Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 2345 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 74

Thread: Jedi Academies

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Continued from previous post


    The Force is strong with this one. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKELWe6dACA

    Performance: The anthropologist D. S. Farrer has argued at length that every martial system contains both a practical and performative aspect. Further, these two elements cannot easily be separated. While all sorts of practitioners may find that they have an economic or a social motive to promote their practice as a “pure fighting art” (or alternatively, and probably more lucratively, as “pure combat choreography”) this is usually far from the truth. Developments in the practical realm tend to drive new innovations in the “realistic” portray of the martial arts on stage, and the public discussion of these recreational images has inspired new thoughts about the more practical aspects of violence.

    For example, throughout Asian history, archery did double duty as a cornerstone of public ritual as well as a critical military skill. Even the periodic military exams held by the Chinese government in the late imperial period tended to draw a large crowd and functioned as public spectacles as much as a rational mechanism for choosing the best military recruits (well into the age of the gun). Nor can we forget about the important social place of practices like “wedding silat,” dance like capoeira matches or the public performance of traditional martial arts styles on the stage of southern China’s Cantonese opera. All of this has a long and established history within the cultural realm of the martial arts.

    Still, the relationship between the practical and the performative aspects of the martial arts is one of the most vexing aspects of these systems for current scholars. The development of lightsaber combat has the potential to contribute much to this aspect of the martial studies literature.

    When looking at the variety of lightsaber combat groups, some individuals may be tempted to separate them into two categories. On the one hand we have those doing “real” martial arts, such as Ludosport, Saber Legion or the Terra Prime Lightsaber Academy. They focus almost exclusively on the practice of historically derived techniques and competition. On the other hand we have a number of schools, such as NY Jedi, whose main activities seem to be the staging of elaborate public spectacles through choreographed duels and storytelling.

    Yet none of these groups function in pristine isolation. As a result innovations in one area tend to impact the others. While NY Jedi is known for its stage combat and public choreography, a number of its members are also martial artists. One such individual is Damon Honeycutt. A practitioner of the Chinese martial arts, he developed a basic lightsaber training form (or kata) called “Shii-cho” (based on Japanese and Chinese saber techniques) which has gone on to become perhaps the most widely distributed training tool within the lightsaber community. It is widely practiced by both theatrical and martially oriented groups and both seem to find it quite useful.

    Nor is there always a clear division between the sorts of individuals who will be attracted to more “traditional” martial training and those who might find themselves making and posting fan-films on the internet. Rather than having two distinct sets of individuals, often what we see are related practices used to fulfill multiple sets of social goals by the same individuals. While on the surface this might appear paradoxical, it has always been part of the appeal of the traditional Asian martial arts. Current developments within the lightsaber combat community are useful precisely because they serve to illustrate the arguments of scholars such as Farrer and Wetzler.


    Luke Skywalker meditating on the assembly of his new lightsaber. Image by Frank Stockton. Source: rebloggy.

    Transcendent Goals: Even if lightsaber combat succeeds as a fast paced combat sport, or as a channel for martial performance, what psychological or spiritual value could it have? In the current era many individuals turn to the traditional (usually Asian) martial arts precisely because they see in them a font of ancient wisdom. For the less esoterically inclined, the physical and mental discipline of the martial arts has also been seen as a way to “develop character.”

    While many actual martial arts instructors go out of their way to avoid discuss their practice in these terms, the idea that the martial arts should be a pathway to some sort of “transcendent attainment” seems firmly fixed in the popular imagination. It is one of the promises that draws students, in both the East and the West, to these practices. Much of the commercial success of the traditional martial arts appears to be rooted in a near mystical faith in their ability to promote balanced development in both children and adolescents. One wonders how much of this belief we can attribute to Luke Skywalker’s very public journey to adulthood aided by the dual disciplines of the Force and the lightsaber training during the 1970s and 1980s.

    Can lightsaber students find transcendent values in a practice grounded in what they know to be a set of fictional texts? The fact that we now have a literature on the existence of hyper-real religions (systems of religious belief based on fictional texts such as Star War or the Matrix) strongly suggests that the answer is, “yes.” The underlying values that students can detect in a story or practice are more important for many people than its connection to an authentic ancient history.

    My own, very preliminary, ethnographic research with a lightsaber combat group in a mid-sized city in New York State has revealed a surprising degree of dedication on the part of many of the students. The often repeated mantra that it is all “just for fun” notwithstanding, it is clear that many students are approaching lightsaber combat as a key organizing symbol in their lives. The weapons may be fictional, but the feelings that are invoked through practice are clearly authentic and deeply felt. Nor are the sorts of mentoring relationships that students seek from their instructor any different from what one might find in a traditional martial arts institution.

