An activity that has very quickly become a favourite for Star Wars fans all over the world is lightsaber dueling. It is a way for fans to re-enact their best Star Wars duels and also actively feel the Force. If lightsaber dueling is something you’ve recently gotten into, below are some tips you can use to up your game and duel like your favourite Force-sensitive warrior.
Getting Yourself the Right Lightsaber
A replica lightsaber is what makes for a good or bad dueling experience, so it is important that you get yourself the right type and quality. Some lightsaber dueling organisations may even have certain requirements for the type of replica lightsaber you can use based on the acceptable conditions during their duels.
Not all replica lightsabers are made the same, some companies like Padawan Outpost have a higher level of quality. Some are made for display and cosplay, while others are made for dueling. What you need is a top-quality duel-ready lightsaber. When buying one, do make sure to look out for the following features;
Weight – Lightsaber duels can go on for several minutes at a time, which means that the weight of your replica lightsaber may start to feel heavy on your wrist and slow you down after a while. Your saber should be light enough to not slow you down as you fight but not too light that you no longer feel its power as you cut.
Heavy blades offer more damaging strikes, while light blades offer more agility, so you should be looking for a replica that offers a good balance between both.
Balance – When it comes to choosing a lightsaber for dueling, one thing you should avoid is a saber that has all its weight on the hilt. Opt for finding a replica that offers a good balance between your outstretched finger and the meeting point of the blade and hilt.
Blade Length – As a beginner, the blade length of your dueling lightsaber should be between 24 and 36 inches. You can choose to upgrade to a custom blade once your skills and fighting techniques have evolved.
Durability – This is a very important feature, as a poorly-made lightsaber may fail you in the middle of a duel. Go for a replica that features a quality heavy-grade blade and a strong metal (or plastic) hilt.
Dress the Part
Unfortunately, lightsaber dueling is real-life, and you cannot wear the same get-up as the Dark Lords you love so much (however cool it may seem). Comfort is very important for lightsaber dueling, especially if you are still new to it. If you’re dueling for fun, you will need to wear clothes that allow for free movement, seeing as how you’re going to be doing a lot of swinging and other body movements. Footwear is also important (boots or running shoes are okay).
However, if you’re looking to take a more professional route with your lightsaber dueling, then you can opt for more fitted clothing. For lightsaber dueling classes, you may have to wear helmets, jockstraps, arm guards, and other protective gear. Make sure to always understand the rules of every lightsaber battle before engaging.
Find Your Grip
Once you’ve gotten your replica lightsaber and appropriate outfit, the next step is to find your grip. While this may not seem as fun and exciting as the spins that other advanced-level duelists are doing, trust that it is important. A good grip is a foundation for most, if not all lightsaber tricks, so it is important that you make it a priority.
It is how you hold your saber that will determine your skill in shifting from a spin to a swing and vice-versa. Start with a two-hand grip (dominant hand above the non-dominant one), then proceed to a one-hand grip once you’ve got it down.
Get the Basic Moves
Learning the basics is important if you hope to up your skills to more advanced moves. Start by mastering the basic footwork, some simple strikes, swings and combinations. Once you’ve got those down, you can then move on to the more advanced ones.
Enroll in a Lightsaber Dueling Class
What better way to learn than from the experts? Even master duelers like Yoda had to learn from somebody. The easiest way to master the various lightsaber dueling techniques and up your dueling skills is to enroll in a lightsaber dueling class. There are several academies and leagues (both online and in person) that offer instructions on all the techniques used for lightsaber dueling.
Practice What you Learn
You will not become a master duelist after one class. All the experts that make things look easy had to practice their skills in the same way that you have to practice yours. Don’t worry too much about your stance being shaky or your swings being clumsy at first. Instead, focus on regular practice and before you know it, you will be swinging like a pro.
Upping your lightsaber dueling skills as a beginner basically involves finding the right lightsaber replica, appropriate clothing, finding your grip, mastering the basics, learning from the experts, and practicing what you learn. A combination of the aforementioned tips is what will take you from an amateur duelist to a professional one. Don’t forget to practice safety, follow all dueling rules, and, most importantly, have fun.