Fundamental Rules: The Observances

Fundamental Rules: The Observances

Teamwork requires guidelines. It’s easy to join a team but the challenge lies in being a part of the team. SaberCraft goes beyond just having weekend warriors that get together for class. We build a family environment and we want everyone to be a part of it. But unfortunately, many folks have very high expectations but are not willing to do their part to support their fellows in class. At SaberCraft, we take a modern approach to what are the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Yoga goes beyond touching your toes and actually builds a model of how to live life – happily. To start with, we have 10 basic rules which are The Restraints & The Observances which are considered the first of 2 limbs of the 8 limbs. Consider them chapters in the manual of being a better individual. These Observances, listed below, from the Eight Limbs of Yoga are done by the individual to demonstrate to the other members, your strength and commitment to safety, progress and discipline to the art of saber-wielding. By abiding by them, the group will thank you for it. Below we also have examples of how to approach this in a practical manner and why we ask our members to abide by this. 

  • Cleanliness
    Cleanliness means that you have taken the time out to prepare your costume, sash and sabers. When attending Cons or public events, we are asked many times to come in costume. Many times, these public events will follow in immediate succession which may not give you the opportunity to clean a particular costume or ready a blade by proper tightening & switching out batteries. Know that your appearance represents us as a group and that you should be mindful of the image that you are conveying to the public and to those in class. It’s important to practice proper hygiene and have your costume or clothes on the day of practice be clean and presentable. Have your blade tightened and your batteries charged with backups immediately available. If you cannot switch batteries, have a back-up fully charged blade ready to go. Apparel should not be offensive to the general public.  Be on top of your gear as it represents you and we want you to look your sharpest.
    How this is enforced: If you attend a public event and your costume smells funny, severely wrinkled and unpresentable, we will let you know and ask that you do not perform.
  • Contentment
    Contentment deals with that internal voice that continually says, “If only…”. “That cosplay contest was great….if only I could have gotten first place.” “That performance was great…if only I didn’t mess up the last 3/4 combination.” “I would have had a great time in class…if only I got to practice with this person instead of that person.” Life is a gift and we share the present. Contentment is the most important feeling you need to cultivate to truly take-in the beauty of the life you live. By removing the words “If only” and accepting what is real, what has happened and cherishing that – then you can truly live in the moment and not sweat the small stuff but rather accept the big picture that is your wonderful life. Remind others as well to be content with what they have for it can go away in a fleeting moment. Most importantly, be content with what others deliver. If you work with someone that frustrates you, don’t focus on changing them – focus on how best to help them to achieve a point where both your and their expectations meet.
    How this is enforced: If you are a debbie-downer about everything, you will be asked less to participate as it will bring the morale of the group down.
    This will happen naturally as others in the group will tend to flock around others who make them feel good. So do your part and help lift people up.
  • Discipline & Devotion
    Your practice is what makes you a safe participant in Saber Combat. Without continual devotion to your practice, your abilities in this sport will suffer. By continually practicing with others, both large and small, you develop your skill set, build a repertoire with others and learn how to use and modify your training dependent on partner and scenario. Not everyone is built the same. Not everyone swings the same. There will always be folks who barely put force into their swings to those that will smash every time they make contact with their sabers. With continual practice, you get to learn everyone’s specific approach and style making you more proficient with each practice. What’s most important is that when a group is working together for an event, practice is an absolute necessity and cannot compromise proper practice and safety for convenience.
    How this is enforced: If you are practicing for an upcoming event, participants who miss 30% of practice time will be asked to not perform. Commit only to what you can – not what you think you can.
  • Self-Study
    Now that you understand how committed we are the practice of our sport, it’s important that with your training comes continual self-study. What that means is that you not only put in the time to practice but you also put in the time to review your own work. A lot of this has to do with watching footage of your performances and using that to guide and improve your work. It also goes beyond just clashing sabers and looking at the group as a whole and contributing to it. It’s looking at the whole and seeing how each and every one of us contributes to the community and nurturing that. Many folks will get so caught up in what they’re learning that they forget why they chose to learn it in the first place. Why did you seek us out and start attending? What was your goal in learning Saber Combat? Are you still abiding by that desire? Has something changed? These are questions you should always be asking yourself to ensure you’re on the right path. Without this continual questioning, you may follow a long road to nowhere rather than to one that leads you to a goal you have in mind. What’s important is that you remember that goal. You nurture and modify that goal with time. In addition, consider how you can always be better. How your gear can always improve. How your costume can always be enhanced.
    How this is enforced: Self-doubt is what will cause you to perform badly. This can only be enforced by yourself. You can’t improve anyone else’s discipline other than your own. Focus on your skill-set.
  • Surrender
    When all is said and done, understanding that you are part of a whole group is what’s most important. Our ability to let things go will allow you to adapt to any personality conflicts, self-doubt, along with worries and fears you may have just before a performance in front of thousands of people. When we are doing a performance that could be televised on TV or visiting a hospital for children and your emotions are getting the better of you, remember the inner hero that you have inside of you. Cultivate the strength of that hero and bring them forward – walking as them. Sometimes there will be conflicts and opinions may differ in the group. Sometimes, we will rehearse for a performance for months and at the last minute, your role may be cut because of a time-schedule change that’s beyond our control. When things like this happen, you must be flexible enough to roll with those punches rather than releasing your frustration to members of the group. We’ve all been there. We know what it’s like. So what’s important is that we work with the group to understand that the group is not here to support us. We’re here to contribute to others outside the group and we work together in that goal to make it happen. Our goal is to make others feel great and feel like heroes. In turn, we promise, by providing this service to others – you will become the hero.

