Terra Prime Light Armory (TPLA) use LED Sabers as an analog for teaching and preserving historical Asian and European fighting systems. This provides students with a fun and fast paced way to stay active while exploring the skills behind their favorite science fiction films. We approach instruction with the LED saber just as one would any other traditional martial art. TPLA’s progressive curriculum allows students to explore a number of real-world fighting systems through the vehicle of the “seven classic forms of lightsaber combat.” These basic skills can then be applied to combat sports, forms practice, or performance choreography. LED Sabers are the ideal tool for this job as they are safe to use and well suited to a variety of fencing styles.
TPLA was created by Chad Eisner, an instructor of the traditional Chinese martial arts, and Matthew Stewart-Fulton, a historical European martial arts enthusiast, in 2012. They founded TPLA with the goal of creating a free, easily accessible, curriculum which could support class room instruction, informal study groups, or solo practice by the many “Learners in Exile” who wished to follow their work.
The TPLA system of instruction currently reaches thousands of students through both social media outreach and traditional training hall instruction.
It is impossible to tell how many individuals are currently using TPLA’s instructional material, but our formal network includes multiple academies in Michigan, New York, Florida and throughout France. We have recently entered a strategic partnership with the French Fencing Federation (FFE). This will allow TPLA to formally promote their new competition ruleset in the United States.
Rather than directly monetizing our system of LED Saber instruction, we have made all of our instructional material freely available on YouTube. It is also free to join TPLA or to start a study group of your own. Our YouTube channel has over 24 thousand regular subscribers, and some of our more popular videos have received over 100 thousand views.
TPLA takes safety very seriously and was the first group in the LED saber community to mandate the use of fencing masks and lacrosse gloves during sparring. During FFE competition athletes are also required to wear chest and shoulder protection, elbow and knee guards and back of the head protection. The LED Sabers themselves have aluminum hilts and practically indestructible polycarbonate blades. The average training saber costs only $75-$150 making our practice accessible to most families.