How to Determine Your Child’s Ninja Smarts Safety Quotient

Traditional karate programs for children, like ours, help children improve their personal safety. This type of training helps with awareness of immediate surroundings, and defending against different opponents of various sizes. It helps physical and mental life protection for kids of all ages. We talk about street smarts and staying safe in a wide variety of situations. I call this “ninja smarts.”

But we don’t always go into detail. There are many potential safety situations for youth which can be taught about with simple awareness. Knowing details on how to stay safe can protect children’s personal safety.  


Here’s a quiz to find out your kids’ Ninja Smarts Quotient. It’s not multiple choice. Directions: ask your child the question. If their answer is similar to one here, give them that number of points. If their answer is not similar, they get zero points for that question. Read them the 3-point answer for each. When done, add up your child’s points to see their Ninja Smarts Quotient. (This is age-adjustable. Older teens can hear or read all the answers if they want. It’s ultimately up to the administering adult to determine the points received for each answer.)

1) Question: What would you do if you were in the room with two bigger family members getting into a heated argument? (Like two uncles, or dad and uncle?)


   0 points: Tell them to stop and if they don’t listen, try to make them stop.

   2 points: Stay out of the way and watch for my safety and safety of my younger family members.

   3 points: Get myself and younger family members out of the room or the area.

   Samurai Affirm: My body is out of harm’s way.

2) Question: What would you do if you were at your friend’s house and they told you to come see their parent’s gun, or showed you a gun?


   1 point: Tell them, “No, thank you.”

   3 points: Tell them “no,” get out of the room and let their parent know right away that they wanted to show it to you or showed it to you.

   3 points: Tell them not to touch it, get out of there immediately and go home. Tell your parents as soon as possible.

   Samurai Affirm: My life and friends are protected.

3) Question: What would you do if you saw classmate at school with a gun in their bag?


   0 points: Say nothing. Snitches get stitches.

   1 point: Wait until I can be alone with my teacher in a non-suspicious way and inform them of what I saw.

   2 points: Go immediately to the office and tell them what I saw and then do what they tell me to do next.

   3 points: Go immediately to the office and tell them who it is, what they were wearing, and what you saw. Then go to the nurse (now I have a bad headache), counselor or administrator’s office to call my parents to come pick me up.

   Samurai Affirm: My class is safe.

4) Question: What would you do if you heard from one school mate about another school mate with a weapon?


   0 points: Say nothing. Snitches get stitches.

   0 points: Consider the source. If this person is known to lie, don’t bother saying anything.

   1 point: Casually mention it to my teacher.

   3 points: Consider the source, but even if this person is known to lie, still report this to the office right away. (If the source person is reliable and truthful, follow through with the 3-point answer for Question 3.)

    Samurai Affirm: My school is secure.

5) Question: What would you do if a person who looks professional and seems nice says that you could be a model or movie star and wants to take pictures of you in private? (Like in a van or in another room?)


   (negative) -40 points: Go with them and let them take my picture.

   1 point: Say no, thank you, and stay away from them.

   2 points: Say “NO!” and quickly go tell a parent or authority immediately.

   3 points: Say “NO!” and quickly go tell a parent or authority immediately, also telling what the person looks like and what they’re wearing, but not delaying getting to a trusted adult.

   Samurai Affirm: I am unassailable.

6) Question: What would you do if your friend offered you a pill that would make you feel great?


   1/2 point: Accept it and pretend to eat/swallow it, but hide it in my pocket.

   2 points: Tell them no, your family does random drug testing.*

   3 points: Tell them no, your family does random drug testing.* Then find new, healthier, more positive friends.

   Samurai Affirm: I am healthy and care for my body.

7) Question: What would you do if anyone offered you drugs (of any kind: prescription drugs not prescribed to you, pills, joints, cigarettes, e-cigs, brownies with edibles, gummies with edibles, edible marijuana leaves) or alcohol?


   1/2 point: Accept it and pretend to eat/swallow/drink it, but hide it or throw it out.

   2 points: Tell them no, your family does random drug testing.*

   3 points: Tell them no, your family does random drug testing.* Then make a plan to hang out with healthier, more positive, more able-bodied and able-minded people. Act on that plan. Figure out how to prevent being in that situation again.

Ninja Smarts Notes

   (NOTE 1: I don’t want to promote paranoia. I just want to make people aware of some of the types of drugs that are becoming more common. Edible marijuana is expensive and/or hard to come by, so people will usually make it known if that’s what they’re offering. NOTE 2: Your brain doesn’t finish developing until you are in your mid-20s! I highly recommend that young people be very careful about considering any alcohol consumption, even when they are of legal drinking age, as it negatively affects the brain long-term. Ditto on drugs.)

   Samurai Affirm: I am my own body guard.

8) Question: What would you do if a nicely-dressed stranger came up to you and offered you a treat, or to take you to the ice cream shop?


