Hey fat kids! Judge David Johnson has the video for you!
Top Three Rejected Witty Introductory Bits for "The
Man, we've got some fat kids running around these days. Or not running, as the case may be. A lot has been made of child obesity—and for the most part, I believe, rightly. I worked for three years in a day care center during graduate school, and I recall more than a few kids already blimping out. And they were like three! My coworkers and I would lament the boneheaded parents who confessed that they had no spine and fed their tubby little spawn whatever they wanted. Chocolate milk and Twinkies for breakfast? Why not?
This brings me to Rich Grogan's Kick to Get Fit for Kids, a thirty-minute exercise program geared toward physical education teachers, combining elements of martial arts with cardiovascular fitness.
The setup is this: Grogan and his crew of fairly coordinated kids take you through a variety of exercises, bracketed by warm-up and cool-down periods. And to prevent children from watching the videos, getting a kick-to-get-fit workout, then promptly utilizing their new kung-fu moves on the nearest woodland creature, Grogan sells it as a nonviolent approach. So instead of punching your opponent in the trachea, you pick apples. Instead of kneeing your Labrador Retriever in the face, you're kicking a soccer ball. And so on and so forth. Seriously, the video really is benign, and Grogan deftly strips away the violence from the exercises.
Grogan himself is a very amiable guy, despite some real DOA one-liners, and the kids are both cute and happy to be there. Perhaps the best compliment I can give Grogan and his program is that the kids seemed to outlast their teacher, as he had to pause a few times to catch his breath.
The overall presentation is slick and well produced. Chapter presentation is practical, with easy-to-skip-to elements in the workout. On the technical side, the gears click adequately: The full-frame setup is robust and colorful, and the stereo blasts the corny exercise music.
The lone bonus feature of note is a brief lesson on self-defense for children, including the proper techniques to stomp on a mean adult's foot. This section is so brief, though, it almost seems trivial. Last, there's a demonstration of martial arts techniques by Grogan, which seems kind of counterproductive to the whole nonviolence thing ("Oh, so that's how I render my little brother unconscious!").
All kidding aside, Kick to Get Fit for Kids strikes me as an enjoyable, well put-together fitness video for the rugrats. If you're trying to wean your child off of speedballing Trix, this just might be the ticket.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Grogan's Martial Arts and Fitness
• Martial Arts Demo
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