The Dreaded “Triple Push-Up” & More Martial Arts Fun

photo courtesy of Shawn McElroy

Shawn McElroy Sensei, head of after-school programs at Sung Ming Shu Dojo in Atlanta, loves the “triple push-up,” adding,

I have had groups up to 5 do this exercise. Great for team building and strength!

What’s your favorite fun, funny, weird, creative drill or exercise for kids? Share it here. Leave a comment below, or – if you have a photo – send it to redwoodojo@hotmail.com.

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7 Comments on “The Dreaded “Triple Push-Up” & More Martial Arts Fun”

  1. redwoodojo Says:

    I was just over on Martial Edge (http://www.martialedge.net/) browsing the forums, and found this thread about kids games:

    http://www.martialedge.net/forum/martial-arts-instructors-and-teachers/new-ideas-for-kids-games/

    Check it out; you’ll likely find many familiar, and some new variations. While you’re there, join the Martial Edge community- it’s a great network and resource, with one of the most civil and best-run forums you’ll find on the web.

  2. Neil R. Hall Says:

    Hi there

    Taekwondo loves its kicks, and flying kicks especially. We give the kids the fun of this by getting them to run up and bounce of a big flat bag (a kick shield) which they use as a sort of spring board, and while in the air kick another bag held by an instructor. For added laughter, we put an instructor under the bag on the ground. The kids still get the same springboard, but with the added kick of getting to jump on their instructor. (It also teaches them that top martial artists are tough!)

    • redwoodojo Says:

      Thanks, Neil! That sounds great, but we’ll be modifying the instructions at Redwood Dojo to read “sometimes we put an *assistant* instructor under the bag on the ground”! Top martial artists are tough, but not all of them are *crazy* 😉
      Readers: Visit Mr. Hall’s website and look for some photos of this drill!

  3. redwoodojo Says:

    For more crazy push-up photos and ideas, visit the new photo gallery at the Redwood Dojo website. http://wp.me/PChhZ-64 You can also find some great push-up training videos linked on the Kids Karate Workbook Facebook page.


  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by London Chinatown TKD and Didi Goodman … Pass the word to others to share drills! […]

  5. Joe Varady Says:

    It’s Nerf..or nothing!
    I was recently at our local department store when something caught my eye in the toy aisle…swords! I swung my cart around to check them out, and lo and behold, there was a rack of brand new padded weapons by Nerf. The problem with most padded weapons is that they are too flimsy or delicate for martial arts practice, however, these N-force weapons were sturdily constructed and had a bit of weight to them. I handed them one by one to my 6 year old son and had him whack me with each as hard as he could, and I was very pleased with the results. We ended up purchasing two swords, two long swords, and a battle axe (that’s right, a battle axe!).
    I took the swords to my pee-wee class which consisted of eight kids from 5-7 year old. The group had just received their first yellow stripe and were now working on practicing their lower, middle, and rising blocks. They were getting it, but progress was slow, so I had the kids line up, and I walked the line as they practiced their blocks, swinging at them slowly so they could see what they were blocking, and they made tremendous progress.
    At first my strikes came only from above, and when they were performing well I increased the speed and power of my strikes. I told the class to make fists and look at their forearms, imagining that they were made of steel capable of blocking anything, and we worked on not flinching away from the strike. When they missed, the foam sword gave them immediate feedback, and since I had two swords, I could engage two students at once, effectively getting twice as much done in the same amount of time.
    Then we moved on to middle blocks, with me swinging wide from side to side so they would recognize the motion and have time to put up the appropriate block. To get proper position, I told the kids to open their hands and image their hand was a mirror. In the final position they should be able to easily “see” themselves, and if their block was off I only needed to say “Look in your mirror” and they knew exactly what was wrong and could fix it. I then stabbed at their stomachs so they could practice knocking the Nerf sword away with their lower blocks.
    Finally, we put all three blocks together. I would strike down, then from each side, ending with a stab to the belly. The kids got the pattern quickly and soon I was swinging fast and hard and they had no problem blocking every shot. They knew they had learned something, they were proud of themselves, and I could see it in their faces. The kids had fun, I felt I effectively taught the blocks, and we all left class feeling great!


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