Category Archives: Kids

Vindicated

When I thought about how I was going to share this story, I ran into a sort of dilemma. I wanted to make sure I used the most appropriate word to describe what my son had experienced, what he had accomplished, and how he was feeling. I have always had issues with writing, and have had to put constant effort in being able to express what I was thinking in my head. I know now, that it will take several words to capture this great moment in my son’s life. Really, it was a great moment for all of us. We thank you for stopping bye, and hope you enjoy! Continue reading

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Story Time

The winter season gives us a perfect excuse to huddle together and share some of our memories with our little ones. Read on and see why we are planning on making this a regular practice. – The Warrior Family


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The winter here in VA keeps the temperatures down, and the snuggle time high. This gives me the perfect excuse to setup a nice fire in the family room, and kick back with my lovely wife. The other evening, we were joined by our two boys. Earlier that day, I had told them a story about my childhood, and they wanted to to hear more. Initially, I hesitated. I just wanted to sit back, enjoy my drink, and, have some quiet time with my wife – but they insisted. This, at first, kind of annoyed me. Continue reading

Establishing your family’s identity

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Without establishing your family’s identity, you deny yourself a platform for which to base your life decisions. This especially applies to your children.

How can you hold them accountable for things you haven’t taught them about?

Is it realistic to think that you can teach them everything?

How do we influence what they do when we’re not around?

Teaching your children about identity, and what it means to be them, gives them a path to follow – a left and right limit.

Check out Episode 2 of The Warrior Family Podcast to hear more on the topic.


 

We hope you enjoy!

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No Excuses for Fitness

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Hey everyone, things have been going really well here at The Warrior Family. We have had a lot of new followers join us recently, and have  recently added a newsletter sign up to the website. Make sure you click on the tab above and sign up to receive updates on posts, offers like merchandise giveaways, and exclusive content for our subscribers.

What’s your excuse?

For the past month, we have been extremely busy here. We just made a trip to Texas to baptize one of my nephews, we are in the middle of relocating to the Washington, DC area, and have taken three new additions to The Warrior Family. Colin, Kenneth, and Isabel Parker have been in our lives for over seven years now. They made the trip down to Georgia to spend time with us before the move, and boy, have we been busy!

Everyday it’s something new, and this is exactly how I wanted it. You see, the Parker kids are from a small town called Murphy, NC. Since it’s summer time, and soccer season is over, they haven’t been as active as they were during the school year. Thankfully, their mom was willing to let us have them for these two weeks, and we have already had so much fun. That being said, we have not stopped keeping our fitness in check. We have made sure they are eating healthy, playing sports EVERY DAY, and have even taken them to an awesome obstacle course we have here in Fort Benning known as the Downing Mile.

The kids just loved running around in the woods, jumping over the obstacles, and climbing across the horizontal ladder. So, we recorded it so that we can share it with you.

The moral of the story is this: no matter how much fun you’re having, you should never make excuses for your health. We have had the best time here, yet we make it a point to do physically taxing activities daily. The Parkers are getting indoctrinated into our values- getting strong, getting smart, so that we can help people – all while making memories which will last for a lifetime.

So, what’s your excuse? Trust me, it’s not good enough. No matter what, get out there, make your families fitness a priority, and get some!

Here’s the video. We hope you enjoy!


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Training Ferocity : Sunday fun with kicks, kettle bells, and waterfalls

We didn’t choose a name like The Warrior Family for nothing. Part of what makes us unique is that we all have a deep passion for fitness, fighting, and working hard to accomplish our goals. At one point in time, the both of my boys were involved in Mixed Martial Arts, and they would have three to four training sessions a week! Now, it’s my oldest son who has continued sharpening his skill in jiu-jitsu, and stand-up fighting, while my youngest son gives his best shot at Baseball.

On my free time, I enjoy spending hours conducting research, listening to podcasts, and watching videos that make me more knowledgeable in the strength and conditioning realm. One thing that I have learned from following amazing coaches like Zack Evan-Esh, is that the difference in performance from your young athlete comes from what happens after the game, and after those long practices.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that after each training session, my oldest son and I would discuss everything that happened on the mat. We would talk about what he did well, what he could have done better, and how his actions contributed to achieving his goals.

This was EXTREMELY helpful in developing my sons mental toughness, and made him more productive during his sparring sessions.

However, with both of my boys, there are two aspects that they are still lacking in their athletic ability – ferocity, and strength. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is absolutely normal, I mean…they’re kids, right? Maybe for normal kids, but not so much for mine.

Now that my boys are getting older, I am beginning to expose them to some of the harsh realities of life. One of those realities is that there are people in this world who will want to harm you, or the ones you love. Some will have material motives, some will be more complex; however, whatever the case may be, you should always be ready to take a stand, and protect what is yours. I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it. It’s hard to explain to a kid why daddy got sent to war those three years, but if I can make them understand this, maybe they won’t hold it against me in the future.

