The Gracie Kids

Recently Jordan, a former student of mine drew me a picture, I liked it so much that I made it my profile picture on Facebook. Soon after, Professor Regis asked me who drew it. Out of habit I said one of my students did, then had to clarify that it was one of my old/former students. He asked if I used to teach Jiu-Jitsu. I responded with, “yeah I used to help teach kids and a small women’s class.” His face lit up and he said, “you would be perfect.”

Perfect for what? He went on to tell me that he was looking for someone to help out with the kids program. He thought that I would fit well because I was focused and technical. After getting together and talking about it further he told me that I would come in once a week and just help out for like six months as training. Learning the dos and don’ts of how he wants things done. After giving it some thought I decided that I would do it.

GracieKids4Monday ended up being my first day helping. I walked in about ten minutes early to a loud group of kids hitting each other with foam rollers and running around as if they were high on sugar.

I put my Gi top on and tied my belt and decided to sit on the edge of the mat and do some recon. I imagine me being there looked a bit strange considering it was at the start of the Junior’s class and not at the end of it like usual. Since my first day training here I’ve always come in early and caught the last ten or so minutes of the class instead of catching up with friends on the other mat. Seeing how the kid’s class was run was just far more interesting to me, no offense to my friends.

GracieKids2Watching these kids beating themselves with foam rollers brought two things immediately to mind. One, this might just be one of the longest hour I’ll spend this week. Two, this should be fun.. I hope.

Over twenty kids took part in this class, ranging in height and age. Some focused better than others but it was a great experience watching Regis maintain control of a class this big. As funny as it is, it’s like herding cats in some ways in many ways. Just as you get control of most of them a few run off in another direction looking to do their own thing.

I walked around, corrected issues, and complimented when needed. I even sparred with a shy little girl for a round. She was surprisingly good. I gave her very little verbal coaching, instead I resisted according to how she was attacking. She had a very specific game plan with very little hesitation in what she wanted.

Once we were in side control she went to mount and immediately to Americana. Tap. After slapping hands she did it all over again, another tap. On our third I hid my right arm which forced her to attack my left instead. The arm bar she went or wasn’t as smooth but it was nice seeing that she’s been paying attention in class.

She was awesome!

I loved the class and can’t wait to come back next week. This is going to be very beneficial as a student and as an instructor.

David

Purple Belt Jiu-Jitsu practitioner

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