“I challenge you to a competition.” – R. Crocodiles
In response to his challenge, I created a martial arts game to find the ninja with the most control and the ability to demonstrate what they have learned. Students were instructed to cross to the other side and back, while watching for “falling tree branches” to strike or block. I was the “falling tree branches,” wearing hand target bags, that were swinging toward the students.
Students absolutely loved this challenge! They were even running up to me to punch and block the bags, laughing and smiling the whole time. In our second martial arts class, students were confident about their strikes, had great hand-eye coordination in hitting the bags and not me, and had fun the whole challenge. Shy students emerged and were telling me that they wanted a turn to hit the bags.
As a variation, I held a contest to find the sneakiest, quietest ninja of the group. I had my eyes closed and swung at students who I heard giggling and making noise while crossing to the other side of the room. The girls were definitely the sneakiest by crawling on the floor silently while the boys were laughing and running into me to get in a few punches.
I am very proud of all the Crocodiles who are getting more comfortable with martial arts and encouraging each other throughout the challenge.