Did you know that a "sport" involving lightsaber "combat" has come into being in Europe and that there were now dork-filled lightsaber "battles" with actual rules and winners? Yep. If you've tired of suiting up for Ren Faire sword fights and really want to up the ante in your dorkdom, this is just the sport for you.
This of course isn't the first time anyone has tried to legitimize the pretend lightsaber battles of your childhood and make them seem like perfectly acceptable activities for adult men SFist even attended a SoMA-based lightsaber "training academy" back in 2012 just for shits and giggles (see photo below). But it seems that this branch of the lightsaber-battle-as-sporting-event came into being in Italy in 2006, and has evolved to include a training academy that teaches seven forms of combat, arriving in the UK a year and a half ago. The outfit behind all this nonsense, LudoSport, has developed a "an ad hoc technique ... that can be used specifically and only with the instruments and the presumption of the existence in imagination of a light saber or more commonly a saber." Further, "This instrument is a weapon with a weightless blade, with a 360° edge that cuts everything except itself."
Like with actual fencing, specific rules have developed under LudoSport around the "validity of strikes," with certain strikes to the body considered winning or "mortal" targets. Also, "Pupils start with a blue bladed lightsaber. Later on, they will choose their path and, consequently, the colour of their blade." If you reach the third level of Sith/Sith Knight/Sith Master, you get to use a red lightsaber.
Not to be confused with the occasional, just-for-fun lightsaber "battles" that have been convened in major cities the last few years, like the one in SF in December that apparently resulted in some damaged grass, these saber battles actually require appropriate "uniforms" for each combatants level of prowess, and "certified" competition judges who may or may not still live with their moms.
The first ever San Francisco lightsaber battle with rules and judgements and winners will take place January 30 through February 1, though no location is given in the video above or in the release we received by email. Interested parties should probably reach out to [email protected].
And, take note, this appears to be a legit (or semi-legit) business, with franchisees buying in at a starting cost of 20,000 Euros, which includes 15 lightsabers for "academic purposes."