November 19, 2008

Kids at Jiu-Jitsu Training

Last Saturday, I came to the dojo one hour earlier by mistake. I was surprised to see three young boys training there. I think the boys were between 7 and 9 years old. I also saw an infant sitting in the corner, to whom I did not pay attention at first.

I went upstairs to an observation balcony so that I could watch the kids at training. There I saw three fathers who were watching over their children. The fathers were all jiu-jitsu students from the adult class.

The boys rolled with each other at first. Then they rolled with our black belt professor. After a while and to my surprise, the professor pointed at the little infant. I realized it was a tiny girl. She stood up and proceeded to roll with the professor. First she tried an arm-bar, then she tried to apply a choke. The professor was flipping and turning at a slow speed, letting the girl press the action. After a few minutes, the professor finally tapped out.

The whole scene made me smile. As I looked around, one of the fathers said to me proudly, “This is my daughter. She is 5 years old.” All I could say was, “wow”. The father continued, “All of her girlfriends train at tae kwon do, but look, jiu-jitsu is more effective, what do you think?”

I hesitated for a second. Then I said, “tae kwon do is probably good for flexibility.” I felt the father was a little disappointed that I slightly resisted his reasoning, even though I am a jiu-jitsu disciple myself. The father wanted more assurance from me so he said: “Look, I weigh 200 pounds. I once rolled with a small girl who had a purple belt and she tapped me out.” I nodded approvingly and the father seemed to settle.

Photo Credit: Gracie Barra Westchester.

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