Mastering the use of a lightsaber is a must-have skill for every Star Wars fan looking to live the life of a Jedi. While the Jedi path may not be one of violence but peaceful negotiations, a true Jedi understands the importance of lightsaber combat, and they know that sometimes it is the only way to maintain peace and justice.
If you're a Jedi enthusiast looking to get into replica lightsaber combat or duelling, here is a helpful guide to get you started.
Get the Right Dueling or Combat-Ready Replica Lightsaber
The Internet has made it very easy for Star Wars fans to get their hands on a wide range of replica lightsabers. However, not all these replica lightsabers are made the same (or have the same features). Some are only suitable for display and cosplay. What you need is a quality-grade duel-ready lightsaber that has the ability to withstand the intense conditions of lightsaber combat without getting damaged or compromising the safety of you and your opponent during close combat. Much like the high-quality Cal Kestis lightsaber, many replica lightsabers are built and designed with combat in mind.
A duel-ready lightsaber should have features that include; a strong, sturdy plastic or metal hilt, a high-quality heavy-grade (thick-walled) polycarbonate blade, power-saving abilities, blade colour-changing features and authentic sound effects.
Put Safety Measures in Place
Lightsaber combat (even if it's just some light sparring with friends) counts as a physical sport, so it is important that you prioritise safety. To avoid injuries to you and your opponent, there are some safety measures you need to put in place.
They include; having a first aid kit around and at all times, having and following agreed-upon combat rules, dressing the part (wearing appropriate clothing, gloves, helmets, eye protection and mouth guards), using the right grade replica lightsaber, fighting in a designated space (with no passersby) and making sure to always fasten removable lightsaber blades safely in position.
Learn to Hold the Hilt Properly
In order to have good control over your saber's movements during sparring or training, it is important that you learn how to hold the saber's hilt properly and safely. It can be quite challenging to get this down, but you must take your time to learn how to make your lightsaber an extension of your body. Studying other forms of martial arts can help you learn how to do this. You will also need to practice it a lot.
Choose a Combat Style and Learn the Proper Stances
A proper fighting stance is very important in lightsaber combat. It is what ensures that you are balanced and grounded (your opponent won't be able to knock you off your feet easily). Take your time to also learn the Jedi stance, which involves placing your non-dominant foot one step in front of your dominant one while gripping your lightsaber at hip level.
You will also need to pick a style of lightsaber combat. There are seven different forms of lightsaber combat – Shii-Cho, Makashi, Soresu, Ataru, Shien & Djem So, Niman and Juyo, and you will need to learn the proper stances of the one you pick.
Enrol in a Lightsaber Training School
If you want to improve your skills and take your lightsaber training to the next level, enrolling in a lightsaber training school is the way to go. In these schools, you will get to learn different lightsaber combat styles and techniques (both basic and advanced) from duelling experts and professionals.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”. This is very true for lightsaber combat. If you want to really hone in and perfect your lightsaber duelling skills, you need to practice. In addition to training on your own, try to engage in lightsaber sparring sessions with other Jedi enthusiasts like yourself.
For a Jedi enthusiast, lightsaber sparring or duelling is a lot more than playing pretend; it is a respectable form of art that reflects your commitment and dedication to the Jedi path. Besides, the combination of different lightsaber fighting styles with the several amazing features of duel-ready replica lightsabers only serves to make lightsaber combat a sport like no other.