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Samurai Game Associates with Heart Knocks

The Samurai Game® 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).

George served as a combat pilot in World War II and afterwards became senior editor for Look Magazine, eventually becoming one of the most published writers for both Look and Esquire magazines.

The Samurai Game® is considered by many to be one of the most intense, engaging and powerful simulations available anywhere in the world. It is particularly valued as a way to cultivate awareness, resourcefulness and decisiveness in situations marked by uncertainty, chaos and unforeseeable difficulties.

The Game was inspired by George’s experience flying combat missions in the Asia Pacific theater during World War II, and his discovery and immersion in Aikido, meditation and related mind-body disciplines. He first got the idea for The Samurai Game® while walking from his home to the Aikido dojo to teach class one evening. Arriving at the dojo, he led the students in the first iteration of the Game. The next week, his Aikido students reported how impactful their experience of the Game had been the previous week, and asked to play it again. George began refining the Game and soon was leading it for other groups and personal development centers, such as Esalen Institute.

Since 1977, tens of thousands of people have played The Samurai Game® around the world.


Image source: Forbes Mexico


(Inclusive of SST)


  • Age 18 & above