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We all wish for spiritual realizations, but this depends upon many preliminary practices such as purifying negativity, accumulating merit and receiving blessings. At least 30 million kids between the ages of 6-17 play in organized sports programs each year and of those 30 million about 35% drop out each year. In this survey, 2 fun related reasons were found to be dominant in why kids dropped out of playing sports, these were followed by reasons related to time constraints, lack of coaching, and dislike for the pressures involved with playing sports. What this study shows us is that when kids are young and participating in sports the FUN factor needs to be the number one rule. In a report called “Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America” from Women’s Sports Foundation (2008) when parents of kids were surveyed about the reasons behind kids completely stopping playing team sports were asked why it happened,  the main reason given for both sons and daughters was “no longer fun”. To allow the youth athlete the greatest possibility of reaching their full athletic potential later on in life it is imperative that when they are young the joy of sports and having fun should be the number one goal. When it comes to martial arts families and kid’s martial arts I often wonder how it gets started.
When you think of all the different opportunities to be active families have to pinpoint what they want to do and how they can achieve the time and consistency to reap the benefits. In the coming weeks I will be talking to and interviewing some of the parents and children that train to find out their stories. There are many different thoughts on conditioning for children in all sports, not just kid’s martial arts classes. Some parents think that we should start earlier rather than later, others believe that you should start later.
I recently read an interesting article by a local sports and conditioning trainer, Mark McLaughlin, that really interested me on conditioning for youth. Let’s look at the science involved to better understand how these athletes should be training to properly develop their heart to maximize performance, particularly at young ages. When it comes to kid’s martial arts and any other sport for that there is definitely a trap, at least for parents, to want the best and I know I have fallen into that trap myself.
I invited Mark to come see one of my daughter’s classes and reached out to him to do a guest blog post. Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program. Her stance, which makes sense to me, is that sending children the message they can get a trophy for participation is counterproductive to their development and dealing with stress and competition.
Children are so much smarter than many of us give them credit for and it’s due to there adaptability in situations that can be stressful. It turns out that, once kids have some proficiency in a task, the excitement and uncertainty of real competition may become the activity’s very appeal. If children know they will automatically get an award, what is the impetus for improvement? One of the reasons we enjoy the gym we go to is that nothing is handed out and that skill is rewarded appropriately. As the founder at SBGi Matt Thornton says often, one cannot fake jiu jitsu anymore than they can fake speaking Spanish or playing guitar. When children make mistakes, our job should not be to spin those losses into decorated victories.
I see this in my own daughter as she has grown in her kid’s martial arts class of Brazilian jiu jitsu. Obviously, I work towards and am invested in my daughter doing well, but the great thing about her kid’s martial arts class is that her coaches are also very invested in working with her and helping her through the same tough plateaus. I’ve learned, as a person and a parent, that enjoying the little things can happen any time, anywhere.
I am so very proud of her progress in her kid’s martial arts class but I have noticed that she has been comfortable and needs a challenge. One aspect of coaching that is always tenuous is challenging a student enough to spur growth and not demoralize them. The most important thing is not victory, the most important thing is don’t get defeated.
I have written many times about the various reasons martial arts are good for kids, you can see my interview with Sam Sheridan for some really good ones. On occasion my son accompanies me to watch his sister in her kid’s martial arts class. We scheduled a time to speak on the telephone so I could ask him some questions and had a great conversation.
I definitely think wrestling will be something I want to get him interested in, because of the mental toughness aspect.
SBGiKids: You mentioned how jiu jitsu is beneficial for a bully for it’s humbling effect, what about the kids getting bullied? Sam Sheridan: Just with a few months of jiu jitsu you learn so much about how to handle a bigger body on top of you, you learn how to relax, how to control your breathing, not to panic, not to take damage or not to put yourself at risk. SBGiKids: In Fighter’s Heart you did mention that your muay Thai coach had practiced meditation and you wrote about going on a silent retreat. SBGiKids: Then is confidence what parents are looking for instead of discipline in martial arts? SBGiKids: A question rose while listening: what is the distinction between actual fighting and training? Sam Sheridan: People are going to be afraid of what they don’t understand, that’s just natural. Randy Couture – “The training at Straight Blast Gym has been instrumental in my preparation for reality fighting in the UFC.
