Games That Help With Self Defence

When it comes to teaching children effective self-defence methods, the usual punch and block drills get extremely tiresome very quickly. And with lethargy, mistakes can be made which means accidents can happen, resulting in a disgruntled child and perhaps a sore nose! When it comes to agility exercises, ducking and weaving drills and blocking exercises there are many more ways to help children and adults alike that do not involve any punching or kicking whatsoever. Here are 4 games you can play with your students that really help with self-defence techniques.

The marker pen technique

First thing’s first, the best way to avoid a knife attack or injury if someone has pulled a knife on you is to run away. However, if you want to show your students just how hard it is to avoid being scraped or stabbed this game is for you. Ask your students to bring a white t shirt to class and hand out red marker pens. Pair them up with a partner and give one of them a marker pen. Tell the student without the marker pen not to run away but to try and block each attack the other student makes with the marker pen. The student with the pen has to try his or her best to make a mark on their t-shirts and the other has to try and block it or dodge it. Pretty soon your students will find out that no matter how hard they try, inevitably they will get marker pen on them, teaching them that the best course of action is to run away but also helping with effective blocking techniques.

Noodle dodge

For younger kids learning Jiu Jitsu this is a fun way for them to practice their rolling. It’s also a great way to teach your students how to duck and weave should someone come at them with a stick or baseball bat. Grab a pool noodle and swing it like you would a baseball bat. This breaks the monotony of dodging hooks and helps with agility.

Attacks on both sides

Balance is a key element to any martial art as is awareness of your surroundings. Draw a line on the floor with tape then pick three students and place them standing in that line. The student in the middle is going to defend themselves from alternate attacks from the students either side of them. However, they cannot step off or pivot outside the line. Taking turns, the students either side of the one in the middle will throw a single attack such as a punch or a kick. The student in the middle has to block the attack and turn to face the next opponent before they can attack. This helps with balance, encourages a good guard and teaches them that they need to be faster than their opponent.

Wiggle wiggle wiggle

A great way of helping younger students to learn how to avoid being physically picked up by a stranger is to get them to throw “tantrums”. Line your students up and tell them to close their eyes. You will ideally need another instructor to help you with this. Keep talking to the students about something so they are focussed on you, meanwhile another instructor will grab a student in a bear hug and try to pick them up. They will be too focussed on your voice and will obviously be surprised when the other instructor picks them up meaning they will panic and possibly freeze. This is where the wiggling and tantrums come in. Tell your students to wiggle like mad and throw a tantrum in mid-air when they are picked up. They cannot stop until the instructor lets them go. Once they can get free they have to run away to the other side of the room and to “safety”. This teaches children to avoid freezing up if someone grabs them as a wiggly child is hard to hold on to!

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