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Good and Bad Martial Arts Games

Martial Arts Games have been one of the major building blocks in developing our youngest martial art students. Often when I mention this to Instructors they give me an odd look and I can tell that they think I’m pulling their leg. Some have questioned me about weakening the martial art lessons or compromising standards to be more commercial.

I can understand these points of view from someone that hasn’t seen the martial art games we use in our training sessions. I know many instructors (sad to say) use games as a filler to pad out the time for a lesson. Obviously someone doing this is guilty of the statements I have been accused of but martial art games can be used to compliment the theme of your lesson plan for the night and can dramatically improve the learning ability for young students.

Every lesson plan should have a main theme. It may be blocking, kicking, striking, single leg takedowns, sweeps… you get the idea… there should be a solid focus for each lesson. Now when you know what skill you plan to teach the students you can select some martial art games that will enhance the lesson rather than detract from it.

As an example if you are focusing on blocking tonight then you can add some games like ‘The Mummies Return’ or ‘Block Around The Clock’ so that the kids can practice their blocks on live moving attackers in a controlled way. Everyone gets involved and has a great time but they are also learning how to apply the skills you have just taught them.

The other great thing about using martial arts games in your lessons is that the kids generally think they are just a game. They don’t normally look at what they are doing and see that you are teaching them perform their martial art skills. The game works better than just doing a martial art drill. A drill is a repetitive exercise that tends to bore kids after a minute or two, but a martial art game is something fun for them to enjoy and this is really important.

It’s important for two main reasons. Firstly, they are having fun but they are still learning how to apply their new skills against other students. Secondly they often have so much fun playing these martial art games in class that they will teach them to their friends at school or meet up with other students outside of class to play them in their own time.

I’m sure you know how hard it is to get a young student to practice their techniques outside the dojo. The reason is obvious, unless a student is really dedicated and driven to improve then they are not going to spend their spare time doing techniques and katas and martial art drills by themselves in the yard. But if they can get some friends together and play a new game with them, then you are onto a winner.

I’m sure you can just imagine the improvements that you would see in your students if they were spending and extra couple of hours practicing their skills in between your formal lessons. If you teach them twice a week for an hour per lesson then they are doing about 90 hours training in a year. Now if you can get them to play some martial art games with their friends a few times a week you could easily get them to do an additional 135 hours a year training. That’s more training than their formal lessons.

Another great thing to teach the students is Mini Challenges. These only take a minute to teach but you can show them a mini challenge and then set them a goal to reach before the next lesson. This is a great way to get them to push themselves to the next level.

I hope that I have given you enough inspiration to test out some games in your next lesson. The important thing is to use good quality games that reinforce what you are teaching the kids. If you are looking for ideas for your next lesson plan then check out the Martial Games for Kids Blog

I wish you and your young student all the best

Review of Martial Arts Games For Kids

With both a martial arts background and a degree in Physical Education, I admit to being skeptical when I read Martial Arts Games for Kids by Aaron Perry. I found some excellent games for education and maintaining student interest, loyalty and promotion of your martial arts school. I also found some points in the book I believe could be improved. Read on….

The Writing Itself

I have to admit, I’ve been in sales related fields over 30 years. Aaron Perry knows how to write good sales copy. Not only that, he has the martial arts knowledge and the ability to transfer his knowledge and experience to his fellow martial arts instructors. I believe this skill was taken into consideration as he developed these martial arts games to help ensure learning, loyalty and even advertising via word of mouth and game days amongst his students and his students guests.

I Kept a Suspicious Attitude As I Read Martial Arts Games for Kids

With a background in physical education, I’m very picky about games being associated with the activity. When my son was six, I took him to observe several martial arts schools and observed the children’s classes. Every single one of the martial arts classes for children did the same thing.

* Warm-ups unrelated to martial arts or self-defense training. By the way one of my methods of teaching physical education classes stated children have such a high metabolism they do not technically need to “warm-up” before engaging in a physical activity.

* Relay races of various types unrelated to martial arts or self-defense training. In these relay races students spent most of their time standing behind another student looking at the back of his or her head than they did engaging in or watching the activity. So much for any benefit of observation.

* The last fifteen minutes or so were spent executing actual martial arts drills. Unfortunately, per my sales experience, it’s the last 15 minutes the parents remembered, thus remained satisfied with their child’s progress. I cannot state for certain the parents remained satisfied as I never inquired about the martial arts schools turn around or retention rate.

As both a professional educator and parent, I was appalled at what I considered to be a waste of time for the students as well as a waste of financial and time investment for the parents.

I Admit to Becoming Impressed As I Read The Book

I realized Mr. Perry took associating a game with the activity he was trying to promote, martial arts, seriously in his book.

The book includes games to increase:

– Physical Condition

– Coordination

– Strength

– Balance

– Accuracy

– Techniques

– Stances

The sections were divided similar to public school lessons plans. Each game explains

* Number of players

* Equipment

* Procedure

* Modification suggestions

* Benefits of the game

He even includes a frequently asked questions section along with advice on how to slowly incorporate games into your schools curriculum. There’sl marketing suggestions such as game day. Students bring a friend for this naturally and Mr. Perry offers a way to control the number of people who show up for this promotional event.

