As a piece of background information, this was never our "plan." We are completely against over scheduling kids, have always said only one activity at a time, and do not have our kids enrolled in something all the time. This is a rare opportunity because Daniel can be at the gym with Gabe all the time, and because the cost for the gym is a monthly fee which gives you access to all classes, without a limit. Plus, Daniel also is a member so he works out and takes classes at the same time--one of them is even with Gabriel, which he of course thinks is the greatest thing. We are enjoying this opportunity while it lasts. We ask him every single day if he wants to go. Every single day he says, "Oh yes! I can't wait!" If he ever says he wants a break (and somedays if he is sick or tired we make him take a break!) we will say no problem.
That said, here is Gabe's weekly schedule:
Each class is One Hour, except wrestling which goes about 90 minutes (60 minutes of technique and 30 minutes of "live" wrestling)
Monday: Jiu-Jitzu, Judo, Fitness Kickboxing
Tuesday: Kickboxing, Wrestling
Wednesday: Kickboxing, Wrestling, Fitness Kickboxing
Thursday: Kickboxing, Wrestling
Friday: Mixed Martial Arts
Saturday: Mixed Martial Arts
The "sixth sport" is the fact that he trains in Freestyle Wrestling, but competes in Folk Wrestling, which has its own set of rules and strategy. Fitness Kickboxing is not a sport--it's a fitness class that uses kicks and punches.
The difference between some of the sports is radical. For instance, in Jiu-Jitsu (also called Submission Grappling) it is better to be on your back on the mat than on your stomach. In wrestling, putting your back to the mat is how you lose. In Freestyle wrestling you can lock your hands when you are down on the mat with your opponent. In Folk wrestling locking hands when you are down is a penalty.
What is so incredible about Gabe is his processing ability. A wrestling match (or Jiu-Jitzu or Judo) is like a chess game to him--he is thinking a few moves ahead, and knows how to reverse what an opponent does. At his first tournament ever, which was last weekend, he listened to his coach so well--he did whatever his coach told him to do. That's what matters to us, not his medal.
Where Gabe is weak is that he knows what he knows--and since he is so young, he hasn't been taught all that much. He can execute what he has done over and over with precision, but sometimes he gets a little lost. That is why we are loving that this is wrestling season and he can compete with kids his own size (there are only bigger kids at the gym)--he is learning that his weaknesses cost him points. That's the best teacher.
(Gabe's first Tournament: 2nd Place)
Also, an interesting part to him is that he doesn't have a ton of fight in him until he gets in the zone. Unless he gets himself all psyched up, he is very kick back about things. That is such a great personality trait, except in a competition! He cares very much, but he does not always fight hard.
He is most likely going to be in another tournament this weekend. With one under his belt now, it should be interesting to see how he does this time around. I think he will be more amped up and more prepared, and not so distracted by all the people.
Another note: we only enter him in wrestling tournaments, no Jiu-Jitzu where you are trying to get your opponent to tap out, and no kickboxing where you are punching and kicking your opponent. There is no need for him to do those yet. Jiu-Jitzu--maybe next year. But not kickboxing.
His gym is incredible. His sisters often choose to go because they can use any equipment or space not being used by a class. They can play with the big Pilates balls in the octagon cage. They can jump and run in the padded room. They can hit the punching bags, do sumersaults on the mats...it's great! And they are not members!
I don't know where this sport (These Sports!) will take us. I got a glimpse into my future of bleachers and sweaty gyms last weekend, and I loved it! Depending on where the Lord leads us and what opportunities are there will dictate how involved he can stay. But, no matter if this is a lifetime sport for him or something for now only, it is developing discipline, focus, and problem solving in him, and we are grateful.