I want write this topic as one post, but the more I write, the more I have to say. So, to help manage the length I will be dividing this topic into a series of smaller posts.
As a teacher I cannot do the same drills each class. This would lead my students to getting bored and loosing interest. Then how do I solve the problem of students needing to continually practice to improve their skills? Disguising Repetition allows me to teach the same material to students, repeatedly, without them loosing interest.
One of the easiest methods to disguise repetition are competitions. There many forms of ‘friendly’ competition that you can employ in class.
Speed Competitions – Take a simple Round Kick drill, where one person holds a target and the other kicks, there are a number of different speed competitions that can be used to make it more interesting. Here are three examples below.
Fastest Repetitions – Challenge the class to see which pair can finish their round kick repetitions the fastest. Both students, of each pair, need to do 5 kicks with each foot and the first pair that finishes sits.
Fastest Individual Technique – Who has the fastest individual technique? One variation of this drill involves lining the students up in two lines, facing each other, with all the kickers on one side and holders on the other. On the instructors call, whether that is a spoken command or hitting targets together, the kickers kick and the first person to hit the target wins.
Another fastest individual technique – Another fastest individual technique drill involves a single lines. I line the students up, in front of me, and I hold two targets. On my left target I put the line and on my right target a single student. When I say go the students do their round kick and the winner takes the right hand spot, while the loser goes to the end of the line.
Races – There are many different types of race competitions, here are two below.
Relay Race – You can have the students do a relay style race, where there are lines at one side of the room and target holders, lined up in front of them, at the other end. First person in line runs to the target holder, performs a technique and then switches, becoming the target holder and the other person runs back to the end of the line. You can have the students go through their line 1, 2, etc. number of times and the first team that finishes and sits, wins.
Across the Room Race – Another race format has the students travel across the room. The hold moves each time the kicker makes contact and they travel across the room. When they reach the other side, they switch and come back. Again, you can set the number of repetitions. After they finish they sit and the first team sitting wins.
Balance Drills – This one can be done with races or stationary.
Stationary – How many kicks can the kicker perform before they start to loose their balance? This us a great drill to help students with their round kick, forcing them to pivot their foot and kick across. I like to stack shields and have the students kick over the shields so they have to maintain their kicking height. As a competition you can see who can do the most kicks or which pair can finish a set number first.
Race – The goal is that the kicker does not put their foot down as they kick, forcing them to hop and kick across the room. Similar to other races, the goal is to get across the room and back.
Success vs. Failure – How many times can a student or team succeed an activity before the time runs out. These work by setting challenges that students will not always succeed. For instance, I have a windmill game. I take white belt and spin it in front of a kicking bag, the goal is to hit the bag without letting the belt hit you. You can divide the class into teams or lines and see which team is most successful.
When students race or compete there is a tendency to become sloppy, so rather than focusing on the race, focus on the practice. When the drill allows it, I give my students an opportunity to practice before we race. The practice is the real point, then the race is for run.
This barely scratches the surface, but it gives a place to start. As instructors we all have drills that we like to use, so the ‘challenge’ for us can be to look for ways to inject competition into those drills.