Try out these Dojo Icebreakers

Why use Icebreakers at your Dojo?

In a group setting, such as a Dojo, icebreakers can play an important role in helping young people learn about and connect with one another. They enhance the mentoring and learning experience by encouraging cooperation and friendships in the group. The benefits of starting a session with ice-breakers include:

  • Helping a new group get to know one another.
  • Helping new members to integrate into a group.
  • Encouraging cooperation.
  • Encouraging listening to others.
  • Developing social skills.
  • Building a rapport with mentors
  • Creating a good atmosphere for learning and participation
  • They can also reenergise young people particularly if the Dojo runs in the evening after school


Some tips before you start

  • Use 1 or 2 icebreakers as a 10-15 minute introduction to your Dojo.
  • Be enthusiastic!
  • Choose participants carefully and don’t cause embarrassment.
  • If something is not working move on to the next activity.
  • Finish each icebreaker while young people are still enjoying it.
  • Choose icebreakers appropriate for your age group. No Dojo is the same and your understanding of what will and will not work with your group is key.
  • Feel free to alter icebreakers to fit your Dojo situation and the resources available


>> Download our icebreakers examples here <<


Brainstorming Help?

Need some help encouraging youths to think up ideas? Check out our Ninja Project Design Worksheet Pack, which can help young people in your Dojo come up with ideas for projects they can make.

Have any other ice-breakers you’ve tried at your Dojo? We would love to hear about them on our #BackToDojo forum thread!

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