Training New Jedis in the Force

Flynn Michael, co-founder of the New York Jedi club, leads weekly classes in how best to wield a lightsaber — but also, he says, how to be more confident and connect with one’s spirituality.

Comments: 48

  1. Only in NY can someone become an expert and guru of a nonexistant skill.

  2. Spock might not approve, but Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and the Lensmen of the Galactic Patrol would sign up for this in a Dagobah minute!

  3. I sense a disturbance in many checkbooks. Also a possible hint of the Dark Side, better known as litigation.

  4. Sorry sir. they've been in touch with Lucasarts to make certain they don't cause any disturbances.

    Love your work BTW!

  5. Great article! And YES you are a hit in the Halloween Parade! Jeanne Fleming, Director

  6. Hahaha. Time to grow up amigos.

  7. I like Star Wars as much as the next guy.

    But this is king of creepy.....

    Even creepier is the NYT's putting this story up as the lead news item on their web page.

    What's next? The Huckleberry Hound Club?

  8. Seriously? Self-ordained Jedi Grandmaster? Have you ever heard of Samurai? This is up there with Quiditch tournaments. To quote one of your gurus, WT Shatner, "Get a life!"

  9. And why, pray tell, is this a less acceptable hobby than stamp collecting, model trains, catching butterflies, or drinking beer until you pass out?

    I can think of far worse ways to pass the time...

  10. Plus, Shatner's quoted blurb is originally from an SNL sketch making fun of himself and other sci-fi fans. Yet I've seen it quoted here at least twice as if it was a valid argument or advice from Shatner himself.

  11. TV: why is this less acceptable? Because in those other hobbies you have actual possessions, while in this "lifestyle change" your money is going to fatten (his real name) Michael Brown's pocket, never to return, and you get a plastic toy that costs you $1000-5000.

    As for drinking beer until passing out: Much rather do that and dream about being in the Millennium Falcon in A Galaxy Far, Far Away than to stay sober and watch this guy with a made-up name pretend to be a Jedi in front of me.

  12. They come in as geeks, and leave as geeks with less money.

  13. Could someone please pass me my pimple cream?

  14. They come in geeks and leave slightly poorer but happier geeks.

  15. Behold, 40 year old virgins with swords!

  16. Why, pray, does this type of silliness require a mention in the Times, much less a prominent place on the web site?

  17. Wow! to each, his own.

  18. Such a tempting thing to want to respond with snark, ridicule and condescension.

    But hey, they aren't hurting anyone. Looks like everyone's into it and the fun and community certainly seems substantive.

    Verdict: Go for it. Have a blast.

    May that... thing be with you.


  19. the "geeks" who enter and think they're going out as "Jedis" are actually being hurt. Their checking accounts are going down to enrich this self-proclaimed Jedi master. I would like to see Mr. Michael's Jedi Teaching Certification.

  20. I've run into Flynn a number of times at local bars. If asked, he'll elaborate on his truther views about as long as his Jedi ones. Both seem equally based in reality.

  21. lol. Another quack "life-coach."

  22. This is "All the news that's fit to print?"

  23. PLEASE, for your own sake -- NEVER, EVER attempt to employ your "Jedi skills" on the streets of NYC.

  24. I love it! May the Force be with them all!!

  25. "At the New York Jedi club, righteous aspirants commune with the Force. 'They come in geeks and go out Jedi warriors,' said Flynn Michael, the club’s co-founder."

    Not really, Mr. Michael: they still go out as geeks -- just BIGGER geeks.

  26. And I thoughtt that Tiny Tim was the limit ? Go figure.

  27. I am glad the New York Times printed this. Although it may not be political or in relation to global events, it is a release from the horrors of man. This is the type of article I want to be able to read on a Saturday evening, after a long day of work. For many, including myself, Star Wars is a perfect place to go away from all the ambiguity of the world.

    Democrats and Republicans are always shifting their values.

    The Jedi and the Sith are absolute.

  28. As William Shatner once said: "Move out of your parent's basements and get a life!"

  29. I'm pretty sure that going out to take classes with other human beings counts. Just because it's geeky as heck doesn't mean they have no lives! Besides, it's slightly better in my opinion than going out to the bar, drinking themselves sick, and doing fantasy football...which everybody knows is just D&D for jocks, anyway.

  30. does anyone want to start a club for gaining the power of the Schwartz? if so, i'm in. i figure we'd meet once a month for sandwiches and coffee, talk about whatever and then maybe watch a mets game. interested parties post thus forth.

  31. Exhibit A of the explanation of why China owns us now.

  32. "Nothing attracts the ladies like a lightsaber" - hee!!!

  33. ACTUALLY... You should try it sometime... lol

  34. True story: about a month ago I was walking home through Tribeca and a Jedi jumped out and wielded his lightsaber at me. Instinctively I reached into my utility belt and flicked open my homemade transponder. "One to beam up!" I said. Nothing happened, except that he hit me with the light saber which made a pathetic 'clack' and didn't hurt at all. Then we both moved back to Pittsburgh.

