- Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So what's this whole hoo-haa about The Samurai Game?

I've been mentioning about The Samurai Game a few times already in my previous posts (click here, here and here if you haven't read it). I'm sure you must be wondering -- what training is this? Is it a game? Ugh, what battles?

Well, to keep you in the loop, my dear treasured reader, I shall let you in about what on earth this entire training is all about.

You see, The Samurai Game is a training unlike any other. In this training, the participants are divided into two groups. These two groups are called 'Army of the North' and 'Army of the South' who will battle each other. Each army consists of a few important people -- the Daimyo (the Commander, the Leader, the one who calls the shots), the Sentry (the Guard who protects the Daimyo), the Samurai (the Warriors who will be sent out for battles and must at all times abide to the Code of the Warriors, or the Bushido code), the Ninja (the one who is not bound by any code or values, the one who is in charge of bringing the enemy down through any means), and the Ronin (the masterless Samurai).

I was selected to be a Ninja when I did the training, and I gained a tremendous amount of learnings -- something I'll share another day.

During the training, nobody is supposed to smile, or look at or talk to the Master Trainer (who is the Fate of War in the Training. The Fate of War will be capricious and unfair, and whatever The Fate of War says, happens). Also, if you are hit by or touch a Shuriken, you die instantly.

Now, the Samurais will be sent to battles. No, the battles do not involve sword fighting. They involve things like this :

The Black Crane.
Rules : You are to maintain in the above position, eyes closed. 
Your hands are not supposed to touch your head, your feet the ground. 
The moment you do either one, or open your eyes, you lose.

OR this :

Balancing Jo
Rules : You are to balance it on the fingers of one hand. 
You are only allowed to catch it for X amount of times 
the Master Trainer determines at the point of the training. 
If you lose balance of your Jo more than the times allowed, you lose.

Here's a sneak preview to how it looks like during the battles :

What you see in this picture is only 1% of everything that is going through.

You see that blurred person in the image? She just lost a battle. And when you lose a battle in The Samurai Game, you are to lie down at your battle spot -- a significance of death.

You see the two people raising their arms at the back? They were doing another battle -- The Battle of The Champions. They are supposed to raise their arms not below shoulder length. The first one to go below shoulder length loses -- or Die, in the case of The Samurai Game.

So what's all the hoo-haa about The Samurai Game?

Great question.

During the training, everyone is urged to abide by the Code of the Warrior or Code of Honor. In its simplest terms, everyone should hold on to their core values, their integrity, and fight honestly. During the battles, anything can happen.

And the most amazing thing is, the fiercest battles are not fought outwardly but inwardly. Shit, I smiled -- do I die? Did anyone see it? I don't think so. Maybe I should pretend that I didn't smile. That is just one small example.

While fighting the battles, one constantly makes decisions -- a symbolism and a reflection of how one fights one's real battles every single day. And let me kid you not -- you may think that it's easy to abide by the Code of Honor or go through the battles. But trust me when I say this in absolute confidence : It's not as easy as you make it sound.

When I was the Ninja, my job was supposed to go around doing whatever to get people to break their Code of Honor or even to smile. And I've seen determined eyes who try very, very hard to fight the good fight, but somehow something happens, and they die. It's like Life, you know. Sometimes you try so hard to fight the good fight, but shit happens. Life happens. Sometimes we're not meant to fight those battles, sometimes we're meant to learn something the hard way, sometimes we're just not ready for those battles... you get my drift.

This is The Samurai Game in a little nutshell. Of course, the magnitude of this unique training cannot be fully described in words -- you need to go through it to understand it completely.

All in all, if I were given a chance to go through this training again, I will experience it again because I've learned and grown so much through this training that I'd be stupid to give up the chance of growth and self-discovery.

I will continue sharing about the learnings that I've gained from The Samurai Game. Stay tuned and I'll keep you updated.

Signing off,
Jon Chu

Pictures courtesy of 95% The Advertising Academy.

1 comment:

ah^kam_koko' said...

Sounds interesting... I might take bits & pieces of that & integrate it with any future camps I'll do with my students.