Bluegrass Martial Arts 

Ranks

Youngling 

Younglings are the first stage of Jedi training in an ideal case where a force sensitive child is identified and screened as early as possible. Between the age of 3 to 6 years old, training can begin. At this stage training is typically more orientated toward character building and intelligence puzzles.

This stage will produce lifelong personality traits and is the best time to formulate and model healthy coping behavior patterns. Ideally healthy relational behaviors are learned before unhealthy patterns can develop. This is the stage where the child is challenged intellectually with logic puzzles, but also always encouraged.

Most important lesson for this level of Jedi training is “its not about you”, or “The world does not revolve around you!” Before any Youngling will be permitted to move onto the Padawan level they must have embraced this philosophy of being “other-centered,” and rejecting the impulse to be self-centered.

The Jedi’s life will be consumed by the oath of servitude. In all things the Jedi is a servant to others, and any myopic habits will conflict with the most central and sacred of what it is to be a Jedi.

The use of the lightsaber is introduced but limited to just the 10 Shii (stances), and the fundamental Sai & Cho angles (offensive cuts), and how to Cortay (block).

Padawan

The second stage of Jedi training is the Padawan. Padawans are between the age of 7 and 11 years old. At this stage the tests of character and intelligence intensify, but the physical training really begins. 

Control is the mantra for the Jedi who is teaching a Padawan. Control your emotions, control your weapon, or they will control you! Self-Control must be always present to the Jedi. They cannot loose their temper; they must not be directed by their impulses and emotions.

A Jedi must be completely in tune with their emotions. Feelings are a tool and a means of accessing the raw passion of the Force, but for all that it is, the Force has no conscience. That is the job of the Jedi, to bring a mind to the source of all passions and give it direction.

If a Jedi is not completely master of his or her own emotions they will become swept away in the flood of passion that is the Force, and be directed by the overwhelming chaos of impulse. That is the way of the Sith, not the Jedi. Thought must direct emotion, they work together but the mind is in control.

Control is also central in the lightsaber training as well. This is the stage where the Sai Shiim, downward vertical cut with a controlled stop, must be mastered. The Padawan will begin dueling and must be able to stop his cut on command for the safety of his dueling partner.

As a Padawan basic agility, balance, and strength tests must be passed. The student should be able to lift their own body weight in tasks of push-ups, and pull-ups. The sense of balance must be good enough for handstands. They also begin tests of speed and agility running through obstacle courses and pushing their height and distance with jumping, and other polymeric drills.

The 10 different forms of lightsaber combat are introduced at the Padawan level and the Jar, Sequence, Djem, Dulon, and Velocities are introduced depending on the style they correspond to. 

Jedi Initiate

Honor is the theme of the Jedi Initiate. What honor is, how to behave with honor, and how to treat others with honor, and most importantly, learning to honor the enemy is the object for the Initiate.

Honor is important to the Jedi, they have held a respected reputation since a time before the Old Republic. A Jedi is an ambassador of that reputation at all times. Initiates will be expected to carry the reputation well, because with it comes a great degree of trust and authority.

Honor is similar to respect but not identical. Respect is usually a part of honoring another, as well as obedience. The relationship dictates how respect and obedience are exchanged. It is not the place of a child to demand obedience from their parent, but the reverse is acceptable and often necessary.

Respect may be mutual between an officer and an enlisted soldier, but it is always the enlisted man who must first salute the officer, not the other way around.

Honor is valuing the other party as unique and priceless. How might you treat a priceless collectable, such as an original work of a famous painter? How would you treat an expensive sports car? Honor is how we show value, and we can show value to someone even if they don’t deserve it. In fact often a cold relationship can become warm again with just one party learning to honor the other.

Even toward an enemy the Jedi are expected to show honor. This is not someone they would obey, and an enemy is not someone they would respect what they stand for, but they must still honor the enemy. If they refuse to grant the enemy honor, and make a habit of it, one will eventually cross paths with an enemy who will strike down, the Jedi who refuses to honor the danger the enemy represents.

Initiates are between the ages of 12 and 17. This is the best time to challenge the student physically. They will be most likely to master the more athletically challenging techniques at this stage.

Ataru and Juyo acrobatics are best attempted at this age range. Once an Initiate can successfully execute these advanced tricks they will be more capable of maintaining these techniques as they age, or be able to relearn them when they get older.

The full transmittion of Shii Cho is learned by this stage. The second style of study is selected and cross training begins for both systems. 

Jedi Apprentice 

The Apprentice begins at age range 18 & up. Ideally Jedi training begins as early as possible. This is to ensure the training can influence and inform the development of the youngling’s personality and identity. The Universe is a big place, and there are cases where an older student can begin the path to Jedi even as an adult. They must be under the direct supervision and instruction of someone at least the Jedi Rank.

