The ASL-FFE sytem of Lightsaber combat is based around five core principles:
- Engagement Arming: Engagement Arming is an action which opens a “weapon phrase” and grants an attack priority before launching it at the opponent. This action is performed by bringing the entire hilt and blade behind the vertical midline of the body. This may be done stationary, walking forward (two or three step maximum depending on action), or turning around.
To be valid, Engagement arming must conform to the following criteria:
*The tip must be drawn back before being brought forward to the target.
*The entire hand and hilt must be brought back behind the vertical midline of the body
*The movement must have no pauses or stops from the time it arms to the time it hits the target.
Insufficient arming is considered a technical offense and will be counted as a non armed strike. No penalty will be issued.
- Simple Arming: Simple arming is an action that takes place during a weapon phrase and precedes an attack toward the opponent. This consists of bringing the point of the blade back behind the vertical axis of the body before striking at the opponent. This can be done stationary, moving, or while turning around.
If the strike is not brought back past the vertical axis, it is a technical fault and be considered an unarmed strike. No penalties will be issued.
- Protection Principle: The Protection Principle states that one must defend against any attack with priority before launching an attack of your own. This can be done by a parry, a partial dodge (moving a limb out of the way), or a full dodge (moving the entire body out of the way). If one fails to defend against an attack they will not have priority for their attack it is a technical offense and will not score. No penalties will be issued.
- Salvo: A Salvo is a series of successive attacks to different zones. Each strike must be armed with simple arming and there can be no pause between the strikes. The initial strike must have priority and be a valid hit. the goal is to hit the most vital target after the first hit. If a salvo is completed, the highest scoring zone will be the one that is counted.
- Blade activation Principle: For any strike or parry to be valid, the combatant’s blade must be activated. If it is not activated any hit will be not be valid. Any parry will be negated and the points for the target will be awarded. If it is due to a malfunction the referee may ask if the combatant wishes to change weapons, batteries, or adjust internal components. If despite all these efforts, the saber does still not illuminate, the combatant will be forced to forfeit the match.
These are the principles that a fighter must follow to score during match play. Also essential is wearing proper gear. Gear mist be wore for any FFE style match. That includes protection for the head, shoulders and torso, elbows, wrists and hands, knees, and groin protection for males. Failure to meet gear standards will result in a forfeit of the match.
So gear up! Get out there! Train! Fight! Train some more!
As always, Happy Sabering.