Ninja Kids: Our Children’s Program

The Golden Leopard Kempo Children’s Program: Ninja Kids, is divided into age groups:

  • Ninja Tot Module (ages 3-4 years old)
  • Little Ninja Module (ages 5-6 years old)
  • Junior Ninja Module (ages 7-9 years old)
  • Mighty Ninja Module (ages 10-14 years old)
  • Super Ninja Module (Junior Black Belts only)
Black belt teacher helping a yellow belt child

Each module has its own ranking system of nine belts organized into three levels:

  • Beginner: White, Yellow, Gold
  • Intermediate: Orange, Red, Purple
  • Advanced: Blue, Green, Brown

The Ninja Kids curriculum focuses on improving children’s basic physical, intellectual, emotional, and social skills. These skills will help the child enter life with a more confident and enthusiastic outlook. The child will become better students at school, better listeners at home, and more ambitious towards the future. Our program will enhance positive character development in a fun and motivating way.

The program will also prepare your child for our Super Ninja course. The skills they are taught in the Ninja Kids program are composed of physical, intellectual, emotional, and social benefits. In our classes, we make learning fun and educational. Our goal is to help your child be the best they can be at everything they put their minds to.

Belt Ranks

Each rank has eight (8) skill requirements needed for testing. These skills and the testing requirements are provided in the parent’s Little Ninja handbook.

Stripe ColorTotsLittleJuniorMighty
Red stripeKickingFocusAgilityDexterity
Blue stripePunchingTeamworkTechniqueReaction
Green stripeBlockingControlCourageVersatility
Orange stripeCrawlingMemoryFlexibilityMomentum
Yellow stripeHoppingBalanceIntensityPrecision
White stripeRollingDisciplinePerseveranceInstinct
Black stripeRunningFitnessSpeedStrength
Purple stripeCatchingCoordinationConcentrationVision

How does the course work?

This program is run on a ten-week rotating cycle. The first four weeks (weeks 1-4) include a blend of fun drills and introductory skill training drills. The next four weeks (weeks 5-8) repeat weeks 1-4 with more emphasis on quality. These classes have more intense skill training with an emphasis on repetition for better quality skill development. Children who can complete the exit standard are awarded a skill stripe for their belt. Week 9 is review week and testing. Week 10 is filled with games, extra-curricular activities, and a cycle break. The cycle begins again the next week.

Why skills-based cycle?

We have found a skill-based curriculum builds better overall martial artists. Our age-specific program that targets children’s development stage in a manner that keeps the children entertained while at the same time building skills that set them up for success. Martial art techniques is a synergy of several small, atomic skills. In the Skills program, we focus on developing these smaller, atomic skills such as balance and punching. As the children mature, these skills can be combined into martial arts techniques at a higher level of proficiency.

It has been our experience that this method of training produces more students with above average martial arts skills. Prior to implementing a skill-based program, many students would drop out of training or struggle with certain aspects of training. The skill-based program also implements goal setting and goal achieving practices that are life skills. The program is systematic, cyclical, and predictable. We want to train our students with the best methods to produce the best results.

Can I start my child at any age?

Yes. Each phase builds upon the previous phase, but it isn’t necessary to go through all the previous ranks or phases. The program is designed for particular age-groups to develop age-appropriate skills. Once a child reaches a particular age, they don’t need to learn the skills for a younger age. For example, an eight-year-old girl should begin in the Junior Ninja phase. She doesn’t need to learn skills for a four-year-old in the Ninja Tot phase or a six-year-old in the Little Jr. Ninja phase.

How will my child advance through the program?

After every first skill lesson, the instructor will place a stamp on the Leopard Achievement Record Card (LARC), and on the completion of the second skill lesson, your child will be awarded a belt stripe for developing that skill (see the skill table for a complete list). Each skill stripe is a different color. Your child must earn all eight colored skill stripes in order to qualify to advance to the next belt level. Each student with all eight skills stripes will perform at the next Belt Promotion to be held every nine weeks.

Belt Promotion gives your child the opportunity to show the instructors and parents how developed each skill has become. A panel of judges will be evaluating each child to monitor his or her progress. After the performance, an awards ceremony is held to reward the children with their new rank. Their rank advancement gives your child a new, increasingly more difficult challenge for each skill. Your child again begins to collect the colored belt stripes as they set their goal for the next belt performance. This keeps the program exciting and challenging. Your child will learn how to set goals and achieve them accomplishing their new ranks.

Our instructors monitor your child’s progress by his or her skills stripes. Make sure your child is consistent with his or her attendance so that he or she earns each skill stripe before the Belt Promotion date. In order to avoid excess time at each rank and prevent boredom, follow the curriculum calendar.

If your child has difficulty with a specific skill, the instructor may ask you to work with him or her at home to improve the skills. Homework assignments are provided so your child can be the best that he or she can be. Our goal is to thoroughly develop the eight skills in the Ninja Kids Program. With your help, your child will learn and grow with commitment and dedication to excellence in everything that he or she does.


  • Bryan Bagnas

    Grandmaster and Founder of Golden Leopard Kempo Martial Arts School, teaching Philippine Combatives, Kickboxing, and Self-Defense to San Diego students for over three decades.