Fighting in a safe environment at school
To bring it to the point at the beginning: YES, IT IS POSSIBLE!
Visiting local schools is always a great opportunity to let children get in touch with martial arts. It is an environment they know and almost all of them are not afraid to try something new and push their personal boundaries.
During my last visit to the local primary school “De Zandkorrel” in Hechtel I was working with kids aged 2,5 years to 6 years. This time kids aged 7 to 13 years old were my target group. Organized by the PE teacher Luc Kerkhofs I was able to visit all classes of the school during their regular PE class.
Our topic was “Fighting with each other at school”. Most of the times schools are hesitating to invite someone who teaches how to fight. And they have all the right to do so. They are afraid that it encourages children to fight at school or even start bullying each other. It takes some time to convince people that martial arts at school actually benefits anti-bullying behavior.
With these thoughts in mind I worked out lesson plans touching the schools curriculum for PE and my plan to educate the pupils about the difference between fighting AGAINST each other and fighting WITH each other. It was very important to put the topic in correlation to rules made up by the kids themselves. Those rules for fighting are essential when it comes to teaching this topic.
The results were astonishing: kids pushing their personal boundaries, kids having fun doing PE at school, kids feeling at ease with the topic fighting whereas before they were afraid … in short – happy kids and a happy PE teacher.