In martial arts, the Mustangs and Labs had fun working on the target bags and being photographed. We worked on the sequence of “kick, cross, and uncross.” The three moves consisted of kicking with one leg, crossing over in front of the standing leg with the kicking leg, and uncrossing out of the stance with the standing leg. This sequence works on balance, crossing midline, weight shift, and lower body coordination.
There were several variations that students did: kick with one leg, put it down, and then use the standing leg to cross and uncross. Another was using one leg to cross over, and then using the same leg to uncross, in a sort of hop dance. A few fell over as they tried to cross their legs. To help with the uncross and weight shift after the student kicked and crossed over, I stepped on that foot so that they could not use that leg to uncross. This forced them to shift their weight onto their standing leg to uncross. After that, most were able to repeat the same motions on their own.
The students were so proud once they understood how to coordinate their legs to move in the cross and uncross pattern. The reason to cross the kicking leg in front of the standing leg is to protect the groin and to uncross with the back leg is to move away from one’s opponent, creating distance. This is a first step in helping student understand spatial awareness and proximity to others, while working on gross motor movements. I held target bags to help students visualize the overall picture of distance from the first kick to the uncross where they should be further away from the bag.