Congratulations to Jo Busby from the infants, Luis Pickup from the junior’s, receiving Student of the Month award for June 2014.
At the beginning of the month, Infant grades at The Bishops School Dojo practiced their stances left and right in preparation to learn an S-Parry block, throw their partner and hold them down using a one of three pinning techniques: Scarf Hold, Shoulder Hold and Chest Hold.
To help all students with their left and right I like to use their club badge, which is sewn onto their left arm as a reference point. As we have been practicing this previously they quickly adapted.
During the month all Infant grades constantly practiced their techniques ready for their grading scheduled at the beginning of July. To make it more interesting for their young minds I incorporated a game so they could have fun whilst learning and gaining lots of repetition. The game we incorporated was “Stuck in the mud,” one person would be the catcher, (changed randomly) would run around and try catch as many people as possible.
If caught by the catcher you would stand still as if stuck in the mud and the only way that you can be freed is by another student crawling through your legs from behind, high ten each other and then carry out whatever technique practiced at the time. If however the technique was not carried out good enough were asked to demonstrate again before freeing. We used the same block and throw but changed the pinning technique as mentioned earlier.
For the Infants I also made a circuit for their breakfalls and rolls. We had four corners of the mat and each corner would represent a direction to breakfall. The middle edges of the mat they had to carry out their forward rolls. Each station would be thirty seconds long and on the command change would move along to the next one. This meant they got lots of reps, important especially as they would be using them for being thrown. The children had great fun practicing this way and are always keen to do more.
To work on the Infants co-ordination I placed rings onto the floor in a pattern. One at a time each student would make their way through the rings, run to myself. I would then throw a punch at them, each student would block my punch, throw me down and then pin me. I randomly changed the pinning technique to see how they coped. This was great fun and they all wanted to throw their Sensei more…
The juniors worked on two variations of a rear strangle hold: Rear Naked Choke and Sliding Collar and Lapel. As we practiced this technique previously there was always a quick reminder about safety whilst using these. All junior students quickly grasped this.
Sometimes students get a little scared about performing this technique but once practiced find it not that bad, it’s great practice to feel what it’s like to get strangled and doesn’t come as a big shock if caught by one whilst grappling.
Throughout the month we practiced a defence from a double wrist grab. I like to get really in depth and break down the technique for better understanding. I moved myself around the mat and got everyone to demonstrate their defences on me to ensure they were performed effectively.
We practiced Half Shoulder and Full Shoulder and tried pairing each student within their group with roughly the same size to help with these throws. With me breaking each of these down, it wasn’t long before most were carrying these out effectively. I made a big emphasis on how you land whilst being thrown. If you landed square on your back there was a good chance that you could wind yourself and be a little uncomfortable. So to stop this I advised them to try get to their sides. This helped a great deal and helped with everyone’s confidence.
With the gradings around the corner I was very confident that everyone would perform great. I look forward to talking all about it next month.