Greetings and Happy New Year from all of us at TPLA!
It has been a big year here for us and we have been working behind the scenes all over the world. 2019 has been a year of changes, renewals, and challenges. But as we enter 2020, we are invigorated with a sense of purpose and drive.
As a way to mark the year and preview some of what we have in store, Matt, (Vor Nach) and I put together a little review and preview of the big things that are happening. I will put a few of them here as well.
The Return of Vor Nach
The first and foremost event that took place this year is the return of Vor Nach! We neglected to mention this in our review, but Matt had moved to the Island of Dominica about 5 years ago only to be displaced by a hurricane. 2019 saw his triumphant return to the fold of TPLA and wee are pleased to have him back.
Lightsaber in France and the USA
FFE lightsaber in the USA: as many followers of the blog and our videos know, I was in Paris this past October helping train and introduce the French Masters of Arms and a few other participants to the sport of lightsaber. The trip also allowed me and TPLA be to appointed the official representatives of the FFE’s Lightsaber sport here in the USA. What this means is that we will be certifying coaches and refs in the rule set with the goal of having our own tournaments here as well as being able to go to France and compete. We hope to have certification up and running by summer. Please stay tuned!
Symposium 2019: this year our symposium was dedicated to a veteran of the saber community, General Sun, Damon Honeycutt. Damon is the author of the first lightsaber dulon. We brought Damon in to help him finish and publish his Form 5 set for Djem So. We also had the opportunity to bring together some powerful minds in the martial arts studies field with Ben Judkins and Daniel Mroz. Both are authors on the Chinese martial arts in a historical and social sense and a performance sense respectively.
We had some staffing changes this year as well. Some of your founding members have moved on and left some gaps in our council. We took the opportunity to fill those spots with some of our current collaborators. Ben Judkins, Daniel Mroz, Damon Honeycutt, and Jared Miracle have all joined our ranks. They are all professionals and scholars in the field. I am looking forward to the added level of scholarship and knowledge that these folks will bring to our endeavor.
TPLA Opening Its Doors
Up to now, TPLA has been focused on producing training material and knowledge based content for those practicing or wanting to learn the art of lightsaber and one day teach. Our learner in exile program is rigorous and we have been re tooling it a bit to include the different aspects of the art. As such, TPLA will be opening its ranks to more members and schools that want to get involved with us officially. We will be partitioning our training material to reflect, the sport, performance, and learning aspects of sabering and offering levels of involvement that will reflect a persons investment. For casual people we will create more material that they can use in their pursuits. For the sport minded people we will have certifications for coaches and refs. We are working with Damon Honeycutt and Daniel Mroz to formulate a system of performance and choreography, and of course, our instructor training program will be keep going as it has. More news on this in the coming days!
Web site, Apps, and the Future of Training
We will be producing some new material. Our old stuff will remain up but we are going to be making a good effort to fix our web site and get an app ready for training. The French groups have had some luck with their app and we are looking to get one going here in the states. The technology to create good interactive media is now really getting useful so we hope to be making progress on that this year. Due to the cost and technical issues, I cannot give a ETA on this part. We are also working hard on new tech that will help the art. Again, more news as it happens.
Happy New Year
So there we are. Going in to 2020 we have some big dreams. Also remember that we have our other activities and projects going as well. Sword Lab will continue and we hope to get new sparring videos and vlogs up there as well. We will be having more guests on the blog and in the videos and I hope that everyone will be seeing a lot more of us soon!
If you are new to the sport/hobby/art, welcome! It’s a great time for lightsaber arts. We are happy you joined us!
Check out some of the books by our Staff!