Thursday 14 December 2017

Trainee Jedi learn to use the Force

Wannabe Jedi Knights in Chile are being offered lightsabre training (AP)
Wannabe Jedi Knights in Chile are being offered lightsabre training (AP)

Fifteen-year-old Pablo Soto, from the Chilean city of Quilpue, regularly hits the gym in his spare time.

But it isn't boxing or running that Soto does during his workouts.

Dressed in a tunic and armed with a makeshift sword - he's here to train as a Jedi.

This is Chile's only school for Jedi, and it's here that instructor Sergio Angeloni teaches students to harness The Force through meditation, martial arts - and of course - lightsabre combat.

"We teach them a little bit of different things," he said.

"Yoga, a little Taekwondo, a little oriental philosophy, meditation."

The school was set up five years ago in Quilpue, 73 miles north-west of the capital Santiago, and has so far trained 20 students in the Jedi arts.

Soto graduated last year, but still returns regularly to keep up his skills in the discipline, praising the training as it helped his outlook on life.

"With this (Jedi training) I've developed different points of view about many things," he said.

"The physical conditioning helped him a lot," said his father Alejandro Soto. "(And) he has a much more open philosophy than regular youngsters."

There are currently two students training at the school hoping to join the privileged few graduates like Soto.

To graduate, students have to complete four semesters of classes over two years.

But despite the only one of its kind, Angeloni has no desire to expand the school to attract a greater number of students.

"The school isn't interested in having huge numbers of students," he said.

"The important thing is having a group of people that have the intention to change, have the intention to live differently and apply these things to their daily lives."

Press Association

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