Jayhawk Jedi club teaches members the intricacies of light saber fighting
- Oct. 10, 2012
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Jayhawk Jedi is a newly formed student group consisting of eight members so far. They practice mastering their light saber fighting techniques, choreograph fight scenes and plan to put on shows in the future.
Russell Stricklen and Collin Turner, current presidents of the group, bought light sabers last year to use for fun. They would practice out front of Templin, gaining interest from passersby. Brittany Jacobs decided to join the two this year and sought after an advisor to officially create a student group. Fencing coach Brian McDow agreed to be the Jayhawk Jedi’s sponsor being a huge Star Wars fan himself.
While Star Wars is the running backdrop of the group, the Jayhawk Jedi focus more on light saber fighting itself.
“Star Wars is what gets you in,” said Brittany Jacobs, vice president of the group. “As soon as we say we’re playing with light sabers, the little kid in you perks up.”
Members purchased their light sabers on ultrasabers.com, and they average about $80. The cheapest saber available is about $70, and the most expensive is about $300. There are nearly three dozen designs and eight colors to choose from.
Anyone is welcome to join Jayhawk Jedi, light saber or not, without a membership fee. Co-president Collin Turner said that the club hopes to have student funding so it is able to raise money for extra light sabers.
Brittany Jacobs, a sophomore from Andover, was more of a watcher last year but decided to be more active.
“I’ve always felt welcome here,” Jacobs said. “It’s something physical without being a sport.”
David Miller met co-president Turner at a Massachusetts Street performance club. He now choreographs most of the group’s fights and is a certified advanced actor combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors, an international stunt group. He said fight choreography and stage combat is a great creative outlet.
“Who doesn’t want to play with light sabers?” Miller said. “It’s about learning great choreography techniques and having fun.”
Jayhawk Jedi is anticipating a Halloween show that will consist of small fights on Wescoe Beach leading up to a larger show down on Massachusetts Street that night.
Hannah Barling is a sophomore from Arkansas majoring in journalism. Read more from Hannah Barling.