Sunday, 1 March 2015

Acting Up

Assisting at Kiddy Krav Maga classes is LOADS of fun.

At Junior Safe Krav Maga every Monday in Leamington Spa I get to run around the mat for nearly an hour with anything between 8 and 15 children aged from 5 to 11 and play loads of games with them.

Fundamentally we are teaching them to defend themselves against Bad People, so as a bonus I get to be a movie villain like the Sheriff of Notttingham from Robin Hood or Vector from Despicable Me. We pick them up, grab them and bop them on the head with spongey pads. All to improve their reflexes, boost their confidence and above all make it much harder in real life for a genuine Bad Person to make their lives difficult.

We play team games; games based on endurance; games based on single minded determination and at the end we choose two students who have shone out and they get to kneel next to me and the instructor Russell for the final bow.

This post shows the rewards this kind of thing holds for me but last week it went a step further when Russell's car broke down.

He cancelled the class and apologised to the parents via text and Facebook. I called him up and was like "Err... I can carry this today if you want. Why didn't you ask?"

Ever the gentleman, he replied "I didn't want to simply assume you'd do it."

At 3 hours notice I was a tad nervous and as Russell reversed his decision to postpone the class I made mental notes on what games to play with the kids. That annoying inner gremlin was whispering in my ear saying such unhelpful things as "What if they don't want to work with you. Russell is their favourite, not you?" Or "What if you can't control them  and they start acting up and won't listen to you?"

I told the voice to do one, and carried on planning the lesson.

 When I got there the kids were drifting in, clearly hyped that they still had a class and running about as normal. I was expecting about 5 of them but by the time I got them lined up for the first "Kida!" there were 12.


I explained that Russell was unable to make it but we'd still have loads of fun. As the usual toys were locked in Russell's car which was now at the mechanic's shop I had brought a pillow from home and chucked that at them for a bit. If caught they had to do a handstand against the wall and could only be "released" if someone crawled under them. After a few push up and sit ups we then moved on to team work with me padded up (groin guard being a pre-requisite when working with little people who are being taught to kick) and wearing a helmet. I got them to run at me in pairs and I would grab one of them. They had to work together to get that person free. One or two missed the point and hurtled off to the end of the room while their mate struggled.

"Great friend you are!" I would shout until they then ran back and dished out a few kicks and punches to make me let go.

The parents sitting round the edge of the room had offered to help out if I needed it so I had one of the dads try and flip me over while I tried to remain belly down on the floor. Kids got into that one and we worked out a few of their favourite games such as Zombie Tig (harder to understand than American Football) and Dodge Ball.

Finally I got a ringside mother to "volunteer" to help me with the last game of the session. The kids were in teams and had to run up one at a time (apart from one little girl who ran with her best friend) punch the strike shields we were holding and then push us to the back of the room and run back to their mates.

Ever competitive they were cheering each other on until the last one came through.

After the final bow I felt both relieved that the lesson had gone well and also elated as it was LOADS of fun. A few of the parents thanked me, with one or two paying compliments and I got some of the kids to beat me up for a souvenir video.

Brilliant time. 

NB. Not available on YouTube. Link only goes to the main page.

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