With no jiu-jitsu classes for kids around, I wonder how the schools who do have kids’ classes adapt the art for kids. I assume they also follow judo conventions of no joint locks below a certain age. A friend of mine has a daughter who trained bjj for a while. He seemed to recall some adaptations but doesn’t know these technicalities though. What do they do? Maybe Rickson was choking out his brothers at age 5, but I assume mostly positioning, sensitivity, and flow.

In the meantime, I occasionally sneak in some training for my older son in whatever I’ve happened to pick up. It’s kind of like those book-writing or blog-posting moms who advocate sneaking in vegetables into various recipes. When we’re playing something like “Ben 10” or “Spiderman” or whatever, it invariably involves fake fighting or wrestling Dad who has to play a bewildering array of aliens and super-villains. So that’s when I sneak in some actual training that is slightly beneficial. He knows what the guard is, what the half-guard is, that you should pass it to get the mount, use it to defend the mount, why the mount is so dangerous from a striking perspective, how to sort of roll out of stacking, how to stack, the right shape for an armbar, bridging, and is intuiting the snake move, though that is going to require some technical instruction. Also I need to learn about another 50 techniques to try to teach him, say, 5. He also intuitively does upkicks, starts his guard with those, then his feet to push, then the shins as well as keeping his balance and posting (without knowing any of the vocabulary) if he gets mount since I’ll usually “try” to sweep. Dang, if he trained seriously he’d be able to kick the old man’s butt in just a few years. Of course that’s as likely to happen as my kids suddenly eating mostly healthful veggies and “superfoods”. In the meantime I try to use this opportunity for some training of my own to be technical, sensing, and flowing instead of using double weight and quadruple strength, and trying to give him foundational skills without him realizing it. Like Mr. Miyagi. Wax on. Wax off.

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