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  4. Sylvester Stallone was so scared of his daughters moving to NYC he sent them to boot camp. The trainer had them chase a chicken like their dad in 'Rocky II.'

Sylvester Stallone was so scared of his daughters moving to NYC he sent them to boot camp. The trainer had them chase a chicken like their dad in 'Rocky II.'

Sylvester Stallone was so scared of his daughters moving to NYC he sent them to boot camp. The trainer had them chase a chicken like their dad in 'Rocky II.'
EntertainmentEntertainment1 min read
Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky" and Sophia Stallone during a bootcamp challenge in "The Family Stallone."United Artists / Paramount+
  • Sylvester Stallone sent his daughters to a self-defense boot camp in "The Family Stallone" season two premiere.
  • The "Rocky" actor said he wanted to prepare them for living in New York City.

Sylvester Stallone was so worried about two of his daughters moving to New York City that he took them to a self-defense boot camp with an ex-Navy SEAL — where training included chasing a chicken as he did in "Rocky II."

In the premiere of "The Family Stallone," which follows the lives of the actor and his family, Sophia Stallone, 27, and Sistine Stallone, 25, go with their father to a one-day self-defense retreat.

The pair moved to NYC in March 2023, and the episode was filmed during the summer of 2023. Stallone takes his daughters to the boot camp when they return from NYC to the family home in Los Angeles.

In the episode, which is out now on Paramount+, Stallone says he couldn't sleep at night thinking about his daughters living in NYC, because of the bad experience she had before rising to fame in the "Rocky" movies.

"My daughters have moved to New York, which is kind of traumatic because I spent many, many years in New York," Stallone says, recalling how he lived on the streets in the early 1970s. "Everyday robbery, physical attacking. Cars were coming over curbs. People throwing acid on you."

He adds: "You had to keep your head on a swivel, and I never gotten over that."

According to the sisters and their mother, Jennifer Flavin, this is not the first time Sylvester Stallone has been overprotective.

"Honestly, my dad is the most paranoid person on the planet," Sistine says in the episode. "He made us practice pepper spraying each other."

"He put a little knife in my backpack in fourth grade. Probably shouldn't say that," she adds.

Here is a breakdown of their training.

Stallone challenges Sophia before they even get to bootcamp.

Stallone challenges Sophia before they even get to bootcamp.
Sistine Stallone, Sylvester Stallone, and Sophia Stallone at the premiere of "The Family Stallone" in May 2023 in New York City.      Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Paramount+

As Sistine and Sophia get in the family car, their training starts when Stallone asks Sophia to wear a blindfold to practice sensing her surroundings if she's kidnapped.

Sophia complains and asks why Sistine doesn't have to blindfold herself. Sistine and Stallone point out that Sistine needs to see to drive.

Sophia eventually relents and gets the hang of knowing where she is despite being unable to see.

The sisters start with simple boxing training.

The sisters start with simple boxing training.
The Defense Strategies Group instructors in "The Family Stallone," including founder Mike O'Dowd (center).      Paramount+

When the trio reach the boot camp, they meet ex-Navy SEAL Mike O'Dowd, the founder of the Defense Strategies Group, and a group of instructors, some of whom are former SEALs, marines, and Army Rangers.

"I'm petrified," Sophia says in a cutaway interview. "I thought I was badass. You look at guys that actually are badass. I'm out."

After some words of encouragement from O'Dowd and former US marine Nathan Mendes, the pair start with a simple exercise: jabbing pads held up by two instructors.

Sistine is hyped while Sophia is less enthused. At one point, Sophia stops to complain about breaking a nail, and Sistine jokingly punches her face.

Next, the instructors teach the sisters some self-defense techniques.

Next, the instructors teach the sisters some self-defense techniques.
Sistine Stallone and her instructor Zach Ferguson in "The Family Stallone."      Paramount+

As the training ramps up, the sisters are told to knee an opponent so he falls off balance before rolling him over so they are on top of him.

Sophia easily completes the task, but Sistine is distracted by her sparring partner Zack Ferguson, a former Navy SEAL.

"I was feeling a lot of emotions during this combat training. It's been a minute," Sistine says in the cutaway interview.

Sistine says she spoke to Ferguson on social media after the training but thinks she's not his type.

"He follows only girls that have really big curves," which she isn't, Sistine says.

All the while, Stallone records the sisters on his phone.

"Is that what you're gonna do with a mugger? Ask if he wants to date?" he says about Sistine in a cutaway interview.

Next, the sisters carry sixty-pound weights up a hill.

Next, the sisters carry sixty-pound weights up a hill.
Sistine Stallone and Sophia Stallone with weights on their back in "The Family Stallone."      Paramount+

When introducing the test, O'Dowd says these drills will help the sisters prepare for the "mental toughness" of living in New York.

The instructors then strap sixty-pound weights to the pair and make them walk up to the top of a hill, interspersed with clips of their dad running up a snowing mountain in "Rocky IV."

The sisters unlock a padlock blindfolded while sitting in an ice bath.

The sisters unlock a padlock blindfolded while sitting in an ice bath.
Sistine Stallone and an instructing standing next to Sophia Stallone in a ice bath tub in "The Family Stallone."      Paramount+

The sisters work together in the second drill. The instructors blindfold Sophia and make her sit in a bath full of ice. While in the tub, she has to search for a combination padlock and unlock it with help from her sister, who is not blindfolded. Once the task is complete, the sisters switch roles.

Paul, one of the instructors, says the stress of the ice bath tests whether the sisters can think quickly in high-pressure situations.

The sisters chase a chicken in their final test, as their dad’s character did in "Rocky II."

The sisters chase a chicken in their final test, as their dad’s character did in "Rocky II."
Sylvester Stallone and Burgess Meredith as Rocky and Mickey in "Rocky II" (top). Sophia Stallone with a chicken in "The Family Stallone" (bottom).      United Artists / Paramount+

The instructors take the sisters to a fenced-off pen where they place a chicken and tell the sisters to catch it — just like Rocky did during boxing training in "Rocky II." Rocky's trainer, Mickey (Burgess Meredith), says chicken chasing will improve the boxer's speed.

According to O'Dowd, Army Rangers, Navy SEALS, and Green Berets also complete this test as part of their training.

At first, Sophia and Sistine struggle because they're scared of the chicken. Sistine says she's had a phobia of birds since childhood, triggered by her father locking her in a dark room and making crow noises.

But she powers through and does most of the chasing. Sophia eventually catches the chicken after they corner it.

After completing all the tasks, Stallone dubs his daughters "Rambolinas."

"If I can handle that, I can handle goddamn New York City," Sophia jokes.

"I'm so proud of myself," Sistine says. "I would do it again. Maybe."

"The Family Stallone" season two is available on Paramount+.

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