Lightsaber Combat

A Sport for a more Civizied Age

LudoSport visits the US!

Post originally found at Heroes In Public

Have you ever imagined what it would feel like to hold lightsaber as it screams to life in blinding color? What if the person across from you had a tool of ultimate destruction of her own? What then? Would you fight her? Do you itch with anticipation?

I’m here to inform you, my fellow Americans, that your wait is coming to a close. LudoSport: Lightsaber Combat, has reached the U.S.

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LudoSort SF 1

LudoSport is a new field of combat sporting, based in Milan, Italy and rapidly spreading through Europe. It is derived from multiple sword styles passed through the ages, but what we find in the LudoSport Academies is something completely unique. It is a game of Lightsabers, and when you have a weightless blade and a 360 A sport for a new age. A new hope for nerds, saber-jocks, and younglings alike.


In January of 2016, LudoSport held the first US workshop in San Francisco, Ca, appropriately titled… the Force Awakens.

During this weekend event, some 40 students gathered from various walks of life to learn bits and pieces of the first five forms of Lightsaber Combat. Each day consisted of 3 sessions broken up over 5 hours. Saturday was spent on Forms 1-3, and Sunday revisited Form 1, then moved on to 4 & 5. The entire event was but a taste of what’s to come for those who chose to train LudoSport.

Ludosport SF2

Here is a brief summary of the forms and their defining characteristics.

  1. Shii-Cho – a comprehensive defense, dangerous for the attacker, with a focus on balance.
  2. Makashi- a one handed and quick style of combat that makes use of aggression and speed.
  3. Soresu – a beguiling style which leads the opponent into frustration, then exploits the opening created by a clouded mind.
  4. Ataru – a highly randomized style that gives little concern to defense, but favors speed and the fighting space.
  5. Djem-So – a style that uses the whip like motion of the spiral to deliver powerful, unpredictable blows.

For the remaining two forms, and the ludosport definitions of each style, visit Ludosport.net and check out the 7 Forms.


So, you could say we covered some ground.

To be honest, I was lost shortly after the first session. It was like everything I’d trained up until this point quickly, and without much fuss, evacuated my mind. I can only assume this was to make room for the incoming Awesome.

During each session we would see a demonstration, learn a drill or two that encapsulated the style, and then we would spar with the Masters using the techniques we’d learned up to that point.

Antonio was Intimidation made flesh. Not on purpose, mind you, it was probably just me. I learned a lot from him, once I stopped shaking.

Antonio was Intimidation made flesh. Not on purpose, mind you, it was probably just me. I learned a lot from him, once I stopped shaking.

Sparring with the Founding Masters was, how do you say… Intimidating? Terrifying?

No. Mind-numbing, that’s the word. Mind-numbing.

It’s not that they were aggressive, or scary, quite the contrary actually, but the issue was with the self. I had just learned these new techniques, and had little time to integrate them before learning another new technique! I simply could not process quick enough to fight! My first match felt okay, which makes sense, seeing as I only had Shii-Cho to work with. After that it was all down hill. I essentially froze up and forgot everything I knew as soon as my opponent approached. Fortunately, it was a safe space, and there was no judgement, just instruction. Any sense of shame was completely generated within. It was hard, but I tried to maintain a child’s perspective on it all. What else could I expect from my first encounter with LudoSport?

The best solution I found for dealing with my shortcomings in the ring was to fight every chance I got. Between sessions I would ask the elder students (who also functioned as translators for the Italian Masters for difficult wordings) for help, and on a few occasions, challenged them to a match. Yes, I got creamed repeatedly, but I learned.

This is why we train.

To optimize our movements, ingrain new patterns, and to quell the fear that is innate in us all.

We train to quiet the mind, even when someone is shaking a laser-stick at us.

 

That feeling of uncertainty, of being utterly lost, was frustrating, but I also know that frustration is final step before breakthrough in the flow cycle.

One more drill, one more fight, one more swing, and then it clicks. You’re there. Glorious, isn’t it? That feeling of comprehension.

Here’s a duel between Keith and Master Simone. Keith definitely managed to maintain some composure!

Between classes the pupils would run drills from the previous form, and even spar a little, and that lead to some integration. This was easily the most enjoyable part of the workshop, connecting with others as we moved through complex and sometimes counter-intuitive movements. It was Group Flow at it’s finest.

By 5:00 Sunday we were all beat (though I wager we would have stayed if it was an option!), my forearms were screaming from overuse, my knees were creaking from the jumping and cutting in the advanced forms, and my mind was full to bursting. I was giddy at all the new wisdom I had to share with my Saber Bro back home, but I was also solemn in the knowing that we had only scratched the surface. Solemn in the fact that these Saber Peeps I’d just befriended would all be going home to their Saber Clans. The weekend had come to a close. Now all that was left was the journey home. Let the processing begin.


Myself and Daniele, the creator of the Polaris SSe-1. Just look at those sexy blades!

Myself and Daniele, the creator of the Polaris SSe-1. Just look at those sexy blades!

There is so much more to tell.

For 10 hours we learned and fought with the very creators of the sport I’d always dreamed of. I met the man who designed the Polaris SSe-1, which I consider to be the finest lightsaber available today. I made friends with more saber people in one weekend than I had met in my entire life, combined. Truly a mountain-top experience.

I’ll leave it there for now.


Long story short: LudoSport is the future of Lightsaber Combat.

If it sounds like something you want to see in your neighborhood, hit them up and show some love. Follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook. Write them sappy poetry and send it in perfume laced letters. Let’s make a home for Ludosport on American soil.

Spread the Light.

Sam


Further reading and viewing:

Main Website: Ludosport.net

Youtube Channel: LudoSport International

Favorite Video – A Story of Light pt. 1

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This entry was posted on February 8, 2016 by in Lightsabers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .

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