 

I owe them that type of honesty, they deserve it

 

Our Sunday Fun-day

 

One of the reasons that I began following Strength and Conditioning Coach Zack Evan-Esh, is because he bases his training around a strong set of values – The Code. His belief is that in order to succeed, you have to work you a** off, and I completely agree. This past Sunday, my wife and I picked up a free-standing punching bag for our boys to get some additional training on. Now, I’m no Black Belt, but I know how to fight, and I know how to train. So, I decided to have some fun with the boys, test out our…I mean their new toy.

First and foremost, no shirts allowed…it was that kind of party. We each grabbed our gloves, kettle bells, laced up our shoes, and headed out back. Here’s the workout:

Using a timer app set to beep at every thirty seconds, the three of us would take turns either punching the bag, or conducting an exercise. We would do two complete rotations, adding up to three minutes of work (the typical length of a sparring match). In total, we did four sets, simulating four rounds of sparring, with a 60 second rest between each set. Here’s a breakdown of each round:

  1. Bag: Roundhouse Kick / Switch Kick (practicing both)
    Exercise: Standing Kettle Bell High Pull(10lbs/40lbs)
  2. Bag: Jab/Cross combination, side-step, repeat
    Exercise: Air Squat
  3. Bag: Push Kick (lead/trail leg alternating)
    Exercise: Jumping Jacks
  4. Bag: 2x Rapid Jab/Cross combination (1,2/1,2)
    Exercise: Burpees

When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.

With the excitement of having the new bag, and the intensity from the workout, we all had a blast. Helping the boys push through mentally, and watching them REFUSE to quit made this experience amazing. When I offered them the opportunity to back down, the littlest one simply asked, “Which one is next, daddy”.

Since the boys worked so hard, and they wanted to do more, I decided to make things a little more fun. We took our kettle bells to a field just outside my house, and ran our water hose over the fence. I set a marker for the boys about 25 meters away from where we started, 100 meters for me, and turned the water on. The goal was to pick up the weight, run around the marker, come back through thewaterfall”, and cool off with the water hose until it’s your turn again. We didn’t keep count, but I know we did at least five sprints to the marker, and back. The last two were done without the weight so that we can feel like The Flash, as my youngest would call it. It was awesome seeing my boys have so much fun spraying each other down, encouraging each other, and really trying their best. At the end of our session, we cooled off with the water for a while, and had our post training talk.

 

“Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”

 

I went on to ask the boys if they knew why we train so hard in this family. My oldest said, “To get strong, and help other people”, which is consistent with our family values – kudos to you, Caleb. The youngest didn’t have an answer, so I explained it to him that we don’t do it for ourselves. We train for our family, their future children, and my future grandchildren. In the past, I used the example of an intruder breaking into our house to explain something to the boys. I asked them, “Do you want to feel powerless, like you can do nothing, or do you want to feel confident in knowing that, if you had to, you could do whats necessary protect mommy and brother?”

When I told my wife about that discussion, she seemed unhappy at first, but we can’t escape reality. I can spend my “fun” time with the boys playing video games, or watching movies, which we do on occasion; or, I can use that time to develop them into healthy, thoughtful young men by training with intensity, bringing out that ferocity that will help them succeed in life – and ending the session by engaging in deep conversation about life, family, and what it takes to be a good man.

Yeah, it was a good Sunday.

Here are some photos of our post workout fun!

 

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Big brother is always watching

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The best type of motivation

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Mateo getting a good throw

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“Little brothers never quit!” – Mateo

Mental Coaching: 3 tips to help your child work through those tough training days

A common theme amongst American families is the years of peewee football, wrestling, soccer, and baseball that we expose our children to. A parent wants nothing more than for their children to find exactly what makes them happy, so that they can have hobbies to break the monotony of school, chores, and homework. However, often times the young athletes get very passionate about their sport, and tend to feel pressured to perform well for themselves, or their parents. Continue reading

Bystanders vs. Up-standers

Knuckle Up!

You will most likely never forget the first time your kid punches someone in the face. The huge rush of emotion that they experience usually leads to a long spell of crying, and anger – this is normal. About two weeks ago, my youngest son, Mateo, got into his first fist fight. When he plays outside, we leave the kitchen window open so that we can hear what is going on. When I heard the screaming, I knew it was coming from Mateo. When I got outside, I noticed it was my son, and his two friends standing next to an adult who saw what happened, I paid her no mind.  I’m really big on getting the story from the boys first, before I listen to a complete stranger, and he said, “I accidently punched him in the face!” At that point, I knew I had to dig in to find out what really went on.

