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  1. #11
    My dog is cuter and smarter than yours. Join us... or die
    BKR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Hmm what is this "Superman". I don't think I know that one.

    Name dropping techniques of superheroes...this is what I am going for. That's right up his alley.

    I checked around YT for the "Superman" but all I find are guard pass techniques and Kai Woods videos.

    Is it just a slide on the floor with fists forward?
    You don't know what what a "superman" is...

    Just play with your kids, lots of different physical acitivities that involve all sorts of coordination they can do having fun. Playing catch, kicking soccer balls, jumping rope, baseball, swimming, bike riding, etc.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

    "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

  2. #12
    W. Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    You don't know what what a "superman" is...

    Just play with your kids, lots of different physical acitivities that involve all sorts of coordination they can do having fun. Playing catch, kicking soccer balls, jumping rope, baseball, swimming, bike riding, etc.
    I am an "active dad" I do a lot of that stuff with him already, especially swimming, biking etc. We spent a whole day at the beach today digging (I take my beach digging seriously ...he asked for a sand castle so we spent 2 hours recreating the entire land of Mordor complete with three foot high Ered Lithui and Ephel Duath mountain ranges, and Udun valley. THE TIDE COULD NOT BREAKT IT..)

    I guess I am just looking for BJJ specific stuff we could do together that would help reinforce what he's learning at class. As we've discussed I am not a big believer in leaving MA in the classroom, but making it the "spice" of life.

    BJJ training is hard, but I think if I bring it into the "home" so to speak, it'll help.

    What would Helio Gracie do in my situation? What kind of games do you think he played with his little ones? If I was further along with my training I'd know more, but life is short, and I know this time with my boys will end before I am ready.

  3. #13
    My dog is cuter and smarter than yours. Join us... or die
    BKR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    I am an "active dad" I do a lot of that stuff with him already, especially swimming, biking etc. We spent a whole day at the beach today digging (I take my beach digging seriously ...he asked for a sand castle so we spent 2 hours recreating the entire land of Mordor complete with three foot high Ered Lithui and Ephel Duath mountain ranges, and Udun valley. THE TIDE COULD NOT BREAKT IT..)

    I guess I am just looking for BJJ specific stuff we could do together that would help reinforce what he's learning at class. As we've discussed I am not a big believer in leaving MA in the classroom, but making it the "spice" of life.

    BJJ training is hard, but I think if I bring it into the "home" so to speak, it'll help.

    What would Helio Gracie do in my situation? What kind of games do you think he played with his little ones? If I was further along with my training I'd know more, but life is short, and I know this time with my boys will end before I am ready.
    Argh, you are in some sort of manic mode, aren't you? You sound like a wonderful Dad, really, you do. Doing a variety of activities with you kids is great, and benefits them greatly if my experience with my two boys is any indication.

    Today they are in the first day of the British Soccer Camp(yes, even in Boundary County ,Idaho).
    http://www.challengersports.com/britishsoccercamps.aspx

    They absolutely love it, and will play in the local rec league in August-Early October. They were totally psyched to get going this morning, and happy as clams when I picked them up at lunch.

    I played soccer when I was a kid and in high school. I was pretty damned good at it too. I've tried for several years (my 10 year old started when he was 5 or 6) to work on soccer skills with them, even to the point of going and watching the camps in Canada (where they started out). Their grandma got them a mini soccer goal, even.

    Not much interest in practicing out side of the camps with me, and of course competing (which is what they really love to do) in the league each fall.

    So, I tried, and I dropped it. If they ask about kicking the ball around, I'm all for it. If not, I let it slide and we make a decision about what we want to do.

    My point is, just don't go all gung ho on BJJ training at home. Kids interests and viewpoint are a lot different than adults. Hell, even adults have different levels of dedication and interest for that matter (see my posts about coaching non-judo crazy kids or adults). Let your son's attitude and interests guide what you attempt to do.

    For kids, I've found often it's more about the social interaction than learning stuff. A sense of accomplishment, yeah, they get that, but it's not exactly the same as for adults.

    YMMV, Rabbit, keep up the good work .
    Falling for Judo since 1980

    "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

  4. #14
    W. Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Argh, you are in some sort of manic mode, aren't you?
    The clinical term is "hyperactive"; the answer is "often". Thanks for the advice, man.

  5. #15
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    SO tonight was his first class. I didn't train tonight afterwards, wanted the night to be just for him (not to mention my body needs another day to heal after building a 25 square foot replica of Mordor yesterday at Asbury Park beach).

    Couple of observations.

