Any games to learn help learn Shotokan katas?

I’ll be teaching my students next week, and they’re struggling to grasp the idea of basic Katas. I’ll be starting with heian shodan, and just wondered if there were any games that anyone has found particularly effective in teaching young children katas, anything that has helped to break it down and make it more inviting to young children.
Well, it’s pretty varied, it comes from about 5 years old to about 12. But, as you can probably guess, the younger one’s are the harder one’s to motivate and it’s more difficult to maintain their attention.

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3 Responses to Any games to learn help learn Shotokan katas?

  1. Neuro Mutilator says:

    Heian Shodan is pretty basic, so you shouldn’t have much problem if you take the classes Calmly..

    Can you tell us the age group of the children??… That would make it easier..

    I have always found it effective to tell the students how Heian Shodan is the first step to Serious Martial Arts like Bruce Lee and so on.

    Make then feel really important and reward the best one after each segment…

    Its pretty much up to you, considering I am quite unaware of the age group, nature and attributes of your pupils.

    So Best of Luck Mate.

  2. LIONDANCER says:

    How big the class?
    If your class is small I have the students do the form all by themselves in front of the rest IF they are comfortable with this. Most of them want to show off and actually do a pretty good job doing the form by themselves better than in the group. The others have to watch and when the student gets stuck they have to help (positive) the student get through the form.
    For more advanced students we have one student do the form while the others try to distract the student. No touching or getting in the way though. Calls, noises, making the student laugh, etc are OK.

  3. John says:

    You have to first teach the basic skills for that kata like the stances, blocks, strikes, punches, and kicks. Hopefully that ground work has been done for you. Teach it to them in sections, teaching the first several moves and then build onto that throughout the week so that you don’t spend an entire class doing this. That will definitely turn them off and bore them if you do. One of the things I do is I after a bit have them pair up and help each other with it, one doing it by the others count while that other student watches and helps correct their mistakes. This will help to reinforce it in each of their minds-the one doing it and the one watching them. They then trade off. Make sure you encourage them to not nit pick or harass but instead be helpful and courteous to one another while doing this. Pair them up with their personalities and abilities in mind so that you don’t have two students together that don’t generally communicate well with each other or get along with one another.

    Another thing I do is I take that section and have them watch me do it and I tell them to watch and see what mistakes I make or moves or techniques I do poorly or sloppily. They must raise their hands and give their answer when called on at the end of it when I have done that section. You can also divide them up into two teams and have a minny tournament, one team against the other and keep score and take a point for each mistake as they do their kata or a section of it individually for you by the count. Tell them what you took a point for when you give them a score and show them how they should do it and tally the scores up. The winning team counts the others push-ups and they only do half as many as the losing team. These are all things that I do that have met with good success.

    One other thing I do before this even though is I take the younger ones and try to get them to understand what “quality” means. In their minds if it looks like what you did or showed them-then it was just as good. Getting them to realize and discern quality is important in all this and I use the example of coloring in a coloring book. Things like staying with in the lines and coloring the entire area the same shade and same darkness of color as opposed to not doing that makes a difference in the quality and I actually pull out a coloring book and show them. Some younger students will grasp this and some won’t till a little later when they mature more. Those that grasp it sooner you can more easily accomplish things with like teaching them a kata and them trying to do the moves and techniques to the best of their ability and rather than playing at doing that I think. You do have to keep it fun at the same time and there is a wide age disparity there and the way a five year old thinks and an eleven year old does. It will take some time and additional effort for those younger ones so be patient and resourceful in your approach and do it in a way that they can best relate to it.

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