I can now attest that the experience of grappling with an expert is akin to falling into deep water without knowing how to swim. Rashmi is life long yogini and dedicated Classic Tantrika (Tantra practitioner) who encourages her students for healing within on a holistic level and brings them health, happiness, harmony and healing in their lives within their own being, purpose, relationships, and sexuality. In her classes, she offers individuals a chance to experience a deeper connection to themselves and each other.
In her teaching of Traditional Tantra Yoga, she offers a holistic approach that provides practices for your whole self (not just the physical), so that you can experience, enrich and express yourself to your full potential. Cloud Mountain Retreat Center is a non-sectarian Buddhist center hosting residential retreats year round. Cloud Mountain is a rural retreat center located in the forests of southwest Washington, approximately 125 miles south of Seattle, Washington, and 60 miles north of Portland, Oregon.
Situated on 15 wooded acres, Cloud Mountain is a complex of buildings surrounded by trees and connected by rock-lined paths.  There is a large meditation hall, a walking and yoga hall, a sleeping lodge, a teacher's cottage and a lodge that holds the kitchen, dining area, sitting room, staff quarters, office and library, a small lake, a walking garden, a fish pond and abundant wildlife.
In this annual retreat we focus on the preliminary practices of accumulating merit, or positive energy, by making mandala offerings and receiving blessings by engaging in Guru Yoga practice.  Sessions last an hour and thirty minutes. A more staggering statistic is 70-80% of youth between the ages of 13-15 drop out of organized sports entirely.
They found that three changes would likely induce the greatest number of drop-outs to play the sport again: “Practices were more fun”, “Coaches understood players better” and “I could play more”. Too often coaches and parents believe that playing a more competitive and concentrated schedule year around, beginning when kids are young, will produce a successful athlete and this could not be further from the truth. Allowing the athlete to mature and develop slowly and steadily is also crucial to keep them out of the high incidence of injury and allowing them to develop the building blocks of physical literacy which will give them confidence to excel and enjoy sports for their entire lives. I will be asking to see how they found out about Brazilian jiu jitsu, if they trained in any other disciplines, and how they got their children in the kid’s martial arts class. Over time as I train, my daughter trains, and her younger brother eventually starts to train in kid’s martial arts I may have more stories. Some coaches in youth sports believe you should run kids silly and others believe you should just teach skill.
He has many ideas based on actual scientific studies and development in youth athletics and feel his insight would be good for this blog on kid’s martial arts. The children in the group understand what’s expected of them and what they need to do to get the next level. This makes it a great tool for the kids to be able to learn and adapt to in their kid’s martial arts class.

Instead, our job is to help kids overcome setbacks, to help them see that progress over time is more important than a particular win or loss, and to help them graciously congratulate the child who succeeded when they failed.
I like it because there are rules to living in Zombieland by the main character that he attributes to his survival. She has been doing well and the coaches have seen her progress as well which is a testament to how astute the coaches are and how well she is doing in her kid’s martial arts class. I’m glad she was able to experience her challenge in a safe environment and that she kept going. There were practice plans to put together, game plans, player evaluations, not to mention the patience and consistency involved in managing large groups of children who have 6 second attention spans.
The coaches and her partners are all their to help her learn and she is their to help her partners learn as well.
I have a 7 year old daughter in a kid’s martial arts class learning jiu jitsu and a 2 year old son who is quite the handful.
He loves running around and it’s cute to see him try to line up with the older kids when the coach gets class started.
