Tape balloons to pads & practice dummies in order to test a kid's kicking accuracy. Kids like to hear things pop!
Stack a number of practice shields on top of each other. Then place a small ball or hacky sack on top and they must kick off the ball/sack without knocking over the pads. Great for teaching accuracy.
Similar to the suggestion above - Instructors can place a bunch of practice pads together & the kids must jump over and break a board. Keep building the pile higher & higher until only one person (the winner) can jump over & break the board. Use plastic re-breakable boards (versus wood boards) in order to save money.
Team contests where they must knock over kicking dummies with back kicks, flying side kicks, etc. Team who hits the dummy to the ground the most wins.
Each kid has a number and are separated into two teams (on opposite sides of the school). Instructors call out a number and the appropriate kid must run, kick a practice dummy (in the middle of the floor) and run back to their team. Supposedly teaches speed & concentration. However, in reality, kids just like hitting things.
"Tail" grabbing or flag sparring contests. Hang a spare belt, etc. around the belt on each kid's back. Then let two kids face off and the first person to pull out the tail of his/her opponent wins. Helps teach self-defense, grappling skills and footwork… as well as being lots of fun.
Balance contests. Have them stand on one foot with their eyes closed. If they fall, put their foot down or open their eyes, they are out. Last person standing wins.
Blocking contests. Have children practice their skills by blocking random strikes (i.e. with a high block, low block, etc.) from padded "blocker" sticks. Person who blocks the most strikes before getting hit is the winner.
Technique memorization. You can either shout out a crazy series of kicks, self-defenses, etc. and they must execute without any mistakes.
Clothes Pegs. Clip a clothes peg on the student's uniform. Students cannot strike but they can parry/block. Students must get their opponent's peg without losing their own. Works on improving basic sparring movement and blocking skills. It is also great to tire students out. Each "match" usually lasts less then 30 seconds.
Counting game. This teaches the children how to count to 10 in Japanese and is a good filler game. Each number has an action or word association. Ichi - everyone bends and scratches an imaginary itch on their legs. Ni - sounds like 'knee' so touch your knees. San - sounds a bit like 'Son' in English everyone points to a boy in the class. She - sounds like 'she' in English so point to a girl. Go - kids run fast on the spot or run to and from a designated point. Roche - Make one hand into a fist and put it firmly into the other hand … the fist represents a 'rock' being placed into your hand. Sitch - Sounds like 'stitch' make imaginary stitching action in the air. Hutch - sounds like 'hut' make your hands into a roof shape above your head representing the roof of a hut. Ku - put hands around your mouth and make a cooing noise like a pigeon makes. Ju - sounds a bit like 'shoe' hold your nose and point to a shoe in the room. Run through this 2-3 times then call out random Japanese numbers and the kids have to do the correct action.
Sensei Says. Elimination game. Works just like 'Simon Says'. The teacher calls out a technique (head block, stomach punch, sumo stance etc) and the kids have to do the move but only if preceded by 'Sensei Says'. If someone moves without the instruction being preceded by 'Sensei Says' or they do another technique they are out. Last kid in is the winner.
Community Experiment I have switched the replies sorting option to most popular first (versus most recent first). Therefore, you will see the replies with the most positive/up votes first (as there were lots of great answers to questions being buried under jokes, hi my nam...
Sparring Gear, Medieval Armor or Industrial Footwear? You might find this an interesting "upgrade" to your existing martial arts sparring shin guards. :) Seriously, I think it is some type of industrial protective footwear. Ellwood Safety Appliance 323 Aluminum Shin-Instep Guard Amazon link to the produ...
The Definition of Martial Arts How would you define a martial arts in 50 words or less? Try to make your definition cover all aspects so no martial arts style is forgotten (i.e. weapon-based martial arts). Don't look at a dictionary because the answer can be incomplete as there are ...
A Couple of less well known Karate Techniques Here are a couple of traditional Okinawan Karate Techniques that are still practiced (to some degree) in a few styles but are on the whole forgotten! http://www.karatebyjesse.com/2-okinawan-karate-deadly-techniques/
Functional Kata I have been working on the Ashihara Karate section of the wiki. I like how they break out their kata by function. Rather than some elaborate traditional kata with a huge variety of moves (i.e. kicks, punches, throws, sweeps, etc.) & hidden meaning/tech...
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