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Martial Artists Making a Difference: The Samurai Game™

The Samura Gamei™: Reflecting
The Samura Gamei™: Reflecting
Photograph taken by Paul Rest

Well, after many starts and stops, I finally attended my first Samurai Game™ yesterday. Lance Giroux* and Grayson James* facilitated it. Both have many years of experience so I knew I was in good hands.

It was held at Rancho Strozzi, also the home of Two Rock Aikido ( Not to give everything away, but after a morning where the game was introduced, the rules were laid out, and we were given assignments to do during our lunch break. Then after lunch, the game began.

The late George Leonard while walking to the old Tam Dojo to teach a class had the game come to him. Giroux recounted that when he arrived at his destination, he asked everyone, “Want to try something I just thought of while walking here?”

The seed germ was his attending a reunion of his military buddies from the Second World War. They were complaining how boring their lives were after the rush of combat. Think of “Band of Brother”… So George began wondering about exactly what that “peak” (I hate that word!) experience was and how it could be re-created. Out of his very creative mind and thought processes came the idea of the game.

That was the birth of the Samurai Game™. One of the participants yesterday related that she had attended one of the very early games that George taught and later pointed out some of the changes she had observed in the game since that early date. Both presenters remarked that the game is and will be always evolving. It is not static.

The game itself is thought provoking, intense and as both Lance and Grayson stated in the morning, it would take us all out of our comfort zones. In their words, as they promised, “You will cross a line.” And we did.

I would strongly recommend this game for those who have not experienced it. This is especially true for martial artists. The setting is Medieval Japan and involves many concepts martial artists would be familiar with. And also many concepts that are unfamiliar, especially to our Western mindset—which perhaps is what gives the game its unique flavor and edge.

The game is also designed for those in the leadership and corporate roles of responsibility. The list of corporate and institutional clients on the game’s website is impressive. And you wouldn’t have to look far to find a certified facilitator. As Lance pointed out, the only continent without one is Antarctica. The certified instructors are listed on the website.

For more information, please use the website. Your experience may not turn out to be a “peak” one but I promise it will be one you will remember and you will come out of The Samurai Game™ with new insights and tools you can use in your life, personally, at home and with your work.

Here's the link to the website.

*Lance holds the rank of 2nd dan. Grayson holds the rank of 5th dan.

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