    Given the resources being dedicated to lightsaber combat, it should come as no surprise that students so often see their norms and beliefs (or perhaps those that they aspire to hold) reflected in these practices. The Jedi and Sith themselves are readymade symbols ripe for spiritual or psychological appropriation.

    When addressing a related point in an interview Damon Honeycutt of NY Jedi said:

    “You can bring about things in a subculture; you can create change through that. You can elevate consciousness through it. That is what I would like to see it do, really bring people to a heightened potential of what they really are. To be a lens for that, outside of comicons or conventions or competitions or forms or fighting or sparring or whatever people think that they are doing with it. That really would be the greatest thing.

    With NY Jedi we are making ourselves better people to serve humanity, you know, the same thing that I do with the Kung Fu school. In a lot of ways they are the same. Its just that the myth behind it is different. The lineage behind it is different. The world view is different. But the overall goal is the same.” Damon Honeycutt. Reclaiming the Blade, DVD2. Bonus Feature: New York Jedi. 2009. Min. 11:01-11:46.

    This description matches my own preliminary observations. Future research might fruitfully focus on the underlying social changes that have opened a space for hyper-real martial arts to play these roles at this particular moment in social history.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Continued from previous post


    A Jedi healing a wounded storm trooper through her manipulation of the Force. Current discussions of health in relation to lightsaber combat seem to be more focused on mundane factors such as regular exercise. Still, there is a strong mythic association between the Jedi and accelerated healing. Source: starwars.wikia

    Healthcare: As we have already seen, a number of factors separate the martial arts from simple collections of combat techniques. One of them is the multiplicity of social roles that these systems are expected to play in the lives of their practitioners. In the current era individuals often turn to the martial arts to defend not just their physical safety but their personal health.

    Many martial arts studios offer basic fitness and conditioning classes. Weight loss is a frequently advertised benefit of all kinds of martial arts training. And every month a new set of articles is published about the medical benefits of taijiquan for senior citizens in both the Western and Chinese press.

    This may seem like yet another example of the commercial appropriation of the martial art. Fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry and the average individual is constantly subjected to powerful media discourses extolling the benefits of athleticism. Is it any wonder that all sorts of martial arts teachers attempt to link their practices to the culturally dominant athletic paradigm?

    In light of this it may be necessary to remind ourselves that the links between the practice of the martial arts and health promotion are actually quite old. Meir Shahar has demonstrated that by the end of the Ming dynasty unarmed boxing training was gaining popularity around China partially because of the unique synthesis of self-defense and health promoting practices which it offered.

    While less pronounced than some of the other dimension of social meaning, it is clear that lightsaber combat is viewed as an avenue for promoting physical health by some of its students. In this case the emphasis is less on esoteric practices and Daoist medical ideas than western notions of physical fitness and exercise. Many of the students that I have spoken with mentioned the need to “get in shape” and “stay active” as primary motivations for taking up lightsaber combat.

    A quick review of news stories in the popular press indicates that a number of lightsaber groups have been created throughout the English speaking world in recent years. While most of these are run by individuals coming out of the traditional martial arts, others are being started by Yoga teachers. Their emphasis is usually focused on the health and fitness benefits of lightsaber training rather than it’s more competitive or combative aspects.

    Yet fitness also plays a role in the ways that lightsaber combat is discussed by more traditional martial arts instructors. More than one has noted that these classes attract individuals who might otherwise have no interest in setting foot in a martial arts school or gym. Lightsaber combat gives such students a means to stay active and an incentive to get in shape.

    For some students lightsaber combat also sparks an interest in other martial arts. Indeed, one suspects that this is exactly why so many traditional martial artists are currently opening classes dedicated to the subject. They have the potential to expand the appeal of the martial arts to groups of consumers who might not otherwise have ever been attracted to them.

    The health benefits of any martial art depend in large part on how it is introduced to students and subsequently practiced. The same is certainly true for lightsaber combat. Once again, when comparing this practice to historically grounded martial arts what we find are differences in degree rather than kind.


    Stunt sabers and helmets at a Paris lightsaber tournament. Photo by Charles Platiau. Source: http://avax.news
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Continued from previous post

    Conclusion: Lightsaber Combat as a Martial Art

    Is lightsaber combat a martial art? The answer is almost certainly yes. At its core are a group of combative and performance techniques, almost all of which have been gathered from previously existing martial traditions. These have been developed into pedagogical systems capable of transmitting not only physical practices but also elaborate pseudo-histories, invented identities and a mythic world view that seem to be a no less potent for their fictional origin. All of this provides students with a variety of tools to craft social and personal meaning in their lives.

