ASL-FFE, Blog, Lightsaber Academy

Lightsaber Combat!

It’s been a while since I posted anything lightsaber related. So, to remedy that and to start to gear up for our 10th anniversary this August, let’s look at some sample matches in the ASL/TPLA rule set. A little disclaimer: The space used is our class room space. We are playing practice bouts to give everyone a familiarity with the rules and to demonstrate them. There is also only one referee or person officiating. This limits the accuracy of calls and the like. We present the following videos as examples of club practice and not competition level play.

These are bouts from class. The main goal of this rule set is to allow competitive play in a non-rehearsed setting and still make the bout watchable and exciting. It does take an effort to get there but the results for us have been quite effective. Not only do we get some very exciting exchanges, but the amount of fun that we can have seems to be the main benefit. We have people of all different level sparring with each other and the rules seem to allow for even less experienced fighters to get in a good match and have fun doing it. As well as a few victories along the way. Below are some of the more experienced of us and our outings:

Frank vs. VorNach

Matt (VorNach) and Frank have a pretty good bout here. It gives us a couple of chances to look at technical offenses. The match starts out with a “corps a corps” or body to body contact. This results in no penalty for the first two offenses. If it continues in a bout, it can be upgraded to roughness. Here it is a simple mistake due to the limited play area. VorNAch seems to have a little trouble with range at first. He also commits a yellow card offense by attacking before the command fight is given. But, he manages to dominate and pull out the win.

VorNach vs Nonymous

The two founders go at it! Frank is trying his hand at officiating so some places were a little choppy time wise. The third exchange is confused. Too much bumping and close contact that makes the point un-viewable. At 1:25 I also make the mistake of starting before the command fight is given. I however, stopped myself just in time to avoid a yellow card. The score is called wrong near the end, but the next exchange puts VorNach over the top in any event. It’s always good to fight with each other. It is the reason we decided to create TPLA in the first place!

Nonymous vs Frank

Immediately noticeable is that Frank and I have a better grip on the limited space and how to use it. We tend to stay back at a good range more due to the fact that we are practicing in class in this space with each other. VorNach is officiating. Frank and I both get in some successful salvos and there are some fairly nice points. all in all a pretty good bout to look at. At 2:20 VorNach makes a call on a hit. It is difficult to see who had the right of way when the hits were landed. VorNach made the call and we moved on without argument. This is critical for moving bouts along. Arguing with the ref is a critical offense. Either way, I was unable to hold on to my lead and the close bout goes to my student, Frank.

Kayla vs Frank

Here is a student bout! Kayla is a new student and has been practicing lightsaber for under a year with no prior experience. This is her first bout with full rules in effect. She holds her own very nicely against Frank, who has the advantage of time under his belt. Never the less, Kayla manages to find a good flow, and although it will take practice to extend that flow for the entire match, She scores some nice touches against a truly resisting opponent. She even attempts a salvo on the salvo master himself! There is a little confusion on the score late in the bout, but the titles reflect the true score. The match begins with an example of the “blade activation principle”, meaning, the blade must be illuminated for any strike or parry to be valid. Since the strike was aimed at Frank’s arm and it is that limb that would be hit were the blade not there, a hit to the arm is scored for Kayla.

It should also be noted that both combatants are using two handed techniques. This is due to the way their training is ordered. Students of mine will begin with two hands and eventually graduate to one. This is to help define good body mechanics by unifying the upper body with two hands on the weapon. It is a much easier jump to the increase range and agility of the one handed style from the stability and power of two hands in my experience.

I hope you enjoy these little samples. We are getting back in tot he swing of things finally after this long two year stretch. Thank you to all who have been patient and practicing. We will be hitting the road again this year so if you are interested in learning the rules for light fencing, stay tuned and look for us out there soon!

Patience practice perseverance, Happy Sabering!

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