NEURODIVERSE YOUTH JIU JITSU


Team Bel Air has a unique martial arts program designed for neurodiverse children and their families. Our goal is to create a safe, inclusive and positive environment where our students can learn martial arts while developing their fitness, focus, social skills and confidence.


APPLY TODAY

WHO IS IT FOR

While most of our students have a diagnosis (ie: ADHD, Autism Asperger’s, Anxiety, Sensory processing disorder, trauma, …), our program helps any child that may show or experienced a high degree of:


  • DISTRACTION
DISTRACTION

Child is easily distracted by the environment. Hyperactivity and compulsive actions also hinder focus.

  • WITHDRAWAL
WITHDRAWAL

Having no interest in a suggested activity or absolutely wanting to do something else.

  • DEFIANCE
DEFIANCE

Frequently argues, ignores requests and is stubborn. Can lead to hurtful words and challenging behavior.

  • EMOTION
EMOTION

Meltdowns or tantrums that can lead to aggressive behavior.

  • ANXIETY
ANXIETY

Feeling distress, nervousness or fear in everyday situations.

  • IMPULSIVITY
IMPULSIVITY

Inability to regulate emotions.

  • SENSORY
SENSORY

Hypersensitive or unresponsive to things in the environment. Normal sounds or a light touch can be overwhelming.

  • INCOORDINATION
INCOORDINATION

Difficulty with balance, core stability, coordination, flexibility and strength.


NEURODIVERSE YOUTH CLASSES

Students start their Jiu Jitsu journey with a 1-on-1 introduction class to assess if our program is a fit as well as their degree of interest. If the prerequisites are met, they can join a recommended class.



PRIVATE or SEMI-PRIVATE

1-on-1 session with an instructor helps the student to become familiar with Jiu Jitsu and get ready to join one of our group classes.



FUNDAMENTALS

Small group class up to 4 students with high support needs. 2:1 student to coach ratio.



INTERMEDIATE

Group class up to 6 students with moderate support needs. 3:1 student to coach ratio.



ADVANCED

Group Class up to 10 students with some additional support needs. 4:1 student to coach ratio.




WHY TEAM BEL AIR?



Attuned to neurodiverse kids

Our coaches are flexible and experienced about teaching neurodiverse students.
Our Approach


Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu is a unique platform to help children manage their emotion
Why Jiu-Jitsu?


Low student to coach ratio

Students receive the individual attention they need to learn and progress at their own pace.


Collaborative

We work with parents, schools and caregivers to ensure that our training is aligned with each child’s goals.


Parent Class

We offer classes for parents so they can play and learn with their kids at home.


App

Continue your martial arts training at home thanks to our own app.


Traditional Class

If desired, we facilitate the transition from our neurodiverse class to our traditional mainstream class or any other recommended Jiu-Jitsu schools.



HOW DO I APPLY?


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FILL OUT AN APPLICATION

Help us to better know your child, share suggestions to set your child for success and potential goals by filling out this form. We will get back to you within 3 days.


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BOOK A 1:1 ASSESSMENT

Once your application is reviewed, you will be invited to book your child’s 1-on-1 here. During this 40 min session, coach Alex will work with your child on 1-on-1 and assess if our program is a fit.


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JOIN TEAM BEL AIR

Once you join Team Bel Air, your child may move between classes based on their needs and if desired, may work towards transitioning into our traditional mainstream Jiu Jitsu class.


WHAT PARENTS ARE SAYING



“Using the martial arts as tools, kids are being taught discipline, respect, dedication and love. The instructors are great. They never give up. They teach patience, dedication and endurance by living them. I am very fortunate to have known Alex Truong who have been training my son beyond his call of duty.” – Lea



“I recommend Bel Air Learning Center – Jiu-Jitsu for so many reasons! Alex Truong is a great instructor and I admire his patience and ability to teach special needs children. My son has learned so much since he joined. Jiu-Jitsu classes have helped him during his Physical Therapy sessions. He’s now able to accomplish more tasks and keep his stamina up. Also, a big thank you to Eduardo for always keeping him moving and helping him finish what he started.” – Elizabeth



