Letter to a Concerned Parent | Kids Martial Arts in Montebello

Let me first off congratulate the whole Versus team for all their hard work. It takes all of us. From the Parents supporting, learning maybe even participating, to coaches who dedicate their time, effort, knowledge and experience. It takes Respectful Training partners to work with. It’s the whole village.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”


First tournament win!

And I’m not speaking of the gym or the team. I’m talking about the individual. More specifically, the 5 year old child, the 7 year old goofball, the quiet reserved 10 year old or the ever changing attitude of the Teenager.

They all come in at different stages and we get to work with what they have. Improving small pieces at a time, learning a difficult technique and then forgetting it over the weekend. They build their own confidence and ego just to have it tested time and time again, sometimes in dramatic fashion and other times reduced completely to rubble. And then we start building on putting all the pieces back together again. Its this process that makes them come back stronger every time.
This Jiu Jitsu stuff is difficult. It's no impossible by no means but I is difficult.

Jiu Jitsu has a way of MAKING its practitioners deal with what’s in front of them. You must defend. You must fight. You must face the problem at hand. If you don’t, you’ll suffer. Geez even when you defend, you suffer still but choosing to not defend means you’ll suffer more. Whether it’s being completely smashed by someone’s arm from a cross-face or being crushed by someone fully mounted on you pinning you to the floor, BJJ can have a way of taking any of us to a very fearful place. For adults too, take a class and see for yourself.

But these kids build this ability to endure this little by little, practice by practice and hour by hour. We the coaches are there with them, we know how it feels to endure this treatment ourselves. Some kids make it look easy. Other kids take a bit more time. The process will work to improve their confidence, ability, strength, mental toughness ect. But it takes time.

“Brick by brick, my fellow citizens, brick by brick”

I’ve seen it time and time again. And I understand. It’s difficult to watch our son or daughter in a tough spot and be helpless. Or it’s easy to let them quit because it’s too hard.

But trust that the process works. The constant guidance, work, commitment to something that takes longer than you thought would take. The day to day struggle of thinking our child is not improving because all their teammates that surround them are all getting better as well.

But they are. Trust that they are improving. Little by little they are building something inside them they will take throughout the rest of their lives. Forging friendships made on the mats from blood, sweat and tears. But the catch is you have to keep bringing them.

“You Only Lose when you Give Up”

I’ve seen the child that wanted to quit go to winning Gold this weekend. I saw the child that kept coming up short finally get their first Gold medal. The struggling 8 year old child turn Teenager now come into their own and become a very well respected competitor. And with these few examples...these kids haven’t fully bloomed yet. But they have become more prepared than I was at that age. More prepared to take on bigger tasks that the future holds for them. They are not normal average kids anymore.

And then there are all the kids in between these examples. Neither here nor there but in the “in between.” But they are on their own path because they began at their own starting point. And in time they will have a defining moment where they make a “break through” and get a boost of confidence and momentum. These break throughs will undoubtably pull them through the more difficult times.

Again I know it’s hard to watch your child in a tough spot and want to help or remove them, but we have to trust the process. They might want to quit because it’s hard or maybe consider this, you would quit under these same circumstances and they are feeding off of that energy. And something else to consider as well, the body will always choose the path of least resistance, do we want them to always choose the easy route, stay in their comfort zone and turn away when times get difficult?


“Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

Entitlement is poisonous. The sense of Entitlement is the unreasonable expectation that everyone owes you something or more importantly the belief that you deserve special treatment. We are teaching the kids more about accountability. To be responsible for their own actions. These kids are learning the value of goal setting, commitment and hard work towards that goal. They have to suffer and endure before they earn what they want. No special treatment here, no easy matches, no easy days. No free passes to the front of the line here. And its a long line and it will take some time but we shouldn't let that stand in the way.

To say the least, we are proud of them. They are improved from the first day and we look forward to those defining moments and break throughs but until then, when they fall down, they learn to get back up. And when they can’t get up themselves, they have their teammates reaching down, coaches to encourage them and parents to support them.

That’s what this family is about.


Versus Kids @ Dream BJJ State Championships 2018