On 07.06.2018 we have conducted the eighth workshop within the project with children from “Social Services Complex for Children and Families” at Plovdiv Municipality and students from “St. Paisii Hilendarski” Secondary School. The children from the complex had hyperactive behaviour and disorder of expressive speech, they also had learning difficulties and speech disorder, sensory disorders – Sturge Weber’s syndrome and microcephaly and epilepsy. The meeting was also attended by their parents. There were also children with heart problems.
Mrs. Ikimova reminded the project goals to the children, to their parents and to the students.
The training started with warm-up exercises, demonstrated by students from the school, practicing in various martial arts clubs in Plovdiv, and our aim was to observe what the effect of “children teaching children” was. After the warm up we continued with martial arts exercises – a stand (foot, hand) and a kick (demonstration) first shown by the trainers. After the demonstrations and the explanations, the other participants repeated the exercises grouped in pairs. During the implementation more attention was paid to the turning of the legs. After each performance the children clapped their hands and the initiator was one of the children. And that made us happy because we found out that they had remembered this activity from the previous trainings.
Then we continued with self-defense exercises – they were shown and done in pairs. At one point, we felt that there was no concentration in the disabled children, and then we all together started to count to ten and do squats. There was great euphoria in this performance.
At the end of the training, we repeated the exercises which were shown. Two of the children had a wish to repeat exercises from the previous workshops, which greatly delighted us.
Finally, all of them took a stand for push-ups.
The training ended with applause.
Then we moved to one classroom, divided the children into groups and let them have a talk and know each other better. We gave them cardboards and colourful pencils and asked them to draw themselves training martial arts.
Everybody started to draw and there was a great working atmosphere. Comments were heard all the time. They all painted with pleasure. At one point two of the children (from the complex) began to look at the drawings of the other children. We made a short comment on each drawing.
At the end, we took a picture of all the participants.
To our surprise, one of the coaching students gave all the children a good-luck packet made by him.
When leaving, the parents and the children asked when we would meet again. Everyone was obviously pleased.
The training lasted about 25 minutes and the drawing session about 20 minutes.
The meeting was organized by Mrs. Nina Grudeva and Mrs. Silva Ikimova as the eighth workshop within the project, aiming to raise the awareness of the students, the children from the Complex and their parents about the benefits of martial arts training.