Mental Karate for Leaders

Spring Open
Class Standing
Amy Gould

Course Description & Learning Goals:

Welcome! “Onegai Shimasu”: Please do your best, I ask of you. I ask of you to learn alongside each other as we explore the building blocks of leadership in ourselves and within the seen and unseen world around us. Kara comes from the Zen concept of “empty”, Te is the Japanese word for “hand”, and Do means “the way or the path.” Therefore, we will be studying mental "Karate-do" for leaders: The way of the empty hand.

 Whenever a leader serves the public, asks big questions to find solutions, supports staff, follows initiatives, manages a meeting, prepares for a presentation, engages in conflict resolution, leads planning efforts or adapts to change... the leader is empty handed. They must rely on the leadership-self they developed internally.

“Spirit first, technique second.” – Gichin Funakoshi

 In this course:

  • We will become a Sensei or teacher to ourselves and others about leadership.
  • We will each learn kata or a pattern of movement through leadership development.
  • We will each practice the bunkai or applications of the techniques we have learned.
  • We will lay the foundation for our studies through leadership praxis.

 *Fair Warnings*:

1) This course is offered in an intensive format. Coursework will require a large amount of self-directed learning outside of class time through readings, journaling, assignments, student-led trainings, and informational interviews.

2) Some class time will be dedicated to light karate movements (kata, holding stance, sliding, kneeling, non-contact blocks, kicks, punches). Each student is expected to participate as able. Please dress in loose fitting comfortable clothing and be prepared to move barefoot.

This course meets Tuesday evening twice and on two weekends.


Course Reference Numbers
GR (4): 30226

Academic Details



In Person (S)

See definition of Hybrid, Remote, and In-Person instruction

Evening and Weekend
Schedule Details
SEM 2 E1107 - Workshop