In short – No, we are not a Star Wars club.
This is a question we get a lot and there’s a lot of reasons why we should cover what makes us vastly different than from what people expect.
There are many Star Wars based clubs and lightsaber academies out there. First we want to mention, most, if not all of these, are incredible organizations. In fact, we ourselves are applying to the Saber Guild to open a non-profit chapter here in South Florida. Many of our members are saving money to purchase armor needed for Saber Legion meetups here as well. Some have purchased memberships to lessons from the Saber Authority. We acknowledge these diverse groups and what they have brought to the lightsaber community.
But that aside and just focusing on our differences; rather than explain what each organization does we’ll just list observations seen from the chapters that we have visited.
– We incorporate the 8 Limbs of Yoga (all of them – not just the postures) into the training. We’re not just talking about stretching or doing Downward Dog. Essentially we’re talking about the Restraints, the Observations and everything that leads to Yoga/Union. Lead instruction is provided by a Yoga Alliance certififed RYT 200 Yoga Instructor.
– We use a combat choreography system focused on making the fight like a dance of saber play. With this said, we utilize the NCSCS system that is used in other clubs like the Golden Gate Knights in San Francisco, as a primer. Then we expand on it by utilizing patterns and forms of various martial arts. Most Star Wars Clubs have their own various combat choreography systems charter by charter. Some have their own target system that’s focused on hitting your opponent. Our combat choreography system is built to choreograph fights. Our form is not meant to hit someone but rather make it look like you’re trying to hit them.
– We are about costuming but beyond that we clash LED sabers. If you happen to love cosplay and would like to gain a skill that you can incorporate with your cosplay then we have what you are looking for.
– We incorporate guided Meditation into our practice.
– We have a form of sparring in the upper ranks but they are non-armoured and are specifically focused on forms.
– Documentation. All our lessons and various screen fights are notated so once you understand the notation, you can learn the choreographies.
– We use a standard dance 8-count in many of our choreographies
– Our classes have lessons plans and there is a curriculum. In other words, you’re NOT coming to a class and learning something random…..ever. Every class ties into every class, there is a curriculum built out and we approach topics seasonally.
– We run various levels of class simultaneously (broken-out) rather than everyone learning the same lesson.
– We meet regularly at set times (Saturdays at 11am). Rain or shine as we meet indoors.
– We charge for classes because…
– Our operation is conducted indoors in air conditioning and requires a stellar sound system as many choreographies have soundtracks. We do NOT meet in parks unless it’s an informal gathering.
– We end every class with an “immersive experience” that must be conducted in a controlled environment.
– We have insurance
– We have a belt ranking system that you go up in
– We discourage coming to class in any form of a costume.
Are there Star Wars fans in our team – absolutely! In fact, most of us! Can you learn how to fight with a saber similar to what they do in the movies? Of course you can! BUT the system is not built on Star Wars terms that you’ll find in other clubs like “Dulon” or “Makashi” or other words that are tied to the SW universe. Everything’s in English.
There are no “Jedi” nor “Sith” here. It’s not about being a “Jedi”. It’s about being YOU. It’s about a Saturday afternoon, hanging out with friends, taking time to meditate with each other, learn a lesson, move together, enter into a dance and channel that into acting, movement and mindfulness.
Star Wars is an inspiration to us all and it impacts us throughout our lives. There are many groups out there that do wonderful work inspired by the franchise and our students do everything they can to be active in those communities. These classes are to teach how to use a prop and build a system of integrated movement choreographies. What does that mean? That means 30 people in a room swinging sticks and nobody getting hurt. No doubt of the SW inspiration but we want a different approach to fitness and well-being. We love the symbol of “lightsaber”, but here, the LED stunt saber lights the way in our path to health in both body and mind.