This prospectus describes the program for in-

stilling in African-American youth and family

members a  good  sense  of "strategizing" and

leadership,   through   the   serious   (and  yet fun) playing  of  three  classical  games. The games draw on several continental sources: Warri-Mancala is the world's oldest game; it is  from  Africa.  Go  or  Wei-chi  comes  from Asia, and Chess is Eur-Asian in origin.

                                            *

The three principles being developed here in-

volve the mastery of "Tempo," "Position," and

"Strength." This  formulation has  been trade-marked and copyrighted as a training program sponsored by IKO, Inc.,my non-profit church.

 

                                            *

This church, "IKO," is not longer tax exempt  and, also by  choice,  we  do not  solicit funding nor donations. We will reorganize "IKO, Inc." shortly to update its  CA FTB inactive status consistent with the new church philosopy as described here).

                                             *

Consequently,  we  are  free  to  say  what  we wish without fear of a knocking on the door at mid-night.

                                                  

                                                                                                                      

                                                                                              

                              African-American Youth &  

   

            Family Board Game Sessions

                                                                                                                                     ©Michael Oshoosi, 2017

                                                                                                                                                             "Strategy=Tempo, Position, and Strength  Instructional                                                                                                                                                                                                        Method, ("S=TPS")" 

 

                             Teaching Life “Strategy” To African-American Youth

                                     Through Three World Class Traditional Games

                                               --An African-Centered Approach--

 

 

 

                                                           

      Hosted Weekly by:   

                     

                                                 [ YOUR ORGANIZATION’S NAME ]

                                                                               AT

                                              [ YOUR ORGANIZATION’S ADDRESS ]

 

      Activity Creator & Promoter:  

                                                                                        Michael Oshoosi, (Using the

                                                                         “Strategy=Tempo, Position, and Strength                                                                                 Instructional Method, (S=TPS)”™2017)

                                                                                                                       *                         

                      _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                             _____________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

 

                                 “Open Play Day” Game Sessions  

                                                                           (Weekly)

                                                                  Ages 14 and Up

                                        (Separate Sessions for Ages 6 -13 ASAP)

                                                                  Warri/ Mancala     

                                        Chess                                               Go/ Wei-chi                                                                                                        

 

                                      1st and 3rd Sundays / 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

                                                During February and March, 201

 

                           1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sundays / 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

                                         During April, May, June and July, 2017.

               ______________________________________________________________

               ______________________________________________________________

 

                                                                               and  

          ___________________________________________________________________

          ___________________________________________________________________

                                                                                *

                                  “Play’as Only” Seminar Sessions  

                                                                     (Once Monthly)   

 

                       These once-monthly seminars are open to anyone who recei-

                        ves a “Play’as’ Circle Card.” Please See “Rules” in the Appendix

                        "A" to see how easy it will be to obtain a “Play’as Circle Card.”

 

         2:00  p.m.to 4:00 p.m.   4th Sunday   “S=TPS” Evaluation of Members’ Games

                                                                                               of Warri/Mancala, Go/Wei-chi and  

                                                                                               Chess-- showing why the mastery

                                                                                               of  “Tempo, Position and Strength”

                                                                                               is the key to gaining advantages                                                                                                      and   winning contests.

 

 

          4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  4th Sunday   “S=TPS” Evaluation of Members’ Personal 

                                                                                               Stories (from Life Itself) that illus-                                                                                                  trate  why “mindfulness” of "Tem-                                                                                                  po," Position and Strength” is                                                                                                            highly valuable.

             _________________________________________________________________ 

                      __________________________________________________________________

_____________________

*The three official games of this system for teaching strategy-in-life are Warri-Mancala, Chess and Go (or Wei-chi). Any African-American youth (or family) member can participate in playing any of the board games in this program on any “Open Play Day,”  but to receive a “Playa’s Circle Card” one must learn the simple basics of all three games. Yet this is not difficult: Warri/Mancala and Go/Wei-chi take about one hour each; Chess takes about two hours to learn the moves and rules, and about ten 30-minute (avg.) games to learn how to win.

                                                                                                                                               *

FOR WHOM?  WITH WHOM?

