Students of the Way undergo three primary stages of training: Discipleship (private instruction with a teacher), Fellowship (group classes with peers), and Mentorship (passing on what they learn), adding each onto the next toward the status of KNIGHT. You can read more on what each of these stages look like through the menu above! At each of these stages, however, students engage with three key disciplines: philosophies of nobility, self-defense combatives, and the arts of swordsmanship.
THE 3 DISCIPLINES OF THE ACADEMY
PHILOSOPHY of the WAY
- The ultimate goal of our academy is to train its students in the arts of nobility. While martial training does this indirectly, it is through our dialectical methods (good conversations) which we bring these truths to the forefronts of our brains, understand them in new ways, and learn how to best apply them throughout our lives. While many martial arts schools may discuss behavioral virtues by a platitudinal format, CrossSwords is a school of Philosophy as a primary focus of its mission. All students are students of life and of being, as much as students of the sword.
(Accordingly, members train the development of Soul through: mindfulness meditation, empathetic awareness, mind-body union, goal orientation, and temperance of virtuous aptitudes. Through approaching philosophy, theology, and ethics in a similar way to the Sword, students train the expansion of their cognitive-emotional-relational faculties as the central mark of their progression.)
- Students ranks and progression are marked by seasons of being poured into by a teacher (discipleship), coming alongside others in practice and communion (fellowship), and finally turning back to take on an apprentice of their own and pass on what they’ve learned (mentorship). In these three arenas, we grow and nurture the whole individual, believing that everyone needs all three of these in order to attain the Knighthood.
SELF-DEFENSE and COMBAT
• Students develop of competencies in hand-to-hand arts through boxing, kickboxing, grappling, and physical endurance. We hold that all students should know how to use physical force to protect themselves and others, toward the end goal of not using them. While this may seem odd to those outside of the martial arts, we believe that a psychology informed by the reality of danger and a physical excellence in matching it, provides the best kind of mental state to avoid those same situations and prevent their escalation. Our martial theory is essentially pacifistic and students are taught only to use their skills defensively, and to avoid all harm.
MARTIAL SKILLS INCLUDE:
- Effective Full-Body Striking
- Powerful Elbows & Hands
- Integrative Knees, Kicks, & more
- Structural Competency
- Movement Principles & Footwork
- Terrain Awareness & Utilization
- Stability, Spacing, & Jamming
- Angling & Counter Attacking
- Close-Quarters Combat
- Grappling, Takedowns, Ground Defense
- Proactive Mental Training
- Combat Readiness, Aggression Preparedness, Explosive Twitch.
- Mindfulness Training, Emotional Discipline
- …and more
SWORDSMANSHIP and WEAPONS
• CrossSwords students train modern style of blade training, focused on providing a sound basis of contemporary and medieval sword and weapons martial arts: katanas, longswords, knife & short blade work, bo-staff, pole arms, stick fighting, and others. These styles operate as paths which students may walk after completing their basic training in the “CrossSwords Blade” which is a unique foundational system of swordsmanship.
- Swinging swords around can not only offer great exercise, but allows or members to engage with something tangible and real that is united with traditions ancient, mythic, and of tremendous meaning. It’s also, of course, extremely fun!
- All Weapons Training incorporates heavy practice (with hardwood training weapons), Sparring and Drilling, Forms & Combative Practice, and eventually graduating into Steel at higher levels. (This is not modern sport fencing. With influences from ancient systems across the globe such as Kenjutsu, Armazaré, Escrima, and more, we are modern warriors in a unique style of the complete sword)
The triad of programs form the composition of training for CrossSwords students, and find their nexus in the image of the KNIGHT. The Knight (a CrossSwords Black Belt) is a man or woman of heroism, grace, humility, conviction, and integrity. The way to this kind of Knighthood is not only in steel or in spirit, but with the whole self: the whole soul. The Sharpening of this soul lets one wield their body as a weapon… but more importantly to wield their weapons as tools for cultivating nobility in themselves and in their world.