Split into age groups. 4-5, 6-9, 10 and up if possible. Some kids will goof off all the time. Don’t compromise the entire class for two kids. Group them together and give the best class for the others.
Member Since: 1/1/01
K-8 is a pretty wide disparity in terms of physical size and mental maturity to focus. If possible, it might be beneficial to split the class up into two (or more) different classes by age range and/or maturity .
I like some advice the Gracie brothers give in their bullyproof program. They basically say to keep your instruction positive. If you need to correct the child, for instance his leg is in the wrong position, you do it by physically moving his leg in the correct position while saying “very good, you got it,” etc. never “here do it like this” or anything negative that breaks their good attitude and makes it no fun to train because “they do it wrong.”
I think that concept is brilliant.
2) Gracie Bullyproof - techniques
3) End with games - dodgeball, etc
Split up the classes- I have 4-7 year olds, 8-13 year olds, and 14+ go to adult classes
If there is no fun involved, you will lose them. If it is only fun with no structure, you will lose them. Smile and joke little, but be patient and nurturing at the same time. Make the group feel like a team and you will be able to grab their attention more collectively. Whenever you have a chance, get some of the kids to help in demonstrations as it will show the others (especially newbies) that the kids are really capable and it will bolster confidence. Lastly, IMO with coaching, having a nice, easy to learn warmup routine to start every class gives the kids knowledge of what to expect and its very easy to make fun. I.E. bear crawl or butt scootch races. Remember too, a little competition will help guide them to push harder.
P.S. Another one IMO, absolutely do not reward failure. Its a fine line to correct kids and the sandwich technique can help (compliment, correction, compliment). Say Joe can't quite get his shrimp down, start with "Joe, you're showing good strength when you push off in your shrimp. If you want to get even more space from your opponent and be able to work towards that sweep, do your shrimp this way (demonstrate) because... keep up the good work"
You'd be amazed at how the littlest thing can drive kids to excel.
If possible, I would get another instructor and you guys can split up the class - but possibly allow all ages to participate in the warm ups together.
Are imo critical components of solid teaching.
Teaching is an art, often requiring multiple skills and tools.
I like when coaches use multiple modes to deliver, it displays their understanding that there are multiple styles of learning. Teaching this way imo helps anchor the material into the subconscious.
When a kid isn't following directions, rather than calling them out find a kid who is following directions and praised the hell out of them.
When teaching the move call out each small portion of the technique as if you were doing paint by numbers as they drill.
Also, although you're teaching kids self-defense via Bjj you're also teaching them how TO MOVE their bodies and, more importantly, how TO KNOW their bodies. In my opinion, those are important and valuable lessons for kids to learn. Indeed, many adults should learn those lessons.
Member Since: 1/1/01
Not sure how many of you are trained educators, as in hold a teaching credential or degree. I am and I use quite a LOT of the modern educational strategies in my own kid's classes.
Firstly, I don't divide kids up by age --that's a very "old fashioned" approach. I divide them up by race. --Much more modern.
It's important for kids to not just learn jiu jitsu but learn to be better citizens (documented or otherwise). So, we get into topics like inheret privilege.
To make this concrete to the class, I have certain kids and genders always start out rolling from a position of advantage, while other kids and genders always begin in a lesser position, down by several points.
Jiu jitsu is a living, breathing art and we all have a responsibility to keep it relevant to OUR time. But, we also have a responsibility to have it refllect the history of the place in which we are teaching. For that reason no English is spoken in my kid's class. All instruction is entirely in the Gabriolino Tongva language --the native tongue of the original people who lived on this land.
Sure, racist parents will sometimes object and use coded language to say things like, "look, I just wanted a normal jiu jitsu class for my kid". I shame them and report them to Child & Family Services.
--Then I get right back to doing what I do best, changing little lives.