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A new meaning for "martial artist"

Last week in class I had a *light bulb* moment…

(Yes, it happens occasionally – no wise cracks thank you)

I was right in the middle of teaching one of my 4-8 year old classes when I thought of a new exercise that could help them understand and reinforce what I’d be asking of them. Now I’m probably not the first instructor to do this, but I don’t believe I’ve seen nor done it before. In fact I think that show, “Whose line is it anyway?” gave me inspiration for this one.

I asked the kids to take a partner and then told them who was going to be the “playdough” first. The other student was to be the “artist” whose job was to meld the playdough karateka into whatever stance I asked of them.

Next, I told the playdough kids that they could start off in any stance at all – it could be another karate stance, or just some random, crazy position. Then on the command “go” the artists had to move their partner’s body one limb at a time until they were in the required stance.

I then let them know when they’d done a good job or if they needed to bend a knee a little further, move the hands higher, turn their head straighter, etc.

This was a HUGE success. The kids absolutely loved it.

And of course then they switched roles and did it all over again.

Like many of the drills and exercises in 125 Dynamite Drills this was a great exercise because it really made the kids THINK then APPLY their knowledge. It’s a fun exercise to use with all ages too, not just young ones.

Having your students identify the important aspects of a particular stance and then apply it from a different perspective is a great way for them to learn.

Try it out and see how it works in your classes.

– Jason

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