Family Class? Where’s the Kids’ Class???

You might have noticed here at HHGC our coaching staff are nerdy wrestlers, and we look to empirical research as often as we can—and when relevant studies are available—to influence our grappling pedagogy. As an example, peer-reviewed literature has greatly informed how we’ve setup HHGC’s ‘family class’, wherein we strongly encourage a parent or mentoring adult to participate in the training with his or her child/children.

Why so??? The interrelationships among fitness, obesity, physical activity and health for kids have been well established—although we’d be totally remiss if we also didn’t consider the numerous socioeconomic factors of our unjust society that also influence health outcomes for children.

That said, we do know from numerous research studies that overall health and lifestyle habits of parents are critical sources of influence for their children. Recent studies have reported significant relationships between parents and children in both cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength. Findings from obesity and physical activity research tell a similar story. Obesity seemingly correlates not only to genetics but also shared health behaviors and environments within families.

Moreover, research has shown that parents influence their child’s physical activity habits through four distinct habitats—role modeling (e.g., adopting physical activity themselves), material support (e.g., financial, logistical), encouragement (e.g., cheering), and co-participation (e.g., parent and child being active together).

Given all this evidence vis-à-vis the critical role of parents in shaping fitness behaviors and future health status among children, we decided to forego the typical kids class structure that our contemporaries offer and adopt a ‘family class’ modality, wherein parents—or a mentoring adopt—take to the mat and practice with his or her child. All four of the aforementioned central influences—role modeling, material support, encouragement, and co-participation—will be consequently interwoven into each and every grappling lesson, plus parents themselves might develop a new movement literacy, which will translate well to their own physical and mental well-being. Oh, and did we mention that’s it’s just a lot of fun to roll around with your child on a mat and play structured rough-housing games???

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us—again, we totally nerd out over this stuff. And check out this video from our first family class this past Sunday (October 23) where we discussed how to control a bully without injury. You might notice my son and I really enjoy grappling together—and we truly believe you and your daughter or son will enjoy mat time as much as we do!

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