In 2009 Koike Sensei came to Nottingham to teach an open course at Seibukan Karate Club. It was 2009 when I set up my own club and decided after the course I was going to ask Koike for advice on teaching children after seeing how successful he was in engaging them. The fact that wherever he teaches, children love him! So the following bullet points are key hints and tips when teaching children, taken from my conversation with Koike Sensei;
- Use the same warm-up - not to confuse them.
- Session intensity - start physically hard, then, as their energy deteriorates, decrease the amount of physical work to make it easier but more technical.
- Talk gently.
- Follow the energy = breaks lose energy.
- Co-ordination - use exercises like, hands up swing legs and touch toes etc. Basic things to improve hand/foot eye co-ordination.
- Slow count for slow moves = Fast count for fast moves.
- Use gymnastic ideas.
- Use equipment.
- Explain warm-ups
- difference between kiba-dachi and shiko-dachi.
- different moves/use different muscles.
- co-ordination - hands up/legs up etc.
- When concentration goes = change the activity.
- Collect children in groups - show off fast and ask "you want a go?" "yes."
- Say "you can't do" then the children respond "yes we can!" - reverse psychology.
- Use partner work but only with easy things.
- Transferable learning.
- the kids wait outside whilst Sensei make the dojo messy.
- time limit: give them 1 minute to clean up - TEAMWORK!
e.g 1 group sort out the shoes the other group sort out the clothes/bags etc.
- Dojo= your room - a lesson for the kid's that if they do the above at home their parents won't punish them etc.
- ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) & other learning issues - PULL don't push.
- Keep kid's comfortable - let them sit down if you are demonstrating.
Koike Sensei and I
Sensei Koike's sees his Karate-do as 'shin - gi - tai' (spirit - technique - body).
So with children I particularly want to emphasise on the spirit to keep them engaged to allow me to teach them how to use their body to perform techniques correctly....
Hope this advice from Koike Sensei is as valuable to you as it has been to me!