Why We Play Our Games
I personally love teaching kids more than anything and I don't think a curriculum is set until you add a few key games into the mix!
If you have ever been a part of or watched one of my classes, you’ll notice that we usually take about 10 minutes at the end of class and play a game of some sorts. My personal favorites are Dodgeball, Sensei Says, Steal the Belt, “Ship Shark Shore”, and more!
However these games aren't just to keep me from losing my marbles during the last 10 minutes of class (Although it does help!)
In a perfect world, it's not difficult to keep the attention span of 30 tiny humans for hours at a time. This, however, is not a perfect world. And there's nothing wrong with that! So to best teach, I find that a little controlled goofiness goes a long way.
Being able to divide up that attention into specified subsegments! For example, some days when the attention is no where to be found (but they're not misbehaving) I will treat classes as such... Warmup, stretch, teach, quick game, teach, game! The younger the group, the better I usually find this format to work out for me!
EVERY GAME I pick to play, or have put into an ebook, have a beneficial purpose for kids or adults.
When it comes to dodgeball, you must be able to actively capable of watching the balls direction and manipulating your body to keep from getting touched by it! (Which is a skill pivotal to martial arts)
Many games promote fast twitch muscle growth, which works great wonders for skilled athletes of all kinds. Being able to quickly get a jump on an opponent is one of the pillars of successful Karate practitioners.
Games like Relay drills, "Ship, Shark Shore" and others keep my students Hand Eye Coordination and Footwork in check while allowing them to be fun and goofy at the same time. A lot of the other games I involve like "Steal the belt" even teach spacial awareness!
The difference between "focus" that I just used and "attention" that I used earlier is important. When I say "this is grabbing their attention" I mean the overall subject matter has changed and they noticed and enjoy it. However, when there is focus involved I want children focusing on one thing in particular (and usually I'd prefer they're not even thinking about the level of focus they're putting in).
I have a game I like to play where I set up 4-6 cones set up and assign them each numbers. I then have one student come up and I call out a series of numbers, which the students have to go touch each cone in the order I called them out! This helps students work on their focus and reaction in a format that can still be fairly similar to our class setting.
Lastly... They're JUST FUN!!
Kids will be kids, will be kids. In other words, they want to enjoy what they're doing and the company they're spending their time with. By teaching through enjoyable drills and games, I allow kids to open up and briefly (very briefly) forget that we have to be so serious during practice. Kids will react better to instructors they have fun with, no matter what the subject or sport is. So with that being said, sometimes these games are just to boost mood, morale.. or even my sanity! Ha... ha..
If you want more information on the games I play, here's a link for my ebook called "Sensei Seth's Cookbook of Martial Arts Games" which contains about 30 games along with pictures and details on how to incorporate them into your own classes or parties!
Use the promo code ARTICLE for 50% off!
Thanks for reading!!