A Different kind of “Head Start.”
We always start them out just playing on some type of obstacle course that’s a lil different every time, they LOVE it. Then comes wrestling, they go for 3 short rds or less always making sure we leave them wanting MORE (all of these things are done ONLY if they WANT to) if I sense the slightest hesitation then we leave the gym. They don’t just “hang out” at the gym all day every day because then it would obviously lose its appeal, that way when they do come to the gym they automatically associate it with high energy, FUN, “play” time with Dad. They occasionally will do some stick sparring which is ALWAYS a big hit, (sometimes standing on a balance trainer at the same time), and finish up with some boxing or kicking. At home they have 2 strings hanging in their rooms, one for vertical leap and one for kick height, they regularly jump and/or kick these strings which is for some reason great fun (they’re VERY competitive). When I see them start hitting the strings consistently then I trim a lil tiny bit off when they’re not watching, then naturally they don’t know that they “shouldn’t” be able to get it and soon they’re touching/kicking them once again. They love holding mitts for eachother and are exceptionally health and fitness conscious. They know the names of almost all their muscles and are learning about fats, carbs, and proteins. A common question is “Daddy, is this healthy”. They are VERY in tune with their tiny lil bodies and take a lot of pride in both the gym and what they can do. They won’t leave the house in the morning until they have taken all their vitamins (and reminded me to take mine).
At this stage what you see them do is just pretty much instinctive, I’m not critical about form or technique, just encourage them to have fun and maybe give ONE little pointer every time we play. More importantly, I make sure they SEE things done at the highest level possible once in awhile. That is, after all how children learn. It’s not from some one critiquing every little detail until they completely lose interest (which I see many, many parents do).
Annikka is also on her way up so watch for her (she’s 1 1/2) and my oldest (Jaxon 10 yrs old) is a phenom at everything he touches. You’ll see some of their work soon…this reminds me of a quote from one of the Gracies, something like, “We were training every day of our lives, we just didn’t know it.”