 

These activities are free for all who participate. Small donations for refreshments are encouraged. Initially, the starting age for all participants will be 14 years (but

soon, children’s sessions may be added).

 

This project is purposed to raise the self-esteem and evaluative skills of youth and family members with predominantly African, Afro-Latin/Caribbean, and African-American heritage. Its primary purpose is to foster thinking sophistication, decision-making, and leadership skills in real life. Secondarily, it is to foster recreation and fellowship.

 

This project is a stand-alone program that can be instituted anywhere. In the instant case, this program will be offered at (and for the benefit of) your non-profit, tax exempt, community association named  [ YOUR ORGANIZATIONS’s NAME ].It is a multi-purpose program (ages 14 and up) for African-American youth, family mem- bers and adults who reside in [ YOUR ] metro area. The program’s location is [ YOUR LOCATION ].”

 

The program creator and “Game Salon Facilitator” is Michael Oshoosi Wright (or, simply, “Michael Oshoosi,” as he is an initiated priest in the Yoruba religion--Cuban Lucumi-Santeria variant)--and has professional backgrounds in psychology and law. He is a player of very modest skill levels in each of the three core games in the prog- ram. But he is versed enough in the games to teach them and their important rules to novices or to proctor games for any players.

 

When asked, he (or any “Game Day Helper”) can verify that a participant knows the rudiments of the three games and can, therefore, be given a “Play’as’ Circle Card.” (Please see Appendix A for a brief description of how a participant can obtain a card. Also, please see Appendix B for pictures of Chess, Warri/Mancala, Wei-Chi games. Appendix C is a flyer that depicts African-American children playing Warri / Mancala in Harlem, NYC, and Appendix D depicts Dr. Michael Oshoosi ’s interests in these games and the bases of his abilities to organize such a project of gaming for African-American youth and families).

 

 

 

WHY?

 

--By using the play of three ancient and culturally-rich board games from Africa (“Warri/Mancala”), Asia (“Go” or “Wei-chi”), and Euro-Asia (Chess), we can help any person learn the concept of “strategy” and its importance for prevailing in life’s contests or personal challenges

 

--African-American youth, in particular, will only benefit by helping them develop evaluation and leadership skills. The world today is complex, fleeting (“digital”), impulse-driven and, frankly, dangerous. Sometimes our youth are faced with so many distractions, and have suffered such a gap in the handoff of experience from their immediate preceding generations, that they sometimes mix-up goals or objec- tives with strategems (and often confuse both of them up with tactics) in to a hard-to-explain mish-mash of thinking. Consequently, frequent poor decision-making occurs. But this educational program helps youth gain a respect for ‘longer-term’ goals and rewards and, thus, this fun training also helps to suppress impulsivity.

 

--What better way to instill clearly organized thinking, gain impulse control and, therefore, instill effective planning and decision-making in a young person than to do so in a way that is, at once, great recreational fun (e.g., in participating on the “Open Play Days”), on the one hand, but is also connected to a clear educational program and objective (e.g., participating in the monthly “S=TPS Seminars on how to identify and develop “strategies), on the other?

 

--By drawing on three grand gaming traditions--with an African one at the center

(Warri-Mancala is the oldest game in the world!)--this is a culturally-congruent program of education for young African-American girls and boys, and elder-folk as well, whose African and African-American heritage of excellence in thought and creativity has been long-battered by the toils and tribulations of life, generally-speaking, in a socially hostile and neglectful environment. To every extent then, we must expose as many of our youth as we can to alternative ways of being and func- tioning that include: tactile and real-world tangible (not just digital) experience, forethought and patience, the evaluation of complicated situations, and the mast- ery of the principles of psychological “warfare,” i.e., how to identify and contend with it through the lessons learned in gamesmanship.

 

 

PHILOSOPHY: How Do We Recognize a Winner?