First, I checked the other boy to see if he was ok, and then my son and I walked him home (Mateo was bawling the whole way). When we met up with his mom, I apologized to her, and told her my son punched her boy while they were on the back of the truck. Our families are pretty close so she didn’t mind much, but I did demand that my son apologize to her boy immediately – this made his crying worse. After some stern motivating, my son finally apologized. The two boys shook each other’s hands, and went on with their days (at least the other boy did).

When we got home, I demanded an explanation from my son. Though we teach the two boys how to fight, we don’t support unnecessary violence. What he told me next, made me take a good long step back, and gave me a new respect for my six year old son.

“Daddy, he was cursing at my friend, and I told him to stop! He didn’t stop, so I punched him in the face”

The entire time he was explaining this to me, he was crying his little eyes out – all I could do was smile.

Family Values

One of the things that I am big about is teaching my kids the family code, a set of values if you will. When you ask our boys “What do the Rodas’ do?” ­­they respond, “Get strong, and smart, so that they can help people”. I remember teaching this to my oldest son back in Germany when he was about five years old. Now, since my youngest son has been hearing it his whole life, he actually put the family code into effect! So, when my son told me why he did what he did, I told him that I was proud of him. Initially he was confused, and gave me this crazy look as if he wasn’t hearing what he thought he just heard, but I repeated myself, “I’m proud of you, Mateo”. It was amazing to me how something that I thought I was having them repeat in vein, actually wired them to act bravely in a situation where most would just keep to themselves. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to someone who is doing wrong by others. The fact that my six year old son has it in him to not let these bad deeds go unpunished, shows me that he will one day grow up to be a great man.

Building the Up-stander

My wife and I are firm believers of keeping the knife sharp. The both of us constantly pursue higher levels of fitness, we keep our children active in various sports, and we have even had the boys training in MMA/Jiu-Jitsu for a little over a year. Before the boys are allowed to play video games, they owe me 3-5 minutes of some form of physical activity. This used to consist of push-ups, sit-ups, and squat jumps; however, recently we began sparring with the focus mitts (this develops punching/kicking speed, power, and develops hand/eye coordination).
 
 (Some pics of the boys getting sharp)
 
The physical portion, however, is a small part in developing an up-stander. What has worked in our favor is the example my wife and I have set for the boys. There have been countless times where I have had to pull my vehicle over, and make on-the-spot corrections to Soldiers doing the wrong thing while in or out of uniform. When my boys would ask why I yelled at them, I tell them that they were doing the wrong thing, AND THAT IS NOT OK!

There was even one evening when we were leaving the mall, I couldn’t help but notice a car that had its rear window fogged up. When I looked inside, I saw a large male leaning over this young girl, pointing his finger at her, and yelling at the top of his lungs. Almost immediately my wife noticed my posture change, and she knew I was about to act. I gave my wife the keys, and told her to start the truck. As I approached the vehicle, I could tell that the girl had been crying, and that the man yelling at her was either drunk or high. I banged on the trunk of the car to get the man’s attention, he seemed shocked. I motioned for him to step out of the vehicle so that I could talk to him – he simply nodded, uh-uh. Frustrated, I called him out of the vehicle loud enough so he could hear me – once again, uh-uh. I went up to the girls window, and asked if she was ok, she put on this fake smile and said “yes”. This was as far as I was going to invest myself since I had clearly destroyed that mans power base, and any sense of pride he may have had beforehand. So, I notified security of the situation, and let them handle the rest. The conversation that followed was one that came to mind when Mateo told me what he did.

The boys seemed confused as to why I wanted that man to step out of his car. So, I told them, “If that man wants to hit and yell at that girl in the back of that car, he’d have to get hit and yelled at by me first”. Noticing that I had confused them a little bit, I reminded them “Boys, what do the Rodas’ do?” and we went over the code again, “Get strong, and smart, so we can help people”. I had to explain to them that I wouldn’t be teaching them these things if I was not ready to put it into practice myself – whether that girl deserved what she was getting or not, I wasn’t about to let my boys witness me not doing anything about it, or at least notify the proper authorities. They need to know that there are ways to help!

What is an Up-stander?

I actually learned this term from my oldest son recently. An Up-stander is someone who stands up for someone when they get bullied. They are the ones who give power back to individuals who may feel like they have none, and give a sense of hope to those have lost all of it. I’m proud to say that my boys are up-standers, and will continue to set that example for them.

So, what are you? Are you a bystander, or are you an up-stander? I’m not saying you have to go banging on peoples trunks, but if I were to just have pulled up behind them and honked my horn a couple of times, maybe that would be enough to tell that man hey, we’re watching you, stop being a PUNK! Mateo could have also walked away from the situation, but since his friend was getting messed with, his passion got the best of him, and he stood up – which is exactly what he was taught to do.

Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better.
This is what we’re all about. 

Fight on friends! – The Warrior Family

 
Note: all three boys involved are fine, and are still friends today

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