Did you ever do tae kwon do or karate when you were a kid? Did you think it would instantly turn you into Jet Li, but actually it turned out to be really hard work and you quit?
Now a martial arts school in London is trying to jazz things up by teaching kids are new style: the ways of the Jedi. Tai Chi instructor Faisal Mian is teaching kids in Finsbury Park fencing — but instead of using traditional fencing sabre, they wield LED blades that look like something Darth Vader would use. Mian is a self-confessed Star Wars head, and hopes that the movies will get kids into doing martial arts and doing exercise.
These sabres help the children focus because they light up the imagination as well as the blades,” Mian told The Mirror about his school, which is called ‘Silver Sabre Combat Academy’. “The parents were as interested as the children were and so we offered adult classes too. This was before we knew about the new film and we thought we'd go with it and we've now managed to produce a martial art that reflects the well-known science fiction movies.”
It might seem gimmicky, but it is even endorsed by governing body British Fencing.
“Some of the kids come in dressed as Darth Vader and we encourage people to have a laugh and enjoy themselves. We are a professional martial arts club with an inclination for dramatic theatre. The kids all want to see these twirls and spins and we award additional points for dramatic effort, fencing isn't always the best of spectator sports and so we're trying to give the audience something exciting to watch.”
They have some melodramatic promos on their website.