GRACIE NATIONALS KIDS FESTIVAL 2018
Los Angeles Convention Center - Sunday, January 7th
Check-In Time: 10:00 AM
Warm up starts @ 11:00AM
All Kids are welcome to the festival at no charge regardless of affiliation or team
- 10am: Check-in
- 11am: Warm up Hosted by The World Calisthenics Organization
- 11:30am: Friendship Cup Starts
- 1:30pm: Gracie Diet Intro Hosted by GrandMaster Rorion Gracie
- 2:30pm: Games Part 1
- 3pm: Yoga Hosted by Denny Prokopos
- 3:30pm: Self-Defense Workshop
- 4pm: Games Part 2
Life Is Not Fair...
...But children, until a certain age, are not ready to understand the reasons they may lose a competition even though they likely provided everything they had and applied great effort to win. Many times while observing that the other child who won did not put the same effort and still won due to greater genetic talent. This is not fair.
Children who are not yet fully developed cognitively are not prepared to understand this. And this will hurt for them, it will hurt their development as an athlete, it will diminish their confidence, and it will lower their self esteem. Additionally, they may even conclude (incorrectly) that even if you try hard it doesn't matter because you might lose anyway.
So we believe that all children; given they have provided great effort, sportsmanship, discipline, courage to participate in the first place, and respect for their fellow competitors; should be rewarded. Period. And why not?
Some might say; "It's important the child learns how to lose!" To that, we pose the question; "If an instructor has a student who is always winning, should they purposely put the student in a position to lose in the name of their development?" If losing is so important and learning how to lose is so important, then we should purposely find ways for prodigy’s to lose because they need to learn how to lose? This is nonsense. If an instructor has a student who is always winning he is gonna be happy for that student. He is not going to put a student deliberately in a situation to lose in order for the student to learn how to lose as a way to further the development of the student. We believe that it’s better for kids to feel supported and encouraged in their journey into this sport.
All child level participants will receive a medal. It’s not a "participation medal" they will receive, it’s a medal which rewards their great effort, their courage, and their sportsmanship. We believe this will serve as a motivation for them to do it again, feel satisfied with their training, and to continue their pursuits in the sport. Regardless of the outcome, we believe the child knows if they have made mistakes in the match and will try harder next time to get better given the proper supportive environment.
The medal is a token to reward them for their great effort, their discipline, and their display of respect. We don't like the idea of Jiu-Jitsu being means to reward champions only. Currently across many different sports, it seems too much about winning, where it doesn't matter if you are a good person, whether you have displayed good sportsmanship...if you win you are the king, if you lose you are nothing. We believe Jiu-Jitsu goes way beyond wins and losses. Youth Jiu-JItsu is not cockfighting and sending a child to go and try to destroy the other one is flat wrong. We believe that this type of behavior is very harmful to children psychologically and that is not how we want to run our kids events.
Some may not agree with our point of view and we respect that. That is their prerogative but we belive this mentality only rewards those who are generically talented and causes kids who are not as talented to feel discouraged. There are plenty of sports already out there even inside of the school system that reward only the ones who are more talented and we want Jiu-Jitsu to be something for everyone, even children that may not be as gifted athletically. We want to support every child that is willing to go out there to get a medal. We think that is the best policy for kids that are 12 years and younger. And that is why we run our events the way we do.
We look at kids as if they are our own kids and we pay great attention to their well being not just physically but also emotionally. Kids express themselves in their faces and body language and we pay very close attention to that. Our staff is instructed to observe kids at all times to make sure they are having positive experience and that they come away feeling they had a blast, are ready to go back to their school inspired to learn more, and motivated to meet new friends in the next competition.
We separate the kids by size, not by skill level. And group children in a round robin system with each match lasting 4 minutes. Referees may stop the match at any time if they feel it's necessary.