Why Do Some Parents Push Their Kids So Hard In Bjj?

We all know those kids that have “soccer parents”. These are the parents who are constantly screaming at their children’s sporting events as if they are children having a temper tantrum. As a kid I played my fair share of sports growing up, I played football, baseball and basketball in middle school and played lacrosse in high school. My parents usually couldn’t make it to my games because of work but when they did come to watch me, they were usually quiet and calm, which I was very thankful for. I always felt bad for the kids whose parents would be screaming at them as if they were their coach. I used to think this only took place in traditional team sports and never in martial arts. I could not have been more wrong. I did Hawaiian Kenpo as a kid at my uncle’s school and I never really noticed any obnoxious parents there. Maybe it was because I was a kid, who knows. I got involved with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu almost 3 years ago and the more I pay attention to it the more crazy parents I notice, and not just at tournaments. I have seen more parents than I can count trying to coach their kids during the class at the BJJ school I work at. Most of these parents have never put a gi on in their entire lives. Even for the ones that do train, it is not their place to be coaching their kids from off the mats, that is the job of the instructors. If you want to teach your child so badly, put on a gi and help out with the class. It is very disrespectful and it undermines what the instructors are trying to do, their jobs.

crying bjj

My biggest issue with some parents who push their kids in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that they forget the original reason they singed up their child, to have fun! Kids don’t train to be world champions and get sponsors, they train to have fun, get in shape, become more confident and learn the defend themselves. I have seen too many children being pushed too hard to succeed in BJJ at a young age. If a child wants to be a competitor and a world champion, that’s great! His/Her parents should help him/her achieve that but not force it down on them. Kids are only kids once, why should parents make their childhood a living boot camp because they want to live vicariously through their child. If parents think that tournaments and gold medals are everything, maybe they should be the ones training everyday and taking privates. If a child is constantly looking over at one of his parents during a class hoping he doesn’t disappoint him and start getting yelled at him, you know that there is a problem and it is not the child’s fault. Children should be excited when they go to their BJJ classes, not worried about pleasing their parents.

These are all my own personal opinions from what I have seen and experienced. I know that some parents will not agree with me and that’s okay. I want to hear from all of you as well, why do you think parents push their kids so hard in BJJ?


  1. I am glad you remember that me or your Mom never screamed at you while watching you at games and you are correct the reason was to let you have fun and enjoy the sport….Baba

  2. I absolutely agree! I don't push them if they don't want to go either. They should want to do it as well. Parents push their kids because they often times feel frustrated that they couldn't please their parents in some ways. They feel like they should expect it from their children. Kids shouldn't be demanded to be perfect, because none of us are.

  3. Hi Shariq,

    I’m not sure where you found my son’s picture, and who may have granted permission, but I would appreciate you taking it down. My son has been practicing BJJ for five years and has been fortunate enough to have great instructors from the very beginning. I am the quiet parent in the background who trusts the coaches to guide him as needed, so you can understand why it’s quite uncomfortable for me to see this picture associated with something so negative. Thanks in advance for taking it down.

  4. I find it rude, irresponsible and exploitive to use pictures of children without their permission to represent your opinion. Please take these pictures down and respect these parents request. Thank you in advance.

  5. I find it rude, irresponsible and exploitive to use pictures of children without their permission to represent your opinion. Please take these pictures down and respect these parents request. Thank you.

  6. clearly, I’m late to the party here. While reading the article I was amazed that you would post that embarrassing photo for your article. Upon further reading, I cannot believe you have ignored his parents request to remove it for close to a year.

    What’s wrong with you?


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