Star Wars fans, rejoice! Lightsaber dueling has now been officially recognized as a sport by the fencing federation of France.
Lightsabers, considered as an iconic weapon in pop culture because of the hit sci-fi franchise, is definitely more than just a movie prop as more and more people have developed an interest in using it for tournaments. The distinct sound and colorful blades make the matches a delight to watch and in some occasions, participants would even dress up similar to Star Wars characters.
In a DailyMail report, we read:
“The physicality of lightsaber combat is part of the reason why the French Fencing Federation threw its support behind the sport and is now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors.
“Like virtuous Jedi knights, the French federation sees itself as combating a Dark Side: The sedentary habits of 21st-century life that are affecting the health of ever-growing numbers of adults and children.”
Federation secretary general Serge Aubailly shared:
“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs.
“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. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”
People from different walks of life are attracted to the sport. 49-year-old Philippe Bondi, for instance, is a police officer who practiced fencing for 20 years. He eventually decided to pick up a lightsaber – a green one, at that, because, he says, “it’s the Jedi colors, and Yoda is my master.”
“I had to be on the good side, given that my job is upholding the law,” he likewise added.
Organizers, on the other hand, make sure that both the athletes and the audiences are satisfied with the overall experience.
“We wanted it to be safe, we wanted it to be umpired and, most of all, we wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect,” Michel Ortiz said.
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