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10/17/13 2:14 AM
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FatFrenchFry
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Next week I'm running a couple of classes for my coach, teaching kids age 8-12. Mainly yellow belts.

A last minute thing, just wondering how kids are taught at your school?

Manly games? Sparring? Any drilling? Free training? Phone Post 3.0
10/17/13 9:36 AM
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SC MMA MD
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We do 45 minute classes that start with warmups that are led by a student (with input from an instructor as needed) and typically include a few laps around the mat, rolls, cartwheels and shrimping. We then teach one technique, the kids drill under supervision, and then a few 2 minute rounds of grappling and end with a game of dodgeball. Occasionally (once a month or so) the whole class time is spent doing a grappling oriented game. Phone Post 3.0
10/17/13 9:57 AM
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Sir Taps
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Our class for that age group generally follows this format: Warm up, takedown practice, 1 or 2 techs on the ground, then full sparring starting from standing till the end of class. Usually finish with a game of bulldog. If their attention is wandering during class, or they seem low on energy, we'll throw in a game to mix it up.

James
10/17/13 10:14 AM
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mikecimm
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what games do you guys play?  i have a couple i use, but would love some ideas on new ones.

it really does help when their attention starts to wander.  

james, what is bulldog?

10/17/13 10:34 AM
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SC MMA MD
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We do sumo wrestling, where we set up a small ring of cones and the kids (two at a time, working from smallest to biggest) work to push their opponent out of the ring, and a game that seems to have a million names where we tie two kids facing apart in the middle of the mat together by tying a belt through the backs of their belts and they try to pull their partner past a line on their side of the mat. Phone Post 3.0
10/17/13 10:54 AM
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Sir Taps
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Mike, you probably know the game as British Bulldog. One kid is the bulldog and will be in the middle of the mats kneeling down, with all the other kids standing at one end of the mats. Aim is for the kids to run past the bulldog to the other end of the mats without getting tagged. If they get caught, they join the bulldog in the middle trying to catch the other kids. Repeat until everyone is caught. This is a great one for home time - instructors in the middle, and the kids go home as they get caught.

Another game we do is Chicken and Fox. Everyone has a tail (a spare belt looped into the back of their belt), and you have to take someone else's tail without having your own caught. Teaches awareness of who's around you.

Another good one is "the island game". Mark out 4 areas (islands) in the corners of the mat space with coloured cones (red, blue, green, yellow). All the kids start in the middle of the mats, and the instructor calls out a colour. Last kid to reach the island is out of the game. In the event of there being a tie for who got there last, have the winner decided by who can throw each other first, or lie them side by side and first to get mount stays in the game.

James
10/17/13 11:53 AM
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torubu
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For sumo, it's easier to mark a square with 4 spare belts. Phone Post 3.0
10/17/13 11:56 AM
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mikecimm
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thanks gents

10/17/13 12:23 PM
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elbigsam
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I ran our kids program for a little over a year at btt in san antonio, i learned a lot. Ive taken a step back and have another guy doing it now. The biggest issue for me is how to handle discipline vs kids having fun. I dont bother punishing the kids, if they are being disruptive i have them sit on the wall and watch. My teammate who teaches now does a better job of keeping the kids in line, he is much more serious than i.

One challenge of teaching in general is providing subject matter stimulating for your advanced kids, but also accessable to your beginners. I reccomend teaching concepts over specifics. As an example ill show a cross choke from guard, focusing on getting deep grips and pulling in toward my torso to finish. Ill show the same thing from the top, from side control, from butterfly, everywhere. Then ill have the kids take turns choking me while i kneel in front of them and they stand. Kids love to choke coach.

The idea there is to show that they can choke someone from anywhere, pretty much by doing the same thing. Grip and pull. Then i have them partner up and choke each other from wherever they can think of. The concept is easier for them to remember than a bunch of specifics. I apply this same method with adults now, and it has really helped my personal game.

