Dragon Circle Drill

At my martial arts school, we just concluded belt promotion testing. I am very proud of the accomplishments of all of my students. They work very hard and do a great job at testing, even if they do not complete the test right away. Following every test, we spend a week or so doing some new drills and games to give everyone a little change of pace and make things a lot of fun before we dive back into serious martial arts training.

During our previous adult’s class, I introduced a drill that they had not done in a long time and many of them had never done before. Its called Dragon Circle. It is a fun drill for helping students learn how to identify an attack and defend it quickly and intelligently. All the student form a big circle wearing gloves and any other protective gear you deem appropriate. Each student is given a number and one student is placed in the center of the circle. The instructor then calls out a number. That student then attacks the middle with one technique or a series of techniques. It is the job of the middle to defend intelligently and get ready for the next attack because it may come quickly. This repeats until all students have had a turn in the middle.

I received many positive comments about this martial arts drill but one in particular sticks with me. The student asked for us to do more of that type of drill. This student has been a victim of violence earlier in life and wants to learn how to avoid it. The student is a black belt now but even with five plus years of training, the emotions of the past boiled up inside and the student found it difficult to control them during the drill. I believe this is a good thing. Now, as a class we can focus on this aspect of training more and help all the students, not just one. This training will help all of us learn to control our emotions, fears, and past traumas and become smarter, more capable martial artists.

Have you done this drill before or one like it? How did it work for you and what did you learn from it?

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