    He started out shy and embarrassed, I think because all the other kids were lively and talkative. He's the smallest in his class, but makes friends quickly. He was very quick to tell me the exact number of friends he made during class (3).

    Endurance he made it through class without puking or passing out or giving up. All good signs.

    He worked with a brown belt and a kid his size, separate from the main group, to learn some basic stuff.

    On the ride home he informed me that while the chokes he learned hurt a little, he was OK. And that he now has a "technique" he can use on his older brother.

    That, I was very quick to put a stop to.

    I realized that aside from some basic home workouts together, I needed to set the "groundrules" for BJJ.

    I came up with 5 so far. If anyone else has an interesting rule to add, feel free to suggest one (appropriate for a 2nd grader, please).

    Rule 1: Listen, ask a good question, but don't talk out of turn.
    Rule 2: Sip water, don't chug it
    Rule 3: If you feel sick or dizzy, stop and tell
    Rule 4: Don't get angry, or try to hurt anyone
    Rule 5: No jujutsu on your brother until purple belt.

  6. #16

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    Rule 1: Listen, ask a good question, but don't talk out of turn.
    Rule 2: Sip water, don't chug it
    Rule 3: If you feel sick or dizzy, stop and tell
    Rule 4: Don't get angry, or try to hurt anyone
    Rule 5: No jujutsu on your brother until purple belt, unless he deserved it or you're showing off for women
    fixed #5 :P

    but in seriousness, sounds like your son will really enjoy his experience in bjj

    and those rules sound like excellent guidelines
    keep us updated!
    p.s. lotr nutrider represent

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    SO tonight was his first class. I didn't train tonight afterwards, wanted the night to be just for him (not to mention my body needs another day to heal after building a 25 square foot replica of Mordor yesterday at Asbury Park beach).

    Couple of observations.

    He started out shy and embarrassed, I think because all the other kids were lively and talkative. He's the smallest in his class, but makes friends quickly. He was very quick to tell me the exact number of friends he made during class (3).

    Endurance he made it through class without puking or passing out or giving up. All good signs.

    He worked with a brown belt and a kid his size, separate from the main group, to learn some basic stuff.

    On the ride home he informed me that while the chokes he learned hurt a little, he was OK. And that he now has a "technique" he can use on his older brother.

    That, I was very quick to put a stop to.

    I realized that aside from some basic home workouts together, I needed to set the "groundrules" for BJJ.

    I came up with 5 so far. If anyone else has an interesting rule to add, feel free to suggest one (appropriate for a 2nd grader, please).

    Rule 1: Listen, ask a good question, but don't talk out of turn.
    Rule 2: Sip water, don't chug it
    Rule 3: If you feel sick or dizzy, stop and tell
    Rule 4: Don't get angry, or try to hurt anyone
    Rule 5: No jujutsu on your brother until purple belt.


    Wow, I wish I hadn't been in the middle of moving when you first posted this. I think this may be the only topic ever discussed here that I have first hand, expert level knowledge of, lol! That said, the following is just my opinion and philosophy of what has worked for me as a father up to this point.

    When starting your kid off early, there are a lot of dynamic variables you have to try your best to keep in balance at all times. It can be tricky, that said, I'll try to run down the list of all the...points of attention (I don't like the term 'rules' unless it's something concrete like "No Jiu Jitsu on your brother" or "When your training partner taps, immediately let go" as most of this stuff can be slightly flexible depending on the exact context) I think you should keep in mind. Also, I apologize in advance, as a decent portion of this is going to be me venting about stuff other parents do that irks me.

    Now, I'm assuming due to you saying that you have high hopes for the kid that you're similar to me in that you want them to have fun, but you also don't want to waste your money and this is more than just something for him to do and you want him to reach his full potential in it, so all this crap I type here will go above and beyond "ways to make it fun" for him.

    1. If something hurts, TAP....but once he hits 8 or 9, depending on his maturity, make him understand the difference between "oh crap, if I don't tap, this pain is signaling that this could lead to a broken arm" and "oh crap, let me tap as soon as someone whips their leg over for an armbar". You want them to be safe, but not pussies.

    For example, where my kid practices now, there is a kid who taps as soon as he sees the setup coming for anything, be it triangle, armbar, americana, etc. That kid is 11 years old if I'm not mistaken. His dad swears up and down he's taught him leglocks, heelhooks, and all this other good stuff you can't actually do in class, but apparently, he hasn't taught him any basic escapes or anything about basic toughness, as his son is taping to my daughter as soon as she gets s-mount with his arm. That's defeating the purpose of learning Jiu Jitsu.

