“A real martial artist has respect for others; with parents, friends, and family. He has discipline in his life. Not just in the gym. Also in the real world. He has a respect for his health and physical fitness. He lives a good clean life, and avoids things like alcohol, drugs, and smoking. This is how we can mold our young students.”
-Coach Marcelo Pereira
Mentoring Kids Through the Martial Arts
As Usual, It’s About History-
When Nova Uniao was formed in 1995, the new team was known for its junior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teams. Marcelo Pereira started his career in BJJ as a kid, starting when he was seven years old.
Junior student Marcelo Pereira (second from left) after a belt promotio
Therefore, teaching kids and juniors is a Nova Uniao tradition; a tradition that Marcelo Pereira is happy to continue in Naples, Florida.
Teaching kids comes with a great responsibility, because kids are like a blank slate and very influenced by their mentors. Parents have always seemed to find value in having their kids learn the martial arts.
This is because many martial arts teach kids important values such as discipline and respect. This is also true in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Everything is Earned-
At Team Marcelo Pereira, we believe that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very beneficial martial art for kids. We believe that our junior students should be challenged in a way that develops their character in positive ways. For example, as we expect with our adult students, our junior students have to earn belt promotions through testing.
Progress is Rewarded-
It is not uncommon for kids to develop at different paces. Natural abilities, maturity level, and differences in how much time a young student spends on the mat can influence how quickly a student develops.
When it is time for belt promotions, students are tested. They are expected to display competancy in their skills. Marcelo will ask them to reproduce techniques that have been shown in class. While we never advance a student who is not prepared for the next level, we are happy to reward a student who deserves a belt promotion.
We feel that recognizing hard work and the results that come from it encourages students to reach for more. It is a wonderful thing to see a young student progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and it is incredibly rewarding for them. It is a great thing to see the pride overflowing from a junior student when he or she is promoted, and they have the chance to advance to another belt level.
Building Character Though Competition-
Although it is not mandatory, if kids and their parents desire, they can compete with the team. Competitions take place on average every two or three months during the year.
Competition is also very challenging, on both a physical and psychological level. Particularly the first time they compete, kids can get very nervous. But by overcoming their fear and competing with other kids they can develop a great deal of confidence. Even if they do not win, competing can bring out the best in a young student’s character.
If you have any questions about our kids program, please contact us using the form below, or contact Marcelo Pereira directly at (239)245-2170.