Tuesday, November 16, 2010

fun in class last night

One of my favorite things to do with kids is give them a seemingly challenging physical task, watch their jaws drop open with amazement, listen to them protest loudly that they couldn't POSSIBLY replicate what I just did, and then watch them do it.

Case in point: last night, while seated in seiza, asked kids to attempt to thrown kicks. Whizzed a few kicks by the heads of front row students, and then let them try. I love that brief moment where they realize that they've just done something that they thought was impossible 10 seconds earlier. :)

This is the part that appeals to me the most when it comes to teaching kids. The kicking and punching are fun, but they are just a medium for teaching them about life and trying to reach the seemingly impossible.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Time in Training

Today I came across a quote that made me stop and think:

"Training in Karate for 30 years is very different than training in Karate for 1 year 30 times."

Think it over in your head a little. How many of us need to heed this advice in the dojang and outside?

Back to the mat...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pool Noodles

A few weeks ago, as it started getting warmer, I noticed that the grocery store had pool noodles in their display. I was reminded of a clinic I attended where a Master had used them during sparring drills. I bought out the store's stock and took them to class the next week.

Gave each instructor a pool noodle and instructed them to "have fun."

  • great for blocking drills. swing the noodle at the student, and they block safely.
  • same for practicing jumping, ducking, dodging, sidestepping. start with this, and have them follow up the maneuver with a counter attack.
  • give them a fun target for stretch kicking.
  • use the tip for targeting to improve accuracy
  • lightly whack an inattentive student in the head from a distance.
  • chase younger kids around the dojang to warm them up.
  • cut the noodles into 2 foot sections, give each student a small noodle and practice partner blocking drills.
  • kids practice standing on one foot. you walk around with the noodle and poke them in the chest to get them to fall over.
  • wiggle the noodle up/down or side to side and have the student kick it while in motion.

If I have them do 50 high blocks, they will die of boredom. Give all of the instructors a noodle, and they will get through 50 blocks and be excited at the end.

I know I'm not the only one who uses these things. I would love to hear from anyone else who has some ideas to try. When the weather gets hot (no AC in our dojang) I need to keep things moving! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Using Google Local Business

You may have noticed that when searching Google for a local business (because, who keeps that giant book of phone numbers handy anymore) that a local map pops up with nearby businesses that might fit the bill.

What you may not be aware of is that Google now gives local business owners the tools to customize these results. Google Local Business allows you to enter all kinds of info:

  • Name
  • Website
  • Hours
  • Description
  • Submit Photos
  • Post news stories (30 day life)

With about 30 minutes of work, I was able to put my tiny operation on the map with some detailed information. Not bad for a little extra work on my part. And since the service is free, it is considerably cheaper than a phone book ad.

Another interesting aspect of this feature is it allows customers to leave a review of your service. Imagine the browsing habits of a person casually searching for a martial arts school in your area. Google brings back dozens of hits, and of course, the reader's eyes are drawn to the first few results. Imagine if yours stood out from the rest, on a map, with detailed info and several 5 star reviews. Potentially, their search is over!

For the amount of effort (very little) on your part, and the payback (huge) this is something I think all studio owners should try.