View Full Version : Youth Classes!

Budoka 34
22nd July 2002, 18:30
Does anyone have any good games they would like to share for karate tots(5 to 8 years)classes.
I've been working in adventure education for over 12 years and this is the most demanding thing I've ever taught.:D :D :D
I love it!

Joseph Svinth
23rd July 2002, 06:15
Try Red Rover.

You know the drill -- the kids line up holding hands, and then they take turns trying to bust through the line.

The martial application teaches triangulation and extension.

Have the kids try to bust through. Most won't, and those who do are usually big kids running hard, meaning that they are relying on mass and momentum.

Now, have the kids busting through put both hands together in front of them. A great big V pointed away from themselves, just like the bow of a ship. Next, tell the kids to focus at some point behind the line, way off in the distance. In their minds, nothing's in the way, they're just explorers headed, like Lewis and Clark, to Oregon.

Suddenly holding gets a whole lot tougher.

Once everybody has this down, then it's time for the next lesson. This one teaches the role of proper (and essentially subtle) body alignment.

Here, all you do is have the kids linking arms point their index fingers at one another while holding each other's wrists. That's it. Do this secretly, too, for that big kid who just runs through the line. Don't tell him, though, let him figure out what they're doing for himself.

In the end, we have a children's game that we can play all day, and that adults like, too.

25th July 2002, 21:54
How about wheelbarror races around the Do-jo. After that try some crab walking races. Good clean fun and really good conditioning. After these two games doing kata will be fun :D.


Gregory Rogalsky
Rogalsky Combatives International

Budoka 34
26th July 2002, 11:10
Good stuff so far!:D

Thanks all.

27th July 2002, 14:30
The children in our youth Aikido class, always had difficulty remembering the dojo etiquette as well as differnt techniques etc...A game I used to facilitate their learning was dodge ball (tag worked in a pinch when the ball was forgotten). Anyone on the mat had to play. When you are hit with the ball, you would have to perform a different warm-up exercise or technique or recite a number of the dojo rules.

If you couldn't perform the reqired task you would receive a penality of 5 push-ups or sit-ups or whatever they really didn't like to do. But this was redemption as either way they would have an opportunity to throw the ball next.

When 5 push-ups wasn't enough for them to pay attention for then we would make it a progressive penalty. Stepping off of the mat or outside the designated area would constitute a penalty as well. If the person being targeted caught the ball then they could penalize the person throwing the ball and then have a turn at throwing the ball as well.

The key for me was to get the children to teach themselves. This worked remarkably. I am limited with the Japanese I know, but these 5 year olds and up could speak just as much as I could and they knew what the etiquette was and terminology, the techniques. Most importantly though they had fun learning.

I hope this helps.

30th July 2002, 23:00
Aren't the children's classes the best! One gets such immediate (and honest!) feedback.

A few quick ideas to open or close a class...

"Sensei Says" is one to use with the younger or newer students to reinforce technique names. It is played like Simon Says only with techniques. Doing the wrong technique or doing a technique when Sensei didn't say "Sensei Says" sends the student back to the starting line. If the group of students is up to it, the rules may be modified so the first student up to Sensei becomes the new Sensei.

"Ninja Stars" (ahem, apologies to X-kan students) is very popular. Students are divided into two teams. Each team gets 1/2 the floor as "home." Six or so hand pads are tossed out by the instructor. Ninjas pick up the pads (never leaving home) and toss them Frisbee style at the other team who, of course, evade the pads. If hit by a pad, the ninja needs to bow out and sit on the sidelines. Once a side is down to a few players the instructor may call jailbreak and the sidelined players rejoin the game. Variations include: thrower is out if the pad hits an illegal target; thrower is out if the pad is caught; no teams or home--just a free for all; instead of calling jailbreak when one side is down, let that side roam while the other team must stay home. This works evading and awareness of environment plus integrity.

The "Jungle Run" is all the rage in my circle of instructor friends. I don't really like it. Must be one of those you hate or love. Depending on the degree of intensity, it may be used as a warm-up or an aerobic workout. Everyone runs (or walks briskly) in place. The instructor talks students though a walk in the jungle. When a branch falls, students must block high. When Tarzan flies by overhead, they drop and do a push up. Tigers are kicked. Elephants are punched. Etc, etc, etc.

Have fun! (Because your students will know it if you don't!)

Barb Bloom

Budoka 34
31st July 2002, 11:04

I like it. We already do some similar activities.
I just started using what I call Tai-sabaki tag.

The children partner up. One student tries to push the other. In as fluid a manner as they can the torre(sp) simply "opens the door" tai-sabaki and then trades places.
Once they have it down I let them free style. They just keep going back and forth as quickly and fluidly as they can (looks alot like some Aiki drills).:)
The kids love it and I've already seen great improvement in thier evasion skills!