Star Wars-themed school, store teaches meditation and mindfulness
“The journey is often more important than the destination.”
Hard core Star Wars fans are familiar with the line, synonymous with an unfinished episode of the Clone Wars titled, “In Search of the Crystal.”
In the episode, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Annakin Skywalker have been caught by weapons dealers who possess kyber crystals, the power source of the famed lightsaber.
On Nov. 1, the journey becomes the destination when Star Wars fans and Santa Rosa entrepreneur Teryn Kelley opens Journey of the Saber, a retail and education spot where meditation meets kendo, combined with really sweet Star Wars gear.
Not the buy-from-the-big-box-store light saber
Kelley signed with a manufacturer to offer premium light sabers that can be customized to fit both a person’s budget and journey with the force. The shop has the ‘classics’ in stock, including Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Rei Skywalker. Throughout the year, the shop will offer ‘Saber seasons,’ where customers can choose from different options.
Kelley has also partnered with Badger Helmets and 3D printed Armory to distribute Star Wars armor for individuals who want to complete the Star Wars look.
While the sabers and suits are a big attraction and part of the fun, at the core, Journey of the Saber offers classes to kids to teach mindfulness and self-discipline. The intention of these classes is to let the kids, called Padawans once enrolled, feel they are part of the Star Wars universe through a mix of cosplay and very basic martial arts. The Jedi Masters who run the class train younglings in basic saber fighting skills that are based on the art of fencing and Japanese sword fighting while working on many saber hilt forms from the Star Wars universe.
“It’ll definitely be the basics, but we’re showing kids what this is all about,” Kelley said.
The vision is to prepare Padawans for other activities such as fencing or lightsaber combat class of higher merit with a solid foundation made of discipline, basic martial art knowledge, and confidence. Padawans will be learning useful life skills such as building self-confidence, awareness, and focus.
While lightsabers are the flash of the class, the focus and purpose is mindfulness and discipline.
“Just like in Jedi training,” Kelley said. “When we practice mindfulness in class, it’s about being present.”
Kelley practices what he preaches at home with his five kids, whose ages are 15, 13, 20, 8 and 2-months-old.
“I don’t expect kids to do it on the first try, but they can and do generate awareness in themselves,” Kelley said.
He has seen it in his own children and in himself. Kelley’s journey toward mindfulness began after he almost drowned in a car accident on Highway 37. He was left debilitated and bed-ridden for nearly six months.
“My therapist [during the time] was my Jedi Master,” Kelley said. “I was so down. I couldn’t do anything.”
He was unable to walk, stand or bathe by himself. Yet he recalled one day telling his wife he’d do the dishes.
“And she just kinda looked at me, you know?” Kelley sighed, shaking his head at the memory. “I wasn’t present. When you’re tripping on stuff you can’t control, you’re wasting energy.”
As he continued his path toward physical recovery, Kelley realized he wanted to share his mindfulness training.
“I want people to be able to be more aware of themselves,” Kelley said.
Journey of the Saber gives adults a chance to practice mindfulness, too … while also having fun.
During the day, the retail site, located in the Santa Rosa Plaza next to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store, will be open for drop-in duels. Think Darth Vader vs. Luke or Rei vs. Kylo Ren.
“Adults need to be reminded to take a break and have some fun,” Kelley said.
To get started with registration or learn about pricing and more info, contact Teryn Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or text or call 707-836-5593. Please include your name and your padawan’s name and age.