Becoming a Certified Facilitator of The Samurai Game®
This document provides background about The Samurai Game® and outlines the process for individuals to become trained and certified to facilitate the The Samurai Game®. If you are interested in becoming trained and certified as a Facilitator of The Samurai Game®, please read through this document carefully, and participate in at least one Samurai Game® led by a certified Samurai Game® facilitator prior to submitting your application for training and certification. It is important to understand The Samurai Game®’s history, standards and requirements associated with certification before completing the Facilitator Training and Certification (FTC) Application. While individuals who have not participated in at least one Samurai Game® may submit an application to participate in The Samurai Game® Training & Certification Course (FTC), applicants must have actually participated in at least one Samurai Game® prior to the start of the FTC program. Experiencing The Samurai Game® as a participant is a requirement for attendance in the FTC program.
Background and History
The Samurai Game® is one of the most intense, engaging and powerful simulations available anywhere in the world. It is particularly useful for team and leadership effectiveness training and training for awareness, resourcefulness and decisiveness in situations marked by uncertainty and unforeseeable difficulties. It was invented in 1977 by author George Leonard (Mastery, The Silent Pulse, The Ultimate Athlete, The Life We Are Given, Walking on the Edge of the World, The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei, and six other books). Mr. Leonard served as a combat pilot in World War II and afterwards became one of the most published writers for Look and Esquire magazines. Time magazine referred to Mr. Leonard as “the Grandfather of the Human Potential Movement.” He created Leonard Energy Training (LET), co-founded Integral Transformative Practice International (ITPI), and was President Emeritus of Esalen Institute. Most human potential training organizations around the world find their roots in the work and writings of George Leonard.
In the 1970’s, Mr. Leonard began his study and practice of Aikido, a Japanese martial art, at that time relatively new to the United States. Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba who was considered one Japan’s greatest martial artist and in 1968 he was proclaimed a Sacred National Treasure by the Japanese government. Mr. Leonard co-founded the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo www.tam-aikido.org in Mill Valley, California, and after years of study and practice, attained the rank of 5th degree black belt. As a social philosopher, educator, and aikido “sensei,” he traveled extensively, teaching and lecturing on human potential, educational reform and promoting the art of Aikido as a means of personal and professional development and creating alternative responses to conflict.
There is a lineage of study, practice and application that links the Samurai Game® to Japan’s warrior class which existed for over 700 years. Because each production of The Samurai Game® at its core reflects Bushido, the ancient code of the Japanese samurai, it is important that facilitators study, practice, and reflect the constructive tenants of that ancient code in their personal and professional lives. This should be uppermost on the minds of individuals considering the marketing, production and direction of The Samurai Game®, as well as in the actions of certified facilitators. Upon certification, the Samurai Game Facilitator enters an exclusive group of practitioners. His or her actions with the Samurai Game® will impact not only the personal and professional seminar industry, but the continuing evolution of the greater human potential movement worldwide. Becoming trained and certified to facilitate The Samurai Game® is a significant undertaking!
Trademark, Copyright, Ownership and Royalties
The term The Samurai Game® is a legal trademark (#2,630,801) registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In China the Game sometimes goes by the name, The Warrior Game™. It is expected that all individuals and organizations respect both names as trademarks. The Samurai Game® itself as a simulation performance (including its design and any variations or modifications) is copyrighted and registered as such with the US Government (#TXu 1-626-797). These trademarks and copyrights are owned by, and are the sole property of, the Leonard Family Trust. Only those persons who have undergone a training and certification process can facilitate and direct the performance of this simulation.
Becoming Certified as a Samurai Game® Facilitator
Entering the training/certification process does not guarantee that the certification Candidate will become certified in a set period of time, nor does the process guarantee that the individual will be certified. Because the Samurai Game® requires strong facilitation and group process skills, it is not recommended that individuals new to group process facilitation undertake the program. That being said, an individual new to group process facilitation will not necessarily be denied entry into the program; only that such an individual should not assume that certification will happen or happen quickly. Likewise, individuals with solid history and practice with group process facilitation should not assume certification is guaranteed.
Candidates who are not already skilled as group process facilitators and who undertake The Samurai Game® Facilitator Training Course week should undergo further training on their own to develop group process skills, and then contact Samurai Game Associates to be further screened for training and certification.
George Leonard expected an embodied understanding of The Samurai Game®, its underpinnings and sincere effort on the part of facilitators to adhere to these standards set forth in training as they move forward in their lives. The Leonard Family Trust carries forward this same expectation.
It is the individual facilitator, not the organization or employer of the facilitator, who becomes certified and authorized to produce and facilitate The Samurai Game®. While it is permissible for a certified facilitator to use an assistant(s) during the production, it is not permissible for a certified facilitator to have an uncertified individual “stand in” for him/her in his/her absence. Additionally, certified facilitators cannot act as training/certification agents of The Samurai Game® nor promise such action. If they do, they risk termination of their own certification. No individual or organization can claim the right to solely market or produce the Game in any particular town/city, state/province, country or other geographic region. Certification is active upon receipt of a fee (currently US $500) paid by the candidate at the completion of training/certification process. Certification remains in force for a period of five (5) years provided the facilitator adheres to policies. After five (5) years, the facilitator must pay a renewal fee to the Leonard Family Trust, and if necessary undergo refresher training.
