Kayanna Ruffo, Carlos’ and Giovanni’s mother, talks about her sons, their training, and how she feels about MMA for kids.
We know that the topic of kids learning MMA is getting a lot of negative attention lately. The truth is just like in any other area in their life children are going to behave and react in the way they have been taught, and from what they have observed around them. People who are not familiar with the MMA community and have met Carlos and Giovanni would never suspect them to be involved.
The boys do not train because they want to “beat someone up”, they are training because it makes them feel good to test themselves and their knowledge of various arts. If they win – it is great. But if they lose - it is still good because they learn how to lose gracefully and acknowledge they still have areas they need to work on to improve.
They have been taught at home that in everything you do its 20% talent and 80% attitude. There's always going to be someone bigger, stronger or faster than you, but its how you react that will make a difference in the outcome - not only in the match but also in life in general.
I can give you an example of the 20% talent and 80% attitude: Carlos and Giovanni were introduced to an Olympian coach and were allowed to attend a practice session he had for some kids.
The boys were a few years younger and although they are talented wrestlers they don't focus solely on wrestling, so obviously the other kids were going to be more advanced then the boys. At the beginning of the practice the coach really didn’t pay much attention to Carlos and Giovanni. He was focused on other kids, but as the practice progressed, the kids he was concentrating on began to complain and didn’t follow his directions. One even began to throw a tantrum of sorts.
At that point the coach turned to Carlos and Giovanni who for the past 45 minutes had been practicing only on their wrestling stance (because the coach didn’t like the one they had been taught by a different coach) he began to direct his attention to them.
Because of that he saw the boys had talent and due to their attitude (never complaining or questioning what he was telling them to do) he now does private lessons with them, teaching them unbelievable moves and setups. They never would have had that opportunity if they had complained for working on something so basic as their stance for 45 minutes!
To be continued...