The Greatest Love of All

The Professor promoted some of the kids at the end of class yesterday, and at one point he called me up to him, so they said “Gina’s getting a stripe!”, but he just wanted me to cut more tape. One of the girls said she was thought I was going to get promoted, and I told her that if Greg was going to give me a stripe, he wouldn’t do it in the kids’ class. Since I line up with them instead of the teachers, they must think I’m actually a student, but I’m thirty years too old for that class! Although, most people who know me would probably say that I’m really just a big kid (and some of the kids in class are actually bigger than me!).

I am not a student in the kids’ class (but I do learn things when I’m there!), and I’m also not a teacher. What I actually do most of the time is try to keep the younger kids focused on the task at hand. If there’s a group of three, I usually work with them during drilling, so I can help them remember the rotation. The younger kids are prone to being easily distracted, so I think of my job as just to make sure they keep doing Jiu-Jitsu the whole time!

I do also help the kids remember the details to the techniques when they’re drilling, and I coach them when they’re rolling, but I usually try to let them figure things out for themselves, and not give too much instruction. My coaching is more along the lines of “Don’t try to submit them when you’re in their guard, you need to pass!”, or when they stall “Not losing isn’t the same thing as winning!”.

I think my favorite part of the kids’ class is when I’m working with one group of kids, and from across the mat I hear “Gina, I need help!”. There are two actual teachers (Professor Greg, and Conan or Jerad) in every class, so when the kids ask me to work with them, it makes me feel as though maybe I’m not just a third wheel. I know that they don’t need me in that class, but I love working with the kids, and I just hope that my presence makes a positive difference!

“I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” -Whitney Houston

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