Teaching kids how to fight with sticks and knives — the hallmarks of Filipino Martial arts such as Arnis, Escrima, and Kali – – is hardly on my list of important life skills. But using the kid-friendly world of Minecraft and their foam weapons, you can still teach some basic patterns and footwork.
NERF weapons also work, but I found with my own video-game oriented kids that Minecraft toys seemed to entice them even more.
I’ve learned from past experiences that such ‘teaching sessions’ must be brief — 5-10 minutes tops — before you let the kids “play” a little.
After a few minutes of practicing the pattern and footwork, I let my son play. At this point I just became a Minecraft Zombie lumbering forward in a simple, basic X-pattern (single sinawali). My son matched my pattern, and then killed me with a thrusting stab (a ‘#5 strike’ in Presas Modern Arnis).
I’m not sure I’d ever offer kids FMA classes, but if kids are allowed to train along side their parents, or train in a short class of their own, this might be a good way to inspire some interest in the art without going into the ugly realities of what learning FMA is really designed to teach you (which is generally killing people in the face with blunt or edged weapons).