The Jedi could be the same age or even younger than their Apprentice, but they must more than make up for their age with the experience they have to offer. The relationship between Jedi and Apprentice works best, when the Jedi is measurably older, and also the same gender as their Apprentice. Exceptions can be made, but the dangers of missing the pull of the Dark Side on the newer Apprentice require anyone taking the responsibility of taking an Apprentice very seriously.

The Jedi should have already completed the Trials using the same Lightsaber style as his Apprentice is studying. At least half of the instructional time should consist of dueling.

Finally the Apprentice assists with instruction of Shii Cho to the Younglings and Padawans at the academy. 

The Trials 

The Jedi Trial is a test that can be challenged once the full transmission of Shii Cho plus another one of the forms is mastered. The test will involve the full course material of agility, and Lightsaber fighting skills. All Dulon, Jar, or Djem must be ready to be tested. This test will be administered by a panel of Jedi, it will not be the job of the Jedi instructor to test his own Apprentice, the local Jedi counsel will decide advancement to the Jedi rank.

The Trial will take different forms depending on what other form the Apprentice has studied. The test is designed to be a benchmark in the development of the Jedi’s training, a challenge to prepare and work toward, but not impossible in scope. Once completed the Jedi should be able to confidently perform their form of study at any point. If the Trials demand too much of the Apprentice then it become a practice of hypocrisy for the Jedi counsel to expect from the student what they can no long do themselves.

 Jedi

Once the Trials have competed, the new Jedi is now eligible to serve on the Jedi Master's Council and serve in deciding the process of promoting new Jedi. Jedi are also responsible in leading the instruction of Initiates in Shii Cho. Most importantly the Jedi should be ready to take an Apprentice in the same form of Lightsaber combat, other than Shii Cho, to begin training for the trials.

To advance to the next stage the Jedi should choose another form of Lightsaber combat to begin study. To do this the Jedi is free to begin study with other instructors. It is encouraged the Jedi is still an Apprentice but not just to one person, but to the whole Jedi counsel.

 Jedi Guardian

The Guardian is a Jedi who has a former Apprentice that has passed the trials, and moved on to become a Jedi them-self. Once the apprentice is declared a Jedi the advancement of the teacher from Jedi to Guardian is automatic.

They have a generation between their level and the Apprentice. This does not mean they are done teaching, they still take on another Apprentice, but the next one is in the combat style the Jedi took on studying after becoming a Jedi them-self, not the system they challenged the trials with.

Jedi Knight 

The Honored Jedi Knight is the head instructor at the Jedi Academy. To be a Knight full knowledge of all ten Lightsaber combat forms must be mastered. They must be qualified and able to teach any of the styles. The Knight plus one other Jedi counts as a full counsel, and with just the two members they can administer the Trials and promote new Jedi, as long as one of them is a Jedi Knight.

The step from Guardian to Knight is the longest stage of the Jedi path. There will be years between these levels. It will take years of study to learn the remaining seven forms of Lightsaber combat. It is not a process that should be rushed. The responsibility demanded of the Jedi knight will determine the success or failure of the whole institution of the Jedi Academy.

The Guardian who has mastered each of the ten forms of Lightsaber combat must be promoted to the level of Jedi Knight by vote from a Jedi Master. No test is required, just the word of the Jedi Master will do. Whatever confidence is needed from the Jedi Master to declare a Guardian to be a Knight is all that is necessary. This can take the form of a test, but it does not have to necessarily.

In the event there is any dissension or difference of opinion on counsel matters, the Knight can have the casting vote. If there are two Knights at an academy, one should branch out to launch and direct a new academy location, to encourage the advancement of the ways of the Force.

Jedi Master

To reach the level of Jedi master it will depend on the quality of instruction you have. You must have a former Apprentice that has moved on as a Jedi Knight to begin their own Jedi Academy in order to be a qualified Jedi Master. Like advancement to Guardian, the Jedi Master promotion is automatic when another Jedi master observes not you, but one of your former apprentices, currently a Guardian, to be a Jedi Knight. The new Knight does not have to have yet launched a new Jedi Academy. Once a Jedi Knight has raised up another Knight, by the confidence of a third party Jedi Master, they are automatically a Jedi Master themselves.

The Jedi Master is a one man Jedi counsel. Alone they can administer trials and promote new generations of Jedi with no witness if necessary. This should only be done in total exile, away from any local Jedi Academy


Bluegrass Martial Arts

2506 Plantside Dr, Louisville, KY 40299

(502) 499-4050