So. As some people know, I'm going to be working on a 'final project', as it were - essentially my best work here at SWRP, and what I would like to establish as my personal legacy. I'm going to be writing a guide to the Echani martial art.

Some background is required, then.

Most people know me as that huge tech nerd. Truth. I identify with that the most. Most don't know that I'm also a karate instructor and a tournament coach, whose students have successfully taken out a world championship this year (yay). Needless to say, martial arts is a passion and a love of mine, and this is something I do. I've also studied classical Tamiya-ryu iaido and Shinto Musou-ryu jodo, and that does lend some weight to it as well. I toy with other Okinawan weapons arts, but that doesn't count (and I am pretty sure I am the only human being who is not interested in nunchaku, I swear).

I wouldn't say I'm overqualified to do this. I'd barely even call myself qualified. I'd say that I'm interested enough and have an understanding of core martial arts concepts and can at least relate and take in new ones well enough that I can do this and at least make it clear, concise and understandable for entry-level readers.

Why am I doing this?
Echani is probably the most well-known and most commonly used martial art in Star Wars roleplaying - Teras Kasi draws a very close second, if not an equal. However, nobody knows what it is. I've poked around some source material, some other fansites doing their thing, and I think I've got a clear grasp on it - at least, what it's meant to represent. I figure if I can help someone by giving them at least an idea as to what they're roleplaying, then we can make site lore a little richer. As a member of Staff, I love site lore. I love making our universe flourish and expand, and this is an incredible way to do that. A lot of characters are martial artists, but that takes a backseat because most people don't know what to do. Why should it? My job in the Factory is to educate. Why can't I apply that here, too?

Another reason I want to do it is essentially to provide myself a guide to it for future reference. Qae's going to be taking up a unique weapon art based out of Echani, and I really want to do it justice. So, the research I'm doing for that can be very beneficial for others, and sharing the knowledge is a great thing for me to be able to do.

The art itself. What is Echani, and how does it relate to us?
Echani's roots have been debated for a very long time, but a lot of the source materials point to the idea it is a Chinese art. Essentially, from my understanding, it is based out of Northern Shaolin - that is, the art that the Shaolin monks of the Temple use, as a primary base; Northern Shaolin is one of the oldest Chinese arts and is generally used as a root art for many other Chinese arts.

The reason why this works so well in my paradigm is that a lot of the associated imagery never has blocking given to it. It's all intercepting an attack with strikes (you may know this concept from Bruce Lee - the way of the intercepting fist, also known as his famous Jeet Kune Do!) and it's generally described as constantly moving, fluid, dynamic, and highly varied based on location and family - and that is the description of a Chinese art to the letter. Northern Shaolin is a very basic Chinese style, and has a lot of modifications to it and some personal variants. As such, being a base art, it's the perfect place to start for this document.

That's the idea, at least.

What will this entail, aside from hours upon hours of research?
- A basic introduction to the art - internal versus external.
- Methods of training - body conditioning, forms.
- Introductory techniques - methods of movement, hand techniques, foot techniques and stepping.
- How forms work and their principles.
- Weapons - specifically the Echani dagger, and the telescoping staff, and how weapons are related to the unarmed system.

That's the idea. I'll put samples and research notes here. Follow this and come along with me. It's going to be an incredible journey.