Ethan and Antonio came to Kingdom Jiu-Jitsu’s Kids Bully Defense class with issues that were similar and unique.
Ethan developed anxiety and even a stutter dealing with his dad’s military deployments, losing his home to an extreme Texas winter storm, and his mom battling COVID while pregnant.
He was also lacking a lot of confidence. “If somebody was to push him or scream at him or be mean to him, he would close up and maybe cry,” his mom Erika says.
Erika was looking for something to help build Ethan’s confidence, but was apprehensive about trying another kids martial arts class after a bad experience with a previous school.
“He didn’t make it past the warmup and started crying,” she said of that first experience. “I felt like the coaches were treating the kids like adults. He said, ‘I don't want to be a part of this team.’”
Kids Jiu-Jitsu Experience
The initial experience with Kingdom Jiu-Jitsu was a refreshing opposite. The kids jiu-jitsu program starts with a Bully Defense class focused on confidence-building, verbal defense and jiu-jitsu fundamentals in a fun, family atmosphere.
“As soon as we got there, Coach Cristina was just so welcoming.”
“As soon as we got there, Coach Cristina was just so welcoming,” she says. “That big smile, and they gave him a uniform. The coaches were amazing. And then he invited Antonio to join.”
Antonio played sports but had dealt with anger issues. Erika, who is currently his caretaker, says he had trouble verbalizing his emotions. “He needed an outlet. Jiu-jitsu is a healthy way for him to just let it out in the right way.”
The “verbal jiu-jitsu” aspect of Kingdom’s Kids Bully Defense curriculum teaches kids how to use their words to defend themselves, giving verbal commands to de-escalate and avoid a potential fight.
“He has used that a couple of times in school when kids are being mean,” Erika says. “Somebody was making fun of his last name. He said, ‘I looked them in the eyes and I said STOP IT, and they stopped.’”
Ethan volunteered at school to read a book in front of his class, even while dealing with his stutter.
Kids Bully Defense Coaches
“They wouldn’t be where they at right now if they hadn't gone through a whole year of jiu-jitsu. They always look forward to it.”
Ethan and Antonio are now in the full kids jiu-jitsu class, learning more techniques, making friends and fortifying their confidence.
"They always look forward to it.”
Erika says the best part about being part of the Kingdom Jiu-Jitsu family is the coaches. “They are all on the same page. You can tell they have something really nice going on in the background, respect. They care for the kids, and they transmit that to each other.”