Why Train LightSabers?
You could say that the folks here at LightClub are somewhat into LightSabers, but what’s the big deal? Why do we drop large chunks of change on replica models, various blade types, hilt sizes and soundboards.
Why do we spend hours swinging
these things around in the dark?
Why do we take so many damn selfies?
Well I’ll tell you!
The LightSaber is an instrument of pure will. Imagine, if you will, that when you push a button on a large flashlight esc object, a blade of magnetically contained plasma erupts from the end. By some miracle of fantasy physics the heat is contained within the magnetic field, your opponent has one of these insanely dangerous weapons as well.
Imagine the level of will power and precision this endeavor would require! One false move and you are charred and smoking mince meat! Every attack must be perfect, every defense absolute. This is the lore of the LightSaber. This spirit of intensity lends itself to the practice, elevating it to an art from of precision and grace.
Without this spirit of power and control, you essentially have a really cool glowing stick. Still awesome, but lacking conviction.
Imagination, therefore, is key to an effective saber practice.
Mastering a skill is one of the great joys of the human experience.
You can master the skill of MariorCart 64, or the joy of painting, skipping rocks on on a glassy lake, wood-working, writing, name a few.
To master a skill is to to give yourself over to it fully in the moment. To keep coming back to it, committing yourself to be your very best by sheer force of will through practice, failure, and continual evolution.
To master the saber is to exercise full control over it’s movement and action. To know the weight of it, the balance, and how it travels through space and time. To know it bone deep, no longer thinking about how to strike a target, but trusting your body to do the work, leaving your mind open to observe the scene and adapt the strategy as necessary.
Mastering the saber is commensurate to mastering the body. A mind with perfect strategy and understanding is inept without a body to carry out the commands. If your mind is to be expansive in it’s planning, the body must be adaptable and succinct in it’s execution. You must know your body, and your body must obey your mind.
Training is the only way to build that bridge.
This is only the beginning of Mastering the Saber. So far we’ve discussed how you relate to the saber, but next come the more complicated part… how you relate to the others.
In training the Saber, we look to others for inspiration and challenge, without them, we cannot move forward. We need others to sharpen ourselves against, to test our limits, to expose and reinforce our weakest points, and to help us expand in our strengths.
When sparring, we stretch our minds, seeking to know our opponents blade, how it travels, where they find balance. This is the only way to win with true skill, avoiding unnecessary pain.
Pain increases the risk factor, making for a quick entry into ever elusive flow state, or zone. It adds value to the competition, creating real stakes and encouraging high performance.
The sabers we use have polycarbonate tubes for blades, which are springy yet rigid. The flexible nature means that we aren’t likely to break bones, but a high velocity strike still stings like hell. This is to our advantage.
Pain is an incredible motivator, our most basic programing drives us to avoid it at most any cost. To maintain composure after experiencing pain may not be fun, but it is certainly a skill worth developing. At the same time, our basic passion for one another should make us cringe at the idea of causing another pain (sociopaths and siblings aside). True mastery enables the practitioner to avoid the pain of being struck, but it also creates a paradigm of control whereby you avoid hurting your opponent through a force of will. Sometimes this means forfeiting victory in exchange for the well being of another. This denotes true mastery. More often though, a master gains victory using gentle strikes, and efficient movements, avoiding the use of unnecessary force.
We always avoid injury, but this is a combative sport, and the risk makes it real. This is an important facet of LightSaber Combat that shouldn’t be underestimated or avoided.
The wow effect
This is the final reason for all the Saber Love that we’ll go into here, and if you aren’t convinced by now, I’m a little concerned, but there is still hope.
If you haven’t yet, see if you can get your hands on one of these beauties. Holding the metallic hilt and hitting the ignition switch is just plain dazzling. The light and color are always brilliant, if there is sound, jaws will regularly drop. Just holding this artifact of a more fantastic reality bring awe to most people, imagine what fighting with one must feel like! Dusk is my favorite time to light up, because the blades look full and fierce in the waning light, while the warriors remain lit by residual sunlight.
At night they are a complete spectacle, blur of color and trails of light. Blades clash and recoil, everyone feels the rush.
These are Lightsabers, and this is epic.
We are Warrior Nerds, and we fight with light.