Monday, February 18, 2013

Jiu Jitsu

Since soccer ended in November, the boys have been taking weekly martial arts classes at the Jiu Jitsu Academy here in town.  They call it fighting class, and for good reason.  Class starts with running circles around the mat (presumably to burn off the excess energy the kids arrive with).  Then they line up on the wall and do drills across the mat.  All the drills are named after an animal and involve some unique way of getting from one side of the mat to the other.  Bear Crawl is sort of a loping on all four limbs.  Ostrich is a two-legged sprint.  Cheetah is a bounding two limbs at a time.  Alligator is an army crawl.  There are two or three others, but that's all I can remember.  

Next, they circle up and play Simon Says to practice being still and listening.  Ethan is usually one of the first ones out :)  After that, they line up in a straight line and the instructors show them which fighting move they are going to work on next.  After the demonstrations, the instructors call the students up one at a time and practice the move one-on-one.  The catch is that the student has to be sitting criss-cross apple sauce, perfectly still and at attention in order to be called.  This was not easy for Ethan, but he still managed to enjoy the class.  

At the end is the kids favorite part: dodge ball, instructors vs. students.  Caleb is extremely good at this dodge ball game, and he has won the class-wide game more than a dozen times.  He shadows the most accurate instructor (staying out of sight) and plays a waiting game until most of the kids are out.  Then he puts himself into it physically 100%, running, dodging and ducking.  He wins so much that they all target him, and it is amazing that he is still pulling off regular wins.  One time, it was down to Caleb and two other guys and the instructors were targeting Caleb.  Ethan started chanting, "Go Ca-leb! Go Ca-leb!"  He tapped a few other kids around him and soon had the whole crew chanting "Go Ca-leb! Go Ca-leb!"  Caleb won that night, but I was even more proud of Ethan for supporting his brother like that.


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