 

--The  most  important  ethical  aspirations  in  this  project—good will and sports- manship--can be illustrated by asking these questions: “Win, lose    or draw, did I give my opponent a good run for his or her money?” Or, “were there periods in the game when I played very well (even though I lost the game in the end)? If the an- swers to these questions are “yes” then you are a top-notch, A-1, BIG-time winner! (In tourn ament play our biggest trophy would go to the person or persons who showed the most tenacity and brilliant tactics in a recorded game; even if he or she ultimately lost  the  game. (This  spirit, after  all, was  the  basis  of  the  traditional  “brilliance award” often given to a   player in the old-time chess tournaments—regardless of who scored the most tournament points and “won--who used the most tenacious, creative or even “brilliant” tactics of play in a game in that event).

 

--The second important ethical goal is competence. Did I play well-enough to actual-

ly prevail in the game; to win, formally-speaking? If the answer to this question is “yes,” then you are a top-notch, A-1, BIG-time winner!

 

 --The third most important objective is to engage in consistent winning so that one can accumulate a higher ranking in the world associations for Chess, Warri/Mancala, or Go (Wei-chi). Am I becoming a consistent winner? If the answer to this question is “yes” then  you are a top-notch, A-1, BIG-time winner! You are a person who can eval uate his or her play (or real-life social situations and challenges) using my strategy-evaluating  system  called  “STRATEGY=TEMPO, POSITION  and  STRENGTH  IN- STRUCTIONAL METHOD™” And this is where the seminars come in.                                                   

 

 --Honoring “formalities!” There are reasons that we use only three games, reasons

why we insist on standard rules of play and standard pieces (e.g., Staunton design chess pieces), and reasons why we have standards in the field of play. We aim to teach the African-American youth about formalities. Knowing the differences bet- ween formal and informal situations and speech is important to learn from the ear- liest years possible; starting, hopefully, no later than the age of seven.

 

 

 

HOW TO PROCEED?          

 

       DISCUSSIONS AND AGREEMENTS BETWEEN [ YOUR ORGANIZATION ] AND

                                                        MICHAEL OSHOOSI

                                                         Discussion Points

 

1.     Seeking agreement on the aims and terms of this Prospectus. Set dates for gen- eral recruitment meeting for participants and potential “Game Day Helpers” through flyer distributions that invite them be involved.

 

2.      Michael Oshoosi will provide two sets each of Warri/Mancala, Go/Wei-chi), and Chess to [ YOUR ORGANIZATION ]. These will be the first sets to be used. Additional sets may be lent to the “club” on an “as needed” weekly basis, but  shall remain the property of Michael Oshoosi Wright (IKO, Inc.) for occasional use in other venues.

[ YOUR ORGANIZATION ] is free to buy its own sets at any time, of course.

 

3.     [ YOUR ORGANIZATION’S ]officials will, without question, support the activity promoter  and  Game Salon Facilitator,  Michael  Oshoosi  Wright, in  his  decision, should the situation arise, to re-direct anyone from the game salon if his or her beh- avior is a distraction to the peace, concentration and harmony of the other players.* (But for persons with clinically diagnosed mental or behavior disorders, reasonable accommodations may be possible—most likely involving separate group or person- alized game sessions).

  

 The once-monthly Seminars on “S-=TPS” principles will be run by the  Salon Game Facilitator. They constitute the “Theory class" for this program. He will provide 30 days’ notice to [ YOUR ORGANIZATION ] if he elects not to continue these seminars within the six month—to—one  year trial period. Similarly, he will give [ YOUR OR- GANIZATION ] no less   than 30 days’ notice if he intends to cease “Open Play Day” facilitation. Similarly, [ YOUR ORGANIZATION ] can serve a 30-day notice on him that

it wishes to cease hosting the events at [ YOUR ORGANIZATION’S ] faclities at any time.

                

 

4.     The once weekly (or every two week) “Open Play Day” will be facilitated by the

“Salon Game Facilitator” (Michael Oshoosi) and the “Game Day Helpers,” but the event will be considered hosted and enabled by the [ YOUR ORGANIZATION ]. These Saturday game days will be analogous to the “Lab section” of the program. [ YOUR ORGANIZATION ] will, therefore, promote and solicit volunteers to be helpers (they should be willing learn the rudiments of all three games).

