During the summer, students have much more time available on their hands to attend and attain their next level of training. Not only this, but parents are often looking for ways to keep their children occupied during the summer holidays so that they can focus on their regular schedule. Hosting a martial arts summer camp not only serves to alleviate this issue for parents but also creates an additional income and branding possibility during the summer holidays. Below, we will explore a great martial arts summer camp idea, and how to keep training fun and interesting.
How can I make martial arts fun
On a regular curriculum, most martial arts studios adhere to a strict training regimen to develop discipline and confidence in their students. As such, children may be used to a more rigorous class environment, and may not consider their training fun. Summer camps provide a great way to not only show that martial arts are a great lifestyle, but they can also potentially attract new members to the camp that will eventually become regular members during normal hours. In fact, you may already be incorporating some of the things that wellness living writes about making martial arts interesting and engaging for children.
This is true not just for children, but for adults as well. In the process of learning, the gamification of activity creates incentives for students to work towards getting better. For example, it is common for children to refuse to do proper pushups or to learn proper stances. A common method of making this fun is to incorporate music and rewards based on the amounts of pushups completed, as well as naming stances after animals and fictional creatures that the student can adopt as their avatar for the class.
Children need much more attention and validation of their actions to build self-confidence. After all, they have much less life experience and have difficulty discerning between right and wrong. Praise often and praise sincerely, for any little action that was a step towards success.
This can also be combined with gamification to produce lasting results. For example, sparring is a staple across all martial arts disciplines and is something both children and older students look forward to. Further, dividing students into groups and assigning each a color, and having them create a team name and motto will bring a sense of accomplishment and ownership for their team to win.
Best summer camp activities
Turning your martial arts academy into a summer camp can be challenging yet extremely rewarding. Prior to setting up, it is important to properly notify your staff and change the schedule for the new environment. Furthermore, this takes new email notifications, marketing and onboarding, payments, and reminders to both the students and the parents. You must also arrange for after-camp care in case parents are late for pickup. Having academy management software makes this simple. Spark Membership is the best on the market, and you can try it for just $1. Now that we’ve gone over the 3 key things that make martial arts fun for students, let’s go over the best martial arts summer camp idea below:
Martial arts are usually done in uniform, but summer camp is about mixing curriculum with a fun environment that they would usually have at a normal summer camp. Depending on how many weeks the summer camp takes place, children enjoy having themed days (or weeks). For example, if following a standard 6-week summer camp schedule, every Friday could be a themed day, where students don’t wear their uniform. Common themes include superheroes, animals, video game characters, and movies.
- Obstacle courses
Instead of a standard warm-up, some days can feature an obstacle course prior to the day’s lesson. This can also be pivoted into a race and the students can be divided into teams to cheer on their runners.
- Wood breaking competitions
This may be something that is found in a standard curriculum to demonstrate the technique, but every martial arts student dreams of breaking multiple cinder blocks with a single strike, as can be seen in popular shows and movies. Encourage students to bring in as many boards as they can break, or provide re-breakable boards
- Team contests
This can incorporate many different activities including sparring, kata, knocking over pads/dummies, races, obstacle courses, and many others.
- Sensei says
A popular game among students of the martial arts is “Sensei Says”, which is similar to “Simon Says” but only related to martial arts techniques or movements. For example, have your students practice their kicks, strikes, and blocks, but only if preceded by “sensei says”. If not, they are eliminated
- Belt “tag”
One student is “it” and places a flag or clothing pin behind their back. The rest of the students will chase the one who is “it” and try to recover the item. Incorporate this with self-defense and grappling to make it a more instructive environment.
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