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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6249
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:05 pm    Post subject: Creative ways to teach forms/kata/tul to children? Reply with quote

Help me out guys! I need some fun creative ways to teach forms to children. Ways to help disguise the fact that they are still practising the same movements to make it fun for them and to preserve my own sanity!

Mostly it is the younger ones who I spend lesson after lesson reteaching them the steps. My normal process is to spend a few lessons on the individual movements, both as fundamental line work and as partner application work. Then we train small chunks of movements. Then we put it all together. No problem with the 8, 9, 10 year olds. Big problems with the 5, 6 and 7 year olds.

I know it will come with repetition but any ideas for mixing it up so they think they are doing something different each class?
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28178
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In our school, we don't teach the really young ones any forms. The curriculum they do is based more on developing coordination, balance, self-control, and the like for when they are ready to move on to the regular classes.

You might find a way to have them do moves to a beat, with a drum, or some music, or something like that. I've seen instructors do variations like "forms in a phone booth" (kid's won't know what that is, so might not work), you could do a memorization game where kid's have to sit down if they forget a move, and the ones who remember keep going, and see who the last one standing is, and things like that. Those could help to make it more fun.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2228
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on their experience, we vary the games.

The first 5 of our forms have 22 steps (not including bows or return to Yoi).

Our youngest learn the first 8 steps and gradually increase over the lessons.

My personal favourite is telling them the form, and Iíll just call various numbers that correspond to a specific step. They seem to love it.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14948
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to follow the rule that a child's age is the length, in mintes, of their attention span. So, anything that involves my children classes/curriculum is based on that rule/formula. Adults attention spans better, but even then, adults become stale if their sedentary more often than not.

Some things I do regarding Kata where kids are involved, and even now, I'm constantly tweaking it because not one student, no matter their age, are the same across the board.

I'll just list the name of what I do, and if anyone wants me to describe it, I will:

1> Red light, Green light Drill
2> Yame Drill
3> Box Drill
4> A, B, C Drill
5> Back to the future Drill
6> Blind Mice Drill
7> Whoa Horsey Drill
8> Name It Drill (This has 4 parts)
9> Your Turn Drill (This has 2 parts)
10> Simon Says Drill
11)> King of the hill Drill

These are by far both the most successful and fun for the kids. These drills help to improve every aspect of Kata. From memorizing to posture to precision; name it, it's drilled...including Bunkai.

Kids are grandmasters at play, so why not let them do that which they excel at....playing; playing and learning, especially for kids, goes hand in hand.




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Last edited by sensei8 on Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:30 am; edited 2 times in total
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6249
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the ideas so far bushido_man96, Nidan Melbourne and sensei8! At the moment I've been trying to get them to work in teams and the best team gets to pick exercises for the rest of the class to do, or we've done it by count but everyone in the room gets to take turns shouting the commands.

sensei8 wrote:
I tend to follow the rule that a child's age is the length, in mintes, of their attention span. So, anything that involves my children classes/curriculum is based on that rule/formula. Adults attention spans better, but even then, adults become stale if their sedentary more often than not.

Some things I do regarding Kata where kids are involved, and even now, I'm constantly tweaking it because not one student, no matter their age, are the same across the board.

I'll just list the name of what I do, and if anyone wants me to describe it, I will:

1> Red light, Green light Drill
2> Yame Drill
3> Box Drill
4> A, B, C Drill
5> Back to the future Drill
6> Blind Mice Drill
7> Whoa Horsey Drill (
8> Name It Drill (This has 4 parts)
9> Your Turn Drill (This has 2 parts)
10> Simon Says Drill
11)> King of the hill Drill

These are by far both the most successful and fun for the kids. These drills help to improve every aspect of Kata. From memorizing to posture to precision; name it, it's drilled...including Bunkai.

Kids are grandmasters at play, so why not let them do that which they excell at....playing; playing and learning, especially for kids, goes hand in hand.




These sound great, can you expand on them? I can probably guess a few but others not.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6249
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just looking back through some old threads...

sensei8 are you able to elaborate on some of your drills above?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14948
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
Just looking back through some old threads...

sensei8 are you able to elaborate on some of your drills above?

Sure thing, Danielle; I'd love to.

These drills are by far both my most successful, having weathered the storms, and fun for the kids. These drills help to improve every aspect of Kata. From memorizing to posture to precision; name it, it's drilled, including Bunkai. Yet, for the most part, memorizing Kata can be overwhelming, and not for just the kids.

1> Red Light, Green Light Drill

As a kid, I'm sure every kid has played Red Light, Green Light; I know I did, and played it a lot.

Said Kata will only start when I say "Green Light". Then said Kata will only stop when I say "Red Light". I can call out either one whenever I have the urge to do so. The students might start/stop at any given point found in that said Kata. For example, I can call out "Green Light"/"Red Light" at every count, or at every section, or at the half-way point, or at every 1/4 point of said Kata; you get the point. At Red Light, they might stand still for seconds or for minutes, CI discretion...this drill requires a very wide variation in order to prevent this, any drill, from becoming stale. This going and stopping allows the students time to self-analyze and ponder themselves at that varied given part of that said Kata.

I won't call out "Green Light" until I see that ALL students have properly corrected themselves, whether it be in posture, for example, or in a number of things that I see that need corrections. If not ALL students correct themselves, then said Kata starts all over again.

2> Yame Drill

Yama means STOP. The Kata, within itself, IS the model for how many different ways there are to teach young and old students alike. My younger students love this drill, more so than my older students. This drill both challenges and educates them overall.

