It looks like a crazy bunch of fun, but for those who partake in it, it’s a serious sport: Lightsaber Combat. The sport finds its home in a Milan, Italy facility called LudoSport, where warriors pick up their glowing lightsaber replicas and engage in combat. Joining the Italy and other facilities is a new LudoSport site opening in San Francisco, marking the United States’ first official lightsaber training academy.
LudoSport and the official sport of lightsaber combat was founded by three friends living in Italy. They came into possession of toy lightsabers and, being trained in the more formal arts of sword fighting, went outside and started fighting each other. This snowballed into the evolution of lightsaber-specific rules and combat moves that many trainees (padawans?) have taken up.
That initial facility opened in 2006 — it has been ten years now, and these lightsaber academies have grown in number, popping up not only in Italy, but also the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Russia, Sweden, and Belgium…and, as of this week, the U.S. These academies — and the sport in general — operate like any other, and take themselves quite seriously.
Trainees wear uniforms that reflect their current skill level, not unlike belts in martial arts. They also have the chance to compete with other jedis in regional, national and international competitions. Furthermore, the school has designated specific lightsaber fighting styles, among them being Vaapad, Shii-cho, Soresu, Ataru, Niman, and Makashi. According to the LudoSport San Fran Facebook page, the facility will be holding a class on October 22.