Kids Karate Game – Corners

We all know how to play dodge ball, right?

Well here’s a version we occasionally play at the end of class with my students. I got this from my sensei years ago and it’s called “Corners”. It works like this:

Pre Game Requirements

Split your class into teams (4 teams maximum). Each team starts in a different corner of the room and is given a soft inflatable ball.

You can group students by belt color, age, gender or however you like (yes I know there are only 2 genders but remember you can play this game with 2 teams if you want).

Objective and Rules

  • The objective strangely enough is to win the game, which you do by eliminating the other team’s members one at a time until all their players are out. Once players are out, they must sit down in their original corner.
  • Players eliminate their opponents by throwing a ball at them. If the ball hits them without bouncing then the person hit is declared out. If the ball bounces first, the person hit is not out and the game continues.
  • Players may not catch a ball thrown by an opponent – that would violate the rule above as the ball touched them without bouncing first.
  • Players on the same team may throw the ball to each other, and are encouraged to do so in order to trap and eliminate opposing players.
  • Players are free to move around the room, wherever they choose with one caveat. If they are in possession of the ball, they may not move their feet!
kids karate game
Kids karate game – “Corners”


  • Team members should run to position, receive the ball from another team member when in range of an opponent attempt to hit them with the ball. Remember players may not move their feet if in possession of the ball! This is the single hardest rule for players to adhere to!
  • Balls may be deflected by players holding another ball, but only the held ball can make contact with the incoming ball.
  • If a student has no teammates remaining, they may throw the ball forward allowing the ball to bounce and then gather it in order to move forward. Note: players may NOT dribble the ball as in basketball to cover ground.
  • Players on the same team can gather multiple balls and strategize on how to eliminate their opponents. Eg. They might choose a single target and throw all balls at that player at once!



It’s a fun karate game that kids (and adults) enjoy. It teaches awareness, agility, coordination and teamwork. Need more games you can play at karate to alleviate boredom or give as reward for hard work? Here are 50 karate games I use in class.

Have fun!

– Jason

P.S. If you have any questions about the rules or any ideas on how to improve “Corners” please post below!

The Octopus!

Here’s an awesome end-of-class kids’ karate game you can do with your youngest students, that’ll send them home with big smiles on their faces.

I thought of this one last week during my peewee class (4-7 years), and have named it The Octopus!

Be warned, your youngest karate kids will lose their freakin’  minds when they play this…


Because it combines challenge and fun, agility and speed, awareness and reaction.

It also uses the video game concept of “defeating the boss” – and let’s face it, who doesn’t like to take out The Boss against impossible odds?

I can assure you that your karate kids will – especially when they get to defeat the sensei, or in this case The Octopus!

Before You Start:

First you need some extra belts for this game. Nine in total.

Cut a 2 foot length from one of the belts. This is your “flag”. Now take the flag and tuck it in the back of your belt so it looks like this…

The other 8 belts will be your tentacles. Use different colors if you can to make it more fun, easier for your students to see, etc.


The objective is for your students to defeat you, The Octopus!

The objective for you, The Octopus is to defeat your students.

How It Works:

Take 4 belts in each hand and hold them by the end so you have 8 tentacles.

Have your students spread out and surround you in a circle.

On your command the game begins at which point you move around and swing your arms and try to hit your students with your tentacles.

Their mission is to steal the flag from the back of your belt, which is a fatal blow to you, The Octopus.

Each student who gets hit by a tentacle is defeated and is out of the game and must sit down at the edge of the room.

The game continues until all students have been eliminated or until The Octopus has been defeated.

When swinging the belts be sure to change the angle of your strikes, forcing your students to remain alert and agile.

Make them duck, jump and move as you attack.

Of course be careful, swing the belts slowly and give your kids a chance to win.

Warning: Playing this kids’ karate game will cause HIGH levels of excitement and enjoyment for all involved – even for you. You may also find kids will be extremely disappointed when the game is over, and beg for more…

New karate game for kids

Here’s a quick game you can use for your younger karate kids, that they’ll love, but at the same time helps with developing reaction time, attention and technique.

It’s based off the kids’ game “Red light, green light” and it works like this…

The game is broken into three 60 second rounds, with each more difficult than the previous. Students spread out on the tatami, and must perform the action associated with the command you call.

GREEN LIGHT – students walk around randomly, being careful not to bump into each other.

YELLOW LIGHT – students continue to walk around but now must be extra cautious and hold their hands up in a fighting guard, looking around for danger.

RED LIGHT – students  must stop immediately, step forward into zenkutsu dachi (forward stance) with kiai, and quickly do the specified technique/combination you decide before the round starts.

If a student does the wrong action or wrong technique, they get 5 pushups, knee jumps or whatever you decide.

At the end of each round praise your students, give them a clap, 5000 points or whatever you do to keep the game fun and students interested.

And be sure to use the compounding teaching principle with each round, making the time between commands shorter and the combinations more complex.

Like this kids karate game? There are more here