Jedi Knights are the real deal?  Well, kinda sorta.  George Lucas created the fictional sci-fi warrior knight for Star Wars, however, he based their flashy fighting style and the combat ethic on Samurai and Kendo warriors.  Kendo is the Japanese sword fighting artform. So if there’s any way to become a real Jedi here on Earth, studying Kendo is a great way to start one on a Jedi spanning journey.

Luke Skywalker’s Japanese Influences

Use The Force, Luke.  Luke’s real life counterpart did just that, by revealing Japan’s creative impact on the Star Wars saga.  

In 2015, actor Mark Hamill hosted a documentary, Star Wars: Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel, which explores the real Japanese sword fighting artform.  Lightsabers may be the greatest example of a high tech person to person combat weapon, but the ancient fighters in Japan did pretty well using good old fashioned steel.

Kendo Jedi

But like many fascinating artistic elements of a film saga, the influences don’t stop at combat.

The iconic look and style of Darth Vader’s armor and helmet were more than influenced by the ancient Samurai.  As for the preferred elegant weapons of both Jedi and Sith combatants?  Of course don’t expect to be charging up a red hot lightsaber for Kendo practice.  The traditional use of bamboo practice swords define the look and feel of Kendo swordsmanship.

Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda taught young Luke Skywalker well.  Darth Vader ultimately taught his talented son that losing your hand in a lightsaber duel doesn’t mean you’re out of the game for good.  Unlike some other science fiction weapons – phaser I’m looking at you – one can use Kendo in real life.  By carefully studying Japanese Kendo, one can attain a kind of real life Jedi Knighthood.  Employ The Force, oh Jedi loving Padawan – and get to learning your Kendo.

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