The Samurai Game®
The Samurai Game® is a facilitated workshop which can be produced in a business or public environment created and copyrighted by George Leonard in 1977. The workshop brings a group of people together in a new world (the world of the ancient feuding samurai) wherein the group divides into two armies and does battle until one army is clearly defeated. At that point, there are some dramatic decisions to be made by the leaders of the armies! Battles of the Samurai Game® are non-violent and and involve challenges in balance, skill and sometimes aesthetic prowess. When the war is over, participants step back in to the 21st century and evaluate their realizations and an opportunity for sharing/feedback about their realizations is provided.
The Samurai Game® Benefits
1) GLORIFY MY POTENTIAL
I feel I’m at a crossroads in my life and I need guidance in order to decide my best next step.
I need to identify my strengths and build on them.
I need to identify my fears & insecurities, face them and transform them into confidence.
2) DEVELOP LEADERSHIP
I’d like to improve on leading: a team / my family / my own life.
I’d need to reveal my leadership potential and use it.
I’m interested in being more assertive: I will learn how to achieve full respect and consideration from others.
3) IMPROVE COMMUNICATION
I’d like to learn how to negotiate both my tasks and my rewards, in order to be content with my work and my employer.
I need to learn how to express better my boundaries to others.
I’d like to be more active in meetings, not only for my personal gain, but for the benefit of the team.
I’d like to learn how to open up to others, while becoming more reliable listener as well.
4) GAIN AWARENESS
I need to understand my behavioral responses to various triggers that cause me to be emotionally reactive.
I need to understand what’s happening to me: physically / mentally / emotionally when I’m being confronted.
I need to understand and accept other points of view that will open new perspectives over my own purpose in life.
I need to be able to realize, when I’m emotionally triggered, and return to HERE and NOW.
5) MANAGE STRESS
I want to wake up refreshed, body & mind, every single morning.
I need to learn time management and how to handle the daily chores, keeping family, work and personal happiness in a stable balance.
I’d like to be able to face critical & risky situations with calm, pragmatism and efficiency.
6) MAKE MEANINGFUL DECISIONS
I’d like to define my / a new – purpose in life and learn how to focus on it, ignoring whatever is not serving me well.
I’d like to clarify what is important in my life and learn how to take decisions accordingly.
An Overview of the Samurai Game®
About The Samurai Game®
People participate for many reasons. Most commonly, individuals and teams participate in The Samurai Game® to deepen their personal awareness and leadership effectiveness, team cohesion and organizational alignment. For a person who considers to make a practice or deepen their practice, the Samurai Game® presents on opportunity to reveal what is blocking or prevent one from reaching their goals in making or deepening a practice.
Upon what principles and core values do I stake my life and success?
How well do I function in the face of uncertainty and pressure?
How can I become more effective in dealing with conflict, chaos and change?
What is the purpose of The Samurai Game®?
The purpose of The Samurai Game® is essentially to enable participants to experience themselves and their habitual reactions to circumstances more clearly, so that they have greater choice in their lives.
– Place participants in an unfamiliar realm of relationship and governance. From this perspective they can gain clear understandings about their own habitual life patterns.
– Establish an experience of intense competition in an atmosphere that demands honor, dignity, and integrity.
– Provide circumstances in which individuals and teams may choose to display integrity when no one is watching, support when the going gets tough and rules don’t easily apply, and commitment when there is no certainty of success.
– Create a situation in which participants become keenly aware of the vividness and value of life.
– Promote the opportunity for participants to deal with loss and recovery.
– Promote a deeper awareness of those places inside each participant where they want to stop or are unwilling to be uncomfortable.
– Deepen the participants awareness of the total interplay of emotions with beliefs and physical responses.
– Push “the envelope” of personal and team/community integrity and commitment by learning when it cracks and when it strengthens.
What happens in The Samurai Game®?
Participants in The Samurai Game® cross a psychological line and step into the unfamiliar simulated world of the medieval Japanese Samurai. They form two competing samurai armies and engage with their teammates and opponents in symbolic battles that eventually determine the simulation’s finale. These battles call upon participants to exercise resourcefulness, decisiveness, dignity, integrity, respect and personal commitment. The pace is fast and unpredictable, and the outcomes are highly uncertain. No two productions of the simulation are ever quite the same, making each learning experience unique! While involving no significant physical contact, The Samurai Game® demands much in the way of centering and teamwork. Participants are encouraged to summon forth their “warrior” spirit with courage and determination.
How long is The Samurai Game®?
The Samurai Game® is generally facilitated in a 1 to 2 day format. This enables participants to be introduced to the context, rules and roles in the Game, learn some basic practices to enhance their focus and performance, to form teams and engage in the symbolic “battles”, to have a meal break and to debrief about their experience.
The debrief session is a critically important part of The Samurai Game® as this is where participants explore and integrate their experiences, learning, observations and questions. Participants routinely report that the real “effects” of the Samurai Game® and the lessons learned really begin during and following the debrief period. For this reason, and because the simulation is experiential in nature and intense, a period of reflection (often overnight) is highly recommended between the end of the simulation and the full debrief session—hence the 1 or 2 day format. Most learning institutions, including colleges & universities, integrate extended debrief periods for reflection after the simulation ends, including reflective writing.
How many people can participate in The Samurai Game®?
The Samurai Game® can be played with as few as 16 people, and as many as 80 at a time. For corporate groups larger than 80, we advise clients to break the group into two or more smaller groups (with a certified Samurai Game® Facilitator leading each group).
Is there much physical contact in The Samurai Game®?
There is very little physical contact between participants in The Samurai Game®. The physical contact that you may experience would not be strenuous in any way and would not involve the use of force (it would be pretty similar to a handshake). Yoga practitioners will find back some asanas practiced as a small part of the challenges presented (tree pose, warrior 3, savasana, for example).
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