The One Thing A Child Must Love More Than Competition...

Ask my son (above) the following question, "Where are champions made" and he will tell you, "In the practice room". Although he says it, I can't always be sure he understands the importance of that statement. It's one of the things I have been trying to impress upon my son, in addition to my students at the academy; the importance of loving practice.

One thing I have noticed is that my Submission Samurai (highest level kids) love when they get to go live during training. We will usually start a competition team class with some drilling before moving into rounds of isolating position, and finishing off with some short rounds going to submission. Most of the time the practice starts and I'm doing my best to keep everyone on task. If you have ever worked with children before it can often feel like trying to heard cats. Their young minds are developing, you are trying to teach techniques you know will help them succeed, and all they want to do is "get after it".

Thirty one years of martial arts (including youth sports and professional fighting) has taught me that practice is far more important than competition. One does not get better at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the competition mats. As a consummate competitor myself (Masters level) I know that you only get better at competing when you compete. You get better at BJJ in the practice room.

It's like the saying goes, don't wait to be a world champion to do the things a world champion does. You must do all the things today, to become a world champion in the future. I look around during my class and I see future world champions in the making. I struggle getting them to understand these things (they range from 6-13/14) but know that if I keep preaching it, that they will certainly do so one day. Coach Rory Singer

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