“My son has been practicing jiu jitsu for a couple of months now and I am truly impressed of his progress. For those parents with special needs kids I would truly recommend this place it is beyond awesome and the staff and their dedication it’s impressive.” – Argelia



“If your child has special needs, and you are interested in finding an extracurricular activity that will be beneficial AND be able to accommodate his/her needs, look no further. I feel so fortunate that a place like Bel-Air Learning Center exists. My older son has been taking classes there for the past few months, and he is engaged, happy, and learning at a pace that works for him. Alex, the owner and lead instructor, really takes the time to get to know your child. He is a nurturing, flexible yet firm instructor. I highly recommend Bel Air Learning Center, and feel that Alex and his staff are dedicated and well trained.” – Rochelle



“One of the best things that could have happened to my 5 year old. He loves jiujitsu. And Alex is brilliant and exceptionally patient with him. Go BJJ!!!!!” – Shanthi



“We couldn’t be happier with our experience at Bel Air Jiu-Jitsu. My 9 year old has always had a very difficult time participating in group classes and sports. Alex and his coaches do a wonderful job of offering structure, high expectations and the support needed to meet them. My 12 year old daughter also took classes at Bel Air and fell in love with the sport. I am so thankful for how her interest has been nurtured and the opportunities Alex has introduced us to beyond the walls of Bel Air. I would give a hundred stars if I could.” – Sarah



“My boys were fortunate enough to start their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey with Alex Truong as one of their instructors. They quickly responded to Alex. They continue to love and be passionate about the art, because of such a positive start to their BJJ journey.

His teachings go beyond the mat. Kids can apply what they learned outside of the gym; both physically and mentally. He provides a safe environment, knowledge, and fun experience for kids. His genuine approach to teaching shines through his classes. He will mold your child into a talented martial artist and an outstanding person in the real world.” – Arvin



“Belair has been such a positive impact to my son. To find a facility that caters and is patient for kids that have different ways of learning has made us feel inclusive to the sports community.” – Caroline



“Our Autistic 12 year old son started jiu jitsu at Bel Air in 2019. Alex and all of the other instructors were phenomenal with him, with their kind, quiet, thoughtful and measured approach to teaching. Though our son said he wasn’t “into it” at first, we encouraged him to keep at it. Over time, with the incredible support of Alex and the whole Bel Air team, he gradually became more engaged, able to spar (with enthusiasm!), earning his first belt within about 3-4 months. We can’t say enough about Bel Air, especially for kids with learning differences, ADHD, Autism, etc. – they are simply amazing!” – Cara



“The Bel Air Program has been really fantastic. My son has been doing a weekly class for about 2 months and is really enjoying it. Alex and the other instructors are extremely patient and caring. They really tailor the instruction and the program with the utmost attention to the unique personalities and needs of the students. Highly recommended.” – Tim



“We could not be happier with the environment and instruction that our children receive. Alex and Eduardo provide individual attention to each student in a small classes allowing for both behavioral and specific skill development. The environment is kind and nurturing while also holding each student accountable for their actions. Each instructor is competently able to manage each child and their behavior without needing parental assistance. Their caring attitude is supported with specific expectations that are reviewed with each student throughout the progress of class with both verbal and visual cues. We have seen the growth in not only our children, but other students as well. We cannot say enough good things about their program, instruction and professors.” – Martin



“We’re very pleased with all that Bel Air Learning Center has provided for our son. He has been practicing jiu-jitsu there for over a year. Alex and his team are amazing and very dedicated. Alex takes the time to learn about the needs of each child so that he’s better able to work with them. He’s very calm and firm at the same time which is wonderful for keeping our guy engaged. We’ve definitely seen an increase in self-confidence and focus since we started at Bel Air Learning Center.” – Rita



“Another year has passed and I am looking back to all the blessings and good things that happened in 2018. One of them is having Bel Air Learning Center. Alex came up with mentorship program for kids like mine. It allows students who have been training with Alex to assist by having one on one session with kids new to the program. It builds confidence, responsibility, empathy and social skills” – Lea



