Cuki: BJJ teaches children life skills


Trench Tech Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioners conduct a BJJ lesson for children last week at the Trench Tech Gym in Garapan. (Contributed Photo)

Trench Tech’s new offering—the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu classes exclusively for children—aims to help participants build major life skills in a fun and enjoyable setting.

“Children will develop discipline, respect, honor, leadership and self-confidence, and make lifelong friends. Our program ensures that your child is trained to be ‘bully-proof’ and ready to face life’s challenges,” said BJJ professor Cuki Alvarez, who leads the classes for children in the 5 to 12 age group.

Alvarez and company conducted the class’ first session last Thursday and they were happy and overwhelmed with the turnout. Around 30 children signed up for Trench Tech’s BJJ classes.

“It was a bit overwhelming at first because of the sheer numbers of parents and kids flocking in at one time, but for the most part my team and I did a great job of signing them in and sizing them up with Gis and settling them all on the mats,” the Trench Tech co-founder said.

Alvarez said the biggest change made to having a BJJ class to children was the need to alter his usual teaching strategies and cater a lot more towards the “entry level and child based” movements and drills.

“We turned drills more into like ‘games,’ which made it fun, but also had a technical purpose to it as well. For example, we taught the children a few movements and named them after animals, like the bear walk, the crab walk, the gorilla, and the shrimp, which made it enjoyable for them. Kids at this age need to learn how to move efficiently and effectively on the ground and these are some ways we can show them how,” the black belt BJJ practitioner said.

Trench Tech’s children’s BJJ classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and now a part of the gym’s regular schedule. Currently, all children age 5 to 12 are taught together, but Alvarez hopes to build the program and eventually separate them by ages; 4-7, 8-12, and 13-15.

BJJ is a grappling-based martial art with an ultimate goal of bringing your opponent to the ground, control them by proper positioning, and finish with a submission.

Trench Tech Brazilian Jiu-jitsu instructors pose with their students after a session last week at the Trench Tech Gym in Garapan. (Contributed Photo)

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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