My sons first wrestling camp
So, I've been wondering for awhile when it would be the right time to start my son in a martial art. He's in Kindergarten, and (as many boys are) a little hard to keep focused. Wrestling when I was in school was a great experience for me, so when I received a flyer last week for a month and a half evening wrestling camp for kids K-6 at the local high school I decided we would try it out (I made sure there would be some other kids my sons age attending). For any other parents who are curious I thought I would post about it here...
I found out about the camp a little late, so we missed the first session...last night was our first time. The session was taught by the head coach and an assistant, and several of the high school team members were there to help out. I have to say I was pretty impressed!
They started with some laps to warm up, then some stretching (always a good habit to get into). In the first class they had evidently introduced the basic stance, the base, the shot (through to a tackle), sprawl, getting up from your base (with a partner on your back), an escape to sprawl from that position, and several drills. Personally I thought that was a LOT of content for little ones, but they seemed to be picking it up pretty well. There were obviously some kids who had been to camps before (or whose parent had been teaching them real technique), while others seemed to be doing it for the first time (like my son...we had 'play wrestled', but nothing serious). They reviewed all of these elements in the session we attended.
The coaches did a great job breaking everything down and working with about 16 kids from a pretty broad age range. When the kids broke into pairs to practice there was a coach or a team wrestler right there to help. My son was probably the youngest and smallest kid there, but he had a partner about his size and by the end of the night was really showing some progress.
The only "incidents" were the first time he was 'tackled' (the other kid had a pretty impressive shot and drive that picked him completely off the ground and ended with a shoulder buried in his stomach), and a game at the end where the two biggest kids accidentally fell right onto him. Both times he was shook up with the wind knocked out of him and tearfully indicated that he was outta there! Both times i calmed him down, made sure he wasn't injured, then a coach and/or a team wrestler came and talked to him and let him practice on them so he got his confidence back...handled pretty well all in all.
The camp meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-6:15, so I'll give an update after the class tomorrow night. Hopefully this will be helpful for anyone else who is having the same debate for their child.
Second session last night. Went well, overall. More time drilling the same basics as the last class, and introduced the half Nelson. Actually, I'm not sure if I'm crazy about introducing kindergartners to a move that pressures the neck like that...at least not in the first few classes. The kids are still horsing around, and I could see one trying that on a classmate at school and someone getting hurt. For now I'll go with the experience of the coaches and work with my son at home on how to be responsible with what he's learning...
Little to worry about with the half Nelson. Full's another matter.
To be a kid again, soaking up life's experiences as though a sponge.
Yeah it's fun to watch!
Originally Posted by hungryjoe
Couple more sessions down and things are still going well. I have to give the coaches credit...trying to keep that many little ones on task is like herding cats!
They keep working on the basics, with some additional steps added in each class. They also have a number of 'games' that the kids like that are really reinforcing main concepts (e.g., balance, strong base, etc.). So far I've been very happy with how it's going!
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