Uttering the combination of the words “light saber fencing” and “sport” may make one wonder and utter something that goes in the lines of “That’s a thing?” Apparently, it is and is here to stay!
Light saber fencing is an activity that was conceived from a certain popular science-fiction franchise which apparently was quite popular from the 80s to this day. Though the activity is still very new, it is already making waves. France recognized it as a sport in 2019. The main reasons behind this decision were to capitalize on current trending media and encourage young people to engage in physical activity. “It’s becoming difficult to persuade them to do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural,” says Serge Aubailly, the secretary-general of the French Fencing Federation, as quoted by ESPN.
Tim Vreeburg, the instructor of the sport at USC talked to us about the new program: “Light saber fencing is a sport from Italy that is currently present in 13 countries. Its spread is almost enough to make the sport apply to the Olympic games by their academies. As for me, I am the first light saber fencing teacher in the Netherlands. There are also a bunch of fencing clubs and federations using the light saber to help grow their sports club.”
Hardcore fans of a certain sci-fi franchise can also rejoice that light saber fencing’s hniques are deeply rooted in the movie franchise’s lore. “The founding masters used the movies to get the structure to their techniques. So, one form follows the Chii-cho from the movies but is adapted to a real-world form. Another form, found in the movies, is all about jumping and somersaults so they used different techniques in that form (due to a certain power that does not work here on Earth),” tells Vreeburg us enthusiastically. “In addition, light saber fencing’s main difference from traditional martial arts is that only a touch (of the light saber) will suffice in scoring, and we have a lethal and non-lethal area to make a simple point system work as if they were real light sabers. This makes out combat sport one of the safest and most elegant combat sports there is.”
Though a young sport, light saber fencing surely has the potential to become a widely practiced activity due to the myriad of advantages over traditional combat sports. The sport is a healthy activity that can also be engaging in terms of lore and background. It can be fun to anyone, but especially to fans of the sci-fi franchise. If you want to try light saber fencing, you can visit one of the lessons and be one of the trendsetters of this new sport! The USC offers this class at the Universum on Wednesdays at eight.