“We’re really happily surprised at how well our 5 year old with attention and sensory challenges is responding to this program. Coach Alex and his team are patient, thoughtful and engaged with the kids they work with. The communication with parents is great and it really feels like they are invested in these kids. Our son is learning team work, perseverance, patience and confidence in a way we haven’t seen before. Highly recommend Bel-Air” – Kristyn



TEAM BEL AIR HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY



READ THEIR TESTIMONIALS

FAQ

  • What preventative measures are we taking against COVID for indoor classes?
  • Is my child ready to join?
  • Is my child old enough?
  • Does my child need a diagnosis to join your class?
  • Can I watch the class?
  • What’s the difference between Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advance classes?
  • What does my child need to wear?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How do belt promotions work?
What preventative measures are we taking against COVID for indoor classes?

All coaches are fully vaccinated.

Guidelines

  • Mask is still required for all coaches and students during our indoor classes.
  • Students need to wash or sanitize their hands once they enter the gym.
  • We recommend having a single parent waiting indoor.
  • Starting Jan 3rd 2022, the city of Chicago requires all students (age 5 and above) and parents waiting in the gym to be fully vaccinated. Details here.

Our COVID-19 policies and procedures

Is my child ready to join?

Students must have the cognitive and physical ability to participate by being able to remain calm and regulated enough to follow simple 3-5 step commands. For example, students should be able to remain on the mat on their own and play the game Simon says.

During the 1-on-1 Assessment your child will be given some time to get familiar with the gym if necessary. As the session progresses your child should already be able to interact with the coach. Student must have the skills to do the following with minimal prompting from our coaches:

  • Behave safely
  • Remain on the mat
  • Come over when asked
  • Sit and listen without disturbing peers
  • Perform 3-5 steps instructions
  • Interact verbally with coaches
  • Be comfortable enough to partner with peers

At the end of the 1-on-1 Assessment, our coach will share with you her/his observations, let you know if our program is fit to help your child and which class she/he recommends (Private, Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advanced.)

Is my child old enough?

Most students are between 6 and 15 years-old. Contact us for more information for teenagers and young adults.

Does my child need a diagnosis to join your class?

No. Even if most of our students have a diagnosis (ie: ADHD, autism (level 1)/Asperger’s, ODD, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, motor planning disorder, …), some others don’t. If your child is not ready to join a typical martial arts school but meet the pre-requisites evaluated during the 1-on-1 assessment, our program is a fit for you.

Can I watch the class?

Of course, you are more than welcome to observe. We will simply ask you to not react or call out your child. The mat should be perceived as a safe space for him/her to act naturally without fear of being criticized or seeking your attention. This environment helps us to evaluate more effectively the child’s progress. There might be a time where we will ask you to sit a little further but we will definitively come to you if needed. On the other hand, please do not hesitate to share any tips, observations, comments or feedback outside of the class with us.

What’s the difference between Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advance classes?

We have 3 group class levels (Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advanced) to match as much as possible each student’s profile. The differences are based on the class duration, size, coach-to-student ratio, class pace, coach flexibility, support required and Jiu-Jitsu curriculum.

What does my child need to wear?

During the first classes, your child simply needs to wear clean gym pants and a t-shirt that are not too loose.

Once you have decided to have your child train at Bel Air, we recommend purchasing our partner’s gym gi uniform ($100), the standard Jiu-Jitsu uniform composed of a heavy cotton jacket and reinforced trousers. The reasons to wear a gi are hygiene, team spirit and also functional (many techniques rely on the gi and it also slows down movements which facilitates learning.)

Since the gi uniform isn’t quite a sensory friendly clothing, we recommend students with sensory to wear compression clothing under their uniform.

How much does it cost?

We offer monthly membership. The cost decreases based on the class level (ie: Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advanced).

Note: We are not eligible for insurance reimbursement.

How do belt promotions work?

There are 5 belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for adults: White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black. Children under 16 receive Gray, Yellow, Orange and Green belts which are intermediate belts between White and Blue.

White stripes on belt is a way to measure progress between belts. Once a student receives 4 stripes on his/her belt, he/she is closed to be promoted to the next color belt.

Stripe and belt promotion are awarded for training time, Jiu-Jitsu knowledge and skills developed, and most important how students carry themselves on and outside of the mat (ie: behavior, attitude).