I remember walking around the castle in Český Krumlov with my parents a few years ago. In one room there are display cases with a variety of weapons, highly decorated. My mother frowned and asked why men spent so much energy decorating tools of death. Her question reminded me of a conversation with my uncle, her brother and my Aikido Sensei, Denis Burke (7th dan) about sword. My reply to her was along these lines: You only see these weapons as tools of death, but in warrior traditions the sword for example is always dual, the sword of death and the sword of life (note the two lightsabers above). Yes the sword can be the sword of death, instrument of destruction, but it can also be the thing that protects, keeps alive not only the one who holds it, but all that he or she loves and holds dear. And so the sword of life is cherished, decorated and respected. She was okay with that. The truth is of course that the line is blurred, and every sword is both the sword of life and the sword of death.
When I was a kid growing up in France, I wanted to be our equivalent of a cowboy, a Musketeer. I was very disappointed to discover this was no longer a viable career path. Nevertheless I studied Western fencing for about 14 years, including stage fighting when I did theater towards the end of school years. After university, because of my studies in psychology and religious traditions, but also because I still wanted to be a Jedi, I became a full-time Aikido student with my uncle in the UK. I have since been training and teaching Aikido to adults and children, and in a corporate setting, for over 14 years.
So what is the vision for the Prague Lightsaber Academy? First of all for me it is important to combine fun with reality (and safety) so while there is an element of fantasy, especially in the choreographed fights, all the practices and principles will be taken from real martial art traditions, and have a value as fitness training, self-defence and meditation in movement.
Here is an example class schedule:
  • A regular (pop-up) class, indoor or outdoor, of two hours.
  • Warm-up, mind-body coordination principles from Aikido, functional fitness, meditation sitting and in movement.
  • Form training. Sword kata (movement sequences) from Western and Japanese tradition. Singly and in pairs.
  • Choreagraphy, creating a short fight sequence.
  • Dueling, short paired or group duels.
  • Cool-down, stretching.
Over time I would like to invite teachers from other sword schools or traditions to come offer a class or seminar.
Is this for me?
If you want to learn real applicable principles for movement and self-defence, and want to do in in a fun context with lightsaber in hand, then yes. No prior knowledge required, all fitness levels welcome.
What do I need?
Ultimately you will need something like this: , over time we will do club orders and lightsaber making workshops.
We will use bokken for training in the short term:… and boffer weapons for dueling:…
Over time we will video classes and fights.
I look forward to meeting you
Sebastien Martineau