The French Fencing Federation is one of the biggest fencing organizations in Europe. While the three typically recognized forms of fencing are called foil, saber and epee, the Federation has just officially recognized a new form of fencing: lightsaber dueling.
Based on the iconic Jedi fighting style from Star Wars, this new form of dueling features rounds that last three minutes. The first duelist to reach 15 victories is declared the victor, and the style uses LED-lit polycarbonate lightsaber replicas, which range from simple light up sabers to advanced models that replicate the sound of the lightsaber duels.
The main difference between this and classical fencing is that it requires combatants to pull their sword behind themselves before they can try to strike their opponent.
The Federation is currently equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors.
“With young people today... they don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” Federation Secretary General Serge Aubailly said to AP News. “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.”
Part of the reason why the Federation has gone all out with the form of combat is because it might be a good way to attract children and teenagers to the sport.
“Cape and sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth,” Aubailly said. ”Lightsaber films have the same impact . Young people want to give it a try.”