Lightsaber Duels Just Became An Official French Sport

Lightsaber Duels Just Became An Official French Sport

Lightsaber battles have been the best part of Star Wars and any Star Wars game, so it’s only natural that the art of rattling said sabres would be a fun competitive pursuit. And, as of this week, it’s now an official one.

The ABC and Japan Times have reported that the French Fencing Federation, the governing body for sabre duels in France, has officially recognised the sport.

Fencing clubs in the country are now able to get equipment and instructors through the organisation, with federation secretary general Serge Aubailly saying the move was designed to help connect younger adults and children with more physical activity.

“It’s becoming difficult to (persuade them to) do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs,” Aubailly said. “That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”

He added that “cape and sword movies” have historically resulted in increased signups for fencing, and Star Wars has a similar effect among younger generations. “Young people want to give it a try,” he told the Press Association.

34 competitors attended a national lightsaber event in Paris earlier this month. Matches are all to 15 points or the highest scorer after 3 minutes, with fighters awarded 5 points for strikes to the head or body, 3 for strikes on the arms or legs, and 1 point for a hit to the hands. If both fighters reach 10 points, sudden death rules apply where the first to hit the body or head (but not the hands) wins.

And unlike fencing, where quick thrusts are often the order of the day, blows are only counted if the tip of the lightsaber is first pointed behind the attacker. It results in more cinematic-like combat that’s in line with the lightsaber duels in the Star Wars movies.

[Japan Times, ABC]


      • Also a reply to @benredbeard

        Yeah, it is true, we had a fencing team at school and despite the very fair assumption, we were not a rich private institution, we were a public boys school.
        Our French and Japanese teacher was a proper Frenchman and fencing instructor.
        We had old second hand manual (non-electrical) gear and trained in the gym during lunch a couple of days a week.

        It’s true though, the only other schools in NZ we ever competed against were the oldest of the private colleges with their modern electrical equipment. (Which was basically useless because we didn’t have any)
        I’m proud to say that aside from one team loss, we thrashed the crap out of them for the four years I was a member and was captain during my last.
        I can tell ya, a lot of of those schools didnt like us at all and they weren’t too fond of a bad mouthed Maori boy in fencing either lol.

        At the risk of sounding soppy, we were kinda privileged in a way, those were some fun days, I have the genuine scars to prove it.

        • Hey mate I am in no way having a go at you just for the record. I guess my comment might have come across as snippy, but please don’t take it that way. That is awesome you got to experience that, the closest we got to fencing due to our geographic location was when we went away for a yearly camp and they had fencing there. Was super sick and kind of made me feel that it would have been cool to learn stuff like that, but coming from a school of a population of like 35 kids funding was spent else where LOL.

          • Nah it’s cool I didn’t take it as a negative, as I said it’s honestly a fair assumption, it’s definetly a sport for the more well to do establishments.
            I didn’t think a single school we faced had an off the rack blazer, always tailored.

      • Oh!! The other schools students were always cool though, was just their parents and fencing teachers who were dicks.

        • i am so jealous right meow. my school so pov we had to share textbooks usually one book per 2 students but often had times of 1 per 3 students. no cool sports eithers

    • Wow. Literally as soon as I typed lightsaber into the URL I got the ABC link. Wonder how I fucked that up.

      Anyway, it’s fixed now. Thanks for pinging me!

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