When Nova Uniao was formed in 1995, the new team was known for its junior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teams. Marcelo Pereira started his career in BJJ as a kid, starting when he was seven years old.
Therefore, teaching kids and juniors is a Nova Uniao tradition; a tradition that Marcelo Pereira is happy to continue in Naples, Florida.
Teaching kids comes with a great responsibility, because kids are like a blank slate and very influenced by their mentors. Parents have always seemed to find value in having their kids learn the martial arts.
This is because many martial arts teach kids important values such as discipline and respect. This is also true in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
At Team Marcelo Pereira, we believe that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very beneficial martial art for kids. We believe that our junior students should be challenged in a way that develops their character in positive ways. For example, as we expect with our adult students, our junior students have to earn belt promotions through testing.
Nothing is given away. We do not lower standards unneccesarily, or advance everyone. Our goal is that students rise to the occasion, and learn that through hard work and committment, there are rewards. This we believe will serve them well in life.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is hard. It is a complex martial art. Most techniques take hundreds or thousands of repetitions to master. Progress can seem slow.
Under these circumstances, kids (and adults) can get discouraged. They may want to quit. Coach Marcelo and his assistant instructors attempt to encourage kids to keep trying. Our philosophy is not to coddle junior students, but to find ways to keep them going; to keep them trying. This is not always easy, and sometimes it requires assistance from parents, but in the end it teaches kids resilience and commitment. Also qualities that will help them in the real world.
It is not uncommon for kids to develop at different paces. Natural abilities, maturity level, and differences in how much time a young student spends on the mat can influence how quickly a student develops.
When it is time for belt promotions, students are tested. They are expected to display competancy in their skills. Marcelo will ask them to reproduce techniques that have been shown in class. While we never advance a student who is not prepared for the next level, we are happy to reward a student who deserves a belt promotion.
We feel that recognizing hard work and the results that come from it encourages students to reach for more. It is a wonderful thing to see a young student progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and it is incredibly rewarding for them. It is a great thing to see the pride overflowing from a junior student when he or she is promoted, and they have the chance to advance to another belt level.
Although it is not mandatory, if kids and their parents desire, they can compete with the team. Competitions take place on average every two or three months during the year.
Competition is also very challenging, on both a physical and psychological level. Particularly the first time they compete, kids can get very nervous. But by overcoming their fear and competing with other kids they can develop a great deal of confidence. Even if they do not win, competing can bring out the best in a young student's character.
Life itself can be viewed as a competition. The earlier kids are taught to overcome their fears and put their skills to the test, the better, we believe, they can navigate through challenges later in life, as adults.
If you have any questions about our kids program, please contact us using the form below, or contact Marcelo Pereira directly at (239)245-2170.