Cave Juniors (Ages 4 -7)
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:15pm-6:00pm
Cave Juniors is our younger kids program. Between the ages of 4 and 7 we are trying to establish a few things:
Getting the kids comfortable with contact:
Not every kid is comfortable pushing, being pushed, falling, or being held down. Students will gradually become more and more comfortable with greater and more intense levels of physicality through safe, effective, and FUN games.
Basic fundamental skills:
We teach our students the basics like falling safely, good posture, take-downs, escapes, and the verbal skills necessary to stand up for yourself when confronted by a bully.
The Cave Juniors program is designed to teach kids how to listen, follow directions, wait their turn, and respect their classmates, teachers, and parents. On top of that basic structure they will learn how to be safe from bullies and defend themselves from the most common schoolyard fighting techniques. THAT BEING SAID, when everyone behaves, the class is truly designed to be FUN!
Advice for parents:
Having a 4-7 yr old kid in your house can be quite a challenge, especially if you have more than one. They are freshly out of the baby phase and are coming to terms with not being able to have everything they want when they want it. They are ready to learn and explore, but they can also be fairly self centered and as instructors we know how short their attention spans can be. So here is some advice for dealing with the common pitfalls parents run into.
1. We know you want discipline!:
We would love to be able to turn a group of 4-7 year olds into super disciplined children who never lose their temper, make their bed every day without provocation, and show courtesy and respect to everyone they meet. Realistically, the best we can do is to be your ally by providing a fun environment where bad behavior excludes them from rewards and good behavior is positively reinforced. Expect gradual improvement over time.
2. Are they playing too much?
You may ask yourself if we are playing too many games in class, but THIS IS THE GOLDEN RULE IN KIDS TRAINING, if it isn't fun they won't want to come. It is no fun putting a Gi (Uniform) on a kid who is crying and screaming that they don't want to go to class, and it is a hard mental gap to bridge in the short amount of time we have for class.
3. Do not coach your child!
This is a hard one, but in order to keep a students morale up it is incredibly important that you avoid criticizing or giving excessive advice to kids at this age. They are developing and consistent training will have them doing techniques that will astound you, but Jiu-Jitsu at this age is all about fun. When they step off the mat each day and you are driving home, the best thing you can say to your kid is, “It was really fun watching you today!”, throw in a high five and call it a night. Just like a crayon drawing they really want you to look at, it is honest self expression, it is not about how accurate their picture of the family dog is; if you start talking about color theory instead of just telling them how much your appreciate their effort, don't be surprised if they don't feel like coloring much anymore.
4. “I don't want to do Jiu-Jitsu anymore!”
This is an opportunity to discuss the importance of following through, that, “We don't get to just quit”. Everything that is worth doing was once difficult; we don't accept it if our kids want to quit learning to read, doing math, or any number of other essential skills that all adults should have. Jiu-Jitsu teaches many life skills but principally we teach self defense, and as a kid who was bullied throughout my childhood and adolescence I can definitively say that whether it is kindergarten, high school, or college WHEN someone tries to punch your kid in the face or hurt them in some way, they will not be mad that you made them go to Jiu-Jitsu.
5. Your child is too scared to step on the mat.
This happens frequently. It is a big, brightly colored, room full of kids they don't know who all seem to know each other. Some of our best students sat and watched as many as a dozen classes before they felt comfortable stepping on the mat. Keep bringing them back, FREE OF CHARGE, and eventually they will feel comfortable.
6. Is there a problem?
If there is ever a problem you are running into, your child is scared to come to class, being bullied at at school, or you are worried about something you saw or heard; we are teaching your children, we take that responsibility seriously, so feel free to contact us through E-mail or pull us aside before/after class!