Young Leadership



Young Leadership Program

Every Budo for Peace club is asked to choose a minimum of one student - a brown or black belt between the ages of 13 and 16 showing excellence in martial arts and leadership qualities - as its Sempai (young leader) representative. This Sempai assists his instructor during the martial arts training sessions, and also is responsible for helping to teach and model the values found in the BFP educational materials.
Budo for Peace sempais participate in:

Training Seminars:
Three times a year, more than 30 sempais from all BFP and KiAi clubs join together for two-day seminars during which they receive leadership training, join martial arts sessions with top trainers and participate in dialogue to break-down social barriers joining them as a cohesive group.  With a full spectrum of Israel's ethnic and religious groups in attendance, these seminars further the sempais understanding of co-existence between Israel’s different ethnic populations.

Leadership Roles:
During regional and national BFP events, the Sempais work as a team in organizing the children and running the interactive games; they are split into pairs, with one Arab and one Jewish Israeli sempai leading each group mixed of younger children from different clubs.

Peace Camp Initiative:
Sempais demonstrating outstanding leadership ability and possessing good English language skills are considered for one of the few coveted spots to attend an American sports summer camp through the Peace Camp Initiative (

The Peace Camp Initiative, based at Camp Susquehannock in Pennsylvania, has sponsored BFP young leaders since 2007 due to its belief that this project can help our Israeli students and their American campers to embrace tolerance and respect for others, learn how to deal gracefully with conflict, and develop a sense of fair play. The camp has greatly impacted our young leaders by creating amazing friendships, increasing motivation to volunteer within local communities upon return and enhancing their leadership abilities during our BFP weekly and regional coexistence activities. It has had a similarly positive impact on the American campers, giving them personal exposure and understanding to relevant issues of international conflict.