    An examination of Wetzler’s “five dimensions of social meaning” suggests that in its current incarnation students of lightsaber combat understand their practice in much the same way that traditional martial artists approach their training in the West today. More importantly, both set of activities play broadly similar roles in the lives of students, and respond to the same social forces in basically similar ways. As such we have no a priori reason to believe that the theories developed within martial arts studies cannot also be applied to the investigation of hyper-real combat systems.

    More importantly, our brief investigation of lightsaber combat may suggest a few ways to improve our understanding of the social meaning of these systems. Martial artists are often reluctant to discuss the economic consequences of their practice. On the one hand many individuals make a living teaching these systems, and students sacrifice notable resources (in capital, time and opportunity cost) to practice them.

    In the current era the distribution of martial knowledge is closely tied to economic markets. Yet openly discussing this fact seems like a violation of an unspoken norm. Among practitioners there is a strong presumption that the martial arts “cannot be bought or sold;” that the attainment of excellence transcends such “base” considerations. Given that many academic students of martial arts studies are also practitioners of these same systems, such attitudes can easily shape our own research as well.

    The rapid growth of lightsaber combat over the last decade is interesting for a number of reasons. One of the most important is what it suggests about the power of economic markets to shape the development of martial arts systems and the ways that consumers encounter and experience them. At the most basic level there would be no lightsaber combat without the production of successive generations of Star Wars films and massively expensive campaigns to market them to the public. More specifically, the exact timing of the boom of interest in lightsaber combat owes much to the creation (and marketing) of high quality replica and stunt lightsabers in the early 2000s.

    Economic variables can be seen to play important roles in other places as well. The major manufacturers of stunt sabers host message boards and social media groups that play an important part in creating a sense of community. Individual teachers have turned to lightsaber fencing as a means of spreading the message of the martial arts beyond the horizons of the normal reachable market. And it is sometimes surprising to see how much money individual students are willing to pay for a personally meaningful replica lightsaber or for the opportunity to attend a seminar with a specific instructor or group. It is even interesting to think about why different lightsaber organizations adopt the various economic models that they have.

    None of this is all that different from what we see in the world of the more traditional martial arts. The ability to offer instruction can become an important source of personal income. The sudden appearance of a popular new action film can lift a little known fighting system out of obscurity. And economic markets strongly condition how the martial arts can be taught, and who they can potentially reach, at any given point in history.

    While these sorts of considerations receive little attention in many of our studies, they simply cannot be avoided when thinking about the nature and recent origin of lightsaber combat. As such we should consider adding a sixth category to Wetzler’s discussion of social meaning within the martial arts. Economic markets are a means by which scarce resources are distributed within society. The martial arts have often served similar functions through their attempts to control community violence, support new status hierarchies and even create social capital. We should not be surprised to see powerful synergies emerging through the interactions of these systems. In fact, no student or teacher can approach the martial arts in the current era without taking their economic aspect into careful consideration. This suggests that students of martial arts studies should also be more mindful of this dimension of social meaning.

    Critics of the time and energy being devoted to the development of lightsaber combat may voice a number of complaints. Stunt lightsabers, despite their seeming versatility, are essentially cylindrical sticks rather than copies of true blades. And given the unique mythology of this weapon, there is no incentive to imagine it as a metal sword for the purposes of practice and training. As such lightsaber combat is bound to depart from historically derived techniques in important ways. Ultimately an hour invested in the investigation of German longsword fencing, or even kendo, would probably grant a better understanding of real military history than an equal amount of practice with a lightsaber.

    Though it may be possible to find key norms within the practice of lightsaber fencing, or while the rich symbolism of the Force and the Jedi may point some students towards transcendent themes, the development of these ideas within the Star Wars universe is still shallow compared to the depth of lived religious experience that can be found within real Buddhist, Daoist or Christian monastic communities. Again, why invest scarce resources in a second order reflection of reality when the real thing is almost immediately available?

    These are valid concerns. And ultimately most martial artists will not be interested in lightsaber combat. Then again, most martial artists also have little interest in kendo, wing chun or any other specific style. Many of these objections also revolve around questions of taste rather than objective conceptual categories. Why practice that style when “everyone knows” that mine is superior?

    The very fact that lightsaber combat can so easily be drawn into this all too familiar mode of debate is yet another indication that it is seen as residing within the set of practices which we call “martial arts.” Yet as Wetzler reminded us in his discussion, when it comes to definitions, scholars must rely on more objective measures. Ultimately the student of martial arts studies cannot become merely a critic of good taste in martial arts practice (Wetzler, 23-25).

    Instead we should ask why, when so much information about many historical styles is readily available, these specific individuals are choosing to study a hyper-real martial art? Why are seekers suddenly more open to finding transcendent meaning in a fictional story than in actual organized religions which espouse many of the same values and views? Lastly, how have consumers appropriated the products of a vast commercial entertainment empire to create independent social groups that better allow them to exercise their agency in creating more empowered identities?

