Kids Karate Game – Thieves

Here’s a quick karate game for you kids’ classes.

Use this as a warm up, a challenge or an end of class reward.

It’s called “Thieves” and works like this:

Place some cones in a large circle that spans the training floor. Each student stands next to their own cone.

Now place 20 or so extra belts in the center and make sure they’re all tangled up.

On your command, students must run to the center grab a belt and return to their cone and place the belt on the floor. Then they run back and grab another belt and so on until all belts are gone.

If two students grab the same belt, it turns into a mini tug-of-war. The first to touch their own cone while holding the belt, retains the belt and places it with their other belts.

beltscircleOnce all belts are gone from the center students must begin to tie the belts one at a time, around their waists as quickly as possible.

As soon as they are done tying they are free to run to another student’s stash of belts and steal any remaining belts, and return to their cone and start tying. If during a “steal” more than one student grabs the same belt, the first to touch their own cone keeps that belt.

Once all belts are tied and none are left on the floor the person with the most belts wins.

Couple of rules:

  1. Students can only steal belts on the floor, not from another student’s waist.
  2. Students may not steal from anyone else until all of their own belts are tied.
  3. During a “steal” students may only take ONE belt at a time, and not the entire stash!
  4. When the game is complete, if there are multiple winners then move to a second round with only those students. All other kids are eliminated.

This is a fun karate game for 5-12 year old kids. You decide how well you want the belts tied. For younger students just a single wrap with a single knot is sufficient in my experience. For older/more advanced kids make sure their belts are tied properly.

Do you have any variations or ideas for this game? Post them below!


Kids Karate Game – Kata Crossfire

This is an hilarious kata game you can play in your kids’ classes during school break.

It’s called “Kata Crossfire” and it works like this:

First you’re going to need 3 or 4 soft inflatable balls. Now split your class into two evenly numbered teams.

Team #1 will perform a kata of your choice to your count.

Team #2 will attempt to distract team #1 by throwing the balls at them while performing their kata. Team members who make a mistake, are eliminated and must sit down at the edge of the mat.

The balls may be gathered and thrown again and again until the kata is complete or all opposing team members are eliminated.

For each team member who successfully completes their kata, they earn a point for their team.

After the kata is complete, teams switch roles.

The team with the most points wins the round!kata crossfire

Important point!

No excessively hard head shots are tolerated. If so, the team member who threw the ball must sit down and the other team receives a bonus point.


For more kids games check out my 50 Kids Karate Games here


Kids Karate Game – Tag Ball

Here’s a kids’ game you can use at the end of your martial arts class as a reward. Takes like 3 minutes and students will leave your dojo on a “high”. This is just one game in my 50 Kids Karate Games package that kids of all ages love.

(Actually, adults have been know to enjoy this one too – but shhhhhhh! Adults aren’t supposed to have fun, especially in a karate class! It’s supposed to be more like consentual torture, right?)

The game is called Tag-Ball.

Works like this:

You and an assistant instructor are on one team. Your students make up the other team. Your team’s job is to eliminate your students by tagging them with the ball (a soft inflatable ball will do just fine). Their job is to avoid being eliminated.

The rules of the Basic Game are these:

  1. When in possession of the ball, you may not move.
  2. When you don’t have the ball, you can run to position close to your students.
  3. You can throw the ball to your assistant instructor(s), and they can throw it to you, and when you’re close to a student, reach out and tag them with the ball (you cannot throw the ball at a student to eliminate them).
  4. Once a student is eliminated they sit down on the side of the mat.

Here are 2 more variations of the basic game.

  1. Infection –  When a student is eliminated they’re not out – they’re infected. That means they join your team until only one student remains uninfected. They are declared the winner.
  2. Role Reversal – In this variation, students must eliminate the instructors. This is a hoot. Kids will break all kinds of rules trying to eliminate you. They’ll chase after you when in possession of the ball, throw the ball at you, etc.

    (Usually I set a time limit on this variation, because the kids rarely eliminate a single instructor. You know, because we move like ninja-cats…)

    In all seriousness, it’s actually a good agility game to teach teamwork, as well as athleticism and hand-eye coordination.

That’s it for today…