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My wife and I were looking for a friendly, family oriented MMA classes for our son (10) and daughter (12). They love martial arts and have been doing it for years, in an after school program (TKD). Well, after looking around, we joined Gracie PAC MMA. Let me tell you, this place is perfect. Their staff and coaches are incredible; friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and experience on everything MMA. Professor Cris Rodriguez is great with kids, amazing teacher. We are extremely happy with Gracie MMA, their staff is great, they are very organize and their curriculum (bjj, muay thai, kick boxing, etc....) has everything we were looking for. Great place for the entire family.

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Come train with the BEST! This is NOT your normal after school karate class. We were amazed at the amount of technique even the youngest students pick up after just a few classes. Coach Cris is awesome with the kids. She expects more then just good fighting from them. She stays involved with how they are doing in school and at home, giving her students the incentive to be the best at everything they do.

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I have been looking for a great exercise program to get involved in and finally found it here. I have learned so much in the two months I have been here and can't wait to continue to get stronger. Love This place!! Coach Cris is the best at making me not want to give up.

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PAC MMA is fitness for the whole family. Kids programs, adult classes and even the best woman's fitness and self defense around, this is the place to go. Make your family a part of the PAC family.

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I can't say enough about how much I love this place! My son is learning so much and he LOVES going to class. There's something so rewarding in watching your child learn and grow so quickly :) Coach Chris, Coach Dan and Coach Rich have all been amazing! I couldn't ask for a better environment for my son. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and so much of yourself - we truly appreciate it!

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Heard thru word of mouth. Then checked it out and noticed great character in their students and the attentive staff. The coach had noticeable rapport with the kids in the class. My daughter loved it. She can't wait to get back. She even cleaned her room! Huge plus.

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Gracie PAC MMA has been one of, if not the best, mixed martial arts gym I have been a part of. The kids program/instruction is second to none, and offers world class BJJ instruction for adults as well as one of the most promising striking programs in the US, Bang Muay Thai. Countless kids and adults have competed at the highest level under the GPAC banner, with even more discovering what martial arts can do for them. Whether you want to compete or get in great shape, this facility has the program for you

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Our family has been coming to Gracie PAC Tampa for nearly two years. We began sending our son first. Our main goals were for him to experience the physical and mental benefits derived from regular physical exercise. Instantly we realized how special this place is, and how amazing Coach Cris is with the kids, as well as adults. She is fair but firm, and as she commands respect, she encourages these kids to rise to their full potential, also providing valuable discussions on character, sportsmanship, and leadership, as part of her curriculum.

My husband takes some of the adult jiu jitsu and kickboxing classes, from which he has benefitted greatly, and I truly enjoy being a member of the ladies' bootcamp group. These ladies represent a wide range of fitness levels and ages. Each class, we all get together to kick butt, do our best, and encourage each other in a true team environment. I never leave this class disappointed.
Gracie PAC Tampa MMA - best place EVER for your anyone in your family to train at.

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Well it's about time I write a review! My boys joined Gracie PAC as little Ninjas about 4 months ago. They absolutely love it! Professor Cris is an amazing teacher! She's very enthusiastic about teaching and she is very patient. My boys love going to class. They are 4 &7 . They never want to miss a class. They have learned so much and continue to learn with each class. They love earning strips on their belt. This is a really great positive atmosphere for kids and families. I'm very satisfied with our experience.

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I took Jiu Jitsu a few years back at another facility and decided to give this one a try. I took my first lesson last night and could not believe the content. Very structured and professional. Easy to learn and everyone was eager to assist me being the new guy. Other places teach you a couple of moves. Each involving many steps and you still won't understand it. Garcia PAC teaches you a technique and teaches you other techniques that involve some of the same steps. It made me confident that if I try something and am not able to secure the submission, then I can roll into another technique just as easy and It gives you options and makes you think. I liked that approach rather than what I was given in the past. A+ school and is 100% legit. I am confident this time around I will take it all the way with my training. When you find a place like this you take advantage of the opportunity to train there.

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We love it at Gracie PAC! They focus on fitness, strength, form, and most importantly they work hard every lesson to help teach my children how to effectively defend themselves against bullies and other attacks. It's easy to see this group of educators clearly loves kids and have a passion for sharing their vast knowledge with their students! Best MMA in the Bay for kids!

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I took my first class tonight. As soon as you enter, you are greeted by smiling faces who are just as excited to have you there as you are to be there. The coaches there were phenomenal. They were so incredibly encouraging and patient, it was a breeze picking it up because there was no pressure. Great job at creating such an inviting atmosphere.

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How To Talk To Kids About Saying No

Do you or does your child have trouble saying “no?” Do you find yourself saying “yes” to your children when you really want to say “not today,” “I can’t swing it,” or just plain “no?” Does your child over-stretch or over-commit because s/he can’t seem to say no? Perhaps you or your child is what my next guest calls “a master of yes and a novice of no.” But is all this people-pleasing a problem? As you might have already guessed, of course it is. And- As it turns out, even though it might be difficult to say no, it’s vital that we learn how to do it for our own health, wellbeing and stress-levels—and also so that we are teaching our children how to do it too. Is it uncomfortable to say no? Sure, it can be. But constantly saying yes can cause anxiety, anger, stress, regret and feelings of powerlessness. We definitely don’t want that. For the many ways to say no and mean it, we turn to Susan Newman.

Social psychologist, Susan Newman is the author of 15 books in the parenting field. Her research examines such areas as building strong family bonds and raising only children as well as the difficulties of being working parent. She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today and U.S News & World Report.  She is the author of “Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day” and The Book of NO: 365 Ways to Say It and Mean It—and Stop People-Pleasing Forever. You Follow her on Facebook at DrSusanNewman and sign up for her free “Monthly Family Life Alert” Newsletter on her website SusanNewmanPhD.com.

