A little over a year ago, in this galaxy, The Saber Authority made its mark as the chief in lightsaber combat — in Singapore. Channeling the force, they lunge, retreat, parry and swing lightsabers, challenging one another to duels. Lightsabers are provided as part of the session for the casual weekend Jedi, so you won’t have to buy your own lest you find the force telling you to commit to your own.
Star Wars‘ fans wet themselves while flooding social media feeds with footage and images of lightsaber duels. Drawing the attention of many content platforms and even newspapers, were the neon glow of the lightsabers twirling and striking one another.
While fans Star Wars have no trouble jumping on the idea of a combat sport based on the exhilarating and captivating onscreen lightsaber duels. Those unfamiliar with the Jedi and Sith have also found lightsaber combat easy to get into. Wouldn’t you want to engage in combat without the risk of being decapitated or cauterized by a laser?
We headed down to one of The Force Authority’s sessions, to find out how lightsaber dueling has evolved since the furore that surrounded it a year ago.
The glowing lightsabers were easy enough to spot from a distance. A large group of people of all ages and walks of life had gathered at the running track outside the National Stadium.
Two men outfitted with face masks and gloves were going at it (lightsaber dueling) as we approached the group. They swung at one another, drawing circles in the air with their lightsabers before bringing it down, or from the side in attempts to land a successful strike. Cheering them on while they performed this dance of martial combat, were the other members of the group.
Speaking to training consultant Reza Emmanuel, and one of the founders of The Saber Authority, we learnt that they (The Saber Authority) weren’t just Star Wars fan boys and girls hitting one another with glorified sticks.
Trained in the martial art of Kali, Reza implements similar techniques when teaching lightsaber dueling. So instead of just getting in a good workout, people get to pick up martial art techniques while having fun. Choosing to use Kali techniques was also to give lightsaber dueling here a uniquely South-East Asian feel, as opposed to using fencing and European sword fighting styles.
Standing by the wayside, being careful not to get within striking distance of the sabers, we watched on as 30 or so people performed drills. Refining their technique, poise when moving with the sabers, it’s truly a test of balance, coordination and dexterity.
25 year old audio engineer and videographer, and not forgetting Star Wars fan Alex Choong, has been wielding a lightsaber for the past year. Since then, he’s managed to convince his whole family to pick up the sport. If you’ve watched any of The Saber Authority’s videos, chances are, you’ve heard Choong providing commentary while filming, it’s his way of giving back to a sport and hobby he loves.
Besides Choong and his family, other enthusiasts along with their loved ones can be found sparring against one another at the sessions held. From the young to those working at weight or other health issues, if there was a martial art that everyone could get on board with, it’d have to be lightsaber dueling.
The Force continues to grow, with the very first lightsaber dueling tournament, with a cash prize set to take place this December as evidence. Let the Force guide you, and you could find yourself battling for a cash prize at a saber combat tournament one day, what are you waiting for?
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