    This is one hell of a fine line to walk...sometimes I've seen my daughter get her arm bent too much for my tastes, but she says that it didn't hurt. Now I trust her judgement on that more as I see her tap to these more advanced kids she's rolling against now (and that makes sense, as their armbars would probably be technically perfect, so all the pressure is attacking where it should be), but it took a long time and a lot of talking to get me more comfortable with that. Even then, you have to know when to call tap for them.

    Think Rocky in Rocky IV and knowing when to "throw the damn towel!" Rocky had to walk that fine line between his friend's safety and his friend's pride. Obviously, Rocky waited too long. I guess you have to let them experience some pain and it can hurt to watch, but you have to know where to draw the line.

    This situation was apparent with my daughter's first opponent at her event yesterday. My daughter had an armbar put on pretty damn good and the girl wasn't tapping, but her coach tapped (or attempted to tap, as this referee was a bit too liberal in his pain/risk assessment management for kids) for her. The coach's move was spot on, as that was a bad situation that wasn't going to get any better for his fighter. It looked pretty bad, but the girl didn't seem all that hurt by the armbar once she sat up. My daughter is freakishly athletic and strong for her age/size/gender, so I was afraid for the other kid's safety once it had gone too far due to the ref ignoring everyone (including the coaches of both teams and the parents of both competitors) screaming desperately for the tap.

    Since I can't post links yet, youtube Amelia Copa Gi Gracie Brandon 1st match and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. This was a situation where everyone did everything right except the ref. Her coach first yelled out instructions for an armbar escape, then waited maybe one second tops to see if there was going to be any wiggle room out of it, then once he saw it wasn't happening, he called the tap for his fighter. I understand the girl not tapping if it didn't hurt, but here's the key: she has to understand that her coach and parents are just doing what's in her best interest at this point, and they will do the same thing 100 out of the next 100 times it happens. If the child doesn't want that to be the outcome, then the child has to focus on not being in that situation, so work on your armbar escapes...as no one is going to sit here and watch her get her arm bent into something that resembles the shape of a rainbow.

    YOU have to put that in your son's head. Not his coach, not anyone else. He has to understand that even taking the parental love aspect out of it, you have to protect the fighter so the fighter can fight another day. My daughter was mad at me for tapping for her once, and I broke it down to this: "It's like this, would you have rather kept trying to fight it and had a greater than 90% chance of breaking your arm and not rolling for the next six months to a year, or just tapping now and still being able to go to practice three times a week to get better so you won't be getting armbar'ed as much?" She got it.

    2. Once he becomes competitive at it and wants to 'win' more while rolling in class, you MUST emphasize "You don't LOSE when practicing on the mat, you LEARN." This falls in line with #1, as you have to address the pride factor. It's always there, and it always has to be addressed. After reinforcing this for awhile, they begin to ask how to do certain escapes or what to do while in certain situations. When my daughter used to come off the mat fuming for having 'lost' to a kid she probably shouldn't have, instead of giving her speeches about getting better or how it's ok, I started asking her "How did you get in that situation?" After waiting for an answer there, the next question is "What can we do next time to not be in that situation?" then go home and drill it.

    In the beginning you have let him know that if he isn't losing, he isn't learning. The father of the best Gi Jiu Jisu kid I know told me during my daughter's first week of class that his son lost every match for a year before he started to get better. Now this kid is sick. He's 11 years old and actively works on his De La Riva and X-Guard while just about every other kid in class doesn't even have a quality spider or butterfly guard. He's leagues beyond any other kid his age I've seen in a gi.

    It' impossible to imagine him losing to anyone in his age range, much less losing everyday for a year, but it happens. So once his urge to win kicks in, quickly start drilling it into his head that the best guy in Jiu Jitsu has been tapped thousands of times. He won't beleive it at first, but once it's reinforced by the coach, and the best kids and their parents, it'll start sinking in and he won't think every roll is a life or death, must win situation even though you want to do your best.

    3. Be realistic about your child's ability, both as a Jiu Jitsu practitioner and their natural athletic ability. The best kid I know in Gi Jiu Jitsu I spoke about in #2 is the most nonathletic kid in the world, according to his own father. Kind of crazy for a dad to say, but by him acknowledging that early on, he's been more patient with explaining things to his kid and emphasizing technique to where this kid is an 11 year old Orange belt genius.

    In some cases the other kid is just better. When my child is rolling against an orange belt, or some talented yellow belt, she isn't supposed to win. I still look for obvious mistakes that can be fixed, but I have no false expectations of her tapping an orange belt.

