So you’ve cosplayed as a Jedi at conventions and taken part in playing around in a few lightsaber fights. But do you think you have what it takes to stay standing in an official lightsaber duel? The French Fencing Federation has officially recognised lightsaber duelling from the Star Wars movies as a competitive sport. Along with the foil, epee and sabre, they are equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers as well as training lightsaber instructors.
The news comes from the Associated Press, where according to Serge Aubailly, the federation secretary general, the move is designed to persuade youngsters to get up off the sofa and do more sport. “With young people today, it’s a real public health issue,” he says. “That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural. Cape and sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth. Lightsaber films have the same impact. Young people want to give it a try.”
Slightly similar to fencing, Jedis and young Padawans don protective gear and take part in three-minute duels inside a circle marked on the floor. Before striking, they must first point the tip of their lightsaber behind them. Points are awarded by striking the head or body (worth five points), the arms or legs (worth three points), or hands (worth one point). The first to reach 15 points, or have the highest score after three minutes, is the winner.
Would you be willing to watch lightsaber duels as a sport? Or are you hoping for it to spread around the world so you can show off your lightsaber skills?