We talked about his 4 year old son, Kung Fu Panda, Brazilian jiu jitsu, bullies and the bullied, and how important a good environment is for learning martial arts. There are some advantages there, but I also think it’s kind of an old-school thought, or a cop-out.
Some parents think that training in martial arts is encouraging fighting and aggressive behavior. As our culture has moved away from any kind of understanding of violence, any kind of wrestling or struggling is going to be viewed with disfavor. This makes it a microcosm of learning that can prepare the child for all challenges and struggles in life, not just in their kid’s martial arts class.
In order to express your natural potential, Like an authentic Tantrist, she teaches you to trust in and live by your true self (not the small limited, conditioned self), enabling you to release all limiting conditionings and illusions which block our true intuitive self. I had pleasure of taking Rashmi's private Classes and workshops in San Pedro and Long Beach, California.
She is not only wise, beautiful soul and a lovely person to be around, but also an amazing embodied Tantra teacher, who understands the practical considerations we all deal with in our daily lives. Our mission is to provide opportunities for all individuals to hear and practice Buddhist teachings with qualified and realized teachers in an environment that combines exquisite simplicity, comfort and a supportive container for spiritual transformation.
Cloud Mountain was conceived and built with the goal of providing groups and individuals with an environment conducive to meditation and quiet contemplation or study.
Permanent staff earn a modest compensation package while exploring creative ways to integrate Buddhist meditation with daily activity. One of the most widely cited studies on why youth athletes stop playing organized team sports is called “Participation and Attrition Patterns in American Agency-sponsored and Interscholastic Sports.” 8,000 boys and girls from 10 to 18 years of age in 17 US locations completed a survey on their participation in school and non-school sports programs. A more concentrated training and competition schedule when kids are young is one of the major factors of injury and burnout. Who are the ones that support the leisure activity that becomes a habit and then becomes a lifestyle?
Other coaches think that intense short interval training is best for younger kids rather than longer less  intense training. It’s a great piece on understanding how kids develop in environments that can be academic or sports related.
Those who are outperformed know it and give up, while those who do well feel cheated when they aren’t recognized for their accomplishments. I see myself in her when she says things like “I can’t do it,” “I’m too small,” or “I’m not strong enough.” It’s really interesting for me, as a parent, to help coach her through some of these tough times because, given the mere fact that I am older and have experienced it, I know things will get better with fortitude and consistency.
Rules like Rule #1: Cardio, Rule #2 The double tap, Rule #3 beware of bathrooms, and Rule #4 Seatbelts. I bring it up in kid’s martial arts because it happens when I take my daughter to class. Whether it’s something in our professional or personal lives we all find these obstacles as we continue evolving.
The interesting thing is that many children don’t have the context of what a challenge is as their parents or other adults might understand the situation.
Many times, as I have done, we go past it, but most coaches never give a challenge that they don’t think is achievable by the student. I worry about him running around, getting into things, or finding new uses for some things he finds around the gym-he’s quite imaginative. He made a cup of coffee while we were on the phone and as we spoke his volubility improved notably. If I have a kid with 6 months of jiu jitsu wrestling against a bigger kid, he’s going to tap that kid, or at least he won’t get too beat up. It’s not like these kids are going to TKD for 2 hours every day, and really learning discipline. I want to say that struggle is something necessary for growth when it’s viewed as a challenge. Once you learn how to swim, however, it becomes difficult to see what the problem is—why can’t a drowning man just relax and tread water?
Her kid’s martial arts class offers a safe place for her to be challenged and to see where she struggles and learn from those struggles. She teaches you beautiful, practical, physical ways and exercises to connect more deeply with your core self, your impulses, your desires, your partner and your overall life. It is our intention to provide opportunities for balanced cultivation of the Three Pillars of Buddhism: ethical and moral behavior (Sila, ???, ??), generosity and giving (Dana, ???, ?) and the cultivation of wisdom (Bhavana, ?????, ??). In operation since 1984, Cloud Mountain offers facilities and accompanying support to all Buddhist traditions. It is during the early stages of this program which children begin to develop basic physical literacy by learning about agility, balance, coordination, and speed (ABCs).
