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Wonderful newaza game for kids

I love these little guys! Check this video out. I can't claim to have invented this exercise - it's a common game for kids' judo classes. But I think we might have taken it farther than some classes.
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The basic way it works is, one man tries to crawl from one baseline to the other while the opponent tries to immobilize or delay him. This game promotes mobility, pinning, and escaping - but if you play it right, it also promotes self-defense strategy. I am constantly yelling at the bottom man to NOT engage the top man in a wrestling match. The bottom man's job is to escape and get away. Now that might involve the bottom man having some control skills, but the strategy is basically escape safely and leave.
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The kids love this exercise so much more than any of the other games, that it has become our primary form of randori with the kids - followed closely by standing flag judo ("Rooster tail").


Notice some of the high points: the little man in the first match does a great job of controlling the big man. Then, at about the 1:40 mark, the bottom man in the second match executes a great escape from having a guy on his back. In the last 2 matches, the bigger, more skilled player uses his skills to brush the attacker off so he can leave.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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3 comments:

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  2. I do this game a lot. Our children have called this game the sheep-game (don't ask me why).
    However, I notice that 2 kids are playing and 3 are not.
    Have you ever had them all do this game at the same time?
    My kids don't sit still very well.

    We play this game in two forms:
    1) Sometimes we pair the kids up and they play the game in simultaneous sessions (when you have 12 kids, the game is played 6 pairs at the same time).
    2) Sometimes we have all the kids try to crawl to the other side. Whoever doesn't make it across in the available time is 'it' in the next round. At the end, everybody is 'it'.

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    1. Yes, we usually play that game all at once too - I think this particular day that I filmed we were having an impromptu in-class tourney using this game, so only one pair at a time.

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