Curriculum

Testing Requirement

In order to properly rank in SaberCraft, members have to qualify to move up the various ranks through a system of tests whereby their abilities are challenged. Below are basic testing requirements as to how testing is conducted. Keep in mind that the goal of testing is to create accomplished practitioners and, above all, instructors. It is not to prove who is the “baddest saberist on the block”. This is not about proving who is the best but rather proving who is the most committed in spreading the love of the art that we practice.

Minimum Time

The first basic requirement is time. There are certain time limits that one must successfully complete prior to moving up in rank. This prevents really gifted students from joining the organization and attain a high rank in a matter of months without developing the kinship needed to properly foster a community. Our focus in SaberCraft is not about building world-champion saber choreographers but rather helping people develop themselves internally and assembling community builders. Hours can be completed in classes and workshops. Fundamentals classes tend to be 1 hour while Advanced Classes are 2 hours. Workshops are 3 hours. The time limits listed below are based are reset when the student progresses to the new level. They are not accumulated based on the previous hours.

  • Fundamentals to Advanced: 6-8 hours
  • Advanced to Rank 1: Initiate: 25 hours (4+ months)
  • Rank 1: Initiate to Rank 2: Acolyte: 50 hours (9 months)
  • Rank 2 Acolyte to Rank 3: Fellow: 75 hours (1 year)
  • Rank 3: Fellow to Rank 4: Master: 100 hours (17 months)

Before a student can test, the minimum required time needs to be completed. A recorded log of all classes is kept by SaberCraft and a student can request for testing as soon as they meet the minimum time.

Examination Requirements

As you go up in rank, the testing criteria and requirements grow more difficult. Most students will attain Rank 1 – Initiate whereby they can test the skills that they learned throughout Fundamentals and the Advanced Classes. To be able to complete the task is one thing, but to be able to successfully complete a number of tasks together, that’s where the challenge lies. For example, if you want to prove that you can do “Downward Dog”, that’s just 1 posture. In the case of Rank 1, you may go down a checklist of requirements and check them off one by one, but when you enter into Rank 2 or above, certain areas of the exam are done in sequences.

Sequences

Sequences are a group of movements put together and completed in a sequential order. So going back to the last example, doing “Downward Dog” may not pose a challenge but if you have to do all 18 Yoga postures in a single sequence with proper timing, that gets to be a bit more difficult. So for the higher ranks, students are expected to complete entire sequences from start to finish. Testing is not considered completed until the entire sequence set is completed. If you fail during a part of a sequence, you are given 2 additional attempts per month. After 3 failed attempts, you must wait 30 days before re-testing.

 

Posted by mcjadmin in Curriculum
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
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