I wish I could speak from experience…I am a novice at best and my daughter has been training longer than I have but not quite a year. Is this belief an indication of the misguided notions of the coaches and parents who are mentoring these young athletes? You may remember her from a previous blog post I wrote Kid’s martial arts and gratitude.
I read and hear platitudes in Buddhist teachings to accept the suffering, indeed at times to enjoy and revel in the experience itself.
They understand the suffocating feeling of being in mount bottom or giving up your back when you didn’t want to-they know the feeling. It’s a fairly pervasive theme that we have seen permeate our culture-the idea that the undead would run rampant. She has all these mini victories in class, I see coaches who care and who are kind, and I enjoy the company of others at the gym.
Kids are no different, whether they are in school, in a kid’s martial arts class, or a sports environment.
Children are very much in the present moment and do not have the perspective that older kids or adults have.
Without the work of the coaches and the help of all the kids in her martial arts class she wouldn’t be having all the fun she is having or learning all that she is learning. We have to nurture them, help them, guide them, and make sure we do the best for them whether they seem to like it or not. I enrolled his sister in kid’s martial arts classes because I worry about her and want to give her tools in her life that will help her. I know I will likely worry about them quite often; however, there are moments when my daughter is in class and she does well or she gets through a crucible of sorts and I am very proud of her.
In particular in southern California and living in Santa Monica we’re pretty soft, life’s pretty good. I also believe that there is a difference between something viewed as a struggle and something viewed as a challenge. I posit that a challenge a struggle is somewhat necessary to go beyond where you have been.

Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness. These basics will serve them as training in the later years begins to become more specialized. What I see where we train is families really trying to support each other in their training. Or did the athlete see a video of one of their idol’s workouts on youtube, leading them to mimic that elite athlete’s particular workout (but without understanding how that workout ?ts into their idol’s monthly or annual workout program, or its place in their idol’s long-term development as an elite athlete)? I’ve been reading The Disaster Diaries by Sam Sheridan, watching the show The Walking Dead, and also watching zombie movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. I had to understand that before I was able to understand her situation-I had to determine what was fundamental for her in the situation and meet her where she was, as opposed to have her reach me within a context she still did not understand. This is fundamental knowledge: the challenge is getting the student to realize that they are better than they think they are and the balance comes in finding the right challenge for that student.
They make sure to coach the kids, to help the kids understand, but also that they have fun in their kid’s martial arts class.
There are times in class I watch her with her friends having fun and I know everything will be alright. I will definitely do martial arts with him…I think jiu jitsu is a wonderful sport for kids for a lot of reasons.
Having a little adversity; to deal with overcoming lactic acid and overcoming fatigue and overcoming the desperate desire to want to quit are really valuable lessons. And most of it, again, is dealing with fear and that kind of panic of being trapped, almost claustrophobia when you’re under a stronger guy. They may learn a little about balance and about controlling emotions, those are wonderful things, but I think it gets overstated in martial arts.
During this time the focus should be on having fun and participating in a wide variety of sports with a minimal focus on competition. That doesn’t mean that all spouses train but they help drop the kids off, pick them up, attend events, and train themselves.
One thing for certain, we learn lessons about life and about ourselves. The most basic tool I use whenever I hit a wall is to stop and survey what is important, find out what is fundamental in the situation.
This is true of kid’s martial arts or mathematics, a problem may seem unsolvable but the intent is still to solve the problem. The coaches give the children great feed back for the hard work the children put forth in the kid’s martial arts class. There’s a lot to the striking arts but I think that’s more if he wants to do that stuff, when he’s old enough to understand the ramifications and the repercussions.
It’s why I think police officers should do it.  I think police officers don’t get paid to train enough.
If you can control yourself, tap, and not be ruled by ego, then you can last, learn, and get better.