 

Volunteers  will  be  called “Game Day Helpers.” They  must  be  willing  to  attend a special orientation  sessions or  some of  the “Open Play Day” sessions  in  order  to learn the rudiments of all three games, to familiarize themselves with the basic rule books that will govern play in the salon, and to familiarize themselves with small ad- ministrative or hospitality matters.

 

5.     “Game Day Helpers” tasks include (a) setting up tables and game boards, (b) preparing and putting snacks out for guests, (c) attending the session 30 minutes early for the orientation, (d) personally coaching attendees to get them to the point where  they  can  earn  a  “Play’as  Circle  Card,” (e) giving   the   salon  45   minutes’ notice  before  the  end  of  play  that  day,  (f) making  neat  the  salon 30  minutes before closing, and (g) collecting  all  game  boards, pieces,  stones, and closing  the salon. 

 

                                     ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

                                                                                                --Traditional African Wisdom

                                                                                                                                            *

 

                                         APPENDIX A

                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                             *

                 SOME OF THE NOTABLE RULES FOR CONDUCTING THE SALON

 

1.     Round-Robin Table Play: The winner plays, in succession, anyone who sits at the table as an observer (or volunteers to be a game recorder) and wishes to play—next in order. A person who has won five games in a row shall offer his or her seat to the next awaiting player.

 

2.     Personal Game Play: Participants may play the same person repeatedly, with-

out limit, if they so agree; so long as enough sets are available for the Round-Robin table players. (Personal game players must respect the same traditions, brands, and the  general  rules of  this salon that include  the  specific  standard rules of play for each type of game, and type of pieces used as well).

 

3.     Disputes about play issues or the maintenance of salon decorum are matters to be resolved by the Salon Game Facilitator, if required.

 

4.     The Rules and Authorities: Chess games and club tournaments shall be gover- ned by the latest, most current version of the “U.S. Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess.” The rules governing the play of Warri/ Mancala shall be found in “Instruct- ions for Mankala,” and the rules governing Go (Wei-chi) are from the “Rules of the Nihon Ki-in and Kansai Ki-in (1949) as modified in 1989. And the method of play may be found in the chapter on “Fundamentals” in “Go & Go-Moku: the Oriental Board Games.” (These rules will be provided for free in an orientation seminar for “Game Day Helpers).”

                                                                                   *

5.     Official boards for all three games shall be used. Official pieces--wooden or plastic--for chess are called “Staunton design,” the official pieces for Go/Wei-chi are called “ishi,” or “stones” and  are  made  of  polished  plastic,  ceramic, or  hardened lacquer, and  the  pieces for Warri/Mancala  are  called “seeds” or  “marbles.”  These are the only pieces allowed in the salon for play.

                                                                                                                                                *

6.     “Play’as’ Circle Card”  shall  be  issued to  any  person  who  learns and does or demonstrates the following things in at least one observed game observed by (ob-

served by the "Game Salon Facilitator" or by a “Game Day Helper.” [A simple writ- ten test, involving simple problem-solving in the three games can suffice for an of ficially observed game]. Having a “Play’as’ Circle Card” enables  one  to  become a “Game Day Helper” (if desired)  and also to participate in the once monthly “S=TPS Seminars”®™

                                                                                                                                                *

              Warri/ Mancala: The player:

              (a)  knows how to set up the board with is seeds or stones.

              (b)  knows how to take alternate turns to proceed with play

                        by “sowing” seeds in to the 14 “pits.”

              (c)   knows how to get “free turns.”

              (d)  knows how to capture.

              (e)  knows the logic behind when to seek to end the game on

                        favorable terms (i.e., by winning the most “enemy” stones

                        and territory.

                                                                                                                                                 *

              Chess: The player:

              (a)  knows the names of all pieces and how they move.

              (b)  knows the concepts of “check,” an “illegal move,” checkmate,

                                        capturing en passant, adjusting a piece (“j’adoube”), castling,

                                        stalemates and other “draw” situations.

                         (c) demonstrates the ability to checkmate any opponent in an obser-

                                       ved game.

                                                                                     *

               Go (Wei-chi): The player:

               (a) knows the basic method of casting stones onto the board,  alter- nately,                           in the course of play.