    How this is enforced: Anxiety and external stress can get the better of you. Leave it at the door. When you come into class and light your saber, be your finest.

Be sure that you have familiarized yourself with The Restraints as the living a life by the code of both may provide you a better quality of life. For sure, you will be a better team player knowing that the rest of the team is abiding by these rules.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga is a path written thousands of years ago and it is a guide to the path of proper meditation and one-ness with the universe. These guides are a part of that journey to make us better to one another.

Posted by mcjadmin in Curriculum, General, Knights
Disqualifications for the Knight Program

Disqualifications for the Knight Program

A person may be disqualified for the Knights program if any of these conditions arise:

  • Candidate does not act according to the interest of the group rather than themselves.
  • Candidate refuses to follow the Restraints and Observances
  • Candidate behaves inappropriately either in class or at public gatherings
  • The team does not feel the candidate is keeping their safety in mind
  • Injury to anyone in class (both in and outside of class)
  • Unable to provide confidence in the ability to pay monthly dues
  • Candidate misses classes continually – see Rank Suspension
  • Candidate takes upon themselves to represent SaberCraft or Magic City Knights to the public without permission from the governing body

Rank Suspension

A Knight may continue to take classes and retain their rank but cannot instruct/advise students if their rank is suspended.Rank may be restored as per condition listed. Ranks suspension will occur under the following conditions:

  • A matter involving a disqualifier above occurs. Penalty will be determined by a vote of the Council of Knights.
  • Knights who have missed 8 or more classes across a period of over 90 consecutive days have their rank standing suspended. They can renew their status by scheduling a 20 min skill assessment on their current rank proficiencies with the head instructor. Upon completing the skill assessment successfully, all rites are restored.
  • Knights who have missed 12 or more classes across a period of over 180 consecutive days have their rank standing suspended. They can renew their status by scheduling a 1 hour skill assessment on their current rank proficiencies with the head instructor. Upon completing the skill assessment successfully, all rites are restored.
  • Not paying dues past 60 days from renewal date.

Please understand, just as in any dance/martial arts studio, many lessons are covered on a weekly basis. We have new initiatives and choreographies every season (3 months). In a season, 4 classes account for 33% of classes. Missing 12 classes accounts for 66% of classes.

Posted by mcjadmin in Curriculum, Knights
Choreography: KvR

Choreography: KvR

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Posted by mcjadmin in Advanced Program, Curriculum, Knights, Lessons
Become a Knight

Become a Knight

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Posted by mcjadmin in Advanced Program, Curriculum, Knights
Advanced Classes Day 1

Advanced Classes Day 1

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Posted by mcjadmin in Advanced Program
SaberCraft perform at DRI Walk for the Cure at Marlins Park

SaberCraft perform at DRI Walk for the Cure at Marlins Park

Performing our first live event involving live sound cues. Nothing pre-recorded!

“Photos by Jonah Hex”

From Diabetes Research Institute Walk 2017. Posted by SaberCraft on 3/05/2017 (103 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

Posted by mcjadmin in Event
Are we a Star Wars Club?

Are we a Star Wars Club?

No, we are not a Star Wars club.

There are many incredible Star Wars based clubs out there. 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.


– The BIG Difference: We do NOT do performances. Though we may have participated in non-paid performances in the past, we no longer do any performances in any capacity. We will conduct teaching workshops that are absent of any particular genre and are focused strictly on wellness. Any event we participate in are free and all participants are volunteers. Many of our students build friendships here that go beyond the classroom. Many folks are part of the local Renaissance Festival as well and we dress up for events like that. The idea is that our system is a means of choreographing any type of saber fight – genre-free.

We teach yoga, fitness and empowerment and utilize an LED stunt saber. We focus on the sport of combat choreography and do not incorporate any form of fantasy-specific genre in our competitions.

– We incorporate a modern day approach to the 8 Limbs of Yoga (all of them – not just the postures) into the training and to how we conduct class. We’re not just talking about stretching or doing Downward Dog. Essentially we’re talking about the a modern approach to the Restraints, the Observations and everything that leads to Yoga/Union. Lead instruction is provided by a Yoga Alliance certified RYT 200 Yoga Instructor.

– We use a combat choreography system focused on making the fight like a dance of saber play. We utilize the Temporal Choreography System and expand on it by utilizing patterns and forms of various martial arts. 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 love costuming outside of class as our personal interests but our focus is clashing LED sabers and making it look and feel incredible. If you happen to love cosplay or larping and would like to gain a skill that you can incorporate with your cosplay then we have what you are looking for. We do not allow movie costumes in class.

