TPLA Ranks

Ranks and grades:

  • TPLA's ranking system is only applicable to people officially recognized and training as an Apprentice.
  • This ranking system is internal to TPLA and in no way authorizes an individual to claim real world mastery in combative arts. 
  • TPLA disavows any connection to anyone using this material to misrepresent themselves as an expert in combative arts or self defense to the public if they have no real world martial art experience. 
  • These ranks apply to the sport/hobby of LED sabering ONLY and are intended for entertainment, personal enrichment and fun. 
  • TPLA uses these ranks to ensure that it's representatives are following proper safety, technique, and protocol.

Initiates: Initiates are beginning their journey into lightsaber combat. Initiates will learn and explore Shii-Cho. Through this Form, one will understand the basics of the weapon and it’s use. Initiates must stay focused on their own learning and therefore cannot lead sanctioned TPLA meet-ups, hang-outs, or classes.


Padawans/Apprentices: To be considered a Padawan, one must have proven their understanding of the basics of Form I and be directly learning from a Master or instructor the fundamentals and foundations of saber combat. Directly means you are in one to one contact and are receiving objective input on a regular basis. This can be through in person means or other. Padawans or Apprentices have demonstrated an understanding of the basics of saber combat, safety, and practice and are allowed to lead study groups, meet-ups and represent TPLA at these functions. 


Official Enclaves are group led by an official TPLA Apprentice or group of Apprentices. These groups are permitted to teach beginners and initiates the basics of Saber combat only. This will mostly center around Shii-Cho. Certain more advanced exercises and drills may be taught with expressed permission of the Masters. Basic foot work, safety, fitness, and other things that they may be working on themselves will be the norm in these groups. Apprentices may show, lead, advise, and answer questions but they cannot teach freely anything but  Form I Shii-cho (the material that they have been tested on). There is no free play, free exchange, flow dueling, or sparring officially taught in enclaves. Combat based drills, reaction exercises and short sequence choreography may be undertaken with appropriate safety gear. TPLA does NOT endorse anyone below the level of Knight engaging in free play or sparring without a Knight or Master present and supervising. 


Knights/Jendar’i: Knights are practitioners who have passed the trials and have begun their own personal study in the art. Knights will often follow their own path, specializing in one Form or learning many on their road to mastery. Knights form the main body of the representatives of TPLA. Knights will be able to present material to the public, form groups and classes, stage demos and workshops, as well as take on students in formal classes. 


Knights are recognized by their "praxeum" or training hall. Knights may teach any of the "Pillars" -first four forms in TPLA. Knights have proven themselves to be of exemplary examples of technical, instructing, and/or martial skill. They have demonstrated high regard for safety and responsibility and may therefore teach more combat and free exchange applications. Knights may also employ the SaberLab Rules to stage sparring matches and limited free play. All combat done under the auspices of TPLA must be over seen by a Knight or Master. TPLA does NOT sanction free sparring or free exchange drills being taught at the Apprentice level.  


Master: Master is a title conferred on to those students who show the dedication, drive, and mindset to carry the art further into the future. Masters are our designated teachers, historians, creators and researchers within the TPLA system, and while Knights will often teach classes and represent TPLA and the material, it is the Masters who are charged with the responsibility of creating it, keeping it and passing it on. Current Masters at TPLA have extensive backgrounds in martial arts, fitness, and/or coaching.Students can become Masters by following their path to it’s completion. The Master’s Exam is by invitation only and another Master must decide when you are ready. Only Masters can confer the title on others or call for a Knight to be tested.


Masters may run a Sol. As would be expected, Masters may teach the entire TPLA curriculum in their Sol. 


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