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The Samurai Game®

How do we live with Dignity, Respect, Courage, Honour, and Fierce Compassion?

Step across a psychological line and enter into The Samurai Game®….   At the heart of the Game we enter 15th century Japan and take on the social code of the Samurai. Through completely changing our mindset there is an opportunity to become hyper-aware of our behaviour and choices moment-to-moment. This is an experience designed by George Leonard (author of many books including Mastery, The Silent Pulse, and The Ultimate Athlete) involving minimal physical contact but a maximum of personal commitment.  It can make an excellent event for teambuilding and leadership development and for these purposes can be run over 1 or 2 days.


  • Explore integrity and leadership
  • Connect profoundly with yourself and others
  • Gain insight into habitual patterns that hold you back
  • Shift your relationship with gain and loss
  • Manifest bold, dignified and decisive action in the face of uncertainty

Additional Benefits for teambuilding:

  • Progress through a full range of team behaviours, from forming through to performing in a short space of time
  • A focused environment to witness and appreciate each others strengths
  • A challenging and unfamiliar environment where all members can step up to the challenge
  • Experience a highly competitive environment which emphasises mutual respect rather than winning at all costs


Previous Games

The Samurai Game® has been run in the USA since 1977 and has been used in various settings including as a teambuilding event and as part of executive or graduate development programs for organisations such as HSBC Bank, Hewlett Packard, The Global Leaders Academy, AT&T, The United Nations Secretariat, The US Army, Texas A&M University and The Organizational Behaviour Teachers Society.  There are numerous testimonials on the Samurai Game® home website, link at the bottom of this page.

Some testimonials from games in the UK:

“...possibly one of the most profound workshops I have ever done – wow!”

HN – Facilitator and Yoga Teacher

"I still can't stop thinking about it"

L.A. - sent several weeks after the Game!

"...a challenging day...rewarding, and good fun as well..."

Sabine Stritch - Senior Consultant, Roffey Park

" amazing weekend, truly special..."

J.D. - Director and Consultant

"...thankyou so much for the Samurai day – it was very enlightening, you were fantastic..."

J.W. - Director

"We used the Samurai Game and Francis at the start of a 3 day session to create a sense of dislocation amongst a newly formed Executive Board, prior to exploring individual strengths and contributions, team roles and overall strategy.  The experience was incredibly valuable for all those involved and served as a fantastic introduction to the wider objectives.  Francis is an exceptional facilitator, grasping the overall aims of our session, and skillfully using the Game to draw out learning that directly supported our journey.  The Game itself allowed Board members to explore their own strengths and attitudes, gain a better understanding of each other, and the contribution each made to the whole, and (unexpectedly) became a fantastic team bonding experience.  It was an outstanding start to our session and I wholeheartedly recommend the game and Francis to other teams in the corporate world."

Nick Churchman.  Director, Organisation Effectiveness.  HP Defence.


Here's a video to tell you a bit more about the Game:


A typical weekend workshop

Step across a psychological line and enter into The Samurai Game®…. In this weekend workshop we move through various experiential exercises to heighten awareness of ourselves, others and the world around us in preparation for the game. At the heart of the weekend we enter 15th century Japan and take on the social code of the Samurai. Through completely changing our mindset there is an opportunity to become hyper-aware of our behaviour and choices moment-to-moment. Two clans do battle in individual duels through games. There are games of strength, balance, awareness, willpower, commitment, and even of aesthetics. Teams have to learn each others strengths and weaknesses to be as effective as possible. This is a game, and it is deadly serious… you can die in the game. You may have the opportunity to experience death and be honoured by your clan: to feel respected and appreciated regardless of whether you won or lost. Afterwards we share, reflect and dialogue to give us as full a picture as possible of what can be learnt from our game experience.

Typical Timings: Day 
1 - 10am until 8.30pm; Day 2 - 10am until 4pm

The Samurai Game®can be run in a single day. This would usually run as a long day with several breaks like the ‘Day 1’ timings above. If it is an established group then it is possible to run a regular (9-5) day. The Game requires a profound shift in mindset and for it to be both safe and effective it needs a good amount of time to transition into and out of. Please contact us for more information.

For more general information on the Samurai Game or for lists of facilitators in other countries around the world go to the Samurai Game site.