    None of these puzzles are unique to lightsaber combat. In realty we could ask a very similar set of questions of most of the traditional martial arts that are practiced in the world today. Nothing simply arises from the past tabula rasa. We seek to understand the invention of the martial arts because every hand combat system must find a place for itself in the social system of its day if it wishes to survive. Their many solutions to this dilemma reveal critical data about the nature of social struggles.

    All arts, even the most historically grounded, are caught in a continual cycle of renewal and reinvention. The study of practices such as lightsaber combat is valuable precisely because it forces us to focus on the details of how that process unfolds within specific communities. Yet to be fully realized, we must first understand that hyper-real combat practices can be authentic martial arts.
    Ben wrote another piece that's more of an overview, but just go to his site if you're interested.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Yet another...

    There's a vid behind the link

    Students Use "The Force" in Out-of-this-World Martial Arts Class
    By Gabrielle Lucivero
    Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 07:32 PM EDT

    Themed workouts are gaining popularity across the country. More and more gyms are tapping into pop culture for a different spin on standard workouts. Here in Syracuse, our Gabrielle Lucivero takes us to a martial arts studio that is hoping to use "the force" to get people up and moving.

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Gathering of Sabers didn't start in a galaxy far, far away.

    "It was just kind of me being that Star Wars nerd that just really likes lightsabers, and of course I never hide it so our students and friends revealed that they were Star Wars nerds too. It just kind of happened," said aid Syracuse Martial Arts Academy Head Instructor, Anthony Iglesias.

    Iglesias took his love of Star Wars and turned it into a special themed class at the Syracuse Martial Arts Academy. Now they're hosting Central New York's first ever lightsaber dueling tournament.

    "We have a person coming all the way from New York City just to be here. He's like, lightsaber dueling tournament, I'm there,” Iglesias said.

    "I have a twin brother, we've be sparring ever since we were six years old and just to be able to go to a place where we can learn, and not like kendo or fencing where it's just, it's lightsabers,” said Gathering of the Sabers participant Devon Kelley.

    They mix in tradition martial arts with dueling skills and fight choreography and it's a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of hard work too.

    "The exercise part of it comes in and they don't even realize that they've been moving around for an hour,” said Iglesias. “When I start my class we are nonstop moving from the minute the class starts. That's an hour of them moving around."

    Iglesias said martial arts and lightsabers go hand in hand. When Mark Hamill played Luke Skywalker, he was trained in the art of Kendo.

    "Human movement will be the same in multiple things,” Iglesias said. “So whether it's martial arts or football or baseball or lightsabers, you're going to see movements in martial arts that you see in those things."

    Whether you're a Jedi or a Sith, you're sure to have a lot of fun.

    The hope is to have another tournament in August, but the Gathering of Sabers class meets every Saturday at the Syracuse Martial Arts Academy in Shoppingtown Mall. They said everyone is welcome and you can find out more by visiting their Facebook.
    Watch for our JUL+AUG 2016 issue. That's a payout for this thread.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Another one...

    You've all read our current cover story, right? In Ray Park: The Force of Wushu (JUL+AUG 2016 by me) Ray talks about Jedi Academies.


    Martial arts camp to provide Jedi training
    By Newsroom on June 19, 2016


    Light saber tricks will be part of the Jedi training at ATA Success Martial Arts’ summer camp.

    FALLBROOK – ATA Success Martial Arts will present Star Wars Jedi Training Summer Camp from July 11 to 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Children ages 3 to 12 will have the opportunity to learn their favorite Jedi flips, kicks, and light saber tricks.

    The kids will be provided with a fun and safe environment to learn martial arts and gymnastic techniques with a Star Wars twist. Camp will be held at the Fallbrook studio location, 205 N. Main Ave.

    Registration includes 20 hours of high energy camp, a camp t-shirt, light saber, and snacks. Parents are encourage to register early as space is limited and this camp will fill up.

    Registration and cost information are available online at www.ATASuccessMA.com.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    What do Jedi need? BELTS!

    More on Ben Judkins here.

    Does Lightsaber Combat Qualify as Martial Arts?
    Inquiring Jedis want to know
    Megan Logan August 19, 2016 Star Wars



    Dr. Benjamin N. Judkins has a very unique field of study: Lightsaber combat through the lens of martial arts. Specifically, Dr. Judkins examines the way that the Star Wars-inspired technique fits into the larger martial arts community and the pop culture paradigm that surrounds martial arts.

    Inverse spoke with Judkins to learn more about his research, what might be the first martial art derived from and inspired by a fictional universe we all know and love.

    Is lightsaber combat a martial art?

