I mentioned in another thread that I have incorporated grappling in the curriculum for Jr students (adults too but this thread concerns jrs only). I thought/hope that the experienced grapplers out there would lend some insight.
First off, Uechi is the core curriculum and the grappling is presented that way. We incorporated the grappling in slowly as part of our 'Virtue Over Violence' program. This gave us an oppurtunity to gauge the interest and reactions by students and parents. Overwhelming success...
Tacticaly/Practicaly the VOV/grappling gave us (the school) more tools to present to the kids for dealing with violence aka bullies etc... In Northborough, a small service based community (read no retail survives, but we have more donut shops, dry cleaners, hair salons and pizza places than towns 3 time the size) of some affluence. Violence is definitely frowned upon. In high school, an ordinary fist fight ended up with police arresting and charging both kids. School policy. In the middle school, any fighting is dealt with by suspension. Same for elementary school. A ZERO TOLERANCE environment. Karate is viewed (right or wrong) as 'violence' here. Wrestling isn't, it's taught in the schools. Maybe a student will still get in trouble for taking a 'dog mount' and holding a bully down but when he explains that he was taught to do that, to control a bully and only hit when absolutely neccessary..well I think you get the drift..
VOV/Grappling gives us a differentiator! We have a great technical program wrapped in a great philosophy.
The kids relate to VOV/Grappling more than they do to kata. We use this to encourage and promote kata! We'll take a move from the kata and show it as a takedown for example.. (sometimes we really have to stretch :-) ). The VOV/Grappling really gets the kids excited.. especially since we have incorporated the grappling into standard sparring class.
Well we experimented, intro'ed the techniques slowly.. Now we are having our first exclusive VOV/Grappling class. I envision demonstrating a flow drill. One that starts off with a punch flowing into a takedown, maybe a side mount, passing into a full mount, an umpa, followed by a passing of the guard. Not meant to be realistic but to get the kids used to doing a technique more live but still controlled...like kumites that they are used to. The class will take 10 minutes to review and practice the current move. Since this is the first class that move will be the last one, a guard pass. A few weeks from now it might be going from side mount to 'dog mount'. We will pause at every position to explore options, dangers etc.. the next 10 minutes to practice the actual kumite or flow drill to whatever point we are at. Finally 15 minutes at the end for randori. We generally start the randori off with kids taking a position and working from there. We take the more experienced kids and start them from their knees... others from standing in a collar tie. We give them a fixed amount of time (like 20 secs) to get something going. If they are being unsafe or just pulling/pushing on each other we move them down a position (from standing to their knees for example).
We will still have 10 minutes to 'flex time' as needed. All participants are required to wear headgear, mouthpiece and cup all in the right places...
any thoughts, suggestions, gotcha's ???