Kicking Around

Objective

Students will learn and understand basic kicks that are often used in a choreographed fight in a play and/or film—such as the Knee to Head Kick, the Groin Kick, the Stomach Kick, and the Head Kick.

 

 

Materials Needed

Tumbling or wrestling mats
Dance video, cued at a chorus line doing the “Can Can” kick
VCR or DVD

 

 

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Have students prepare for combat practice. (Remove all jewelry (rings, watches, earrings, necklaces, etc.) and empty their pockets and put everything into their backpacks, then to put their backpacks against the wall as soon as they come into the classroom. Have students do their warm-up exercises quietly. And review the previous lesson.) Then, tell the students you have changed your mind and have them sit on the floor to watch the video clip.

 

 

Instruction

Step 1— Group Practice: Have the student recreate the “Can Can” kick.
Have students line up, holding forearms (2 sets—every other person in one group connecting; other group connecting forearms.) If necessary, have 2 lines.
· Count out 4/4 time.
· Action:
Pump kick
Extended kick
—repeat process several times.
Re-cue the video.
Have the students face the movie screen and “perform” in sync with the video.

 

Step 2—After the performance, have the students sit on the floor.
Ask: Why do you think we did this exercise? (let students voice their thoughts, guide them to: It was a fun way to introduce today’s Stage Combat moves)
What do you think we’re going to learn today? (combat kicks)

 

Step 3—Have the students select a partner that they have not worked with before. If needed, have them do the trust exercise with each other. Have the students determine who is partner A and partner B. Then they must organize themselves as instructed the previous class. (all partner A’s face the same direction and all B’s face the same direction. Never have two people playing the same part work back to back because it will cause unnecessary traffic problems once they begin moving about the space. Every performer can be seen at all times; this will help in coaching the students through each of the techniques. Each performer should be able to move about freely in all directions for several feet before running into a fellow performer.)

 

Step 4— Make certain everyone can hear the explanation and see the demonstration, then teach the students how to do the “no-contact” Knee to Head Kick.
Establish eye contact and check distance.
The Sign/Cue: Attacker faces his/her Victim and reaches for the Victim’s head.
Instruction: Attacker faces his/her Victim, lining up his/her body so opponent’s head is to the left of the Attacker’s knee when it is raised and maintains the minimum distance. The Attacker faces his/her Victim and reaches for the Victim’s head. The knee that is kicking never touches the victim’s head at all. Holding the sides of the Victim’s head (above the ears), the Attacker creates the illusion of pulling the victim’s head down into his/her right knee that is being raised to a 90 degree angle to hip level. Remember, in actuality, the Victim is controlling the action and is responsible for aiming his/her head so correct distance is maintained. Then the victim thrusts his head down to belly button level so it appears to have collided with the Attacker’s raised knee. The victim creates the knap on the upstage thigh. When the impact has been portrayed, the Attacker removes his/her hands from the victim’s head to enable the reaction.
The Reaction: The victim jerks head up and stumbles back.

Ask for a volunteer victim. Have the Victim demonstrate the minimum distance (outstretched while demonstrating the “no-contact” Knee to Head Kick.

 

Step 5—Modeling: Ask for a volunteer to demonstrate what they have learned for the class. Remind the student to always be in control.
As the student performs the skill, spot him/her if needed.

Ask: Was this skill done correctly?
What was good about it?
How could it be improved?
(Students give feedback first, then add corrective information)

Have the volunteer repeat the skill. Give him/her appropriate feedback. Let others who want to demonstrate their ability to perform the move to do so. Give them appropriate feedback.

 

Step 6—Guided Practice: Remind the students about practice speed (slow motion). Have Partner A practice the move as the attacker. Then switch, and have Partner B practice the move as the attacker.

Give students feedback as they practice so they can improve their performance.

Checking for Understanding: Ask the students how they feel about doing the move. What is difficult? Answer and clarify as much as possible. If necessary, go through the process again to help students improve.

 

Step 7—Repeat Steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Groin Kick. Making certain everyone can hear the explanation and see the demonstration, teach the students how to do the Groin Kick.
Establish eye contact and check distance.
The Sign/Cue: The Attacker cues this move by raising his/her Right Foot and swinging it to his back side.
Instruction: This kick is a contact move. Be certain to mark the spot where contact should be: First—have the victim place his/her hand on the inner part of the Left thigh, midway between the knee and the groin area. Then the attacker marks the same spot several times in slow motion. It is important that both the Attacker and the Victim are comfortable with the chosen spot. The Attacker raises his/her Right Foot and pulls it back, then swings his foot across the body, making contact with target spot of the inner Left thigh of his/her opponent. It is important to make contact hard enough to create a knap but the knap can be enhanced by the victim. Participants are cautioned to practice this move often to avoid any possibility of kicking too high and getting close to the groin area.
The Reaction: The victim brings his/her hands to the groin area, verbalizes pain, recoiling, and stumbles back and/or falls down.

