What is Kid-Jitsu®?
1. What is your background in the martial arts?
Professor Shealy: "I didn't really get a start in the martial arts until later in life. I was a football and baseball player growing up. I also Played Rugby at FSU for two years, but didn't get into the martial arts until my early 30's.
My initial exposure in the martial arts was in Taekwondo. I was in the ATA under Master Bill Clark in Jacksonville, FL. It was through Master Clark that I was introduced to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. (Aka Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). Through Master Clark, I met and trained in some seminars with the legend himself: Master Rickson Gracie. This was in the 1993-94 timeframe. I fell in love with BJJ!
Shortly after these seminars, I began making frequent trips to Torrence, CA to train at The Gracie Academy. It was here that I met and trained with Rorion and Royce Gracie.
Here we are now, 20+ years later and I'm a 2nd Degree Black Belt under Master Rigan Machado, and also a Regional Director in the Rigan Machado BJJ Association.
I am a 3rd Degree Black Belt in "Combatives" through Team Combat USA/Rigan Machado. I've had a full time school, teaching BJJ and Kid-Jitsu®, BJJ for Kids, for over 10 years now.
It's funny, I was able to take a hobby and make it my life." Several years ago Gracie Magazine did an article about me, and it was titled: "The MBA in Flip Flops!" Pretty much summed up my life moving from the corporate world to the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.
2. Someone told us that you are an Author, what have you written?
Professor Shealy: "Hah, that's funny. I've never thought of myself as an author!
But, yes, I did write a few books that have been on Amazon for several years. They are actually my first Instructor Manuals for Kid-Jitsu®.
They are Volumes 1 and 2: Kid-Jitsu®, Teaching Children the Art of BJJ. They are dated now, but the same principles I shared in those early volumes, still hold true today."
3. What exactly is Kid-Jitsu®?
Professor Shealy: Kid-Jitsu® is a "teach the teacher" how to teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to children.
It's a "see it-do it-teach it" model that equips just about anyone, provided that they put in the mat work and follow my instruction...to be able to safely and effectively pass on the fundamentals of BJJ to children ages 4-15.
Kid-Jitsu® is ideal for traditional martial arts instructors and school owners as an "add on" to their current curriculum.
It will provide them a sound approach to adding a ground game, for kids, to their current system.
Let me be very frank. You are not competing with BJJ schools. You’re not going to be belted in BJJ (though many will opt for this and I highly recommend it). You will not be the next BJJ phenomenon on the world stage.
However, if you follow the system, and "paint by the numbers", so to speak....you will over time be able to develop a safe, sound Kids BJJ program for your children within your current school program."
4. Why did you develop Kid-Jitsu®?
Professor Shealy: "That is a great question. As I mentioned earlier, I literally fell in love with BJJ. But with a late start in BJJ, a full time career in the medical device industry and a host of other reasons, I knew that I would never be able to be influential in the sport "from the top down".
The Gracie's and the Machado's and other high level guys wrote the freaking book on BJJ. I was just one of many fortunate ones who "read the book", and took the book seriously. These guys are legends and were affecting the sport from the top down. The adult market was booming, and continues to do so under the guidance of these guys and their lineage.
As I didn't get started in BJJ until I was 37 years old, I thought "wow, I wish this had been available to me when I was young". It was then, in 2005-2006, I began putting together a solid fundamentals curriculum, a character development program, testing criteria, grading criteria templates, etc.....to teach kids BJJ. I also thought, where are the kids?
Well, of course the kids are in Karate or TKD. My goal has always been to implement BJJ into the traditional schools. Putting Kid-Jitsu® online through Kid-Jitsu® University will allow us to reach thousands of people that we would never have been able to connect with.
To finish answering your question: I created Kid-Jitsu® to introduce BJJ to as many children as humanly possible, as I believe it's a fantastic self-defense style for kids.....no matter how big or fast or strong or athletic that they are. If they learn what we teach, in time, they will be well on their way to being able to defend themselves."
The fact that I've partnered with motivational speaker and author, Almon Gunter in our Character Development Program.....we are preparing kids, through the traditional martial schools on many levels: physical fitness, mental fitness, nutrition, character and one of the world’s greatest self-defense system for the "average" person.
Almon and I care about the kids, and want to reach as many as possible, and that's why the traditional martial arts market is such a good fit for our system to plug in to.
5. What kind of school or instructor is the best fit for Kid-Jitsu®?
"As I mentioned, I see this as a perfect fit within the Traditional martial arts channels. Again, as a "teach the teacher" model, it fits perfectly as an add-on to their current school curriculum."
6. BJJ seems to be so complicated, how does something like Kid-Jitsu® really work?
Professor Shealy: BJJ can be extremely complicated if you don't have direction. When you plan a trip by car, let's say from Florida to California, you will need a map or a GPS, right? Why is that?
Of course it's to know where you are going.
Kid-Jitsu® provides that roadmap for you, the instructor, to "see it-do it-teach it". The curriculum is really a "plug and play" system, that's easy to follow with video and PDF bullet points as "memory joggers" for the various philosophies, and techniques and how we present them to the kids.
We have taken a very complex art, broke it down and segmented it for easy learning. Everything you will need to have to be successful in adding BJJ for your kids classes is available now, online, with Kid-Jitsu® University.
7. How many schools have taught or are teaching Kid-Jitsu?
Professor Shealy: since the inception of Kid-Jitsu, we have indirectly introduced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to an estimated over 50,000 children. Over 200 schools have been certified to teach Kid-Jitsu®.
8. What is your goal with Kid-Jitsu®?
Professor Shealy: Simple: reach as many kids as possible with Kid-Jitsu® and our CORE Character Development program.....while helping Traditional Martial Arts schools improve their business model with a safe and effective ground curriculum.
9. Where do you see Kid-Jitsu® in the future?
Professor Shealy: "Where do I see Kid-Jitsu®? I see it as an "add on" piece that fills a void for the Lions Share of school owners who don't currently have a ground game in place.
I say this because the "add-on" is so simple to implement. There is mat work involved, big time, but it is laid out in a manner that is simple to explain, simple to implement.
I see Kid-Jitsu® positively effecting thousands of traditional martial arts schools and hundreds of thousands of children, in the US and around the world!"
Come be a part of the #iWannaLearnKidsBJJ movement!
Professor Larry Shealy, BS,MBA
2nd Degree BJJ Black Belt Instructor
Rigan Machado Association-Regional Director