Important Messages:

  • We can’t say yes all the time- and when we do, we put ourselves in a constant state of overwhelm.
  • We have to learn to take care of ourselves- and part of taking care of ourselves is saying no.
  • Saying yes- illuminates arguments, it’s easier. Parents feel guilty- they don’t feel that they spend enough time with their kids. Some parents feel deprived- so they don’t want that to happen with their kids. And others were indulged- and want to do the same with their kids. And some want to be their child’s best friend. Some parents are falling prey to social pressure- raise “star” children who do it all- academics, sports, arts, music.
  • Questions before yes—do I have the time? Will I be unhappy if I say yes? Will I be resentful of the person asking me? 
  • Do I really want to do this? Is this someone I really care about? What am I giving up?
  • Sometimes we don’t calculate how we will feel in the future
  • Saying “no” set limits for kids and teaches kids how to say no himself.
  • By giving in to every wish and want, you are setting your child up to expect that everything will always go his/her way. When s/he comes out to the real world, rude awakening.
  • Saying “no” provides an opportunity for self-awareness.
  • Saying no helps a child learn to evaluate whether or no s/he wants to really do something. It also teaches responsibility- contributing to the family- and will feel pride- laundry, cooking.
  • Sometimes you can give an emphatic no. Other times, you can give an explanation with it. For example; “Can you just make my bed today for me?”
    “No, I really can’t do that, I have to make my own bed and get ready to go to work—and that’s your responsibility.” Or “I’m a parent and this is a house rule. When you’re a parent, you are welcome to have a different rule.”
  • Model for your child how to say no. Explain to your children why you turned down a request for help or an invitation. We can talk about people who ask us for help all the time but don’t offer help in return.
  • Watch opportunities to teach how to say “no” in action. “If you are going to take on another sport, how are you going to handle what you already have on your plate, get your homework done, free time to be with friends.” Go through the questions so s/he can figure out what a yes or no would mean.
  • As kids get older, do hypotheticals with drugs and alcohol and sex- how to say no.
  • When you are saying no, say it calmly and quietly.
  • Many parents think they keep saying no, no, no. I’m allowed 6 “no”s in order to have kids and yourself no it. Too many “nos” can cause arguments and tuning you out.
  • Parent knows best: If you know best that your child isn’t ready for something—“how do you feel about it?” What are the fears? What’s in the way? Is there a way to switch it around so there are alternatives.
  • Give your child permission to use you, the parent, as an excuse. “My mom/dad said I can’t…” (i.e. sleepover- “how about inviting your friend over to our home?” “My mom/dad said t=I need a good night’s sleep because…” “I can come for a sleep-under until 10pm but need to get picked up before bedtime.”
  • On the other hand, if you think your child CAN do something s/he feels nervous about (and would say no to), encourage him/her. “I know you can do it!”
  • Saying no: phrases like “I prefer not to,” “I’m uncomfortable,” “I’m not the right person,” “Regrettably, unfortunately, sadly I can’t,” “Wish I could but…”
  • Gossip: “I’m not sure about that.” “I need to think about that.” “I’m not comfortable commenting about that.” “I don’t really agree with that.” Don’t have to commit to a yes when someone is gossiping and trying to get you onboard.
  • Commentary about Appearance/Thanksgiving/Holiday/Family Get-Togethers- you don’t want to say “no” outright because it’s a sensitive family gathering: “I can understand your concerns but I don’t think a family gathering is the appropriate place to talk about it.” Change the subject. (Ideally, you want to get this person aside beforehand and say, “Look; my kids’ haircuts, dress, body is off-limits for this family get-together or any other family gatherings”)
  • Can you play with me now (when you can’t)? “I know I promised you that I would play a board game with you but I need to get dinner right now for you- you’re going to be hungry. Be patient. Let’s do it after dinner.” (teaching patience and let them know you care- but we are as disappointed as they are when we say no- but we are guiding them and letting them know what will come in the real world- that people don’t always say yes when we want them to do so!)
  • Reminded of Vicki Hoefle who said (paraphrased); Your child is going to be 18 in a hot minute! You need to parent your child as if s/he is going to be an adult in the real world!
  • Give children choices. You are not a restaurant chef! Think about what they want- and how to make decisions early-on. Instead of saying “no” outright, give them choices.
  • “I want a cell phone…everyone else has one.” Answer if the answer is no: “Absolutely not, you will get one- but not until you are older. In your friends’ homes, their parents make the decisions. In our home, I make the decisions. I know you are miserable with that decision but as soon as I feel you are old enough, you will get a phone.”
  • Money: “Honey, we just can’t swing that right now.”
  • Procrastination: Harvard study- kids who do chores are more responsible and do better academically.
  • Don’t do things for your child that she can do for herself. If your child is struggling with how to say no, talk it out. Brainstorm. Want them to stand on their own two feet. Have your child call and say; “I can’t do it today…here’s why.”
  • Wiggle room- careful on long-winded explanations. Gives the asker too much wiggle room to say “you can’t do X another day, do this today.”
  • Children won’t remember you saying no to this and that when diving into their memory banks. They’ll find something else to fault you for.
  • Protect yourself by saying no. Use self care. Teach your children to do the same. Refuse pressure. Refuse extra requests.

From the Blog of Dr. Robyn Silverman https://drrobynsilverman.com/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-saying-no-and-people-pleasing-with-susan-newman-phd/