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EVENT EXCLUSIVE: Sons of Obiwan Saber Academy

EVENT EXCLUSIVE: Sons of Obiwan Saber Academy

With convention season open once again, so too are the annual festivals and events. Nothing excite me more then to see events – big and small – can have a huge social impact in a positive light. The Sons of Obiwan Saber Academy is no ordinary training school and it doesn’t matter if you’re a bigger Star Wars fan or not.

Imagine this: unleash your inner Jedi or Sith while learning how to wield a lightsaber and familiarise the tricks from beyond the movies. Training is conducted in an open and safe environment. The team behind the lightsaber training went through rigorous planning and training to cater for groups of various levels and age range. Bookings with the group are mainly for promotions, parties and convention appearances. However, this Sunday is the official open day for the Sons of Obiwan.

A fantastic opportunity to allow followers and locals the chance to step into the grounds which includes trying out the basics of lightsaber wielding and training. The open day accepts gold coin donations, upon entering the grounds as proceeds go towards the Central Coast Kids In Need Inc. There is also a special raffle prize to be drawn for those attending: An Australian Made Saberdyne Industries Combat saber. I caught up with Luke, founder of The Sons of Obiwan Saber Academy on why they are opening their doors to the general public, supporting a local charities and building durable lightsabers.

With Tim Rose (Admiral Akbar – Star Wars). Photography by Sons of Obiwan

Because your group is renowned for the intense training and dedication of the lightsaber, why open day?

The funniest thing about this business is that everyone one in the world knows where we are: except for the Central Coast. We have been so busy travelling around Australia, doing special needs work and conventions that we haven’t done much right on our own doorstep

It’s also a good way for those people that follow us, who live a little ways away to come and see what we do.

We do lessons on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for adults, kids and special needs.

The one thing that struck me most is charity. Among some in my team, we dedicate our time to entertain and bring a smile to those attended, especially kids and young adults. Will there be more then demonstrations on the day?

A big part of following the Jedi way is public service. We are massive supporters of charity. We’ve raised nearly $10,000 over the last couple of years for Breast Cancer Australia, Legacy, Westmead Children’s Hospital and the Black Dog Institute.

We’ll be doing demonstrations – little five minute classes as well as having archery tag and a jumping castle. A bit of fun for everyone!

So no matter the skill set, it’s one way to introduce locals and those who travel far, a taste on what’s to offer from the Sons of Obiwan.

Totally. We are about having fun and showing people a skill they never thought they could do. Please people get to fulfil a dream and be a Jedi (or Sith) if only for 5 minutes!

Enough to bring forth my inner Sith. [Laughs]

It’s good fun and theatre combat is a great way for people to find out about themselves. One of the main tenants we teach, is that you suck. When people try something new, they become highly self-critical. By giving them permission to fail, true learning can begin!

[Sounds like] the basics of martial arts.

I used to be a behavioural and learning support teacher. [And] I found that many of my students need to increase self esteem and resilience. As I started teaching at the temple, I found that these life skills, along with many others were needed ,not just by those with special needs but across the wider community.

I am in awe that you have planned and implement behavioural support along with something so geeky thrown in the mix.

It seemed like a logical choice. Being based in a fictional universe allows people to leave the real world and study themselves in a safe, fun and nerd environment. Nerd may be the new black, but a lot of us are still ostracised.

[Back on topic] regarding your event this Sunday. I noticed that you are giving away a golden lightsaber?

It’s 24k gold plated.

Yeah, [so] we make our own sabers. We broke $40,000 worth of damage to imported sabers, so needed something that was more reliable. 99.5% Australian made and sourced, with all the work done within 100kms of the temple at Tuggerah.

A 24k gold plated saber. For decoration, right??

Fully combat ready! It is a durable, industrial plating but real gold.

A few of our students have them.

As well as Stan Lee, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven – Stranger Things) and Graham McTavish (Dawlish – The Hobbit Trilogy).

 

Stan Lee’s personalised lightsaber. Photography by Sons of Obiwan

Millie’s lightsaber leather covering has the Organa family crest. Photography by Sons of Obiwan

Graham McTavish personalised lightsaber. Leather covering has an original comic panel of the Saint of killers from Preacher. Photography by Sons of Obiwan.

Thank god for builders and local talent!

Respect! Most sabers are made to look pretty with usability a distant second. Our’s are all about balance and strength and are regularly dropped from heights of 2 stories onto concrete.

[And] they keep on trucking.

Most definitely want to do a day trip to visit your stomping grounds.

Please do, come up for a lesson!

What can I say about a dedicated group that unleashes my inner Sith, have fun and train hard while embracing my geek side? I can only say, “Help me, Sons of Obiwan. You’re my only hope.”


Sons of Obiwan Saber Academy – Open Day is happening this Sunday on 18 February from 10.00am until 4.00pm at 3/83 Gavenlock Road, Tuggerah. Entry to the grounds is a gold coin donations and proceeds go towards Central Coasts Kids in Need.


 

About Marie Pham

A multitasking mother that splits her time from parenting, building cosplays and coming up with articles whatever she comes across. Did I mentioned that she cooks?

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