An easy way to disguise reps…

There’s a famous saying by success coach Anthony Robbins…

“Repetition is the mother of skill.

I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately as I’ve said before “Skill” has a sibling named “Boredom”.

As karate instructors we know that we need to keep our classes fresh in order to keep our students motivated. And at times it’s challenging to come up with new ways to do old things. So today I want to give you a single example of how to put “Boredom” to bed, get “Skill” up and running and disguise “Repetition”.

The trick is to make the repetitions a challenge, particularly when teaching kids, but the following example works well for both adults and juniors.

Let’s suppose you have 5 basic combinations that are part of your curriculum. For ease of reading all techniques are in English below.

  1. Lunge punch / step back to guard
  2. Reverse punch / thrust
  3. Front punch
  4. Front kick / reverse punch / thrust / step back to guard
  5. Mid level block with front arm / reverse punch / thrust

So instead of doing 10 reps of each in order like you do every other class, try this…

Do five reps of combination #1 above as per usual.

Lunge punch / step back to guard

On the second set to 5 reps of combination #1 and add #2 immediately after… so the combination GROWS to:

Lunge punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust
(let’s call this #6)

On the third set do 5 reps of our new “extended” combo #6 above and add on #3 just like before… so the combination grows again to:

lunge punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust / front punch
(let’s call this #7)

On the fourth set do 5 reps of #7 and add on #4 above…

lunge punch / reverse punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust / front punch / front kick / reverse punch / thrust / step back to guard
(We’ll refer to this as #8)

On the fifth set add on the #5 to #8 to form

lunge punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust / front punch / front kick / reverse punch / thrust / step back to guard / mid level block with front arm / reverse punch / thrust
(our new #9)

Am I making sense?

Here’s the summary again without all the text in between. Note the color codes show the original combinations from the initial list above. Remember you’ll do 5 reps of each of these new combos.

Lunge punch / step back to guard

Lunge punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust
 
Lunge punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust / front punch

Lunge punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust / front punch / front kick / reverse punch / thrust / step back to guard

Lunge punch / step back to guard / reverse punch / thrust / front punch / front kick / reverse punch / thrust / step back to guard / mid level block with front arm / reverse punch / thrust

This is a great physical challenge as it becomes tiring towards the end, but it’s also an excellent mental challenge for your students. Of course for your advanced grades change the order of each addition so the new extended combinations aren’t just the basics done in sequential order.

Your might like to start with #1, then add #5, #2, #4 and finally #3. So when you’re done your final gigantic combination might be this instead:

Lunge punch / step back to guard / mid level block with front arm / reverse punch / thrust / reverse punch / thrust / front kick / reverse punch / thrust / step back to guard / front punch

Got the idea? 

Try it out in class and see how your students handle it. It’s guaranteed to make them think, work them hard and keep things fresh.

Until next time…

– Jason


P.S. Of course in my 125 Dynamite Drills there are tons of creative karate drills and exercises for all kinds of things. From kata to sparring, self defense to endurance challenges… it’s all there to make your job easier as a teacher.