Little Dragons – Drills for Balance

Drill 1: Dragon Crane

The instructor has each Dragon hold their leg up to practice their balance.

Goal: This drill will force your Dragons to develop balance while holding their leg up. This will also help them prepare for multiple kicks.

Set up:

Step 1: Have all of your Dragons sit in a circle. The instructor will stand in the middle of the circle.

Step 2:  Have whichever Dragon is sitting the best go first.

Step 3:  The first Dragon will stand next to the instructor and hold their leg up for 5 seconds. If they put their foot on the floor, have them try again.

Step 4:  Have all of the Dragons sitting in the circle help you count to five.

Step 5:  Repeat step 2-5 until every Dragon had a chance to participate.

Step 6:  Follow your Little Dragons format to find suggested rank requirements for holding their leg up

Instructor Tips: Some Dragons will have very poor balance. Help them by holding their hand. Sometimes the little boost of confidence will help them to develop good balance.

Drill 2: Dragon walk

The instructor will have each Dragon take turns walking with a small square target balanced on their head.

Goal: This drill will help your Dragons posture. Parents like this drill because they learn how to walk properly.

Set up:

Step 1: If you have an assistant, split the Dragons into two lines to make this drill go smoother. 

Step 2:  Have the first Dragon in line stand up. Balance the small square target in the Dragons head.

Step 3: The Dragon must balance the square target on their head for 5 seconds, then go to the end of the line. 

Step 4:  Repeat step 2 & 3 until every Dragon had a chance to participate.

Step 5:  On the second time around, have the Dragons walk as far as they can without dropping the target.

Step 6:  Follow the Little Dragon format to find the suggested distance the Dragons should walk according to their rank.

Instructor Tips: Some of the Dragons will have a difficult time balancing the target on their head. Help them by slightly holding the target with your finger until they learn to balance by themselves.

Drill 3: Dragon Rocks

The instructor will have each Dragon walk across a staggered row of small square targets.

Goal: This drill will help Dragons focus on their balance when walking.

Set up:

Step 1:  Lay out all of your square targets in a staggered line. You may need two lines depending on your class size.

Step 2:  Have your Dragons line up in front of the targets. 

Step 3:  Have the first Dragon in line walk across the targets without putting their foot on the floor. If they put their foot on the floor, they must start again.

Step 4:  Repeat step 3 until every Dragon had a chance to participate.

Instructor Tips: Dragons like to use their imagination. If you want to add some excitement to this drill, have all of the Dragons sit on each side of the targets and pretend that they are alligators. If one Dragon puts their foot on the floor when walking across the targets, have the closest Dragon pretend to bite the Dragons foot.

Drill 4: Dragon Stances

The instructor will have each Dragon walk across a line of tape using proper stances

Goal: This drill will help the Dragons use proper foot position in their stances.

Set up:

Step 1:  Make two line 2 feet apart from each other down your floor.

Step 2:  Have your Dragons make a straight line on one end of the two lines.

Step 3:  Have the first Dragon in line step into a front stance with the rear foot on one line and the front foot on the other.

Step 4:  Make sure the Dragon has proper foot and knee position.

Step 5:  Have the Dragon step forward into another front stance repeating steps 3 & 4.

Step 6:  Repeat steps 3-5 with each Dragon until every Dragon had a chance to participate.

Step 7:  Repeat the drill using additional stances such as back stance, middle stance, and rear stance.

Instructor tips: Watch their transition from one stance to the other. The ideal transition should be smooth with minimal adjustments to their feet, knees, and posture. Also make sure that each Dragons has their hand in guarding position.

Drill 5: Dragon Kicks

The instructor will have each Dragon kick the target with repetitions while not putting their foot on the ground.

Goal: This drill will help the Dragons work on proper chambers in their kicks. It will also help the Dragons improve their repetitious kicks when sparring.

Set up:

Have all of your Dragons sit in a circle. The instructor will stand in the middle of the circle with a target.

Step 2:  Have whichever Dragon is sitting the best go first.

Step 3:  The first Dragon will stand next to the instructor and kick the target five times without putting their leg down. If they put their foot on the floor, have them try again.

Step 4:  Have all of the Dragons sitting in the circle help you count to five.

Step 5:  Repeat step 2-5 until every Dragon had a chance to participate.

Step 6:  Follow your Little Dragons format to find suggested rank requirements for the amount of repetitions each rank should do.

Instructor tips: Some Dragons will have very poor balance. Help them by holding their hand. Sometimes the little boost of confidence will help them to develop good balance.

Keep in mind that each Dragon will vary in the degree of balance they have. The more you enforce good balance, the better they each will get. This is one of the main skills in which you and the parents will notice a significant improvement almost immediately. This skill will add a lot of value to your program because of that.

At the end of this class, you should reward each Dragon with a yellow stripe showing that they have passed their balance requirement for that belt. At testing time, you can select one or more of these drills to demonstrate in front of the judges. Each drill is designed to accommodate all ranks and styles. The higher rank the student, the more difficult techniques you should use in each drill; and the higher standards you should set for their performance.