Lightsaber Fights Are An Official Sport

By Charlene Badasie | Published

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In a galaxy not so far away, lightsaber fights have become more than just a fantasy. Thanks to the innovative spirit of the French Fencing Federation, enthusiasts can now wield these iconic weapons in competitive sport, bringing the epic battles of Star Wars Jedi Knights and Sith Lords to life in a whole new way.

The French Fencing Federation

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Officially recognized by the French Fencing Federation, lightsaber fights have gained the same status as traditional Olympic blades like the foil, epee, and sabre. While the LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate replicas may not possess the lethal edge of their fictional counterparts, they still manage to capture the essence of the legendary weapons seen in the Star Wars movies.

Embracing the physicality of lightsaber combat, in 2019, the federation took proactive steps to integrate lightsaber fights into fencing clubs across France. By providing training for lightsaber instructors and equipping clubs with these futuristic (albeit fictional) weapons, they’re not only fostering a love for the sport but also combating the sedentary habits prevalent in modern society.

Combating Sedentary Lifestyles

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Serge Aubailly, the federation’s secretary general, emphasized the importance of addressing the public health concerns associated with sedentary lifestyles, particularly among the younger generation. “With young people today, it’s a real public health issue,” he said at the time. “They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs.”

“That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural,” Aubailly added about lightsaber fights in 2019. Just as swashbuckling heroes of old attracted enthusiasts, the allure of iconic Star Wars characters like Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader is drawing newcomers to the sport.


ligthsaber fights

To ensure that lightsaber fights are safe and visually captivating, French organizers have devised competition rules that mirror the intensity and spectacle of the movies. Combatants engage within a marked circle, earning points for shots. Strikes to the head or body earn five points, strikes to the arms or legs earn three points, and hits on the hands are worth one point.

The first competitor to accumulate 15 points wins, or if that doesn’t happen quickly, the one with the higher score after three minutes is declared the victor. If both fighters reach 10 points, the match enters a “sudden death” phase, where the first to land a decisive blow to the head or body emerges as the winner.

While lightsaber fights may not yet have a place in the 2024 Olympics, its growing popularity and unique appeal are undeniable. It is also likely to inspire more people to embrace sports.

Ligthsaber Design Is Dependent On The Wielder

In Star Wars, lightsabers are characterized by their glowing blades, which can vary in color and are activated by a unique power source known as a kyber crystal. The design and construction of lightsabers are deeply rooted in the philosophies and beliefs of the Force-wielding characters who use them, making each lightsaber a unique and personal extension of its wielder.

Obi-Wan Vs. Anakin

ligthsaber fights

Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is arguably the most emotional and intense lightsaber fight in the entire saga. It marks the transformation of Anakin into Darth Vader and the tragic end of the Jedi Order. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back is iconic for its dramatic reveal of Darth Vader as Luke’s father.

Source: The Guardian

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