Games wise, kids love wrestling coach, i like to have the whole class try to stop me from crawling across the mat or some sutch. Phone Post
10/17/13 2:44 PM
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handfightingfan
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Edited: 10/17/13 2:45 PM
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My sons have been training BJJ for a few months now. They train in a competitive BJJ program. In their class the instructors separate the kids into two groups during the instructional and sparring phases of the class. They separate the kids into the advanced and less experienced groups. For the last 10 minutes or so the instructors combine the two groups to play their games.
10/17/13 5:15 PM
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FatFrenchFry
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Awesome stuff guys.
What submissions do you allow? Phone Post 3.0
10/17/13 7:13 PM
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elbigsam
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Chokes and armbars, no guillotines till they are teens Phone Post
10/17/13 7:40 PM
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athsportsnutrition
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Recovery Shakes for Combat Athletes

Just like the adults but will occassionally throw in some games to keep it entertaining and fresh for them.

10/17/13 8:30 PM
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petch
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In for some good ideas for kids class
10/17/13 9:03 PM
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best thing you could do for yourself
10/17/13 9:03 PM
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elbigsam -  Chokes and armbars, no guillotines till they are teens Phone Post

why?
10/17/13 9:42 PM
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pennviachoke
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We have @ least 7-8 kids in every kids class at my gym, sometimes as many as 15. They do drills to warm up-maybe 15-20 minutes, they go over 2 moves a class & drill those for 10-15 minutes a piece & then they roll for 3-5 minute rounds. Then 2 games of dodgeball with the HUGE exercise ball.

Here's a pic from tonight

Phone Post
10/17/13 11:12 PM
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htownbjj
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Good stuff, I like it when these threads come up.

Here's the way we're doing it these days, but I'm always looking for new ideas. I've tried 1 hr classes and 45 minutes, and have found 45 minutes is about right.

* 10-15 minute warmup

All the classics (shrimps, bear crawls, etc). You can spice it up by turning everything into a race. I usually don't keep track of who wins, but the kids don't care, they are much more energized if it is a race.

We try to vary the warmup every class. Sometimes we do relay races, sometimes individual, sometimes obstacle courses (using cones, thai pads, top parts of wavemasters, agility ladders, etc). We also have partner races -- "Santa Claus" (one kid loops a belt around their partner, partner pulls, kid in back gives just the right amount of resistance), leapfrog, wheelbarrows, etc. We also do tunnel races where two or more teams make tunnels by getting into the plank position, and the last kid crawls through. Those work great.

I've found pretty much every warmup activity goes better as a game or race.

* technique time

I usually limit it two one or two techniques. I've tried to think of a way to create more energy in this period, but it's a challenge. I limit it to about 10 minutes, 15 minutes max. I do a lot of changing partners to keep the kids stimulated.

I try to have kids demonstrate (even those with a bit of experience) the techniques a lot of times, in an attempt to keep them motivated. I often let the more advanced kids do a fancier variation or just have them spar.

I have a pretty minimal curriculum, about 25 moves, and cycle through every few months. Some kids I thought would never learn to shrimp and so on have actually picked it up, so it's just a matter of patience and reps.

* sparring time

we do this for about 5-10 minutes. We play "Mat Champ" most of the time, half the kids go down, the other try to pass open guard from standing. If the passer wins, he goes down to play open guard, if the passer is swept or can't get past the legs, he loses. Loser finds another open guard to pass. This is great exercise, pretty low-risk and the kids really like it. We also do a closed guard variation.

The advanced kids sometimes do full sparring from knees or standing, depending on space, etc. Sometimes they do mat champ with the beginner to work on their guard and help the newer students.

* game time

we leave 5-10 minutes for this. We play most of the games above, plus horse races (bigger kids are horses, smaller ones are riders, practicing seatbelt and hooks). In horse races, sometimes they can pull each other off, or sometimes they try to push a ball across a goal.

we play a variation of bulldog where the "mailmen" are one-legged, so they have to hop on one foot. It makes it more exciting and go faster

we play a lot of dodge ball, three push-ups gets you back in the game

another game is body snatchers, where kids try to pull the other team across a line (made of a belt)

crabwalk soccer with a stability ball is pretty good as well

we play sumo about once every two weeks, it's very popular

10/17/13 11:16 PM
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pennviachoke
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Great post ^^

I will pass that along to my instructor. VU Phone Post
10/18/13 1:39 AM
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elbigsam
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12 -
elbigsam -  Chokes and armbars, no guillotines till they are teens Phone Post

why?
Some of the local competitions dont allow guillotines until green belt or even adult, 12. They cite cervical risks. For simplicity we run the class without guillotines, less risk of a kid forgetting if they compete. Phone Post
10/18/13 9:58 AM
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12
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^ thank u
10/18/13 10:17 AM
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brad1
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Good stuff- our kids program had grown substantially these past 6 months and with the help of 2 professional educators I have running my program, we have streamlined a lot of what we're doing.