    The other side of that is you have to hold the kid accountable for his ability as well. If he is naturally inclined to learn it, then make him work on his mistakes. Like I said, I hold my kid to a higher standard because everyone isn't born with those physical gifts, so she should try to maximize the potential of them. I tell her that if you're going to be upset when you 'lose', but it's due to you making the same mistake over and over again, how about putting more effort towards thinking and executing smarter next time? Once he gets mad at losing once you know he's good enough to be better but just isn't focusing, that's when it becomes time to get more serious about getting better, IMO.

    Gotta run for now...but I'll continue this with more later unless you see no need for it.

  8. #18

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    The Gracie Bullyproof DVD set is excellent! My kids, 3yo and 2yo, love playing Jiu Jitsu and the Gracie games are fun and educational. I love rolling with my boys and it's one of our favorite activities together.

    I'm taking them both to the Gracie World's tournament here in Las Vegas tomorrow. :)

  9. #19

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by W. Rabbit View Post
    So tonight, after many test runs, discussions, and observed classes, and even visual approval from the wife that the level of contact is OK... I will be signing up my youngest for BJJ lessons in the 7-12 age class.

    As someone who maintains what some consider unreasonably high standards for martial arts instruction, I've waited a long time to find an instructor that a) I would trust with my boy and b) teaches an art I think he could handle at his age, I settled on....you guess it my own BJJ school, where I am having a great time learning both sports AND traditional methods. The best of both worlds.

    Having had at least a couple dozen arguments with my wife over the poor quality of martial arts schools in the area and around the globe (I'm easy to set off on a lecture about this whenever she shows me a coupon for free classes at the local karate schools), I finally had her watch a class. She winced, raised eyebrows, but ultimately found the idea of grade schoolers learning to grip fight and grapple cute and minimally acceptable.

    To date, I've only taught my youngest some basic kung fu strengthening routines and of course, he's had a basic exposure to boxing from actual coaches to the point where he's got a nice little jab.

    The post of this post...we cannot train together at class, because there is no interaction between the two age groups.

    So, what kind of basic stuff can be practice together at home? I have been wrestling with this boy for many years now like any good father should. He considers himself to be a ninja already due to watching a lot of TMNT, something I'm trying to fix with real martial arts.

    Taking it slow and careful here...anybody suggest any good home routines or drills for kids and dads?

    Any thoughts are welcome.
    So...how's it going?

    I'm sorry I never got back to this thread...life down here in Tampa has been quite the roller coaster, but the kid has still been training (other than when we took six months off in an ill fated attempt to get her into basketball), when she's not injured. I hope your son is still excelling and also enjoying BJJ.

    As far as home drills go...invest in a dummy ASAP, if you have the space. Due to a change of schedule that turned out to be sheer dumb luck as it relates to my daughter's fighting life, my daughter had to change schools and is now training under a highly accomplished coach and former competitor who trains them like competing adults.

    The guy swears by the dummy, and the results are there. Checkout some of the drills on my Youtube Video page for the kid: DvilleDaddy80. He's literally had two hour classes of nothing but armbar drills on the dummy, or triangle from side mount on the dummy, or knee on belly drills on the dummy, etc., and he holds them accountable for damn near each rep as best a guy can while teaching a class.

    I wouldn't try to help you work up a routine, because it all has to be within the particular context of what your child is learning at the moment and over the long haul, but in a very general sense, I would say dummy drills for the armbar, triangle, north south, knee on belly, etc. can help refine technique and also work on the passes, escapes, and sweeps more at home when it's the two of you. I've noticed that most schools where the instructor is there to pay bills more than to teach (and truth be told, that applies to even some of the best places out there), there is a sense of pressure to teach the "cool moves", and unfortunately, hip escapes, fundamental guard passing, and mount and side mount escapes just don't fall under that umbrella. Instructors do try to teach these techniques and work it in the routine of class, but let's be for real: how many kids yellow belt and lower have you seen that really have anything once they get in any danger?

    It really shows at tournaments where you see kids from two locally respected schools (and this is Central Florida, so these really are supposed to be some top flight schools) that are yellow belts, but they can't pass half guard and their only defense for the mount is to lock their arms together across their chests. You have to design your home drilling routines with three things in mind, IMO:

    1. Accentuate what they are learning in class while attempting to fill in the gaps. For example, with my kid and guard passing, she would not posture all the way up before moving her hands from the lapel to the belt, making the task of passing infinitely harder. So we would go home and micro drill "posture, grip lapel, posture, grip belt (and hopefully kill a wrist while you're at it), posture, then start the pass." Otherwise, it would be looking at the same mistakes over and over again, and that absolutely drives me up the wall as a parent. Don't fall into the trap of allowing mediocrity for your kid to appease the group; they all look like **** while trying to pass not because "they're just kids," it's because the teaching is failing them. I'm not saying be that asshole parent who coaches their kid during every practice roll (oddly, that parent is almost NEVER a parent that trains themselves)-more on that later-but I am saying go home and show your kid the proper way to pass the guard.