Ask for a volunteer victim. Have the Victim demonstrate the minimum distance (outstretched while demonstrating the Groin Kick.

Checking for Understanding:

 

Step 8—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Stomach Kick.
Always use Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: The Victim cues this move by getting on all fours (hands and knees). The Attacker cues this move by raising his/her Right Foot and swinging it to his back side.
Instruction: This kick is a contact move. Be certain to mark the spot where contact should be: First—have the victim place his/her hand on his/her stomach. It is imperative that the target spot is a fleshy area away from the rib cage and the hip bones. The belly button is usually a good target but the spot can vary slightly above and/or below if it is more comfortable for the victim. The attacker marks the same spot several times in slow motion. It is important that both the Attacker and the Victim are comfortable with the chosen spot. The Attacker raises his/her Right Foot and pulls it back, then swings his foot out from his/her body, making contact with target spot of his/her opponent in the middle of the torso. It is important to make contact hard enough to create a knap but soft enough to avoid injury. Participants are cautioned to practice this move often to avoid any possibility of kicking too high or too low. The Attacker can enhance the knap if necessary. This kick can be done in full view of the audience.
The Reaction: The victim arches his/her back (similar to an angry cat), verbalizes pain, recoiling, and rolling to the ground. NOTE: If the victim rolls to his/her side with the back towards the audience, the participants have set the positions needed for the Head Kick.

Ask for a volunteer victim. Have the Victim demonstrate the minimum distance (outstretched while demonstrating the Stomach Kick.

Checking for Understanding:

 

Step 9—Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the Head Kick.
Establish Eye Contact.
The Sign/Cue: The victim rolls to his/her side with the back towards the audience with the hand next to the stage floor extended near his/her neck and placed the minimum distance from his/her chin. The Attacker cues this move by raising his/her Right Foot and swinging it to his back side.
Instruction: This kick is a contact move. The victim rolls to his/her side with the back towards the audience. Be certain to mark the distance: The victim places the hand next to the stage floor near his/her neck but below the chin. It must be placed at least one extended length of the hand (the minimum distance) from any part of the body. The Victim’s hand should be slightly cupped. The Attacker cues this move by raising his/her Right Foot and swinging it to his back side. The Attacker raises his/her Right Foot and pulls it back, then swings his foot out from his/her body, making contact with the victim’s hand with the top side of the foot (the metatarsal portion). If done correctly, this move can create its own knap. It is important to make contact hard enough to create a knap. The victim can enhance the knap if necessary by using his/her other hand and slapping it on the floor. Participants are cautioned to practice this move often and in slow motion to avoid any possibility of kicking the victim in the face. The victim can enhance the knap if necessary by using his/her other hand and slapping it on the floor. It is very important that the Attacker follows through fully with the kick so the illusion is complete. This kick can be done in full view of the audience.
The Reaction: The victim throws his head back and rolls to his/her back as if rendered unconscious.

Ask for a volunteer victim. Have the Victim demonstrate the minimum distance (outstretched while demonstrating the Head Kick.

Checking for Understanding:

 

Step 10— Ask: How can these moves enhance a choreographed fight?
What kind of moves could you use in combination with these kicks? (Captain Kirk/stomach kick, etc)

 

Step 11—Transition: Inform them that each partnership will perform the newly learned moves in combination for the class. Give the students a few minutes create a mini-performance utilizing anything been taught. Be sure to leave enough time for performances and critiques.
Emphasize that there is to be no improvisational moves.

Ask for volunteers to perform their devised combat combination. Remind the student to always be in control and use slow motion.

Ask students to critique each others’ performances:
Was this skill done correctly?
What was good about it?
How could it be improved?
(Students give feedback first, then add corrective information)

Students may volunteer when they want to perform but all must perform a short unarmed combat.

 

 

CLOSURE:

Tell the students they need to practice at home because we are going to start a practice fight in the next lesson. Suggest that they teach their parents what they are learning in class. Also, remind the students to reflect on what they learned today, then write in their learning log.

 

 

Assessment

Participation, Mini-Performance, and Learning Log Entry

 

 

Author’s Notes

The lessons following this lesson have been planned and outlined. They are listed so you know what will take place after the above lessons have been taught. All stage combat moves have been taught in previous lessons. The remaining lessons are for combat practice as well as presentations and assessments students were assigned at the beginning of the unit. A very concise explanation is given for each, and occasionally related supplements are inserted under lesson titles.