Struggles and challenges occur everywhere in life: at work, in our families relationships with one another, in sports, and even in our most passionate endeavors.
This experience is the same for everyone regardless of age when they start BJJ and not just kid’s martial arts.
I’ve seen parents, wives and husbands all take part in each others training at the gym. I’ve had them and have difficulty getting through it as an adult at times-we all have had them.
I had the opportunity recently to try and impart that to my daughter when she hit a wall in her kid’s martial arts class. The first thing that happens in an altercation is you freak out, you fill with adrenalin and you’re much more likely to escalate.
Learning self-discipline is great, but I’m a little questionable of the idea that martial arts teaches great discipline to kids, just automatically.
She has been training fairly consistently now and I can see, it’s like I see the wheels in her head churning and problem solving, that she is far more competent and confident because of those early struggles. I also enjoy listening to her talk about her kid’s martial arts class outside of class.
Listen, in Rio (de Janeiro) and in San Paulo, some of the jiu-jitsu guys are all kinds of thugs.
There are all kinds of hilarious, fantastic, street fight footage of blue belts taking down street fighters again and again because there’s nothing the tough street fighters can do…and you’re not even hurting the guy.  You’re taking them down and controlling them.
I’ve seen the same young children model what is happening in class as they watch their older siblings. I will also have my son enroll as soon as he is old enough to help him learn some humility.
Everybody’s universal experience upon starting jiu jitsu is that you get whooped, you get controlled, and you learn to tap.
If you had just kept breathing and kept calm, you’d realize the man wouldn’t have been able to hurt you. I think the mistake people make, they think being in martial arts is because people want to be a badass. It’s what Renzo (Gracie) used to do: choke a guy out, sit on his chest and if he woke up and still wanted to fight he’d choke him out again.
We had kids in the neighborhood whose parents wouldn’t let them have toy guns, but what happened?
He is a sweet boy and I think that being in a kid’s martial arts class will help him grow. Maybe—but either way, you’re decision-making process would be less influenced by adrenaline.
Ideally, that’s what it’s supposed to do; but I know plenty of really serious, really smart martial arts practitioners who don’t really practice mental discipline, and don’t really practice honor, or turning the other cheek, or that running from a fight is the best self-defense. So, just the mental side of things for kids: learning not to be scared of physicality and what it’s like to have a body on top of you, and that it’s not the end of the world. There’s a lot of ego and machismo and we’re kidding ourselves if we think that’s not part of the draw, the mystique of martial arts.
Even most professional fighters want to be what they see on TV which is Bruce Lee and the Ninja Turtles. I think it’s a little like willing blindness if you think that little boys aren’t drawn to this stuff. It creates a great atmosphere because the experience of being a novice is always fresh in your mind, even after you’ve been doing it for a long time. I think that’s what gives jiu jitsu the advantage over Tae Kwon Do some of the other the traditional martial arts is the concept of randori: training at very nearly their top speed and intensity…in the sport jiu jitsu there’s an element where you can practice pretty hard, pretty safely.
But when you actually start training, the practice is about self-defense and it is about staying in control of your own fate, and not being dominated by other men. All I would say is that it’s a great sport and art and a place to use up negativity and turn it into positivity, a place where negative energy can get used up in a real constructive way. Whereas point-sparring in karate or TKD is fun and safe, but maybe kids aren’t exposed to the PACE and FEAR of live sparring.
I think that the confidence you get in being able to handle yourself is a much greater boon than meditation or any kind of mental aspect. If you want to come in work, spar, hit the bag, and learn how to fight, there are always guys who are willing to train. There are a lot of qualities of atmosphere and camaraderie…I would be very cautious about putting my boy in a class.
I would want to hang out and see what the classes are like for a while before I make a real commitment. Even as an adult there’s all kinds of gyms I’ve trained at, that I’ve had a bad experience at– and you don’t want to get hurt.

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