Our kids' program is slowly growing and I couldn't be happier with this group of kids. They all work hard together as a team by helping each other out and encouraging each other as their skills develop. We work a lot on our foundations of knowing how to safely fall as well as developing much needed endurance, stamina, co-ordination. We do one or two "judo matches" per class and there is no winner/loser in our matches. If someone is thrown, we compliment them on their falling technique. If someone is doing the throwing, we make sure we encourage the pulling/pushing as well as the proper throwing technique. Sometimes we will circle up and I'll have each child demonstrate their best technique, which can range from a rolling fall to osoto-gari to getting out of a pin. Sometimes I'll ask someone to teach Sensei how to do a rolling fall, or maybe Sensei will purposely do something wrong, and then the kids will have to figure out what Sensei did wrong so that next time, Sensei will do it correctly. This builds confidence and courage. I encourage listening, empathy, inclusion and of course fun. Nobody is left out or picked last. Everybody goes with everybody. We usually start the class with a game, and end the class with something fun so that we always end on a positive note. Some kids have started their first day as super shy, but by the first week, they are happy and outgoing. Some kids have some minor listening problems (who doesn't??), and as soon as they learn what "MATTE!" means, they start listening, especially if they want to play the next game. The kids are encouraged to work as a team --- if one child isn't behaving that well, then EVERYBODY has to do push-ups. We all have to do this journey together, and this is how we do it. I look forward to what the future has in store for these champions.