For the younger guys:
We use a lot of stuff like " clap once if you can hear me, clap twice if you can hear me" to get them to focus and listen to the instruction when lined up.

Many of these games are similar to what we use. To get the younger guys (4-6) in our class to practice mount guard or side control together safely and controlled here is our trick. We pair them up with numbers 1 or 2 (have them hold up their number) and do what we call "railroad tracks." The kids lie down next to each other with shoulders touching and when we call a number. "1... side control" etc they follow the command.

Call railroad tracks when you want them to reset and then have #2 go. Once they get the hang of it, the command can be more involved… “number 1 side control, step over to mount etc.”

Great for listening skills and you can to different variations on the theme. IE who can go the fastest, the slowest etc. Keeps everyone on the same page and keeps the chaos (if you have 20 + kids on the mat) to a minimum.

We also use a lot of what we call the ABC’s of BJJ. A being “avoid dangerous situations”… kids can raise their hands and offer examples on ways to avoid these situation. “Don’t cross the street without an adult, talk to a stranger etc.” Then you can tie these into games or themes of self defense, bully proofing etc.
Older kids- I'll add that we do a lot of what we call

"Shark Bait."

One or two pairs in the middle and a fresh guy coming to try to take the guy or girl in the middle down. The trick is to surprise your opponent, so the kids really focus and get into it. You can play it with any position, but from standing is really popular with our kids. Note: this is only with the more advanced kids who understand how to breakfall etc.

Hope it helps!

Brad
Soulcraftbjj.com
10/18/13 1:14 PM
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elbigsam
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12 - ^ thank u
Always happy to converse, i enjoy your perspective as it comes from someone deep inside the torrance circle 8) Phone Post
10/22/13 5:43 PM
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FatFrenchFry
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brad1 - Good stuff- our kids program had grown substantially these past 6 months and with the help of 2 professional educators I have running my program, we have streamlined a lot of what we're doing.

For the younger guys:
We use a lot of stuff like " clap once if you can hear me, clap twice if you can hear me" to get them to focus and listen to the instruction when lined up.

Many of these games are similar to what we use. To get the younger guys (4-6) in our class to practice mount guard or side control together safely and controlled here is our trick. We pair them up with numbers 1 or 2 (have them hold up their number) and do what we call "railroad tracks." The kids lie down next to each other with shoulders touching and when we call a number. "1... side control" etc they follow the command.

Call railroad tracks when you want them to reset and then have #2 go. Once they get the hang of it, the command can be more involved… “number 1 side control, step over to mount etc.”

Great for listening skills and you can to different variations on the theme. IE who can go the fastest, the slowest etc. Keeps everyone on the same page and keeps the chaos (if you have 20 + kids on the mat) to a minimum.

We also use a lot of what we call the ABC’s of BJJ. A being “avoid dangerous situations”… kids can raise their hands and offer examples on ways to avoid these situation. “Don’t cross the street without an adult, talk to a stranger etc.” Then you can tie these into games or themes of self defense, bully proofing etc.
Older kids- I'll add that we do a lot of what we call

"Shark Bait."

One or two pairs in the middle and a fresh guy coming to try to take the guy or girl in the middle down. The trick is to surprise your opponent, so the kids really focus and get into it. You can play it with any position, but from standing is really popular with our kids. Note: this is only with the more advanced kids who understand how to breakfall etc.

Hope it helps!

Brad
Soulcraftbjj.com
What are the Bs and Cs?

First class was a lot of fun.
Most of the kids were pretty young, but one of the older ones gave me a run-down of the usual format and explained the games they play.

Thursday is the older ones.

Fucking cute watching them free train Phone Post 3.0
10/22/13 6:08 PM
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BenBJJ
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Great times ahead!

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