Settings & Setup

  • Game #9 (Survival)
  • Time: 30 seconds to 2 mins
  • Health setting: depending on skill level
  • 2 students, one student wears a 2020 Armor vest, another student has an attacking weapon (pool noodle, kicking target, foam striking weapon)
  • Skill Level: beginner to advanced color belts and black belts
  • Setup time: 1 minute


One person wears a 2020 Armor vest with the appropriate settings above and hits play to start the game.

The other player takes an object (a pool noodle, kicking target, a softer impact weapon) to try to hit the player and poke holes in their defense. If the student wearing the 2020 Armor vest loses all their health before the time runs out, they lose.

What They Are Learning

This game puts a clear focus on defense and the two aspects of defense: blocking and stepping. By making the impact come from a softer source (i.e. not a kick or a punch) the student can put more focus on the hand blocks as well as stepping to get out of the way and not worry about the results of the impact of a kick or punch. This can be great for students that are injured, getting ready for a big tournament or for younger students still learning who might be afraid of blocking real kicks and punches.

You can use this opportunity to tell the students that proper stepping and footwork is the first best line of defense – by getting out of the way. If you can not get out of the way, then they may sacrifice their arm to block. They also have a third option which is to cut off the distance and move in close.

The vest will show clearly when an impact is detected, so students will see where the holes in their defense may be. Ask them to watch to see if its for certain techniques, or perhaps during the start of the match (when they might not be aware) or the end of the match, where they might be tired or careless.

Knowing when in the match their defense is the weakest is a critical piece of information for both the athlete and the coach. Having this awareness will allow both the athlete and the coach to direct extra mental and physical energy at these moments to increase the chance of winning.