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#369073 - 11/08/07 04:14 AM Forms and Kata for kids
lopezma Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Austin, TX.
I love teaching Tae Kwon Do,and all the kids have fun and learn, BUT when it comes to forms I hear some moans. They do them, although some may need more help than others.
Any ideas to make forms more interesting/fun for kids?
Rock The World!

#369074 - 11/08/07 09:22 AM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: lopezma]
tkd_high_green Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont
Some minor variations we do is to mark the floor with a piece of tape, where the student has to start on. If they don't end up back where you started, pushups!

We've also done our patterns with our eyes closed, which is a riot and very difficult to do without falling over (at least for me anyway), and once we even did our pattern while singing "row row row your boat". Needless to say, that was a very silly class. Make them go as fast as they can or as slow as they can.

If they are groaning when it's time to work on patterns, you might look at what you are doing. Are they sitting down too much? Are they doing them as a group or one on one? Try changing things up. Have some of the higher ranking students help out and work in smaller groups, etc.


#369075 - 11/08/07 10:30 AM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: lopezma]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Lopezma:

Forms are 1,000% functional. There is nothing esoteric, nothing symbolic, every single movement is completely 100% functional! Children need to be shown at a fundamental level what the pieces are used for... why we want them to learn them! We want them to have good HABITUAL responses to physical actions.

Visually explain, SHOW them how to use the first few movements, then the next, the next, the next piece respectively.... over three months, six months with decent application practice... they will understand "...oh.... this really works..." They need convincing of it.

To hook them, slightly different methods for slightly different age groups. Children love to mimic. They love to test their powers, their strength(s). Test the stances against a gentle pushes, pulls make sure they are correctly done.

Ask them to show the POWER of their form, in the tiny linked pieces. "ok, go from the beginning to the double punch... CRAZY power... c-o-r-r-e-c-t-l-y done". Children passionately believe they understand what, how, why of the form long, long before they actually do.

We need to show them ~don't know it, yet~. Close you eyes, feet only, etc. whatever particular aspect needing work and gets them to watch themselves, pay attention. Depending on the group, the age, there are lots of possibilities.

What age are you working with?


#369076 - 11/08/07 10:41 AM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: tkd_high_green]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Laura:

"Pushups".... does not to me sound like a great way to make anyone enthuastic, interested in form practice... respectfully.


#369077 - 11/08/07 04:20 PM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: lopezma]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

Break the kata down.....almost anything you can do in a kata you can do on a heavy bag/focus mitts etc.

By pulling out the individual techniques they might find them more interesting overall....when they can more clearly see what they are doing.

That is of course assuming your not already doing this.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#369078 - 11/08/07 07:09 PM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: lopezma]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
instead of solo kata, how about alot more 2-person work.

or it might just be that solo kata-based learning is not well suited since there is no interactivity. kids (and adults for that matter) learn best and stay engaged by 'hands on' doing....'playing' as some might call it.

#369079 - 11/08/07 10:19 PM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: Ed_Morris]
lopezma Offline

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Austin, TX.
Thank you all for the reponse. Keep them coming.
LOVE the "crazy power" and tape idea. I will try the song kata. If it works I will call it Kata Kareoki Klass.

I've done all the other things mentioned plus a couple of others.
I have INCREDIBLE sparring kids in point and grappling. (1st & 2nd places), good at kata (3rd - 5th, but never a 1st). Adults are the opposite.
I myself do well in both (1st and 2nd - one 3rd)
That is why I am reaching out for help. Winning or losing lies with me, I need to do something to help them finally get a first place.
Only three first places in forms. one adult - one teen - and myself!

This is how I usually teach a forms class:
1. After bowing in, we have a time of warm up.
2. Then the entire class does a demo form together.
3. Class forms a circle, then 1 - 3 kids do there individual form.
4. Circle stands up and we have a couple of kickboxing combinations.
5. Circle sits down, 1 - 3 kids do there individual form.
6. Circle stands up and we do calisthenics, grappling drills, basically something different that will last only about 30 sec.- 40 sec.
7 - ??? The pattern continues and somewhere in the middle of class and at the end of class we do the demo form.
We bow and they are dismissed.

IMP. NOTE: As they perform their form and make a mistake we teach them through example. We walk them through the form, and if they are still having problems, I will send them over to a Jr. Instructor (Teen or Adult) to work individually as the class continues.

Please share your kids Poomse-Kata-Form Class structure.
Thanks again for the info.

#369080 - 11/08/07 10:51 PM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: lopezma]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
I play different attention games with forms. In one after bringing the kids to the ready position, I either call a number or a word. If I call a number they must respond by doing the next move as fast as possible. If I say a word they must hold their position and not move. It gets tricky because they have to listen....

One! Two! Tree!!! four! five! STICKS!! HEAVEN!! LATE!!!
nine! Hen!!! eleven! Hippopotimus!!!!!

If they move on a word you can give them push ups or have them sit out on the edge of the mat till everyone but one is eliminated. If people stall because they are not sure or deliberately wait to see if others go the are out also.

You can also jack with them a bit by saying things like," I'm not sure who is going out next but I think its gonna be one of you two.(Technically you just said two numbers). If no one moved they are all out and I win!!

#369081 - 11/09/07 07:25 AM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: oldman]
JM2007 Offline

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 37
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Depending on the age group (and more importantly,whether or not they would understand), you can teach them the bunkai of the kata. This is the same as teaching them the actual application as mentioned above, except it goes a bit further than that as well. When practicing bunkai, you have to know, understand, and be able to employ the correct application with the correct timing, distancing, focus, and power. Of course, with kids (and beginners) you should start all of this off slowly and gently, but as time goes on they should eventually be doing full speed and power bunkai by the black belt or equivalent level. If they are not properly focused, someone will be hit (hence why you start off slowly and gently for the first few years).

NOTE: Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but since we are all from different arts using different terminology, "bunkai" is the actual application of the kata. When performing it, you would have several students posing as attackers and actually attack the person performing the kata, who then performs the kata in the correct manner, blocking the attacks and striking as appropriate. The "attacker" obviously needs to know the know the kata (or at least his/her portion of it) to be sure they are attacking in the manner the kata is blocking. Basically, multiple attacker pre-arranged sparring.

I hope this helps...respectfully,


Edited by JM2007 (11/09/07 07:26 AM)

#369082 - 11/09/07 01:38 PM Re: Forms and Kata for kids [Re: Ronin1966]
tkd_high_green Offline

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1031
Loc: Vermont

"Pushups".... does not to me sound like a great way to make anyone enthuastic, interested in form practice... respectfully.

That all depends on your view of pushups and how they are handed out. I have one kid that actually cheers when you give him pushups. By giving them a reward/punishment it changes the drill to be more challenging and even competitive. Humor is the key.


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