February is Black History Month. This month is a time to celebrate the cultural contributions and achievements made by black people in history, art, science, sports, and more.
This is a great opportunity for your kids or students learn about some amazing black martial artists! Try making this fun trivia game for your kids, and let them match the names and faces with inspiring facts.
Make the Game
You’ll need: poster paper, scissors, clear tape or glue, a printer for pictures
1. Print out pictures of the martial artists. Cut them out and trim off the excess paper.
3. Using clear tape or glue, attach each picture to a card. Write the name of the martial artist above his or her picture (this is optional – for added difficulty, don’t write in the names).
4. On the remaining cards, write out the trivia facts.
5. To play the game, lay out the cards with the pictures and names. Spread the trivia fact cards below them (in no particular order).
6. Invite your kids to read over the trivia cards. Let them talk amongst themselves when deciding the answers. When they reach a conclusion, they should place the facts card below the card with the person’s picture and name.
7. Once all the cards have been guessed, look over them and correct any cards that were guessed incorrectly (you can also give hints to guide kids to the right answers).
8. Start a discussion with your kids: how many did they know? Did any facts surprise them? What makes each of these people a role model?
Here are a few ideas for cards! These men and women are Olympians, activists, big-screen stars and more. There are seven examples provided below, but you could easily add more.
- This Australian was the first black woman to fight in the UFC
- Currently signed with Invicta Fighting Championships
- Muay Thai and kickboxing martial artist
- In 2016, she was ranked by Fight Matrix as the #3 female MMA strawweight in the world
- Won gold in Women’s Middleweight Boxing in both the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics
- First American boxer to win back-to-back Olympic titles
- From Flint, Michigan
Michael Jai White
- He holds a black belt in seven different karate styles
- Appeared in the hit movie The Dark Knight Rises
- When he was 14, he taught karate at his local YMCA for extra money and fighting in tournaments
- Spent three years as a teacher for emotionally disturbed children
- Won his first amateur boxing bout after just six weeks of training
- Renowned activist who said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
- He also starred in a Broadway musical, and recorded a spoken-verse album
- One of history’s best-known athletes, who died in 2016
- This actor and stuntman has been inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame three times
- His mother made him start taking karate at age 8, because he was “hyperactive and clumsy” as a child
- He’s also a talented dancer!
- When he was in high school, he made the Honor Roll every term
- This college wrestler was still an amateur MMA fighter when he joined the UFC
- His MMA record is impressive, at 16 wins, three losses and a draw
- The current UFC Welterweight Champion
- He began training in karate at age 7, and at age 19 opened his own dojo
- In the 1989 Montreal Nationals, he became the first male competitor to win the Triple Crown: championship victory in karate forms, weapons, and fighting
- After his own diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease/ALS in 2012, be became an advocate for awareness and research of the disease