A Sport for a more Civizied Age
In the first months and weeks of carrying around my SaberForge Disciple, I would simply listen to whatever tunes I was jamming on at the time and swing my Saber around to the rhythms and beats. At the time I was attending a pole dance class regularly (example, but not me), Zouk lessons (like salsa, but sexier), and dabbling in belly dancing. I guess you could say I was in a dance-central mindset.
Because I didn’t know how to use my hips and glutes and at crossfit all I ever heard was “squeeze butt!!” So I went to the experts. It worked. After 3 months of regular dance I truly understood how my hips could become fully integrated into my movements. How I could play with timing and distance. How to cut right and left on a dime. I became graceful for the first time in my life. My dead lift improved. Yoga became simple and understandable. Running made sense. Using music to tune into my body was a revolutionary undertaking.
So I had this gorgeous LightSaber, and I was always jamming out around the house, so I danced with it. I practiced slicing at the obvious targets, sure, but I added flourish to everything. I practiced spins in every direction. Then moving my feet while spinning, trying not to crack calves and skull with the polycarbonate blade. Every time I danced there was a real possibility of breaking a mirror or window (in my rental home) which added a sense of risk, this of course helped to drive me into a deeper state of flow.
I love many genres, but my favorite for this activity was easily dubstep. I love the repetitive rhythms for finding my flow, and then when the base drops all hell breaks loose in a free form flurry of lightsaber action. Try out Awesome to the Max by Ephixa. It’s epic. Often times I would Shadow Duel, imagining my opponents and how I would negotiate the exchange. Animus Vox by the Glitch Mob is one of my favorites for staging a fight scene.
I’d start by creating a playlist and using the same songs over and over, trying to nail the movements to the beats, telling a story with the dance. Other times, I’d put on pandora and just try to follow along, most music is fairly predictable, which is helpful. I’d listen to chilled out stuff, instrumental tracks, rap, R&B, and everything in between. My 17 year old sister was super stoked about it all. In this instance, music was a vehicle for movement, a gateway to an altered stated, so I judged the music less and let it carry me to new and exciting places. It was quite the learning experience.
Keep in mind that for 10 months I only had 1 lightsaber and Zero Saber People to practice with, so by the time I finally got into a fight I’d been swinging a saber around focusing 90% of my attention the style. This was a blessing and a curse. I learned with great accuracy how a saber moves through time and space. I knew how to get my blade from one point to the other with incredible speed and efficiency. I understood timing and rhythm, and more importantly, how to break it. My foot work was wonky though, I’d learned how to move around with a saber, but not with the intention of attacking or defending, instead I was simply focused on prancing around. Still, the new concepts came quickly and once I began integrating more pragmatic footwork the my skill increased rapidly.
All of the sudden, I am not just a dancer, but a fighter, and a graceful one at that.
Yes, I dare say that I am a Sassy Jedi.
Because why not? Isn’t this all about having fun and developing our abilities as agents of the force, or whatever? Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
So here’s where I get vulnerable for a moment and share my dance moves. I hope you feel inspired to get out there tonight and cut a rug with your favorite saber and song. Just have fun with it and see what happens, it just might improve your game!