There’s a lot of stuff out there concerning kids karate and Martial Arts training. I’ve only recently started teaching my kids karate class, but I’m enjoying it more and more with time although it can be a little testing at times.
When I started I wanted to make sure that I didn’t teach them bad movement skills. Often with kids karate training, and adults for that matter, people end up moving like robots, this is through overuse of three-step sparring and the like. The difference in movement efficiency when kids karate involves that sort of training compared to when they run around freely in play is marked and frankly scary.
Why on earth would a teacher/coach/sensei want to replace movement efficiency with a vastly inferior model? I can see no reason. Please, feel free to let me know via comment if anyone can.
Movement in Kids Karate
One of my first aims, when starting to teach kids karate classes, was to shape inherent efficient movement skills into something martial. We ‘play’ Zombies and the ‘bashing game’. These are adaptions of adult drills that get the kids moving around one or more opponents. In simple terms they run around avoiding other kids. I give them tips and they improve. They love the drills, there’s some competition and a lot of fitness work. It’s a winner in my kids karate classes at least!
Another aim was to use similar ‘play’ methods to teach striking skills. I get them to throw a ball against the wall and then adapt the throwing technique into the striking technique. This is a method Steve Morris uses, and it is very effective. I also use it with adults, always with great success. It’s like learning without consciously learning, kinda.
These kids can hit hard, no question about it. Oddly enough they enjoy this too, especially when I let them hit me! I always have them hitting pads and bags straight away, it can take a while for them to get used to the contact but they get there once they get the wrist alignment correct.
One outcome of this playful learning is that the lessons are noisy and a little anarchic. No straight lines, lots of belts falling off and then discarded, running around and having fun. And kids karate should definitely be fun! That’s not to say that discipline goes out of the window, misbehaviour and silliness gets a visit to star jump corner (burpees with a star shaped jump). Increasing numbers of forfeit star jumps are then ‘awarded’.
The photo taken after yesterdays kids karate class with three young achievers illustrates the lack of emphasis on a tidy gi……..
Originally posted 2009-02-25 18:30:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter