Your Favorite Game or Drill

T

twinkletoes

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OK, since many of the topics are turning ugly, and I've been defeated in humor, let's see if we can get 1 thread going in which we can share useful information with each other and exchange ideas without fighting.

I want to know: What is your favorite drill or game? If you are a teacher, what do you most like for your students to play/do? What do you personally like to play/do?

I will give a couple of my favorites, to start the ball rolling.

1) I like to play sumo games (with adults and kids alike). The rules are that you can only push & pull, and the first person to step off the mat, or touch the ground with anything other than their feet is out.

The game builds balance, coordination, sneakiness, and it helps them get used to being pushed and pulled. It also helps them become aware of force vectors and proper body placement for stability.

2) I like to limit allowed techniques in sparring. For example, one partner may only use his hands to strike, and the other partner may only use his feet to strike. Sometimes it gets more specific, like which hand or foot they may use. Sometimes it's offense vs. defense. Sometimes it's one person using basic strikes at a medium speed, and the other person trying to use 1 specific technique. This is a great way to teach, say, how to use a sidekick in sparring. All you do is get their partner "the trainer" going at a medium pace, and tell them they can only sidekick. They will quickly learn where to put in the sidekick, how to set it up, what times and targets work best, etc. It's fun!

Who's next?

~Chris

PS - No fighting! I only want happy posts! :)
 

Shodan

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Let's see here........my favorite game/drill to have the really young students do is Kenpo dodge ball. We play it with a nerf ball and if you get hit, you have to do your technique for that day 3 times before entering the game. Sometimes we play that the whole team has to do their technique for the day 3 times and the other team can still throw the ball at them while they are doing their technique!!

For the older kids and adults, I like to have them do "ring of fire" where everyone is given a number and stands in a circle. One person is sent into the middle and one at a time, numbers are called and that person attacks (slowly) the person in the middle. It helps with being aware of everyone around you, realizing that an attack can come from any direction/angle and you should always be ready. You can increase the number of attackers as they get the idea of the game. I also like to have them do concentration drills where you have them stand in a training horse stance and alternate hands doing whatever block you choose (upward, inward, outward, downward, etc). We do this drill with stances, punches and kicks too.

As for me.........I think my favorite drills are technique lines where you get to try out the technique on all the various people in class. You find that height, size, how the different people react all help with making your techniques better. And it helps you realize that no two people are gonna react exactly the same on the street either. You don't get this if you work out with the same partner all the time. We do both techniques off the lists this way in class and also where the attacker can throw any punch or any kick- it's a real eye opener!! :asian: :karate:
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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We had a drill called "chess". Two participants. Starts off static, advances to alive...

Single strike version, starts off slow & static... One person attacks with a punch, kick, grab, or strike--leaving the attacking member extended. 2nd person blocks/escapes and then counters -- leaving the attacking member extended. This continues. Speed can be increased to enable participants to learn to quickly block and respond. Regardless of drill-speed, unblocked attacks must make contact so that you know whether your defense works.

Multiple strike variation...Add multiple strikes. Instead of just one strike, try two. Defender chooses to block/evade/escape and then must counter with two strikes. After the second strike, the attacker needs to defend against the counter strikes. Start slow, increase speed. This can be done with three strikes, four strikes, etc.

Free-sparring variaton...Start with the single strike version. Go to multiple strike version. Remove requirement to count strikes/wait for attackers final strike. Add tackles and ground attacks/defense. Now you've got light contact bare-knuckle sparring allowing the full range of Kenpo movement and some limited ground fighting.
 
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T

twinkletoes

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Shodan,

Thanks for jumping in. Great suggestions! I almost forgot how much I loved Ring of Fire as a student.

I will add some more:

With proper eye protection, I like to let people go to town with "sticks" made of pipe foam or plastic coated in rubber. Sometimes there are rules. :D

Some games we play with these are:

1) Each student gets a rubber coated cane and 1 sparring glove. The cane is held in the gloved hand. The glove is the only allowed target. Points are kept like sparring. Double points are common. No grabbing the opponent or his cane. Disarms are also 1 point.

2) Each student gets a rubber cane (or if they are kids, the pipe foam) and eye protection. All the usual sparring targets are legal (some days the whole body is legal except obvious targets like the groin or the throat). Score is given for a good strike, or a disarm. Sometimes grabbing the opponent or his cane is allowed.

3) The Free-For-All. Some days we just go to town with the rubber or foam canes. Disarms or submissions end it. Don't injure anyone on purpose. Sometimes other striking is allowed too.

All of these games build timing, hand-eye coordination, positioning, angling, footwork, zoning, motion grafting, awareness (of self, opponent, weapon, and non-weapon hand), endurance, and distancing. They also help reduce the flinch response or closing the eyes. They also help a little with pain tolerance in the younger, more delicate students :)

~Chris
 
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twinkletoes

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OFK-

You beat me with your response. That sounds fun! I will have to try it.

~TT
 

Shodan

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Almost forgot..........if you want your students to see how messy a knife attack could get...........we were at a seminar once and the instructor gave us each a washable Crayola marker and a partner and had us pretend the markers were knives and spar basically- trying to disarm the other person if possible. Boy were we marked up in the end- another real eye opener!:asian: :karate:
 

Michael Billings

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Base Drill; Designate an attacker and a defender. Limit the number of strikes the attacker uses. 3 or 4 is a good starting point. Beginners will have a problem with 1-2/1-2 combos, but that is ok, it is a place to start. Limit it to hands only at first, then to hands and feet, then to all natural weapons.

They alternate roles immediately upon the attacker's last strike.

The focus is to teach combination strikes.

Variations:

1. Defender is allowed to block 1st strike
2. Defender throws 1st Strike and Attacker has to counter and do 5 or 6 or whatever.
3. Multiple attackers
4. Weapons for the defender / attacker / both
5. Allow checks
6. Require checks/buckles/or sweeps

Encourage the student attacking to think about how they are leaving the defender. The drill is for the Attacker, so what are they leaving open at the end of their attack. Don't worry, after a few sessions with higher belts they start figuring it out, since it is the other guys turn immediatley.

This drill serves several purposes:

A. It is a desensitization drill for sparring
B. It allows you to practice "other" natural weapons, difficult to use in harder contact sparring. Claws, elbows, finger strikes, etc.
C. You can actually "Find" where to practice your techniques in a little bit less static environment, when you don't know what is being thrown as the 1st attack.
D. Focus on the rhythmic nature of Kenpo and sparring in general. Note I did not say real fights: For those I believe explosive, uninterrupted pressure is the most effective self-defense timing pattern to utilize for beginners.

I cannot take credit for this drill. I have to give it to Dave Thomas and his wife out in California on this one. Saw it at a UKS camp with he and her doing 8-10 strikes, uninterrupted, and it was an awesome flow back and forth for Kenpo.

Oss
 
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H

headkick

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I do one similar, I think, to Mr. Billing's drill. While sparring, one person is only allowed to initiate the attack with either a right punch or right kick (could be any thing, but that's a good starting point). The other person then counters with a technique for that attack. Once the technique has started the attacker may then take any opening the technique practitioner has left open. If they don't check properly, etc. hit the opening. An example: right kick comes and the response is Thrusting Salute. After the block the kicker can immediately throw a left punch, second kick, etc. Whatever is open.

I find that many of us (I have to include myself here) still think too much about what we're doing. Great drill to see techniques in the spontaneous phase when people actually retract punches and kicks.

Just an idea...
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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We did a drill to teach people to quickly respond to attacks from behind.

Teach white or yellow belts three techniques for different attacks from the rear (i.e. one for a shoulder grab, one for a hammer lock, one for a choke). Then have them stand with their eyes closed. Signal to the Uke's which attack to do, then let them attack when they are ready. Standing with eyes closed not knowing what attack will come or exactly when makes a person pretty nervous. Do this repeatedly until students are comfortable. For Orange and Purple belts, increase the techniques to five or six. For Blue and above, let it be any attack.
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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The Olympics are coming up in 2004. We would always hold an Olympics in our Junior class.

We would hold the event over several consecutive Saturdays and invite all the parents.

We would start with an "Opening Ceremony" consisting of Black Belt Kata, self-defense, and breaking demos and a lecture on sportsmanship. We would conclude the demo with our famous "What would a Black Belt do if someone came up behind and hit him on the head with a club?" demo. We would have the biggest Black Belt and the smallest kid. Head instructor would ask the what if question. The kid would sneak up behind the Black Belt, whack him on the back (never could reach the head) with a padded club. Then the Black Belt would turn around into a fighting stance and Kiai as loud as he could, then fall down "unconscious" onto his face. Kids loved it.

We would usually have 3 - 5 events with age/belt brackets:
Kata
Kumite
Self-defense technique demonstration with a partner.
Physical Conditioning (calisthenics, stretching, running)
and team relay races.

At the end of each Saturday class, we would have the winners step onto a podium where we awarded plastic medals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, and ribbon for 4th.

At the end of the "Olympics", we would have a "closing ceremony". We'd give each kid a fancy certificate of participation and then have all the kids march around the mat wearing their medals and carrying their certificates with the parents clapping, cheering and taking pictures.
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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This is a potentially dangerous sparring drill we used to do in our Junior class. You will need a lot of instructors to supervise this to keep it safe.

Divide the class into two teams. Try and keep things even by age/size/rank. Separate the two teams to different sides of the mat. Everyone spars simultaneously.

The object is to eliminate opponents from the other team by scoring points (point sparring points like in tournaments). Team with the last man standing is the winner.

No head contact is allowed. Body contact has to be light touch only. Oldest/biggest/ranking students have extra assignment of protecting youngest/smallest/newest students. Any instructor can call a point. Break the action every time a point is scored. Eliminate the person who was scored upon. If one of the young/small/new students is pointed, he is eliminated along with his older/bigger/ranking protector. Excessive or head contact results in an "arrest" and the offender is eliminated. Break the action frequently and get the kids to huddle to discuss strategy (and to calm down between rounds).

Lesson is that gang fighting is stupid because everyone gets hit.

This can be a pretty rough game so use with caution!
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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To make sure you can find targets...blindfold the defender. Have the attacker grab them. The defender has to check the attacker's other weapons, escape the grab, find the targets while blindfolded. This slow-motion drill is a static drill that helps you feel body dimensions, understand striking distances, and is really good for improving checking. Very static though.
 

MJS

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Like TT said regarding sparring drills. I like to have the students limit themselves to only doing certain things. They get a little frustrated at times, because they have to think about what they are doing, but that is how they will get better.

Sometimes, with the older and more advanced students, I'll let them do mult attacker drills, slowly, so nobody gets hurt.

For SD, sometimes, I'll have them make up their own tech. Rather than always rely on the set tech. I'll see how creative they can be. They all know how to block, punch and kick, so by giving them some of the basic tools, using their mind to make something up, will help with their reaction time in a real situation.

MS
 

satans.barber

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Originally posted by Old Fat Kenpoka
This is a potentially dangerous sparring drill we used to do in our Junior class. You will need a lot of instructors to supervise this to keep it safe.

Divide the class into two teams. Try and keep things even by age/size/rank. Separate the two teams to different sides of the mat. Everyone spars simultaneously.

The object is to eliminate opponents from the other team by scoring points (point sparring points like in tournaments). Team with the last man standing is the winner.

No head contact is allowed. Body contact has to be light touch only. Oldest/biggest/ranking students have extra assignment of protecting youngest/smallest/newest students. Any instructor can call a point. Break the action every time a point is scored. Eliminate the person who was scored upon. If one of the young/small/new students is pointed, he is eliminated along with his older/bigger/ranking protector. Excessive or head contact results in an "arrest" and the offender is eliminated. Break the action frequently and get the kids to huddle to discuss strategy (and to calm down between rounds).

Lesson is that gang fighting is stupid because everyone gets hit.

This can be a pretty rough game so use with caution!

Hehe, now this sounds like fun!

How do people remember who's on their own team? It is a memory thing, or do you mark one team with a visual aide such as a headband?

Thanks,

Ian.
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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Kids get pretty excited in this drill. I'd be really leary about doing it in a class with more than 20 or 24 kids absolute max! You could do arm-bands, sashes, headbands, whatever works. Generally, I try to do it in a smaller class where they can remember who is on which team. If the class is really big, the game would get outta control pretty quick. It can also be pretty frightening for some of the younger kids...just think about an 8 year old white belt getting chased by a couple of 11 year old green belts--yuch! I cannot overemphasize the caution needed to do this game.

To get your class ready for this, you might want to do some 2 on 2 and 3 on 3 drills.

One positive of this drill is that it teaches kids to watch their backs and watch each others' backs.
 
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twinkletoes

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Yeah, I'd love to hear more on this!

~TT
 

Old Fat Kenpoka

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One more thing about the Gang Wars game:

Mom's hate watching this! If you have a big audience, you need to explain rules, objectives, and give a lecture on the evils of gang violence before and after the game.
 
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