When I Finished Reading The Book

I admit I was impressed. However, all lesson plans and activities could be improved upon. For example, Mr. Perry made no mention of having smaller groups to increase actual activity. I would have also liked to have seen mention forming any lines need for the activity in such a way as students could observe their fellow students participating.

Note to Those Who Believe Martial Arts and Games Should Not Be Combined

Our goal as educators, is to transfer knowledge to our students. Games is an effective tool in achieving this goal. Games are used in all types of classroom and physical topics to enable and reinforce learning.

Whether or not your students take their training seriously does not depend on whether or not you play a game which your students may enjoy. Games are only and should only be a part of your schools curriculum.

Whether or not your students take their training seriously and do not abuse the knowledge which you transfer to them, depends on you and your attitude, not whether or not you allow them to enjoy their lessons in a variety of ways, thus wanting to continue to learn even more.

Games Ideas For Your Kid’s Party

10 ways to keep the kids’ interest in the party alive:

1. The treasure hunt is the perfect game for outdoor kids parties. It requires a lot of movement and they will have fun playing. What you need for this game is some imagination to identify corners where to hide the clues, a vinyl treasure map and a treasure chest that you can fill with golden plastic coins or even candies.

2. Sports games are always a good outdoor activity. Organize competitions of their favorite sports, divide them in teams, and name even a referee. For those who are left outside, get some cheer items and noisemakers that they can use to encourage their favorite team/player.

3. Play Charades. Get some animal paddles, toss them in a hat or bowl, have all the kids drag an animal paddle and then have each of them pretend to be the chosen animal. The others have to guess what animal is that.

4. Pinatas is one of the funniest games for kids parties but it requires careful supervision in order to avoid accidents. Fill balloons with goodies and have the kids break them.

5. Put on some dance party music for the kids and play “music statues”. Stop the music from time to time. The kids should remains still when the music stops. Those of them who are caught off guard are out of the game.

6. Have the kids play their favorite songs. For some atmosphere, you can give them sombreros and even some water music instruments.

7. Organize a finger Muppets show. Give kid finger Muppets and have them get into the play role one by one or by small groups.

8. Involve the kids in hand-made art games. Assign them with the task of creating candies necklaces.

9. Play pin the tail on the donkey game. Have a kid dress like a donkey and give the kids a fake tail. Each kid is blindfolded and moved around the donkey. He/she should try to stick the tail into the donkey’s rear. It would be nice to have a talkative donkey, which interacts with them during the game just like the Donkey character from Shrek movie.

10. Mini cards or Magic cube games are perfect for any category of age and challenge kids’ thinking. These games could be introduced for short time sequences when you notice that they start to get bored.

The above-described games are just guidelines to help you organize entertaining kids parties and they can be adapted upon the party’s theme and upon the items you have at hand. Good luck and have fun!

Top Schools for Video Game Programming and Development

Earning a degree in game programming and development should be considered by individuals who have a passion for gaming, and learning how games are created. Courses involved in these type of degrees usually include gameplay design, 3D graphics, stereoscopic computer graphics, contemporary video game platforms, multiplayer game design, and game physics. Having a computer that can handle the necessary components involved in video game design and development would also be very helpful. The following list includes some of the top schools where students can earn this degree, and other related degrees to help them enter the video game creation field.

University of Southern California 
Los Angeles, California
• Rated by the Princeton Review multiple years in a row as having the #1 game design program in North America.
• Students can study programs in Interactive Entertainment, Animation & Digital Arts, Cinematic Arts, Film & Television Production, Interactive Media, and Science Visualization.
• USC is not predominantly a design school; they also offer many other degrees you would find at most traditional colleges.

Carnegie Mellon University 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
• Carnegie Mellon is a world leader in robotics
• Students can earn a Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts, which will allow students to enter fields such as robotic art, game design, and computer animation.

Savannah College of Art and Design 
Savannah, Georgia
• Students can choose to earn degrees, certificates, major in, or minor in programs such as Interactive Design & Game Development, Interactive Design, Themed Entertainment Design, Motion Media Design, Animation, and Visual Effects.
• Other related programs include Illustration, Film & Television, Illustration Design, and Cinema Studies
• Some programs can be completed at the school’s other campuses in Atlanta, Hong Kong and Lacoste, France.

Rochester Institute of Technology 
Rochester, New York
• All programs offer both unpaid and paid internships.
• Students can earn a BSc in Gaming Design & Development or New Media Interactive Development. Other programs include an MSc in Gaming Development & Design, Game Development & Design minor, or a Game Design minor.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
Troy, New York
• Programs offered include Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences, Electronic Arts, Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication. Certificates in Graphics and Communication design are also available in addition to earning a degree.

DigiPen Institute of Technology 
Redmond, Washington
• Additional campuses in Washington, Spain, Bilbao, and Singapore
• Students may earn a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Game Design, Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation, Digital Art and Animation, or Game Design. Master’s programs are available in Digital Arts and Computer Science.

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