Thursday, June 19, 2008

Freeze Tag Warm-up Game

Every other week or so, when we have a good number of people for the game, I have my students play our own version of freeze tag for warm-up. It always amuses me how much more people get out of this exercise than they do out of skipping or running drills. The game aspect is why.

The way we play freeze tag is as follows. One person is "it" and tries to tag the others. If a person is tagged, then they are "frozen" and they must drop into a horse stance. The other students can free someone who is frozen by crawling through their legs. Those who are frozen can assist the people who are still free by grabbing or obstructing the person who is it. They are allowed to do this as long as they don't move their feet.

My students love this game. We're all really just kids at heart and love to play a game with set rules. Much more fun that mindless exercise for which the sole purpose is to get the body warm. As a result, 5 minutes of freeze tag always has my students panting from exertion much more so than the same amount of time spent skipping or running. They push themselves more because they lose themselves in the game, which makes freeze tag a win-win exercise.


Michele said...

Great game! I like to hear about creative drills and warm-ups. With the younger students we would play "yame/hajime", a version of red light - green light. The students would move around the room and when I called "yame" they would have to freeze. I would then give them a task such as punches, kicks or blocks.

Splinter (UK) said...

Just a safety thought .
When we play the same game we have a strict rule that persons going "through the legs" can ONLY go from front to back, this prevents head to head crashes through blind enthusiasm.

Lori O'Connell said...

Splinter's idea is a good one if you don't wear groin protectors in your class. In our dojo, however, groin protectors are a mandatory piece of equipment for every student. (We practice a LOT of groin strikes!)

One other point I should make. Some students get a little over-exuberant due to the competitive nature of the game and have been known to crash into walls etc to avoid being tagged. A couple of people have sustained minor injuries doing this. Now I always remind everyone when we play that it is just a warm-up, it's not life or death and that it's not worth doing dangerous things to avoid being tagged.

Lori O'Connell said...

Hmmm... It has just occured to me that your safety concern is somewhat different than the one i had imagined... LOL. Your concern that of two people going through legs at the same time from either end. (Light bulb going off) Yes, that is a good idea. I'll have to implement that one.

Anonymous said...

Interesting exercise, we have a somewhat similar game we use for warm-up: students keep running around the mat as usual then a medecin-ball is introduced which students throw at eachother. If someone drops the ball they have to do either 10 push-ups or 20 sit-ups. To introduce more variety we run backwards or sideways and introduce more balls. Playing games is indeed way more fun than a standard warm-up and it helps to get your whole body involved and warm for training.

Lori O'Connell said...

Sounds like fun! I think I'll give that one a try. Thanks for sharing! :)