Battle of the beats: Martial arts arrives on Beat Saber dance platform

The Fight is the Dance

Sometime last year, an amazing VR production team, Mod very kindly opened up their studios and introduced me to a Willy Wonka world of mixed reality, VR and all the stuffs of pure imagination. Among all these goodies is a hit VR game called Beat Saber. A game with light-sabers, where players hit shiny blocks to time – like Dance Dance Revolution, but SHINIER. I decided a mod had to happen, so I can fight through music – Pirates of the Silk Road is the result.

Pirates of the Silk Road

The making of Pirates of the Silk Road

Playing Beat Saber, the martial artist fangirl in me was in love. I didn’t want to dance (which is what the game seems to be designed to do) , I wanted to see about fighting, or ok…fight dancing.

So, cue creation, I invited some kick arse musicians…Michael Sheridan (guitars) and Kirke Godfrey (additional drums + mix), and we made a track that allowed for dance and martial arts all at once.

I teamed up with Chongwei Zhang (Zhang Shifu) from TK Martial Arts, who is a serious multi-championship winning martial artist/ stuntperson/actor/ fight choreographer. He generously provided advice and choreography ideas to this fight-dance genre we seemed to have created. Then of course, I had to program a whole lot of boxes in Beat Saber world to somewhat capture all that bad-assery.

Zhang Shifu on sabers.

Do not let my calm exterior fool you, I’m MOSTLY doing my best NOT to let the saber kill me.

This is the result of all that collaborating, where the composing process is all about programming fight moves in game world, writing the piece, re-testing a move and moving beats to suit…composing has never been this physical and this stupidly fun.


Buy Pirates of the Silk Road HERE

Download/Play Beatsaber mod HERE:

Special thanks (again) to

Mod for loaning space and doing up this fantastic mixed reality shoot (Michela, Mish, Illia, Maize you folks are way awesome!). This all started because Michela threw me down a mod challenge, so it’s really her fault. 🙂

Macquarie University (Rhett Loban) for loaning time, space, people and equipment so we could test and test again. Rhett is a PhD candidate who has done some amazing VR work on the Torres Strait Island VR experience,which has won him The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STEM Professional Career Achievement Award

Beautiful art of Pirates of the Silk Road by Queenie Chan who is a super talented manga artist. Check out her stories!

My music and martial arts collaborators Michael Sheridan, Kirke Godfrey and TK Martial Arts – Zhang Chongwei

Most of all, thank you to the testers who test played the mod.

Here’s to friends, testers and shiny sabers!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Stay up-to-date with my latest news and blog entries via your favourite social network services.