for yourself. Training in the same sport is also a great way for families to bond.

An equally important way to support your child's training, is to help them through the physical and mental challenges they will face in boxing. Boxing is a demanding activity that will give your child the benefit of dealing with physical, intellectual, and emotional adversity on a regular basis.

This will be a challenge for your child (trust me, it's a challenge for all of our students) but the rewards are worth the sacrifice. Through training in boxing , your child will learn to develop a sense of calm while undergoing intense physical exercise, as well as the ability to think clearly during moments of great stress. These are both essential life skills.

The rewards of boxing are great, and because of this, the challenges are even greater. At some point in their training, your child will likely struggle with their motivation. We encourage you to help your child through these difficult times, especially in the beginning of their training. Often, even our most reluctant students fall in love with boxing after they "get over the hump" and embrace the challenges of the sport.

Will my child get hurt?

We ensure that all participants in our boxing program wear necessary safety equipment, and your child will be closely monitored during training, but injuries are a part of any intense sport and should be expected during the course of your child's training and development. However, preventative care and maintaining a positive attitude will make all the difference in your child's recovery. If your child experiences an injury, make sure you get them medical attention from a healthcare provider as soon as possible and inform the coaches at Paragon. Even if your child is temporarily unable to participate, showing up to watch class and ask questions is a great way for them to continue learning.

My child wants to learn more. What can they do?

Boxing is a very complex sport, and extra instruction is a great help for our students. Please speak with an instructor about setting up a private lesson for your child. Our instructors offer a wide range of pricing options for private lessons.