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AmEurAsian Fencing DVD Special This Week!

Intro To AmEurAsian Fencing Seminar DVD

Join in as Pete Kautz takes the class at Comtech Headquarters in Oregon through a rapid-fire introduction to the basics of AmEurAsian Fencing, edited to 50 minutes of pure instruction.  Featuring Master at Arms James A. Keating, this presentation covers elements of footwork, evasion, striking, hand switching, attacks to the 5 basic zones with their defenses, and how to flow at long range in constant counter and re-counter!  If you want to gain quick skill with using the single weapon this is it. (30 This Week Only)

Lightsaber Seminar Report

Over the years I've handled all manner of weaponry from ancient to modern. But last Sunday I had the opportunity to use a weapon of the future. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say "a weapon from long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away."

Damon Honeycutt (aka. General Sun) who was one of the founders of the NY Jedi was in town teaching a workshop for the Ithaca Sabers and host Dr. Ben Judkins invited me to attend, so I was eager to see what it was all about.

(Many of you may know Dr. Judkins from the Journal of Martial Art Studies and his Kung Fu Tea blog which Mr. Keating regularly links on MAAJAK World)

Damon was a student of Monkey Kung Fu master Pauly Zink and has also trained under masters in Chinese swordplay and opera, but in the Jedi world he is perhaps best known for creating the Shii-Cho form.

Shii-Cho is the first of seven lightsaber forms and consists of basic cuts, thrusts, and parries. It is also known as The Way of the Sarlacc, or The Determination Form in the mythology of the Star Wars universe.

Damon Showing Applications Of The Shii-Cho Form

This mixture of real world and fantasy is integral to the whole lightsaber experience. In addition to training martial skills the students in attendance were also into making Star Was inspired films and other aspects of sci-fi fan culture. At their tournaments many perform and fence in full costumes.

When it comes to the martial side, there is a huge mix of elements depending on the individual or the group they train with. At lightsaber tournaments you see people with clear Kendo background, others with characteristic Chinese or Filipino movement patterns, and others more inspired by movie fighting with lots of spinning and jumping.

In class I found myself using a mix of German longsword and the AmEurAsian fencing techniques like I shared with Mr. Keating's class in Oregon some years ago.

In addition to teaching and refining the Shii-Cho form, Damon integrated concepts of the Chinese 5 Element theory as it relates to swordplay. This was new to most in attendance and there were some quizzical looks when he first listed metal and wood as elements on the chalkboard.

But quickly this turned to an understanding as he gave physical examples we could work with to experience the feeling of each element.

Of course the martial arts world can be a small place and I almost fell over when Damon mentioned that he'd coached stuntman Zack Roberts - because Zack has been up here to train with me on several occasions too!

Overall it was quite an enjoyable afternoon of training, and if you ever get a chance to work with Damon I recommend it. He's a funny and compassionate teacher who really knows his Kung Fu.

All my very best to you,

Pete Kautz

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