               (b) knows the terms or concepts: “Me” or “Moku,“  “Ko” (situations),

                        the “Seimoku” points, “Go Bang” (five-in-a-row play), and “Kagame”

                                         (false me(s)).

                            (c) how to recognize when a game has no more room for continuation,

                             must end, and a winner decided.

                                                                                    *

7. “S=TPS Seminars” ® (Strategy Equals Tempo, Position and Strength)

          Type One Seminar:  “S=TPS” Evaluation of Members’ Games

        

          Using the recorded games of our “Play’as’ Circle Card” holders, 

          of our Warri/Mancala, Go/Wei-chi and Chess players—we will

          show why  the mastery of  “Tempo, Position and Strength” is the

          key to gaining advantages and winning contests.

 

           Type Two Seminar:  “S-TPS” Evaluation of Members’ Personal 

           Stories

 

           From members’ anecdotes themselves, we will learn that, in life,

          “mindfulness” of “Tempo, Position and Strength” is highly valu-

           able in solving all manners of contests, strivings, and decision-

           making.

____________________________________

*The ambience, tradition and brand of a “game salon” is important. Though this is an indelicate subject, these programs (game salons) are not group psychotherapy events for the further growth and development of highly troubled people. A game salon is a formal, low-keyed, and pleasant place to be—no exceptions, no excuses.  Officials, therefore, should support the Salon Game Facilitator, without reserva- tion and prevent “splitting” around the antics of a problem person or his or her advocate. If an advocate is not able to successfully super- vise a difficult person, unfortunately, anyone who gets on nerves of the other participants (and especially the nerves of the Salon Game Facilitator) is subject to being re-directed--outward.

 

 

WARRI/MANCALA AT GAME'S START

WARRI/MANCALA AT GAME'S START

       WARRI/MANCALA AT  GAME'S END

                          (SIDE "A" WON)

GO (WEI-CHI) AT GAME'S BEGINNING

GO (WEI-CHI) AT MID GAME

GO (WEI-CHI) AT GAME'S END

CHESS AT GAME'S START

CHESS AT MID-GAME

CHESS AT GAME'S END (BLACK WON)

                       
                               APPENDIX C                                                                                                                                                                                                            *                                                                      

                 Children Playing Warri/Mancala                                                                                                                         

                                        in Harlem

 

                                                           

                                   APPENDIX D

                              A Personal Note      

 

                    The “Strategy=Tempo-Position-Strength (S=T.P.S.)

                   Theory of Strategy” ™ for African-American Youth

                                                                                                                                    *

                                                                          by Alase Michael Oshoosi 

                                                                                                                             Copyright, 2016

 

Why Teaching “Strategy” is Essential for the Survival of African-American Young People

                                                                                                                         *

The answer is straight-forward: “Strategy” is born from thought, atten- tion, evaluation, foresight, reasoning, and previous experience. And, without doubt, the current challenges (and distractions) facing African-American youth will require of them the ability to strategize. It does not matter what area of life or in which field of play one is engaging at any given time, engagement without a strategy to achieve one’s goal will result, usually, in disappointment, loss, and even danger.

 

Knowing the Differences Between Tactics and Strategy

                                                                   *   

One might ask, “What about the concept of tactics; are they not worth teaching as well?” The answer is “yes,” but at a later time. “Tactics” differ depending on the field of play. For example, a boxer may use “feigning,” bobbing, weaving, counter-punching, and so on because such is the nat- ure of boxing. A lawyer may use delay tactics, speed-up tactics, object- ions, interrogation, distractions and so on because those tactics are, in their nature, legal or inquisitorial.

                                                                                                                         *

Or, similarly, a clergyman may use the tactics of exhortation, consolation, the laying-on-of-hands, the reinforcement of faith through the recital of scriptures or sacred knowledge and so on. This is how she or he prevails in instilling belief and faith among others. Whether the field of play is a debating society contest or a basketball game, the tactics will be those specific to winning in that “field of play.”

