Saturday, December 18, 2010

Goodbye 2010 / Hello 2011


As always, I'll start with a thank you for taking time to visit this blog. Hard to believe that 2010 will leave and 2011 will begin in just a few short days. It has been a year of growth and change for me, and I hope for you as well. If we're not pushing on, then we're probably falling back and that sounds really boring!

As to the content of this post, I'd like to hit 2 quick points: your feedback, and 2 sparring games I played with a few weeks ago.

I got some good feedback over the last few months. A few of you wrote in at the success of music to motivate, change things up and create a constant rhythm for movement. Sensei Proctor likes to run a large part of class with no commands: just the sound of the music and the students copying his movement. I know I’m going to try it.
Sensei Mashell from Palm Bay mentions that she took her kids to a Senior Center to demonstrate this last summer, and also did some sparring in a lake. I know my kids like sparring in the rain, so I'm sure they would like the lake. The sloppier the better, don’t you think?

Sparring Games
If you read the post from 9-18-2010, you’ll read about a few different ways I like to change up our sparring routines. Recently, I tried two training games (drills?) that I hadn't used before. The kids and my assistant teachers liked them both.

1. I’ll call this one “Good Sport, Bad Sport”. Start by pairing two kids together in a typical, point match. Explain in the beginning of the match that the plan is to be a good sport whether you win or lose. Keep score. Then the winner and the loser both practice good sportsmanship. (I call good sportsmanship karate courtesy.) Do the match again, and this time practice bad sportsmanship and that is even more fun. There is whining and pouting and gloating. It is loud and riotous.

2. The next game starts by putting the kids in a very large circle facing inward. The adults are in a circle within the circle and they are facing outward. Start playing music and everyone starts scooting in the circle, keeping their hands up and finding their rhythm. (In my experiment, the kids went clockwise and the adults went counter-clockwise.) When the music stops, if the child is in front of an adult, he (or she) attempts to score a point. Children who don't have an adult in front of them, shadow box (work their technique on an imaginary opponent). This drill continues for some minutes and in the process everyone gets excited. Everyone gets to practice being quick off the line. This game was popular with all the participants. I will definitely do it again.

I want to thank you all for taking a minute to read this post. Thank you for wanting to keep kids motivated, strong, and courteous. These are important as they grow.
Don’t forget to comment, or write me direct with all kinds of feedback.
See you in 2011.