Samurai Circle

Settings & Setup

  • Game #9 (Survival)
  • Time: 30 seconds to infinity
  • Health setting: various
  • Each student wears a vest. 3 to 7 player per group.
  • Skill Level: beginner to advanced color belts and black belts
  • Setup time: 3 minutes


One student is the samurai and the remaining are the ninjas. The ninjas all have a low health setting and the samurai has a high health setting. The ninjas all surround the samurai in a circle.

The instructor assigns a number to each ninja. When the instructor calls out the ninjas number, they attack the samurai. The ninja is allowed one attack only and the samurai are allowed one counter-attack only.

When a ninja loses all their health, they are eliminated. If the samurai has any health left at the end of the time (or they eliminate all the ninjas) they win.

What They Are Learning

In this game, the students are learning how to react to multiple stimuli at the same time from different angles.

With each player having a certain amount of health to keep, they also have a very clear goal that defines success.

Because of this clear goal, they will be focused on their defense as well as offense while reacting to multiple stimuli.

You can use this opportunity to describe to the students the importance of reaction as it pertains to martial arts. The quicker your reaction time, the faster you can see an attack and therefore have more time to defend against it.

Lastly, because this is “one on many” game, you can also get students comfortable with a “multiple attackers” scenario.