   (negative) -120 points: Get in their car for the treats.

   0 points: Politely say no, thank you.

   1 point: Say no, thank you and make sure to stay at least six feet away from them and their car at all times.

   3 points: Yell, “NO!” to get attention, and run as fast as you can to safety (parent, guardian, authority figure, public place where you can immediately talk to a safe person who’s big and who you know [the last one is a last resort for younger kids – older and bigger teens can consider it if the situation seems like no big deal, and they feel safe. As we get older, many situations depend on a lot of factors we learn about as we grow. {For younger kids and smaller teens it is always better to be safe than sorry.}]).

   Samurai Affirm: I am un-trick-able.

9) Question: What would you do if your online chat buddy wanted to meet you in person, and you wanted to meet them?


   (negative) -120 points: Give them my address and tell them to come over.

   (negative) -3 points: Meet them in the park.

   3 points: Ask my parents about how to meet them, make sure my parent comes with me and we meet in a public place.

   Samurai Affirm: I am smart about meeting new people.

10) Question: What would you do if a stranger came toward you and asked you for help? (Like finding their lost puppy or kitten, finding the ice cream shop or post office, or getting directions to the school.)


   0 points: Get just close enough to see what they’re showing you and to point out directions, staying six feet away. (Older, bigger teens can get a point for this one. Anyone smaller than a full-grown adult should not do this.)

   2 points: Yell to your nearby parent that this person needs help, while walking toward your parent and safety.

   3 points: Say “NO!” and get to safety. (Adults do not need to ask kids for help. If they do, it’s probably a lie.)

   Samurai Affirm: I help myself first.

11) Question: What would you do if your friend(s) wanted to go swimming without an adult or lifeguard?


   0 points: Go as long as one of you is a good strong swimmer. (NOTE: Older teens may be okay in this case, but it’s still good to have permission from a parent and the pool owner.)

   2 points: Say no and insist that nobody goes swimming without an adult or lifeguard.

   3 points: Say no, insist on no swimming, and bring up the situation to everyone’s parents as soon as you can.

   Samurai Affirm: I keep my solid-ground safety.

12) Question: What do you do before you ride a bike, skateboard or scooter, or go skating?


   2 points: Tell my parents where I’m going.

   3 points: Put on a helmet. It’s a simple way to protect my face and brain.

   Samurai Affirm: I protect my most valuable tool.

13) Question: What do you do when you get in a car, truck, van or other vehicle?


   0 points: See if anyone else is putting on a seatbelt, then do the same.

   1 point: Put on the seatbelt when the vehicle begins moving.

   3 points: Buckle up as soon as I’m seated.

   Samurai Affirm: I travel safely.

Quiz Results

Add up your child’s total points to get their Ninja Smarts Quotient, then see below.

12 or fewer points: LET’S TALK: Young Padawan, learn more ninja smarts, you must. I want you to be able to protect your body, mind, life, and the force within you. Please take this quiz many more times. Every week, at a minimum, discuss your ninja smarts skills. Start with those in the quiz, then learn more. Also make sure you are not out on your own. Make sure you stay near a guardian or a much older family member who can protect both of you.

13-32 points: NINJA-IN-TRAINING: You are learning and getting smarter every day. Keep it up. Brush up on your ninja smarts regularly. Practice putting them into action daily. If you are not right there with a parent, guardian or babysitter, always know where they are and always be aware of your path to them for help and safety.

33-38 points: POWERFUL NINJA: You have much power in your ninja smarts. Thank you for taking the quiz. You rocke! Too bad it’s the 21st century, because you would have made a great ninja!

39 or more points: UNBEATABLE SAMURAI NINJA: You have perfect answers and you could be a ninja or even a top samurai. But will your actions meet your answers? If you encounter these situations in real life, will you actually apply the best action that you know to do? If yes, I bow to YOU Unbeatable Samurai Ninja!

Conclusion For Parents

This quiz can be a good way to start conversations with kids about their personal safety. Some of this knowledge could save their life, and a lot of it can safeguard them from disastrous problems. The intent for this quiz is not to read the entire thing to your child, especially if they are young or having a short attention span. The questions, however, will show them you care, help you to guide them, and help them develop their ninja smarts.

*I highly recommend Not My Kid’s protocol of doing random drug testing for your children. This helps everyone be more honest and face the truth in the case of drug use that parents might not otherwise be aware of. But very importantly, it also gives kids and teens a solid out if they are pressured to use drugs or alcohol. You can purchase at-home drug tests at the drug-store (pharmacy section) for less than $40 and the results show in minutes. is a great resource for parents. Here’s their page about signs of drug abuse.

I was taught, “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” and that is an easy phrase to teach youngsters so they can think of it if they’re in a sticky situation. Please do say the Samurai affirmations above. Considering tricks, lies and dangers can put your mind in a yucky place. Affirming the opposite, the positive things that we can control, helps build our power and our children’s power.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger 

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