I have been getting many PM's on what the proper way is to form an LED Saber club. This is a subjective question for many a reason because people make clubs for various reasons already. I have seen many a club come and go over the years, and here are some things that I have learned based on my experience. You may do what you want with my suggestions, but keep in mind that if you do become active in the LED Saber Community via forums, Facebook, etc. your actions or inactions will determine your credibility.1. What is your mission?
If your mission is just to get together with your friends and swing sabers around and pretend you're Jedi, then cool. If you have no interest in learning how to use an LED saber other than to pretend duel and learn spins, more the power to you.
However, if your focus is to form a tangible group with members that are serious about learning how to use a LED Saber, whether it be for stage combat, real sparring, serious spins, etc. this is a whole new ballgame.What to NOT do:
Call yourself a master, grandmaster or teacher unless you have REAL experience.
The LED Saberplay Community suffers from far too much
of this. People think because they form a group that they are automatically a "Master" and suddenly have the rights to teach LED Saberplay because of one reason or another, although they have no formal training in anything
martial arts, weapons or combat related. If someone who got their 1st degree black belt in say, a style of karate (which is nowhere near Master Instructor Level) went and opened a school and suddenly changed their title to 'Master' simply because they owned the school, would most likely be deemed a fraud by his or her peers and shunned in the martial arts community. Don't call yourself a 'teacher' with 'students' if you are on the same level as them in saberplay. And watching and studying the fight scenes in the SW films does NOT make you a master of any sorts. It just makes you good at pausing and rewinding on your DVD player. Think because you formed the group that people are going to automatically respect you.
Respect is something earned by not only your real teaching and leadership experience, but by your actions as well. If you are open to learning new things, listening to your group members and always being a fair person, you will find that you get a lot more respect than if you are the type to say "I am the leader of this group, you listen to me and do what I say or you're out."....members will drop like flies and rightfully so.
Not be open to other teacher's and saber club's ideas
Wanna get ostracized quickly and not grow as a group and a person? See above sentence.What TO do:
Get some experience if you haven't got any.
Take some martial arts classes, either at a professional school, college or a rec center depending on your budget. Take sword training, fencing, something
that can pertain to LED Saberplay. Formal instruction will help you in more ways than I can type here. But most importantly, it will give you a foundation to build upon. Acknowledge your experience.
If you start from scratch with zero experience, it's OK to say "I have no experience whatsoever but am looking to learn and grow with a group" that sentence right there will show all the things that it takes to be a leader because you already have acknowledged many things. Post videos with your tutorials
This is how I got my name out there, to let the saber clubs know who I am, what my credentials were and how I could contribute. They saw firsthand what I was able to do, and hopefully knew I wasn't just some goofy nerd who was pretending he knew how to swing around a noisy flashlight. Make a Facebook fan or group page
Social Networking is the present and future. Facebook is a great way to reach out and connect with many others. Plus, you can create events and invite people. Your group can be either open or private. Posting fliers around your town can work, too! Make a YouTube Channel and join a picture sharing site (Photobucket, Picasa, etc)
Share those vids and pics with the community! Make sure you have a reliable place to practice.
Nothing is more frustrating than forming a meet, just to have the meet canceled because of rain, or some other act of God that is beyond anyone's control. In the warmer months, practice at a local park (make sure it's in a nice area and check with your local law enforcement peeps to make sure it's OK first....just to be safe). In the rainy or cold months, depending on what you have at your disposal you may want to see if you can use someone's garage, covered patio, etc. If you get into renting a facility, be prepared to pay a hefty sum for both space rent and insurance.
Hopefully this helps those folks out there who want to form a group of some kind and have had some questions. Please feel free to add to anything I just said and post anymore questions here.