May the force be with you! How to train like a real Jedi
Fight like your favourite Star Wars character armed with a lightsaber: The Jedi Academy in Bavaria is the only officially registered lightsaber school in Germany.
The Jedi of Bavaria
Crashing swords and hard work behind each strike. The unusual hobby is more that just fascination with the Star Wars movies. The Jedi Academy in Cham trains 17 students between 12 and 31 years in the subjects coordination, sense of rhythm, theatricality and fighting demonstration with their lightsabers. Organizer Günther Engl makes the swords himself and founded the academy in 2014. He runs the business with his son Fabian, 21, who designs new choreographies and his daughter Larissa, 18, who is teaching.
Star Wars – a fascination
Star Wars is more than just a movie. By now there are books, toys and computer games available for the mass of fans. In the battle of light against dark side, the Jedi fight with unusual powers and are able to jump several meters using the Force. The Jedi Academy tries to copy those fictional fights with realistic sequences of steps and fighting techniques. Günther Engl did the research himself and composed the trainings units. The students need to be disciplined and work hard to learn the sequences, increase their pace and be precise. To make the fight believable it’s essential to have a talent for acting and to be taught how to fall properly.
The Bavarian Jedi knights also do public performances at comic- and fantasy-fairs. Planning and organizing them is a lot of work, but the family is doing it voluntarily and out of passion. In his free time Günther Engl fixes the lightsabers, which are often broken. Despite everything, he and his kids are fascinated by fighting with a lightsaber.
The Jedi Academy in Cham is the only lightsaber school officially registered at Disney. All of their performances are reported and the allowance of Disney is required to give classes in fighting with a lightsaber and to hand out Jedi certificates.
Not everybody might understand the fascination for Star Wars and Günther Engls passion for lightsabers, but he, his family and his students prove that a challenging hobby and hard training can emerge from fiction.