For each and every step found in said Kata, the student's going on my count, they mustn't make a mistake, no matter the size of the mistake. If a mistake is made by whomever, the ENTIRE class starts said Kata all over again, from the very beginning, and I mean the very beginning. I've had very few students/classes completed any said Kata from start to finish. It's about being accountable!!

Senior Dan students rarely, if ever, complete a Yama Drill. Again, kids love the tar out of this drill but Senior Dan students loathe this drill because they struggle to complete said Kata. I can be quite the taskmaster!!

3> Box Drill

This drill simply requires the student(s) to execute the entire said Kata while standing...inside of a box. That means that each and every single technique found within said Kata are executed within the confines of a box, not a figurative box but a real life box.

This drill turns the students focus onto the individual techniques and hips, and not so much on any other aspect of said Kata, like their postures and stances and turns, which are intricate parts of any said Kata. In the Box Drill, some senses are diminished while other senses are highlighted.

4> A, B, C Drill

In this drill, each and every technique and movement, for example, the bow is a movement, is shouted out as they're executed, no matter how minute said technique and movement might be, another example, a turn of direction or a turn of ones head. Breathing is a movement, so are the feet...EVERYTHING is audibly called out by the students at my count.

If 'IT', whatever 'IT' is, can be found in said Kata, the student will audibly call it out, then execute it OR execute it, then audibly call it out. Yeah, what the student might be audibly calling out every minute thing will take longer than said actual technique or movement, but that's ok...that's the point.

On note, the audible is at the CI discretion. For me, I just have the students call out in English because I'm wanting them to memorize the core of the said Kata, and not its Japanese/Okinawa given name; that's for another day and time.

5> Back to the future Drill

In this particular drill the students starting point of any said Kata are chosen by the CI. How so??

I'll name the Kata, then I'll name either the position/posture/stance as well as its technique to begin with. Students might have several said Kata that my directions will be applied to; if several said Kata's might apply, then the students discretion as to which Kata they'll begin.

I'll let the students finish said Kata from that starting point.

6> Blind Mice Drill

Just about all Japanese Kata start and end at the same point, as well as it Embusen. In Okinawa it's not that overly emphasized as much, if at all.

Does this drill focus on its starting/ending point?? Yes...no. Does this drill focus on the Embusen?? Yes...no. CI discretion plays in everything a student does/doesn't do.

Having said that, this drill causes laughter to ring out, and my dojo is quite layback across the board. How so?? This drill requires the students to wear a blindfold when executing any said Kata. Where a student starts, is never where they end...and forget about the Embusen because students will not remain on that said Kata's Embusen to save their Karate souls...especially at the first.

Over time, they might be, but even then, it's not consistent whatsoever. The focus is not the laughter that will ring out, but how the students makes those necessary adjustments to stay true to the Embusen and all.

7> Whoa Horsey Drill

Any said Kata has its very end. Once the end has reached its end point, said Kata is finished. Not so fast...Whoa Horsey. In this drill, that said Kata's ending point is that said Kata's beginning point.

You guessed it.

Execute that said Kata BACKWARDS.

This will test a well known idiom: To know something like the back of my hand.

8> Name It Drill (This has 4 parts)

Part #1: CI shows a segment of any said Kata
Part #2: Students Name the Kata that segments from
Part #3: Students execute entire named Kata
Part #4: Students execute one Bunkai appropriate, and effective, from said segment

With us, Part #4 must show same Bunkai, however, we've very strict protocol with resistance training, therefore, after that Bunkai is executed once, the student must now execute that very same Bunkai again with the attacker resisting to the Nth degree.

9> Your Turn Drill (This has 2 parts)

Part #1: Student #1 executes a Kata, of choice
Part #2: Student #2 executes a Kata, of choice

The difference is that one student executes said Kata with no hand techniques, just kicks, or no kicks with hands on ones hips, while the other student executes said Kata with no kicking techniques, just hand techniques; then they reverse roles.

10> Simon Says Drill

As Simon, the CI says, for example, "Simon says, execute the opening sequence of Pinan Shodan", so on and so forth. Calling out the entire class, or every other row, or just the front line, or every other line, or just the far right side, or just the middle two rows, or...so on and so forth.

The CI can remain with just that one said Kata the entire class or select other Kata's, or as many different Kata's possible as class time will permit.

Simon can call out, for example, "Simon says, everyone execute a 180 degree turn from a left forward leg stance", or "Simon says, the back row, take 3 steps backward from a right back stance", so on and so forth. Just as long as the techniques are from a Kata.

11)> King of the Hill Drill

This drill is a One-Up type activity.

To start, I put all of the students in a circle, facing each other. When called up by the CI, that first student assumes the middle within that circle. For the moment, that said student is now the King of the Hill. One by one the CI has an opportunity to

The CI picks a Kata, or a segment, and this selection of Kata, or segment, can or can't change from class to class. For example, Pinan Shodan for the class, then next time that class meets, the CI can choose another Kata, or not; staleness can ruin a students motivation fast.

The initial King of the Hill executes whatever the CI has determined. Then, the King sits off to the side, on a chair. The the CI asks the class..."Who wants to challenge the King??" The challenger assumes the middle of the circle, and executes said Kata or segment. This continues until all students have challenged the King, and whomever is still sitting of the chair/throne, is the King of the Hill.

Who decides the winner?? The CI decides which students execution was the most effective. However, I love to have the remaining students sitting around in that circle decide the winner.


In closing, having said all of that, whatever said Kata and/or segment I address, I only address said Kata and/or segment that's within their scope of knowledge and experience.




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