So far we’ve done a bunch of great drills that present a lot of opportunities to learn, but now it’s time to have a little fun! Today’s drills are much less serious, but don’t be fooled – these are still a killer workout and a great way to train!
Two people set up for a normal sparring match, but with a twist. Bystanders stand at the edges of a sparring area – ideally with at least one person at each corner. Periodically, someone gives the command to take a step closer to the participants. Gradually, the sparring area will shrink and the strategies of the participants must adapt.
As the arena shrinks, kicking will become more difficult, as will retreating. The closer you get the more important speed becomes, as well as keeping your hands up! When you’re so close you can always reach each other it’s very important to move first.
King of the Hill
One participant stands inside the center of the ring (they are the first king) while all other participants make a line outside. The first person in line becomes the challenger. They immediately enter the ring and spar the king until the first point is scored. If the king scored the point, they remain and this repeats with the next person in line. If the challenger scores, they become the new king.
Whoever can stay in the middle the longest is winner and King of the Hill! If you have a wide variety of belt ranks do not start with the most experienced person as the first king as they might win every point right away. The drill is more fun when everyone gets a chance. This is a great way to work on endurance, as the king has to spar new people in rapid succession.
For even more of a workout for the king, you can use timed rounds but this will result in a long wait time for everyone else.
This is a purely fun sparring game that can also be a killer workout! This drill requires a large group of people – the more the better. Half the participants are defenders and can use any legal techniques to defend themselves. The other half are “zombies.” The 2 groups start on opposite sides of the ring and the zombie group walks towards the defenders. Zombies can only walk and attack slowly, no running or fancy footwork. If a defender scores a point on a zombie, the zombie must reset back to their original side before attacking again. If the zombie scores a point the defender becomes a zombie and goes to the zombie side of the room before attacking. The last defender to not become a zombie wins.
For more intensity let the zombies move at normal speed, not restricted to a walking pace. Zombies should try to swarm one defender at a time. They’re slow, but they have the numbers advantage! Defenders need to remember that if they lose one single point they become zombies!
Martial Arts Should Always Be Fun
Most people will walk away from a good class saying they had fun, but sometimes you need to try something a little goofy. These drills can add variety to your sparring classes while still providing a chance to practice and a great workout. Older kids and teens especially love games like zombie sparring, but adding variety is important with all ages. Keep checking back for more drills and games!