– 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 10am). Rain or shine as we meet indoors.

– We charge for classes because our operation is conducted indoors in an air conditioned, safe environment 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

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 any genre 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. We are not associated to any one film series or genre. Our system is self-built from the ground-up.

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.

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. We have a different approach to fitness and well-being. Here, the LED stunt saber lights the way in our path to health in both body and mind.

Still not sure? Read more about why this is the class for you. To learn more about us, visit us at one of our Fundamentals classes.

Posted by mcjadmin in General
Fundamental Rules: The Restraints

Fundamental Rules: The Restraints

Yoga is a core element to SaberCraft. Yoga goes beyond touching your toes. Yoga is an established system of rules and postures to provide a better lifestyle. SaberCraft goes beyond LED stunt-sabers to provide an environment for students to feel safe and grow. in order to provide this environment, our Knights and participants must adhere to the following rules which are part of the Yoga philosophy.

The Restraints:

These restraints are what we practice to work best as a group. They are pretty much 5 rules of what not to do: 

  • Rule #1: Do not harm
    Safety is the most important part of our work. We are not here to spar with each other and potentially hit someone. Harming others results potentially in being removed from the program. If you compromise safety and injure someone, you will be kicked out.
  • Rule #2: Do not lie
    Beyond the occasional white lie, lying should avoided – most importantly involving practice. If a student is working with another on a choreography and there is work to be practiced and it’s not being done then the student should not lie about their inability to practice. By lying, a student may endanger another. Honesty is extremely important between participants. The same applies to strikes. Striking should be honest. The focus is to clash sabers or provide that appearance. If one is attacking there is a three-fold goal:

    • Do not injure your opponent
    • Make contact with your opponent’s saber
    • Be honest with their strikes and intentions.
  • Rule #3: Do not steal
    Stealing is not acceptable in any way. This goes beyond the theft of anything physical. Theft can also be applied to our encounters and fellowship. Don’t steal another’s “thunder” as the saying goes. Examples of theft:

    • If a fellow participant is involved in another activity and you steal their time involving something outside of class.
    • If a student is working on something for a requirement and you steal their time to work on a choreography that is outside of their level or will impact their current work.
    • If a student is feeling particularly positive and you come and willingly take them to a negative place. We are to create an environment where everyone feels welcomed and we must respect why each and every participant is here. This is not a group-therapy session. This is not a space to provide emotional support nor babysitting.
  • Rule #4: Do not waste
    In the same effort of not stealing, we should adhere to not wasting. By wasting we mean:

    • Taking up class time to discuss things that are not relavent to class. We have 120 minutes to be effective. By taking time in class to distract members eats up time that they’ve allocated to waking up and driving to Downtown Miami for class.
    • Signing the group up for ineffective means of getting leads or giving back. We believe in doing public performances, but the idea should be that if folks are taking time to practice and dress up for an activity – there should a be a pay-off. Our focus on events is to expose the community to SaberCraft and what we’ve learned. Pay-off does not have to be monetary but should be in overall fellowship with the group. There should be some good to come out of it for the group. Considering our student’s time, no event should take place during class time as that would split the group.
    • Everyone’s time is precious, let’s avoid burn-out which happens when we sign-up for more than we can chew.
    • If you have volunteered for something, see it through. Do not volunteer hastily for any responsibility or duty and then voluntarily choose to fail. It lets the team down, others will have to pick up for it. Respect for everyone is vital to the development of our community.
  • Do not hoard
    Theft, lying and wasting inevitably lead to hoarding. Hoarding can happen when one wants all the attention and credit. When one rises above the team and makes their goals the priority rather than taking the team and it’s members into consideration.

    • Taking credit for someone else’s work
    • Focusing on being in the limelight at a performance or class.
    • Hoarding happens when one believes in exclusivity. It is the mentality of “Us vs Them”. Thinking that involves the mindset that “This is “my” team and I don’t want a particular person/group from joining.” Everyone is welcomed and the work is to be shared by everyone.
    • Hoarding happens when one believes that they should be the only member that role plays a particular character or role.
    • Hoarding involves putting students against each other by the creation of faux teams that distracts the students from their responsibilities and makes them feel unwelcome.

What is really important in all of this is understanding others. Not everyone is a comedian or has a knack for comedy. We all believe that we can be really funny, but what’s funny for someone can be offensive for others. What’s important is how you react to how others receive your comments or intentions. Have fun – but do it responsibly. This is not a space to divide but rather to lift.

As Knights we need to take our practice to the highest levels. Knights are responsible to keep a high level of respect and safety as the environment of the class. Once we lose respect for each other, the team falls apart. Once safety is compromised, then the very foundation of our group will fall apart. As Knights, the responsibility is on us to provide a space for others including ourselves to feel like they can grow. A space where they can rise above everything and elevate.

With these restraints in mind we begin our journey together as a team. Ready to learn how this will improve you as a member of the team, let’s move on to The Observances.

The Observances

Posted by mcjadmin in Curriculum, General, Knights
Ranking: Level 0 – Candidate

Ranking: Level 0 – Candidate

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Posted by mcjadmin in Advanced Program, Curriculum, Knights