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For decades fans have run around their houses and yards with sticks, toys, props and even replicas worth hundreds of dollars, pretending to lightsaber fight. It didnt matter if it was someone real or imaginary. We were the greatest lightsaber masters in the world. Well, now it’s time to put up or shut up… in France. There lightsaber fights just became real!

Lightsaber Fighting A Sanctioned Sport (in France)

No, no one is getting limbs hacked off. Nevertheless, France did indeed just make lightsaber fighting a sanctioned sport! (And no, we’re not talking virtual reality games like Jedi Challenges; this is the close-to-real deal.) It isn’t the first one to lose a limb, but rather the first one to 15 pts. Here’s how it’s done:

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The duels last for three minutes each and take place inside a taped floor circle. Landing a blow to the hand is worth 1 point, striking the arms or legs earns 3 pts, and a blow to the head is 5 pts. The first fighter to reach 15 wins. If the three minutes expires the highest score wins, but if both fighters cross 10pts it goes to sudden death. The first strike to the head or body wins.

There are also some additional rules about having to bring the lightsaber behind you or spin it before striking. This keeps the feel of the movie fights, while not limiting the fight to straight forward fencing battles or Kendo battles. It keeps the feel unique.

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Where to Obtain a Lightsaber

There are many manufacturers who make battle sabers. (I’ve heard Ultrasabers is among the best.) For those who have played around with the polycarbonate blades, when they hit skin they can hurt! My 8 yr old tagged me on my arm once. It didn’t feel bad, but I had a welt the rest of the day the exact shape of the blade. For this reason, more than any other, the sport was sanctioned. Now all fighters must wear safe gear. Regular fencing helmets and vests work for the head and chest, but the trick is finding the right gloves and arm protection. Given how often hands get hit, padded gloves were crucial.

Let’s hope this continues to spread. Who would not love to watch the World Championship Lightsaber Tournament on ESPN. With all the different styles of martial arts that could be mixed into the fighting, it could be an incredible event to watch.