                                                                                                                      *

“Strategy,” however, involves thought at a higher, slightly more abstract, level. Successful strategies in life all share three common characteristics. They all involve the mastery of “Tempo,” “Position,” and “Strength.” Ad- ditionally, the most important aspect or dynamic of a contest or challen- ge is the control of “tempo.” Next in importance is the control of “posit- ion” and, last, the control of “strength.” They are almost always in that order of importance, regardless of the field of play. The better the for- mulation of this question is how can one best control the tactics of Tem- po, the tactics of Position, and the tactics of maintaining Strength-- such as they may exist in various fields of play.

                                                                     

                                                                       * 

My Sources for this “Theory of Strategy”

                                                                                                                        *

On  my  15th  birthday, my  stepfather  bought  a  chess  set for me. Now, living near me was a man in my neighborhood who became a mentor  to  me—starting  shortly  after  I  received  Joe’s  present. “Bill” taught me how to play chess fairly well and, in fact, how to hustle older men who played chess but also gambled money. Because I was such a young-look- ing teenager they never suspect ted the skill I had acquired under his tutelage, nor that we worked as a team—he the “promoter” and me the “foil”—pulling-off a regular recreational hustle in the parks and in the backrooms of local neighborhood bars.

                                                                      *

(Let’s just say that the rules in old North Philadelphia, where I grew up, regarding how old one had to be in order to enter the bar could be “rel- axed” if an underage person had actually had a good reason for being there; a reason like  having  some  kind of  job, e.g., running  numbers, or another  hustle  of  some  sort. This  was  especially  true  during  the off- hours, e.g., in the afternoons in the small street-corner bars).

                                                                                                                        *

With the help of the mentor from my neighborhood, I won second place in the citywide chest championship for youth under 18 exactly one year later.  At my best, on a good day, I could hold my own with some masters' level adult players, but beyond that level my skill did not reach.  Of cour- se,  nowadays, I’ve lost  even  that  modest level of skill through  lack  of practice. However, the most important thing that Bill taught me, regard- less of my level of play, I never forgot: It was the concept of mastering Temple, Position, Strength in any challenge or adversarial situation.

                                                                                                                       *

And he even gave me a book by chess master named Aaron Nimzovitch (“My System”) from whom he had learned this, the fundamental nature of strategy, whose knowledge he passed on to me, and which knowledge I now pass on to you, the teenagers and young adults, who are now sim- ilarly situated as was I when young.

                                                                                                                        *

In our case we will use the old-fashioned board games from three contin- ents:  “Warri” or “Mancala” from Africa, modern Chess of European deriv- ation, and “Go” (or “Wei-Chi”) from its Asian sources in order to teach strategy. Mastery of strategy means that you have dominated the three major dimensions  of any active and evolving situation.

                                                                      *                           

The African-American youthful person must be encouraged to accept the use of his or her personal intellect (or his or her ori in the Yoruba lang- uage). In order to do this, one must accept training. What better way to teach  the  concepts  of  strategic  living  (and aspirations)  and  strategic planning than through old-fashioned  ancient  board games. They  avoid the psychological pitfalls of the modern but highly im- personal digital-age games, they  are cheap to  acquire, entirely  sustainable, and  can be played anywhere.

                                                                        *

Again, the African-American youth--male and female—have arrayed bef- ore them a range of social, economic, psychological, historical challenges that  are  difficult indeed. In  many  respects  we  are less  prepared than others, and have fewer  resources to  bring to bear on problem solving. Culturally congruent board games are, at once, re-humanizing, and the skills acquired from their play are generalizable to every aspect of life--unfortunately, even to bad ones for some people (which is why you need to know this)--on the one hand, and mentally enriching, on the other.

 

 

 

 


             “Elegba opens the Road,

 Shango teaches you how to fight

                      On the Road,

 But it is Obatala who knows the

             Reason for the Road.”

                                                                                                     -old Yoruba saying

                           

                           APPENDIX B

                                                                                                             *

 GAMES AT VARIOUS STAGES OF PLAY

WARRI/MANCALA AROUND MID-GAME

WARRI/MANCALA AT GAME'S  END                        "SIDE A" WON

CHESS GAME AT CONCLUSION (BLACK WINS)