    It depends on what you mean by “martial art.” As a somewhat contested term, we’re still working out our definitions. When you talk to actual martial artists, there isn’t a lot of agreement among them as to what constitutes a martial art.

    But lightsaber combat itself can be a lot of things. Some people look at it and they treat it as a type of cosplay. Some people are very much into theatrical performance. But there are other lightsaber groups that are working quite hard at taking techniques from traditional martial arts and adapting them to the use of stunt sabers and then creating pretty rigorous martial art systems around that. I think you’d have to look what a group like Ludosport is doing and say, ‘Yeah, that’s as much a martial art as anything you’ll find out there right now.’



    What makes something a martial art?

    You want something that is “martial” in character, that was either derived from or is meant for fighting. And the “art” part really means that it’s social, that it’s not just an individual off by themselves. This is something that is meant to be passed on generationally from a group of teachers to a group of students.

    So in that very simple definition, you look at lightsaber combat and what we have is clearly social. In terms of fighting, the issue that we have is that, of course, the weapon is not real. So can you have a martial art with a weapon that is not real? I call it a “hyperreal martial art” that everyone acknowledges is based on a fictional setting.

    But a one-inch polycarbonate heavy-grade blade is heavy. That thing hurts when you get whacked with it, so you certainly have an incentive in sparring to act as though it’s real. You don’t want to get hit with it.

    A 36-inch heavy polycarbonate blade can smack with a lot of force. When you actually start to spar, when you start to compete with them, you really need to be aware of what the rules of engagement are in a given situation, and you need to understand that there’s going to be safety equipment and you need to actually invest in that safety equipment. That makes it pretty much identical to any other weapon you’d use in training.

    What are the lightsabers like?

    Generally speaking, the hilts of most of the replica or stunt sabers that people are using now are anywhere from 8-12” long, they’re made out of aluminum, they’re anywhere from an 1.25-1.5” in diameter, they have heavy polycarbonate blades in them so when you’re using them as a martial arts weapon you can hit them against things and they don’t break. They’re actually pretty rigid, pretty resilient.

    Then, inside the hilts themselves, there are LEDs that you use to illuminate the blade in whatever colors that you choose. And for some of the more expensive lightsabers, people will put in sound and lighting effects. You can make these things as complex and realistic as you want.


    How do people practice and compete in lightsaber combat?

    What you see is either people adapting pre-existing martial arts to use the lightsabers — the lightsabers are nice because they’re very, very simple, mostly cylindrical weapons, so they adapt very easily to a lot of different styles — or, there are some groups that are actually drawing from a much wider range of arts. They’re looking at Japanese sword arts, Filipino sword arts, Chinese sword arts, Western fencing…and they are trying to draw out a body of techniques that can match the mythological discussion and portrayal of lightsaber fencing in the Star Wars fictional universe, and for them, that’s really the challenge.

    Does lightsaber combat share similarities with other martial arts?

    When you look at what George Lucas is attempting to do with lightsabers, he’s drawing on Samurai sword films right from the very beginning with Star Wars. So a lot of the aesthetics that went into lightsabers from the beginning came out of Kendo. You don’t have to look Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn very hard and you can see Samurai-esque characteristics in these guys.

    In terms of the actual performance of lightsaber combat on-screen, however, you brought in a lot more Western, kind of European fencing techniques, you brought in a lot of Chinese and Filipino fencing techniques. So aesthetically, a lot of this looks kind of Japanese when you look at where the techniques are derived from. There’s a lot of Chinese and European stuff floating around in there.


    Is there development in lightsaber combat as a sport and as a community?

    A lot of the very first groups focused on costuming and theatrical performance. Stagecraft or staged performance, which is actually quite difficult. Probably the biggest and most important of the early groups, certainly the first one to get any national/international press, was one called New York Jedi in New York City.

    These guys would develop a persona through cosplay and put on public performances. I think that was the initial model that was successful. Then as that establishes itself, other people look at it and say, “Yeah, this is really interesting, but what we actually want to see is something more like a combat sport.” Then other people look at that and say, ‘Well, this is really cool but what I want to do is I want to explore the martial arts aspect of it.

    Photos via Lore Sjoberg / Creative Commons 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

    Megan Logan @meganlogan
    Megan is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on WIRED, Slate, Travel + Leisure and GigaOm. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, brewing beer, making playlists for situations that’ll never arise and extolling the virtues of The Cranberries.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    LudoSport has landed in the U.S.A.

    In S.F. no less, the home of Starfleet Academy.

    Competitive light saber academy to open in San Francisco this week
    Beth Spotswood Updated 12:39 pm, Wednesday, October 12, 2016


    At the Light Saber Academy of San Francisco, students will be asked to wear robes matching their level of training.
    IMAGE 1 OF 4 | LUDOSPORT INTERNATIONAL At the Light Saber Academy of San Francisco, students will be asked to wear robes matching their level of training.


