If there is one karate game that my kids classes love more than any other it’s Karate Poison Ball…
This game soars like an eagle above all other games – no other comes remotely close to producing the level of exhilaration kids feel when I tell them it’s time for “Poison Ball”.
Quite often the first thing young kids will ask me as soon as they walk into class is “Are we going to play Poison Ball today, Sensei?”
My response is often, “We’ll see. If you’re good we might play it at the end of class.”
And yet this game is really nothing more than dodge ball / poison ball with a karate twist.
Here’s how it works…
Karate Poison Ball
Students spread out in the middle of the floor with you standing at one end.
Choose an assistant instructor or a senior student to stand at the other end.
Your job is to get the kids “out” by throwing the ball at them and hitting them. If the ball misses all students or is returned to the other end of the room, it’s your assistant’s turn to throw the ball.
Your students’ job is to not get hit by either moving and avoiding it, or punching the ball away.
If the ball hits any other part of their body; if a student picks up the ball to give it back to you; if a student kicks the ball; or if it hits their belt or uniform at all; or if you think that their “punch” didn’t resemble a karate technique, then they’re out!
Students who are out take a seat at the end of the room out of the way and cheer for the remaining kids.
Two more things to note:
– Use a plastic air filled ball.
– Play this game at the end of class as a reward for a job well done.
Yes, it’s ok to bribe your students at the start of class by letting them know what’s in store when their good. If they don’t behave, do 200 punches in shiko dachi instead. You’ll quickly see a shift in how your class responds.
The notion of this simple game has the power to move mountains, change behaviors for the better and send your kid’s class home happy.