The benefits of teaching it at a young age go far beyond building muscle and increasing flexibility, balance and dexterity. Jiujitsu teaches discipline, promotes self-defense and anti-bullying, provides an outlet for energy and stress, and helps develop focus and leadership skills.
Those changes happen every day at Camarillo Jiu-Jitsu.
Shy kids become vocal leaders on and off the mat and those with attitude problems learn discipline and respect.
“It’s awesome to see,” owner Daniel Camarillo said.
Camarillo Jiu-Jitsu offers toddler classes, taught by Daniels’ wife, Lovey, for 3- to 5-year-olds that teach the basics, like tumbles, balance and rolls, establishing a solid foundation and skill set that students build on as they progress in a fun and friendly environment. Youth classes are also available for 6- to 12-year-olds with those 13 and older graduating to the adult classes.
“I think jiujitsu is one of the fastest-learned martial arts that you can take,” Daniel said. “But the main thing I see is people get discouraged. You got to stick with it; you got to learn it.”
Committing takes discipline, which is one of the core values Camarillo Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes. Respecting the art is another.
Instructors and students alike bow before stepping on the mat and bow before exiting. And while having fun is strongly encouraged, horseplay is not with pushups assigned to those who don’t listen.
“I really take pride in what I teach so I know that they’re learning it correctly,” Daniel said. “We go to tournaments a lot representing what I teach them and what our school teaches. It’s very important for them to learn it correctly. I like to see them have fun and enjoy it so we try to do a lot of things for kids.”
Students and adults train Monday through Friday, with open mats (no instruction) offered every Saturday. A free women’s class is also available every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for women of all experience levels interested in joining. Morning adult “zombie” classes held from 6 to 7 a.m. and noon classes from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. are offered during the week in addition to night classes.
Free one-week trials are offered to anyone interested in joining.
The training can be grueling but committing to the program teaches students a lot about themselves, revealing characteristics they may not know existed.
“This is just like everything else,” Daniel said. “You can’t go learn it overnight. It takes time, but the reward from sticking with this is irreplaceable.”