    Photo: Jeff Chiu
    IMAGE 2 OF 4 San Francisco was already home to combat choreography classes involving light sabers. In this file photo, Golden Gate Knights instructor Alain Block, right, teaches during class in on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.


    Photo: Jeff Chiu
    IMAGE 3 OF 4 In this file photo, Jim Collum, foreground, and other students work on light saber skills during a Golden Gate Knights class in San Francisco, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.


    Photo: Jeff Chiu
    IMAGE 4 OF 4 In this file photo, Sophianna Ardinger meditates after a Golden Gate Knights class in San Francisco, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.

    There are ten little words that every Bay Area “Star Wars” fan has been waiting to hear. And those words are, “Welcome to the international network of sporting Light Saber Combat.”
    Light saber fighting is really a thing and has been for some time. In the past, light saber classes allowed wanna-be Jedis to learn the basics of saber handling. But thanks to LudoSport, one can now actually sign up for light saber tournaments and compete locally, nationally, and internationally.
    Founded in Italy 10 years ago, LudoSport’s light saber academies and tournaments have swept Europe. Really. The whole concept is a bit complicated, although for “Star Wars” fans who wish to compete in international light saber duels, the detailed (and we mean DETAILED) rules, logistics, and philosophy behind the “sport” might be right up their alley.
    There are seven forms of lights saber combat and ten rules. Much like karate belt colors, light saber athletes must wear the correct uniform for their level of light saber skill. Players are rated on experience, fighting skills, and technical quality (presumably by someone who fancies himself a present-day Obi-Wan Kenobi.) Points are earned by attending classes and meeting up with fellow light saber athletes in the LudoSport network for actual duels. The results must be deposited online after every battle.
    LudoSport takes the whole thing very seriously. This isn’t “Star Wars” camp. LudoSport is making the leap to the United States by opening an academy right here in San Francisco. Classes begin October 15th at Studiomix on Van Ness.
    Hopefully our status as the first U.S. city to house a light saber academy will give San Francisco a leg up on hosting an international light saber tournament.
    Future Jedi masters can sign up here.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    The Empire strikes back

    Don't make me destroy you

    OCTOBER 17, 2016 8:44am PT by Eriq Gardner
    Disney's Lucasfilm Sues Academy That Teaches People How to Use Lightsabers


    Courtesy Everett Collection

    A lawsuit contends it's a violation of various 'Star Wars' trademarks.
    Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of Disney, is using the force of its trademarks to cut down an enterprise that purports to teach interested Star Wars fans the ways of the Jedi. On Friday, a lawsuit was filed against Michael Brown, described in the lawsuit as operating businesses including New York Jedi, the Lightsaber Academy and Thrills and Skills.

    The defendant's services, including classes and teaching certifications, are pitched at LightsaberAcademy.com, which also describes "core principles" leading to practice in "Academic Form, Stage, and/or Dueling."

    The owner of the Star Wars franchise is now in California federal court talking about cybersquatting, trademark infringement and unfair competition.

    "Defendants regularly use the Lucasfilm Trademarks without authorization in connection with their businesses," states the complaint. "Among other infringing activities, Defendants use a logo that is nearly identical, and confusingly similar, to Lucasfilm’s trademark Jedi Order logo... round in shape, with six wing-like shapes curving upward (three per side), and an eight-pointed star featuring elongated top and bottom points stretched into a vertical line."

    Lucasfilm says it has served multiple cease notices, and that the Brown has responded by filing a trademark application for "Lightsaber Academy, Inc."

    The plaintiff now demands a permanent injunction, actual damages and profits, or alternatively, up to $2 million in statutory damages for each trademark infringed. Lucasfilm is represented by Laura Lin and Kelly Klaus at Munger, Tolles & Olson.

    Here's the complaint.

    Brown couldn't be reached for comment.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Glow Battle Tour

    This is local and I'm sorely tempted.

    "Glowing Swords" Battle Returns To SF After Sparks Fly With City, LucasFilm


    Thousands duke it out with glowing swords.

    Sat. November 19, 2016, 9:50am
    by Jordan Katz
    @jordanhkatz

    location
    601 Mission Bay Blvd. North, San Francisco, CA 941

    The “Lightsaber Battle" that caused a stir last year at Sue Bierman Park is back, this time with new branding and a new venue.

    After Disney’s Lucasfilm filed a cease-and-desist notice followed by three months of negotiation, the company behind the public event, Newmindspace, settled out of court.

    “It was terrible. I’ve never been the target of a major corporation like that,” says Newmindspace co-founder Kevin Bracken. “They wanted us to stop doing any events with any lighted swords at all. They wanted us to destroy all of our inventory—we’re talking like tens of thousands of these swords."

