Calvert MMA Academy in Sunderland, MD offers an excellent Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program. The class meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7PM and Saturday mornings at 10AM. Families choose the times that fit their schedules and attend when they can.
Since August 2013 my three girls have attended the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program at the Calvert MMA Academy. This is the girls’ first experience with any martial art, and it is impacting them positively in many ways. One of my daughters is shy and reserved, and the program has given her confidence in her abilities. Another is a very gentle soul, never wanting to engage in a confrontation, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu allows her an opportunity to remove herself from unwanted situations. My oldest is learning to navigate middle school confidently, assured that she can protect herself if necessary.
There are many benefits for the girls in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program. While we, like any other parents, had concerns about grappling with boys, we don’t worry about it anymore. The atmosphere at Calvert MMA Academy is professional and instructors hold children to high behavioral standards, which sets aside any fears we had about uncomfortable situations. The program increases girls’ confidence, self-awareness, and fitness level. The instructors make the program successful for female students, allowing them opportunities to advance and excel.
Increased Physical Fitness Level
The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program focuses on improving students’ physical fitness level, which is something I can get behind as a mom of girls. While the girls enjoy many activities, they also need the exercise that Calvert MMA Academy provides during class. Each class begins with a warm-up time of approximately 15 minutes. Students participate in a variety of exercises that limber them up for the Jiu-Jitsu they will practice in class. Some of the exercises, like push-ups, challenge the girls, but I have found that girls and women who do push-ups have stronger arms, shoulders, and abs than others. Other warm- up exercises include, jogging, jumping jacks, and stretching.
Calvert MMA Academy is passionate about teaching the students in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program various self-defense techniques. Mothers will appreciate the time the instructors take to ensure that their children know how to escape from many different holds and situations. Even game time allows the girls to practice the techniques they learn, and any time they struggle with a move an instructor gives one-on-one instruction until they master it.
The girls have used some of these techniques with kids at school, which makes them feel confident that they can protect themselves when necessary. The girls practice their escapes with their Dad often, which makes them feel strong, especially since he is 6’5″! They also know that when someone tries to take them somewhere they don’t want to go, they can escape. One of my daughters used an escape when a friend tried to drag her across the playground. Without causing any injury to her friend, my daughter made her point clearly and maintained control of the situations.
One of the biggest draws to the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program for my husband and I is the instruction our girls receive. The men who lead the classes know how to work with boys and girls alike, which is a special gift. Instructors teach in a way that kids understand, and they focus on making learning fun. The instructors also practice Gracie Jiu-Jitsu regularly themselves, and it shows in their comfort with the techniques and moves they share with the kids.
Guest instructors also make regular appearances at the Calvert MMA Academy. My girls have met Grand Master Relson Gracie, and his training is always beneficial to them. Even though Relson holds the rank of 9th Degree Red Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, he still chooses to give his time to the students in his academies throughout the United States, and the students at Calvert MMA Academy get to work with him at least three or more times a year.
The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program at the Calvert MMA Academy benefits my girls in many ways. They have opportunities to improve their physical fitness and their confidence. I know if they continue to study and work at it, they will go far with the excellent instruction and mentorship at Calvert MMA Academy.