When you put your child into Growing Gorillas, you come in for one benefit only to find another. The program teaches more than kid's martial arts. It enhances child development.
For Micro Monkey Kaia Kane, Growing Gorillas supplemented what she was already learning at home and in school.
Kaia’s mom, Jessie, said, 'We noticed she was very bright for her age and very physically coordinated and we wanted to work on her coordination.'
Jessie said that jiu jitsu has definitely helped Kaia’s physical development, but some of the best benefits are to her learning and growth as a person.
The life skills homework is great motivation for Kaia to help around the house, doing her life skills homework, and getting her next stripe.
Jesse commented, 'Sometimes we’re asking her to do things she’s not excited to do. So it’s a good motivator.'
Growing Gorillas has been a fantastic opportunity for Kaia to have new experiences and new social interactions. It exposed her to a new experience that most adults are afraid of doing: competing in a BJJ tournament.
The Joy of Competition
At our spring Gorilla Cup, Kaia had the biggest smile on her face of any competitor at the tournament. Jesse said, “We asked her if she wanted to do it, and she said yes. We tried to explain what a competition was, and she was like, ‘Jiu Jitsu on a Saturday, let’s do it!’
Jesse continued, 'She had a great time, not just because she won her matches. She had a great time cheering on her teammates, seeing that all these people were doing jiu jitsu at the same time. She like that there were so many people there doing what she was doing.'
Kaia may have jiu jitsu in common with her teammates, but Jessie said that Growing Gorillas is an opportunity to expose her child to people from different backgrounds.
'It’s been good for her to have a group of friends who aren’t like her school friends or playgroup, where those people are all like-minded. You’re going to encounter people who are not like-minded in real life. So it’s just another way to meet another group of people and have another group of experiences.'
The most unexpected benefit has been teaching Kaia how to set goals and meet them.
Every time she gets out of her Micro Monkey class, she can’t leave the gym without watching the Juniors class warm up. Kaia tells her mom that she has to watch them, so she knows what to do when she’s a big kid. Because of Growing Gorillas, Kaia has found role models who set positive examples for her to follow.
Growing Gorillas supplements child development by making your child comfortable with the uncomfortable at a young age. It gives them skills and experience that will set them up for success later in life.