FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Pint-size padawans worked on their cool new light saber skills Wednesday at Jedi Academy, a one-day “Star Wars” fantasy program held at the Fairfield Public Library.
“Some of you are already advanced Jedi, I see,” Sensei Morgan Ewing told the group of 20 kids in kindergarten through fifth grade gathered before him. “That’s good because we’re going to be dueling in the end.”
“Oh yeah!” said one young apprentice, holding his light saber aloft.
Some of the children, like 5-year-old Miller Cooley of Fairfield, came decked out in full stormtrooper regalia.
“He’s been coming to the library since he was an infant,” said his grandmother, Joyce Miller. “He saw this and said, ‘Nana, I want to do this.’”
The program started with some warm-up jumping jacks and stretches.
“Being a Jedi is hard physical work,” Ewing reminded his young charges.
Next up the troopers-in-training had to decide whether they wanted to be good — a Jedi — or evil — a Sith.
“Your parents may have some strong opinions on this, but you have to decide,” Ewing said.
The padawans, or apprentices, fashioned light sabers from cardboard tubes and colored paper. Then they were ready to work on their skills.
Ewing demonstrated the wide circular motions used by Jedi knights and encouraged his students to set the scene as if they were on a real starship.
“You can totally make light saber noises, too,” he said, eliciting a steady chorus of “whees” and “whoos.”
The children paired up for some freeform dueling, which can be rough on a cardboard sword.
“If anybody needs light saber repairs, Eli is coming around with the tape,” Ewing said.
Ewing, who teaches martial arts at Kempo Academy of Fairfield, has been training young Jedi for about three years. Te hosts a camp for children who really want to get their Sith on.
The week-long half-day program includes light saber training and duels, Star Wars-themed games, such as “Advanced Jedi Dodgeball” and hand-to-hand skills training. The kids even watch "Star Wars" films at lunch.
“It really ties into martial arts,” Ewing said. “And parents love it because the children get to get wild and crazy and have fun and then they get under control afterward.”
There are two more sessions of Jedi Camp this summer — Aug. 1 to 5 and Aug. 15 to 19. For more information, contact Ewing at email@example.com.
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