  35. The article doesn't mention whether or not he has a girlfriend, but I think we know the answer...

  36. If these same people were sports fans, nobody would be making derogatory comments about them. There is no difference to being a fan, short for fanatic, of Star Wars or Star Trek and being a sports fan. The followers of fiction tend to aspire to the good atributes of the character which are often better than those of humans. It's just as logical to aspire to be a Jedi as to follow a bunch of overpaid guys throwing a ball around. What is so noble about a bunch of people screaming and yelling at guys on the sports field? These people are getting together to learn a discipline that may be fictional but has qualities worth learning. They are also having fun. It's the followers of sports who might consider getting a life, before they point their fingers at those of us who are fans of a fictional character we admire.

  37. The sport that this tranlates to is competitive fencing. You fight opponents with swords that are stiff steel weapons (foil, epee, saber) requiring protective gear including kevlar undergarmets around the thorax, you can earn ratings from E (lowest) to A (highest), the best fencers win by acquiring skills through years of practice, and win by staying in the moment and being in control of themselves physically and emotionally. There are annual national competitions and numerous regional competitions throughout the year. Many people expect to be champions after working at it for a few weeks and their egos can't deal with losing so they drop it. Gaining mastery over one's ego is a skill few of us in our society master. In this sport you have an opportunity to achieve this. Many kids who come to fencing were turned on to it by Star Wars.

  38. Mr. Michael is not the only teacher of this group, although he is trained in a few of the sword fighting arts. The other people who teach from week to week vary and most are highly trained in some form of sword fighting, martial arts, or other useful skills. It is a great place to learn fighting skills, apply it to our "geekery" and make (very realistic looking) staged fights from the skills learned.

    Don't knock it till you try it!! SERIOUSLY!!

  39. Well, I kinda love this. I've always wanted to be a Jedi... glad to see that some folks are enjoying themselves. And if they come out of it with some self-defense skills, even better.

  40. For everyones info Flynn has a gf and shes nice .Hell the men get so much booty that I wonder sometimes. Keep in mind people Geeks are the ones that are able to get more things out of life and tend to have the high paying jobs as well as fast swinging women. Shall I remind people of return of the nerds?

  41. The Jedi are based upon Templars and Shaolin warrior monks who take and oath of poverty and fidelity.

    It's a discipline that evokes an ethic and standard all but vacant in our corrupted society and system in America today as exhibited by the comments above for the most part..

    Also Lucas association with Joseph Campbell and his teachings if employed here as well along with some Buddhist philosophy can only enrich these young men they are properly exposed to them..

    We are at the very early beginnings of a new era, in which our knowledge of the true nature of the Universe will develop into a form of religion or philosophy at could very well harmonize mankind or humanity rather than act to divide mankind into tribal cults based upon a primitive mythology in regard to what we call "God" and nature..

    The Force is Real as Science will soon reveal there is a Consciousness at a Quantum level it surrounds us because everything exists only within that Consciousness or Force..

    It's not a matter of saying may the Force be with you, as much as may you be with The Force..!

    To go against the Force or nature is the only form of sin and then we sin against our very selves.

    It's in all living things, in every cell of your body, and every star...

  42. To profit from teaching the Jedi way is in itself a violation of the Jedi way......

  43. Laugh at me if you want to, but mine almost always gets me a
    seat on the subway.

  44. Only in New York...smh

  45. Non New Yorker here wanting to weigh in. Obviously opinions vary on Fynn and what he and his team do, but stop and think about this for a moment. This group of people are in the NY Times. They have been in Wired, Maxim, on network TV, MTV, G4. They are a mainstay of the Halloween Parade in NYC, and are regulars at some of the biggest conventions for Sci-fi and comics in the land. Can any of you claim the same media exposure? they have even been in touch with Lucas to make certain they aren't stepping on IP toes ( Sorry Mr Foster, no litigation for you).

    Now some of you derisively say they need lives, have no girlfriends, etc. Yet they are the ones getting all the exposure while you flame them from the comfort of home. While I'm sure some of them started out with the social awkwardness you decree them to have, doing what they do in the public eye I'm sure has only helped them.

    Now to confess, I know these people write well, as I was a member myself and later helped found the Philadelphia chapter. I am happily married with kids, own my own home, and do quite well for myself. So do these people.

    I just wanted to point out that just because it is not what you would consider normal doesn't make it wrong. If anything, you should celebrate that this is just one more thing that make NYC such a wonderful ecclectic place to be. yet you all seem hell bent to tear them down. Shameful, really.

  46. From what I've heard this club has had legal problems with Lucasfilm.

  47. Brilliant Mr Michael. Speaking as the mother of a 12 year old -- there is a business opportunity here. We'd be the first to sign up for a summer academy for Jedis.