Before their workout, Joe, 26-time UFC veteran, sat down in the fight cage with the 17 children (ages three through seven) to talk to them about the importance of listening throughout the morning’s activities. After a brief explanation followed by questions (“Do you watch Ninja Kidz, Joe?”), Joe led the children into a training space where he shook each child’s hand, emphasizing the importance of gentleness and eye contact. Then three Lauzon MMA instructors led the group through exercises focused on listening, coordination and movement. The children all had the chance to “tackle” an instructor—a crowd favorite. Following their 30-minute session, Joe asked the children to sit down with him, and talked with them about integrity and being kind. To conclude the training, each child shook Joe’s hand, while he encouraged them to be gentle and make eye contact.
All Clarke students in attendance are deaf or hard of hearing and use technology to access sound. Joe Lauzon’s son, Joey, Clarke alumnus, was also in attendance, helping to lead exercises and be a model for the younger children. Joey is now a kindergartener at his local mainstream school.
To see photos from the event, please click the Flickr album below: