Ninja Birthday Party
BEFORE THE PARTY
Special Invitations – Design your own special Ninja invitations or let the martial arts companies do the work, you can purchase a pack from Century or AMWA
Anything Japanese or Chinese will do the trick. Wall scrolls, hanging decorations, Chinese lanterns. You can either purchase them in China Town or from Asian World of Martial Arts or Century Martial Arts.
The instructor should be dressed in a Ninja uniform. He should be introduced as "Sensei so and so", that is Japanese for instructor. The students will be called "your name San", as in Daniel San from "The Karate Kid" movies.
We explain to the students that in Japan the term San follows one's name; it is a title of honor and respect. (We are traveling to Japan now; we are creating a special atmosphere).
Special language – We explain to them that for this lesson they will be speaking a new language; Japanese. They will learn a few simple Japanese terms, like "Hajime (Begin) and "Matte" (Stop). In fact you could introduce each student (party guest) in traditional Japanese style, "Hajime mashte" – a pleasure to meet you Daniel San.
It is not necessary for everyone to have a Ninja outfit, but, depending on your budget you might buy them special T shirts or Ninja headbands. Special headbands are only a couple of dollars a piece and it makes the kids feel like real "Ninja Kids".
Obstacle Course – The ninja were known for their agility. You can easily organize an obstacle course. If you have punching shields, simple place them in a strategic way and have the kids jump around them. You can also build a wall of the shields and have the kids climb or jump over, like real Ninja.
The Ninja were known for their stealth. If the party is getting too noisy, you can play the Ninja Stealth game and see who can be the quietest.
History – Story Telling
The instructor will begin with a brief history of the art of ninjutsu, they will learn about its origins and uniqueness. They will learn a little about the history and culture of Japan. Ninjutsu has a very colorful history, you just need to look on the internet or in a martial arts magazine to find something interesting to tell.
Moral lesson – The students will learn "Rule number one" from "The Karate Kid" movie; "Karate for self defense only." Then they will learn rule number two, "Make sure you know rule number one". Their parents will be impressed when the kids get home.
Kicking and Punching
Demonstrate and teach a few simple techniques. Keep it simple so no one stands up as being untalented and not being able to do it. The goal here is not to actually learn something but just to have fun. Keep everyone happy.
If you have only one or two punching shields, you hold them (maybe the parent holds one and the teacher holds one) and the kids will line up to do their kicks and punches.
One popular activity that I always do is "real life scenarios" or something out of the movies. One kid is surrounded by three people holding different size shields, the kid has to "escape" by kicking or punching each of the three bad guys; he hits them and runs to safety.
Buddy drills – you can also teach teamwork, two buddies are walking home from school and are approached by three thugs, they must kick and punch and escape.
If there time is time you can watch a movie, like "Ninja Kids". There are many Ninja movies geared from children.
Have them go home happy, talking about what a great party it was! They can keep their "Ninja Kid" headbands, or that special T shirt. You can also buy rubber "Ninja Stars" . Many inexpensive items are available for purchase. (Century, AWMA)
Just don't forget the birthday cake!