    They rebranded, calling the gathering “The Giant Battle of Glowing Swords.”

    The melee will take place at Spark Social in Mission Bay on December 16th.

    Corporate pressure wasn't the only issue. The City’s Rec & Parks Department claimed last year’s unpermitted event cost taxpayers over $5,000.

    Newmindspace distanced themselves from the local promoter they were working with to organize last year's event, Nikki Sparks. The Toronto-based company fired Sparks and Bracken says they are now overseeing their events more closely. He had just arrived in San Francisco when we spoke.

    Despite that, Bracken says they still dispute some of the claims made by the city—namely, the bill.

    “If you look at the invoice, the invoice has an unspecified $2,000 item, and then there is an additional $2,000 for hiring 10 park rangers, paying them four hours of overtime each,” Bracken says. “The unspecified $2,000 seems more like a fine than a cost because the city admitted in that article that they were not doing any reseeding and if you remember, the next event that took place in that park was the Super Bowl concert, after which it was completely destroyed."

    Bracken says Spark Social is the perfect venue for the event. “It’s got this awesome field, it’s got a beer garden, it’s got music, it’s got food trucks,” he says.” The best part—no permit necessary.

    The event will benefit a local Make-a-Wish chapter. Newmindspace is expecting around 2,000 in attendance. Tickets are available here.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Lightsaber Team: Friendship, Fandom & Fitness!

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  11. #56
    More like old Studio Contract actors who were schooled in everything from horse back riding to stage fighting to charm school to........The old days. One of my best friends out in Cali. His father was a old studio actor and received a check every month work or not. It was not a lot I was told. He made is real living selling cars.

    But Hollywood may draw from these acadamies for extras. Pretty cool.

    Gene go !

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    I lack faith in the notion that Hollywood will draw from these Jedi academies...

    ...that's just not the Lucasfilm way (still sore about his museum going to L.A. than up here ).

    Lightsaber lessons, you want? Virginia Beach martial arts studio seizes on Star Wars surge
    By Kimberly Pierceall
    The Virginian-Pilot
    Jan 13, 2017


    L. Todd Spencer | The Virginian-Pilot
    Saber X training inside King Tiger Martial Arts in Virginia Beach teaches students how to duel using lightsabers. Photo taken Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017.

    VIRGINIA BEACH

    There’s no mention of Jedis or Sith Lords. No jokey attempt to tell these warrior students to “use the Force.”

    And there’s certainly no reference to any “lightsabers” during the evening martial arts class where students wearing black belts reached for glowing weapons that “woosh’d” with every swing.

    “We in no way shape or form want to step on Disney’s toes,” said Byron Kunold, or Master Kunold as he’s referred to at King Tiger Martial Arts at 3300 Holland Road in Virginia Beach.

    That’s where he and the studio’s owner, Master Geoffrey Cielo, offer lessons they call “Saber X,” inspired by certain popular films about interstellar warfare.

    The two pride themselves on maintaining a traditional martial arts curriculum using the sabers as a tool that could just as easily be a fencing sword, a kundo sword or a saber sword.

    “We’re hiding it. We’re giving them their vegetables and they don’t know it,” Kunold said.

    For now, the pair plan to offer classes to studio members for $3 to $10 each. King Tiger monthly memberships cost between $130 and $179. Saber X only memberships will cost $199 a month. They plan to offer at least three classes a week.

    Students must bring their own lightsabers.



    Why so careful about how they tread around the “Star Wars” terminology? Others, including groups in New York and California, have tried to launch their own “Jedi” academies only to face The Walt Disney Co., which bought LucasFilm for $4 billion in 2012, in federal court.

    And as “Star Wars” has surged in popularity (again), so has the desire to wage combat with lightsabers.

    Disneyland and Walt Disney World both offer official lightsaber Jedi training to “younglings.”

    Minnesota-based Saber Legion describes itself as the Ultimate Fighting Championship of saber combat.

    And martial arts studios have become regular customers of at least one maker of the the replica galactic weapons, UltraSabers.

    “We have a ton of martial arts groups,” said Marlena Ficklen, a customer service representative with Texas-based UltraSabers. She said business at the 15-year-old company noticeably picked up about a year ago, around the time “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was released.

    Ficklen said she likes to see martial arts studios getting involved since the movements they teach are rooted in traditional combat:

    “It’s more than just swinging a lightsaber around and choreography.”

    She counted 73 customers with “martial arts” in their name – three in Virginia, including King Tiger, a studio in Elkton and another in Farmville called BattleGround Martial Arts.

    Jeremiah Bunker, owner of BattleGround, said they offered lightsaber classes to children only during the summer but it’s actually drawn more interest from fellow martial arts studios, not necessarily would-be students.