Each time The Samurai Game® is produced, the certified facilitator is responsible to ensure that an appropriate royalty is paid to the Trust. The formula for computing the royalty is outlined in the general “Agreement Regarding Production of the Samurai Game®” that the facilitator must sign prior to certification. Copies of the Agreement are provided to Candidates upon acceptance of their FTC Application by Samurai Game Associates, and prior to the start of the FTC program. The formula for calculating royalties is reviewed and discussed during the FTC program. Royalties can be paid either by the facilitator or the hosting organization, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the facilitator to ensure that royalties are paid.
Training and Certification Representatives
All training and certification of Samurai Game® Facilitators is handled by Samurai Game Associates, managed by Principals Lance Giroux and Grayson James. Mr. Giroux and Mr. James are the sole Training and Certification Representatives of the Leonard Family Trust (owner of The Samurai Game® and all rights appurtenant thereto) and represent the interests, policies and values of The Samurai Game® for the Leonard Family worldwide. Both Mr. Giroux and Mr. James were long-time colleagues, friends and students of George Leonard (creator of The Samurai Game®) and Annie Styron-Leonard, and are also dedicated practitioners and instructors of the martial art of Aikido. They incorporate aikido principles and practices into their work in training and coaching Samurai Game® facilitators, and in each of their other respective consulting, training and coaching offerings.
NOTE. Being a martial artist is not a prerequisite for facilitator certification. However, having an understanding of embodied practices is beneficial and will prove useful in the marketing, production and facilitation of The Samurai Game®. It is highly recommended that candidates and facilitators establish an integrated mind/body practice that illuminates the benefits of grounding, centering and extension – and that promotes peaceful resolution to conflict, decisive action in crisis, and a dignified presence. This greatly enhances an ability to move participants “into character” as they prepare for performances.
The Training and Certification Process
All candidates must complete a five-day long Facilitator Training Intensive Week, followed days or several weeks later (schedules vary depending upon region) by the 5-day Certification Week. At the completion of these two five-day periods, assuming the candidate has demonstrated proficiency and met all of the standards for certification, he/she will be granted certification.
Key topics covered in Training and Certification program:
- Ethical and legal standards and expectations of a Samurai Game® Facilitator;
- Safety considerations;
- How facilitating The Samurai Game® is different from seminars, trainings, therapy, coaching, and other personal growth modalities;
- Introduction to Aikido-based bodily practices and principles;
- Background, theory, purpose and structure of The Samurai Game®;
- Understanding and practicing the facilitation of The Samurai Game®;
- The importance of practice and practices for Facilitators and participants of The Samurai Game®
- Suggested props, films, music, texts handouts;
- Do’s and don’ts;
- Facilitating The Samurai Game® in different settings (for youth/teens, schools, universities, corporations, personal growth seminars, non-profits, etc.);
- Structuring and facilitating the “debrief” discussion process
- Facilitation practice, feedback…and more practice
Overview of Steps of the Training & Certification Process
- Candidates complete the online application to participate in the Samurai Game® FTC program.
- Candidates participate in the Facilitator Training Intensive Week. (Candidates must have participated in at least one Samurai Game® prior to attendance in the Intensive Week.
- Candidates participate in the Facilitator Certification Week and demonstrate competence facilitating The Samurai Game® under the supervision of a Training and Certification Representative of the Leonard Family Trust.
- Candidates who demonstrate proficiency and meet the standards for certification execute a legal Agreement to Facilitate The Samurai Game® with the Leonard Family Trust, committing to uphold all of The Samurai Game® Facilitator policies and procedures.
- Candidates submit Certification Fee of US $500 to the Leonard Family Trust.
- Candidates receive an official certificate documenting their successful completion of all requirements to be a Facilitator of The Samurai Game®, and join the ranks of other certified facilitators around the world who are authorized to facilitate The Samurai Game®.
Following certification, Mr. Giroux and Mr. James (and/or in some cases, their regional representatives) are available to the facilitator for brief telephone consultations at no additional charge for as long as the facilitator’s certification remains in effect. Should the facilitator request extensive consulting work then consulting fees will apply.
Dates and Fees for Upcoming Facilitator Training and Certification programs:
Tepoztlan, Mexico (near Mexico City) at La Buena Vibra resort:
March 11 – 21, 2019 (Training & Certification Weeks combined / arrive on site March 10)
Fees: $13,500 (USD), includes lodging and meals. Airfare, ground transport and other travel expenses are not included and must be paid by the candidate. For more information, including discounts for early enrollment, contact Jenaro Pliego at email@example.com or by phone at + 52 (1) 55 4524 6470.
If you are interested in becoming a certified Facilitator of The Samurai Game®, please click here to complete the online Application. For more information, please contact us at: Info@samuraigame.org, or 1 (888) 509-3372, ext. 101