    Once you do, it's funny what happens: You actually benefit the entire class because part of the beauty of jiu jitsu is that it's ok to cheat off the neighbor student's paper. The other kids pick it up and in about three weeks, the majority of the class will be doing it correctly, and that elevates the class as a while. The smirking blue belt instructing the class will take credit for it, but regardless, you did your duty.

    2. On the flip side of that, don't stray too far off the classroom curriculum in order to give your kid "that edge they need." In my previous post in this thread, I mentioned the dad whose kids all roll like Charmin tissue paper and how he loves to talk about all the leg locks and knee bars he's taught them (implying that your kid is lucky that his kid can't use his entire unholy arsenal in this Tuesday night classroom rolling session) while they are tapping to the S-mount, and not even the arm bar. I did notice his oldest used to catch my daughter and all the other kids with the North South Choke all the time, but that kid was 14 when my kid was 10. I'm pretty sure his younger two boys knew it too, but there wasn't the same strength and size discrepancy there for them to get that move off on my daughter.

    My daughter's current instructor calls them "one offs." Which is exactly what it is most of the time when a parent is teaching his kid all of these submissions in order to "catch" the other kids in practice. I'm pretty sure that the dad who is the kneebar expert didn't teach them an entry to that kneebar, a counter to the defense of that kneebar, or an escape route that for that knee bar that keeps control in case the attempt doesn't work. It's just a one off. No system whatsoever. It's one thing if it's something that can be easily incorporated organically in what they are already learning , but if you're at home working on X-Guard with your kid when they aren't winning NAGA's Expert Division consistently yet, then you're doing everyone a disservice. ESPECIALLY YOUR KID.

    The main point is that jiu jitsu is so complex that there's simply no way kids have mastered close guard while being yellow belts, so perfect that before you look to make them 50/50 experts.

    3. Be consistent, but adaptable. Sometimes when classes are filled with heavy rolling that tires her out, we don't go home and do anything, even though I had planned to do 15 minutes of open guard drills. She's already tired, probably has homework, plus whatever "OhMyGawdMyLifeIsOver!!!" 12 year old related drama for the day going on in her mind. You can see it when they've had enough for the day. Every now and then, it's cool to push them past that point when they have nothing to do the next day, but when they have to go to school or get up early for whatever reason, you can tell that you made the wrong executive call by drilling after practice the night before.

    Sometimes when class is focused on slow paced, technical drilling for days and weeks at a time, you just have to throw down the mat at home to roll with them to keep them battle ready (especially if he's a heavy competitor or if competing is the goal).

    Don't look to add more moves often...look to perfect the existing set of tools. Make sure you dedicate some time to going over what they learned a week before, and then do that again a month later. My daughter heavily practiced juji gatame roll armbars in class to the point to where she won a tourney in a strong intermediate division with it, but now doesn't do it anymore, even when it presents itself. The way to remind her that it's part of her arsenal is to practice it 20-30 times after practice one night.

    As always, whenever reading my posts, please keep in mind two things:

    1. While I do make sure to jump on the mat from time to time, I'm in no way good at jiu jitsu, my daughter is pretty good for a kid. That's all. I don't know as much as you guys, but I do know when I'm looking at bad ****, and when I'm looking at good ****.

    2. What 'works' for my kid, doesn't necessarily work for everyone's kid...so some points I attempt to make are more flexible than others.

  10. #20

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Oh yeah...this one is for the parents:

    STOP COACHING YOUR KID DURING EVERY F***ING ROLL IN PRACTICE!!!

    If you're good enough to be coaching every live roll in practice, then you should start your own school. It's obnoxious...now, I have no problem with the parent who occasionally yells something out to their kid to help them out, but if you're going to coach every roll, then you need to coach both kids. Hell, if you really want to impress everyone in the room, just coach your kid's partner.

    Parents have to realize that there is no trophy for winning practice. Just take a mental note of what's going wrong, and attempt to fix it later. If it's a tourney, sure...but if your kid won practice all of the time, then how would they get better?

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