Kids Mixed Martial Arts Classes
This blog entry started out as a small piece to be placed inside the update of the gym blog but once I started typing, there was a lot of good things to mention about the kids in our gym and the program that we are using in Australia. So here it is..
The ‘TUFF Kids’ program is such a great program for kids and has really shown great skill development and mental development in the kids within this program. Our ages for this program are 5-12 year old’s and we have a mix of girls and boys in the classes. We have seen a lot of ‘MMA styled’ programs developed for kids in Australia, not many however have been so well rounded with fundamental physical exercises and skills and focused on mental development like the ‘TUFF program’. TUFF stands for ‘Training up future fighters’ and as Coach Matt Lindland many times put’s it to people, that it’s not about teaching the kids ‘fighting’ or making the next UFC champion, it’s about teaching the kids the skills and maturity to fight in life, whether it’s getting out of bed in the morning or dealing with problems in school or even 20 years away having bigger life problems, the aim of this program is develop fitness and skill goals whilst learning things about themselves, confidence, responsibility, learning to question, discipline, etc.
I have been lucky enough to see the kids grow since we started this program. I am proud of the kids when they are learning and displaying their training techniques and skills, but I would like to make it known that my most proudest moments are when the kids are starting to ask questions about techniques, sequences and ‘what if/what next’ type questions. This shows that the kids are starting to critically think about MMA and are truly understanding a great sport.
Another thing about this great program I would like to point out which I have seen many MMA gyms and schools promoting the idea and concept of making the kids spar with MMA gloves or boxing gloves. I personally am against this idea and believe that we don’t need the kids sparring to prove that the MMA ‘works’ or whatever thought process is behind it all. The kids however, wrestle, free roll, shadow spar, exchange drills, pad drills all relatively safe exercises promoting skill development without punching each other in the face. I have trained since a young age in martial arts as well and yes having sparred way before the age of 18 in controlled environments it is completely unnecessary for 6 year olds to be sparring and making head contact with each other. This is a regular question asked by many parents enquiring on enrollment.
The program developed by Team Quest in Oregon is an intelligent and challenging program, I am happy to teach and share with our young students. So if your kids, or friends and family members children are interested in learning martial arts and beginning a great journey, then bring them down and get them involved! We are sure they will love it!
P.S-check out some pics of the last kids class below!