    “Our main focus is really practical self-defense,” he said. “It doesn’t go with the theme of the school.

    “It’s really cool but the novelty wears off pretty quickly for an adult.”

    Cielo and Kunold hope it doesn’t wear off for quite some time. The styles they plan to teach range from kendo and samurai to rapier and fencing, Spartan and freestyle parkour to Scottish claymore – each style getting about two months of focus before moving onto the next.

    Eventually, the pair hopes to license its Saber X curriculum to other martial arts studios, incorporate more stunt work and open dedicated, standalone studios.

    Cielo had thought about offering a sword-skills class before, but his bread and butter for more than 20 years has been taekwondo, hapkido and self-defense.

    Cielo is a fan the original “Star Wars” trilogy, and was used to flimsy toy lightsabers. He was skeptical at first that using lightsabers in his studios would work.

    But in October, Kunold showed Cielo the lightsabers he had bought for he and his 9-year-old son, Akin, and demonstrated it could take a beating – or a good Jedi-esque battle – and be fine.

    “It doesn’t break,” he said, striking it on the ground. “At that point, I said I had to have one.”

    When Kunold lit it up for the first time for Cielo, “I went ‘oooooohhhh.’ ”

    Their classes begin and end with meditation and deep breathing, with black belt students resting on their knees, lightsabers by their sides.

    Then it was time to pick up their “weapons.”

    “These are, of course, light …” Cielo said, catching himself, “ultra … light … UltraSabers.”

    Kunold, a former stuntman who worked on films such as “Alexander the Great” and “The Medallion” in Asia, led the way, slashing at the air with his glowing purple lightsaber as he inched across the studio repeating kendo moves, flanked on either side by students doing the same.

    Then they paired up, practicing blocks and strikes, spinning as if dancing, with the sounds of a “woosh” or “bzzz” with each swing or hit. Next, they practiced the “Chinese flower,” a flourish done holding the saber with two hands or one, spinning it in front in a figure-eight pattern.

    Cielo encouraged their saber-wielding to be done pinky first:

    “Think to yourself that there’s actually a blade on the other side.”

    Kimberly Pierceall, 757-550-1903, kimberly.pierceall@pilotonline.com
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    The basic Jedi Lightsaber form revealed!

    The basic Jedi Lightsaber form is shown in Star Wars Rebels: S3.E14 Trials of the Darksaber. They show it several times as a solo form, and then how it works as a two-person form. It's like a half dozen simple moves, but now you can check the authenticity of your Jedi academy by seeing if they start with this form. You wouldn't want to train with a fake Jedi academy now, would you?

    The opening sequence of this clip shows the two-person form.
    STAR WARS REBELS: TRAINING BEGINS
    In this clip from the Star Wars Rebels episode "Trials of the Darksaber," Kanan trains Sabine, new custodian of the legendary Darksaber, in the art of combat. But she has much to learn...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    Silver Sabres Combat Academy in North London

    There's a 1 & 1/2 min vid if you follow the link. Note the style of weapons piled in the corners.

    We tried a Star Wars-inspired martial arts class with LED lightsabers
    Claudia Romeo

    Silver Sabres Combat Academy in North London holds martial arts classes using LED lightsabers.

    Participants engage in a form of combat which combines traditional methods and theatre.

    "We’ve tried to create a place where people can come regardless of the styles that they might be familiar with and where they can continue their investigation of the truth of combat," the Academy co-director and co-founder Faisal Ahmed Mian told Business Insider.

    The classes are meant to teach discipline and mindfulness through physical exercise. They use a combat system called Eight Spheres Geometry.

    "The system is universal. Boy or girl, big or small, old or young - it doesn’t matter. The system will adapt for the individual," said Mian.

    The lightsabers were specifically designed for the class as a safer alternative to traditional combat swords. They are made from hollow polycarbonate and aluminium, and the starting price for one is £100.

    Produced by Claudia Romeo. Filmed by Chiara Brambilla.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    46,312

    A day late

    I had a feeling that I'd ttt the Jedi Academies thread for Star Wars Day yesterday.

    There's a vid. I like how the reporter is rocking stiletto heels. It's very Widow ala Into the Badlands. I hope that's a new trend with Sword Hotties.

    Training like a Jedi with local martial arts experts on Coast Live
    POSTED 3:45 PM, MAY 4, 2017, BY COAST LIVE

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For Star Wars Day, we channel Obi Wan, Luke and Darth Vader with help from two masters at King Tiger Martial Arts (KingTigerMartialArts.com) - Master Geoffrey Cielo and Master Byron Kunold.

    May the 4th be with you!
    Check out my T-shirt at yesterday's TCJU meeting for KFTC25 AF. FTW.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •