Reaction Drills

We have a few games/exercises for this drill. They are listed below. Click on one to be taken to that drill.

  1. Samurai Circle
  2. Twitch

Samurai Circle


  • 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.


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.



  • Game #6 (Reaction)
  • Health setting: Level 1
  • Time: 30 seconds to 2 minutes
  • 2 or 3 vests, each vest is on a BOB/Wavemaster/Bag
  • 1 person doing the drill
  • Skill Level:  Intermediate color belts to advanced black belts
  • Setup time: 5 minutes


Once you have put all the vests on game 6 and a level one health setting and all at the same time setting, hit start on all of them at the same time.

The reaction game will start on all vests at the same time. You can have 1, 2 or 3 vests. The more vests you add, the harder the game becomes.

The student will need to look at all the vests at the same time and react to each of them as the lights flash on the vest.

The goal is to try to get as many successful hits on all the vests as you can.


This game will build great situational awareness, fast twitch muscles and decision making abilities.

The student will be bombarded with multiple stimuli, and some of these stimuli will be at the same time. This will test their decision making ability. You can use this opportunity to suggest to them to take the shots that are closer and easier instead of one that might be harder or further away.

You can also use this opportunity to throw a student into a highly stimulating environment without the fear of getting hit back. This way, you can narrow the focus of the skills being taught.