Growing Up On The Mat

June 27, 2015 by Rieshy

Some nights our dojo's schedule means that it's just my 7 year old son and me taking classes.  This means he does his karate class and then sits and waits for my two adult classes to be over.  He's good about waiting, though sometimes he hears more gory chitchat about the best ways to dislocate random body parts than the average boy his age.  The other night my last karate class was an unusually small group, all of us jujitsu enthusiasts, so our sensei asked our jujitsu coach to lead the work.

I learned several lessons, not all of which were actually part of the drill-work.
  1. Kimura's are fun, and working them from the bottom is a great tool.  If your partner is a StrongFirst Kettle Bell instructor who is at least six inches taller than you- forget about trying for a Kimura because except for during drill-work, it's not going to happen.
  2. When rolling to get the mount and your partner weighs considerably more- always remember where your kneecap is, and where you would like it to remain.  Seriously, this was an injury-free aha, during a moment of sloppy technique, where I realized just how badly things could and would go if I didn't learn to pay closer attention and apply leverage properly.  
  3. Play is work and my youngest child is growing up.  This takes more explaining.  When class ended I realized my 7 year old had sidled up next to our sensei and was sitting on the mat watching the class intently.  We had time for some free rolling so I invited my son to roll with me before I rolled with the other adults.  He leaped at the chance and we started rolling, complete with my verbal encouragements and occasional sound effects, just like we do when we play grapple at home.  After a moment he leaned close as he worked for an arm-bar and whispered, with a glance to the other groups of working students, "Mom, please don't make noises, you're kinda embarrassing me." As his request was politely and rather vulnerably made I complied.  It made me a little sad for how seriously he takes himself, but at the same time I felt like I got to know my youngest a little better.  I think I may have a budding fellow enthusiast.  And our "playing" at jujitsu at home?  - It's all important work to someone growing up on the mat.


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