Tuesday, March 2, 2010


"I believe the children are the future.
Teach them well and let them lead the way."

That's right, grapplers. I just quoted lyrics to a Whitney Houston song from 1986. I'm not ashamed.

This weekend, I refereed my teammate's bi-monthly tournament. And, for the first time, I officiated over the children's divisions.

These kids looked to be as young as 5. And, many of them were not fully "present" for their matches. I mean, they're 5 - they can barely dress themselves. No submissions were allowed, just positions/points.

I've seen little kids competing in jiu itsu (gi and no-gi) and even club wrestling tournaments. And, I've often doubted the appropriateness of involving kids in competitive grappling at such a young age. I worried about the violence and the potential for injury. But, this experience, which was a combination of babysitting and refereeing, changed my view of kids competition.

My cousin, Jonnie, working a pass at the Feb 13 Ouano Tournament in So Cal.

It was kind of inspiring and just overall damn cool to see the tiniest of men playing real jiu jitsu (as basic and rudimentary as it was). Kind of like watching puppies play. I saw guards played and passed, takedowns and even some submission attempts. There was no sign of viciousness or anger, just straight jiu jitsu. And, other than some injured feelings, no one was hurt and most seemed to have fun.

So, I guess what I'm saying is this: Grappler, you now have my permission to force your child to compete in jiu jitsu tournaments. I know you felt you needed that.

DSTRYR supporter, Mark, with son Nikko at podium of
Pan Kids Jiu Jitsu Championship this past weekend. Nikko won bronze.


  1. You should never be ashamed at displaying love for '80s cheese. I don't think I have an embarrassment threshold when it comes to that gloriously camp decade of pop: from Whitney to Wham! and Kylie, it's all good. :D

  2. Right on, bro! I actually hated this song when it was new, but somehow I still know all the words. Lame.

  3. I am always shocked when I watch the kids fight. They really go for it!!