Q What is the CrossSwords Way?
I see things about Mentorship program for Teens, about old school sword training, and a lot about knights.
A: Yes to all the above. The CrossSwords Way is the name of our style of martial arts. Really, it’s all right there in the name: we train a single Way which moves between the Cross and the Sword. The Way is how we walk between these two, wielding truth and power balanced, but undiluted, with grace and beauty. Please read on for more on the Cross and the Sword.
Q: What is “The Sword,” or this Mixed-Medival / Cross-Cultural Sword style?
The Sword, is the great weapon which our members train for martial excellence in, both as fitness, heritage, tradition, and an opportunity to build disciplines of character. For us, this creates a method of swordsmanship which is eclectic (drawing upon systems the world over) but unified (cohesive and coordinated toward the goal of excellence in form and combat). In this way, our traditions are ancient, while some practices are uniquely modern. Headmaster Jared Smith designed this system from over twenty years of martial arts and weapons experience (even incorporating hand-to-hand and grappling and striking techniques into the system), making something new and alive. Unlike many modern sport fencing, we train real combatives. Through real drilling with hardwood swords and weapons (advanced students eventually graduate to steel), these combatives are both elegant, powerful, and able to be translated across a variety of weapons. By this we foster both deep appreciation for the Warrior’s heritage, and a sense of competence that extends through all domains of life.
Q: What is “the Cross,” or a Cross-Centered Life?
A: Cross-centered living has two sides for our members. The Cross, is both the lifestyle of accepting and giving out grace, as well as the practice of –from this grace– “taking up our own cross” and sacrificing toward our goals. Our focus on grace and rest, provides us to that extend grace & care toward others around us, bringing balance to our circumstances. Our taking up of our cross, provides us with a goal-orientation applied to our responsibilities in life, and fostering a sense of purpose that transcends the day to day.
Our students are instructed throughout their lessons to develop both an inner sense of completion, from which they may better lift others up and become a life-giving person. At the same time, they are taught to exercise this inner freedom toward setting goals, taking on responsibility, and living purpose filled lives full of confidence, competence, and joy.
Q At what age can my child start CrossSwords Training?
A: Students may begin novice level instruction as early as 10 years old.
Q Can my child join CrossSwords
(even if we’re not religious?)
Our families love CrossSwords because it encourages its students to think new ideas, to develop strong principles, and become young men and women of wisdom, passion, and virtue.
Our members have real and open conversations about the nature of faith, belief and reason, philosophy and ethics, and how to live one’s life well. This means no topic is off the table, no one’s worldview shut down or used to attack others, but all our students come together to grow in nobility, fellowship, and courage.
Q What happens in a CrossSwords lesson?
A: the Goal of each lesson is to sharpen the soul…
Students spend time in their sessions out in the open air drilling & practicing Sword, Staff, and other weapon techniques. During this time, their Teacher initiates what CrossSwords calls its “good conversations.” Here, students are brought to better understand their own selves, and to think differently about the world, their lives, and their purpose. All this comes from time spent understanding the sword, and thereby themselves.
Q Is Training in Group Classes or 1-on-1?
A: CrossSwords has two starting methods of training which we call: CrossSwords Discipleship (Master-Apprentice Sword training and one-on-one coaching) as well as CrossSwords Fellowship (weekly group lessons and practice). All members engage primarily with Discipleship at their early ranks, alongside some Fellowship. As they progress, Fellowship becomes more and more of a focus in their progression! As the journey continues, advanced students are encouraged to take up apprentices of their own and pass on their skills… which is the final methods: CrossSwords Mentorship (in effect they return to Discipleship lessons once more, only now as the Master, that is: Teacher).
Q Will my child be encouraged to be fight others?
A: No. CrossSwords students (both teens and adults) engage with training that is equally focused upon the development of character as with martial technique. No student may undergo advancement in rank unless their martial excellence is matched by their excellence in the more spiritual disciplines of the Way. By this, there will never be students in our school lacking real ability for the sake of internal awareness of principles learned, nor lacking moral integrity for the sake of mastery in combat. But each Knight is always both, for that is the Way.
By the time students are dangerous with a blade, and with their fists, they are no longer the person they were at the beginning of the journey.
Q How do we get started?
A: Schedule a free consultation with Headmaster Jared!
Q How do the Dues or Tuition work?
Are there drop-in classes?
A: The beauty of private training, as all CrossSwords is, is in how training can be grown or reduced according to the needs, budget, schedule, or desire for training each family has.
Most families prefer the convenience of regular weekly lessons (monthly tuition paid on the 1st, for weekly lessons that month), though other options exist as need may dictate. Reach out to Coach Jared to ask about sliding-scale and your family’s individual needs!