The Family That Trains Together Stays Together By Eric Gebhardt

It has been an incredible experience training with my sons, Jacob and Parker, who are both in college. We started our journey about three and a half years ago. My younger son, Parker, who was about 16 at the time, wanted to get into combat sports and we were looking for wrestling gym and ran across Elite.  Based on discussions with Coach Eric and the initial lesson we decided to try out MMA/BJJ instead. It has been such a fantastic bonding experience doing that with my son and learning together.  We were learning from each other and this experience provided lots of coachable moments that led to deeper conversations.

One of the most incredible times was the first time he choked me out.  We were probably 16 months into our training and he nailed me with a choke.  As his dad, I didn’t want to tap, so I was close to blacking out before I tapped. I was so proud of him at that moment for submitting me and the humility he demonstrated.  It cost me some kolaches but was worth it. Also fantastic was getting to train with both of my sons.  I also have an older son, Jacob, and both of them were back from college during COVID.  My older son had stayed away from training with us historically and we convinced him to come out and formed our own training pod.  After that he just loved it and it was fantastic, the three of us all training together.  Again, we were learning from each other and bonding around training. They really drove me because they got to go from training 3 times a week to 5 times a week.

It was actually my older son Jacob that was the one driving for us to train more and got me doing more MMA versus only BJJ. It was incredible, the three of us training and learning together.  I never thought I’d get that much quality time with my sons again after they headed off to college. We got to spend about eight hours a week at the gym together.  The stories in the car back and forth on the way home were also an incredible bonding experience.  The benefits of training with your family go way beyond physical attributes and self-defense, the attributes of family bonding are just phenomenal.

I would also like to thank the great coaches at Elite MMA for making this possible. Coaches Eric, Josh and Mitch have been incredible. They have each played key roles in different parts of our journey. They have also done a great job managing the health challenges of COVID while allowing training to occur.  Also, I would like to thank Coach Daniel who joined our pod during training which was incredibly valuable for Jacob’s journey.


Mixed Martial Arts Houston


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.