Category Archive Training

Sport-Lichtsäbel: Was ist das?

Was bedeutet das eigentlich, Sport-Lichtsäbel oder sportlicher Lichtsäbelkampf?

Nun, diese Bezeichnungen sollen vor allem die Abgrenzung dazu darstellen, was man auf diversen Veranstaltungen zu sehen bekommt: Schaukampf, bzw. Choreographie. Hierbei handelt es sich mehr um einen einstudierten Tanz als um einen “Kampf”.

Im Gegensatz dazu ist ein Gefecht im Sport-Lichtsäbel immer ein Kampf zwischen zwei Gegnern. Es geht darum, zu treffen ohne getroffen zu werden – und in letzter Konsequenz geht es darum, den Kampf zu gewinnen.

Aber es ist auch ein Sport, d.h. es gibt Regeln und vor allem eine Etikette, denen man sich unterwirft, sobald man in den Ring tritt. Die Regeln legen fest, wie Treffer gewertet werden und wer am Ende gewinnt – die Etikette legt fest, wie man sich im Kampf zu verhalten hat. Darunter fällt z.B. dass man Treffer anzeigt, die man erhält, oder dass man es vermeidet, mit übertriebener Härte fehlendes Können auszugleichen.

Und wie bei jedem Sport gilt: ohne Training geht es nicht. Wer erwartet, dass er nach einer Stunde bereits im Ring bestehen kann, der wird enttäuscht werden. Aber anders als in vielen anderen Kampfsportarten kann man beim Sport-Lichtsäbel sehr bald in den Ring steigen. Die Verletzungsgefahr ist eher gering, der Spaßfaktor dafür umso höher.

Protective Equipment

Due to the fact, that a Light Saber can cause injuries like a stick, it is necessary to wear protective gear.

Technical training

Training techniques with a partner requires just light protective gloves (military or motorcycle) and Airsoft-glasses. A cup for men is recommended.

Light sparring

Fighting with reduced speed and light hits requires light protective gloves and a fencing mask. A cup is strongly recommended.

Medium sparring

Going full speed but light hits requires better gloves (motorcycle or HEMA-gloves), a fencing mask and a cup.

Full contact/Tournament

Not only full speed but also full contact fencing requires good gloves (Lacrosse, HEMA), a fencing mask with back-of-the-head protector, torso-protection (HEMA jacket, ice-hockey protector), elbow- and knee-protectors and a cup.

 

Each fighter is obliged to get his/her gear for the intended modus operandi. As there are different options, it is not necessary to buy all at once.

Form II: The Key

Form II: The Key – The Basics

Stance, Guards, Attacks, Parries, the lunge

Form I: Das Tor

Form I: The Gate – Basics

Basic techniques: gripping the saber, stance, cuts, parries

First solo-form, partner drills.

Form I: The Gate – Footwork

Stance, basic steps

Form I: The Gate – Changing Directions

Body Turns, Inverted Cuts, Second Solo-Drill

Form I: The Gate – The Three Ways of Defending

Voiding, Parrying and Displacing – the three ways to defend against an attack

The Moves of Form I

Form IV: The Whip

If the third form build a shield, the fourth creates a whip, relentlessly punishing the opponent. The keyword is “attack”, from every direction, all the time, relentlessly. Physically, it is the most demanding form, because you have to stay in constant motion.

Again, the method of SaberAcademy Vienna is leaving the canonical description behind. Though acrobatics are allowed and encouraged in this form, nobody expects flying jumps and other wire-fu work. What it comes down to is advanced footwork, playing with measure and rhythm and the tactical element of “pressure”.

Though there are defensive techniques in this form, the preferred method of defence is constant offense. If the opponent has to concentrate on defence only, how could he launch an attack?

 

Form III: The Shield

After we have learned the basics of Sabercombat in the first and second form, we can build upon this with tactical and technical specializations. Clearly, the most useful being Defence.

This is where the method of SaberAcademy Vienna begins to leave the canonical forms. We only work with techniques that do really work – within our earthly physical laws. Reflecting energy bolts is not included …

Form III teaches an almost impenetrable defence, but also the counter and how to get the opportunity to counter. Every defence, as strong as it may be, will be shattered eventually under the relentless attacks of a determined opponent. So, we have to hit back, to end the attack.

Functional Fiction

When first starting out on the journey that became SaberAcademy Vienna, I read up on all the things that seemed to be “genuine” in this regard. There were already a lot of different groups around that taught their methods based on the Seven Forms. At that time, I had no real idea, what those were but I soon learned. And I found methods that were soley based on something between stage combat and some asian swordarts (sometimes even only looking like those).

So, I had to decide, if I wanted something like this or something that actually worked under combat conditions and could be utilized in stage combat – I went for the latter. First, I began by basing every Form on a historical swordart. This worked, but I soon saw the limits of this approach. It’s a mixed up thing without glue to hold it together.

Then I looked more closely at the weapon – the actual one, not the one it represents. And from this, I began creating a new method, still inspired by the Seven Forms but a different approach. Here, Functional Fiction was born.

The weapon we use – the LED-saber – is real and fully functional. It represents a fictional weapon, though. The techniques we apply are fully functional, they do work with a stick or a sword. Their context is fictional.

Functional Fiction is like a large house. First, you approach this house by finding the Gate. Now, you look for the Key to open it. You enter the house and find doors leading to different rooms. In one, there are various Shields, in the other Whips and blades, still another holds Veils and mirrors and one has siege engines on display, like a Battering Ram. Finally, at the end of the hallway, you enter an arena, where you have to prove your worth against different opponents.

Functional Fiction is a journey. You begin at the Gate by learning the very basics of Sabercombat. Then you use the Key to unlock your path to the various tactical methods that can be used in a fight. At the end of your journey, it is you alone who decides what your fighting style will look like.

 

SAV Training Concepts

SaberAcademy Vienna looks upon the different forms of Sabercombat as a pyramid. Each style gives the scholar new ways to use a Lightsaber, until he/she can finally create a unique, personal style. Other than traditional martial arts, this is the definite aim – to provide each saberfencer with the buildingblocks to form his very own way of fighting with a Lightsaber.

The Pyramid of Forms looks like this:

SAV-Pyramide

Shii-Cho forms the base, the very basic techniques like stance, guards, fundamental steps, attacks and defences. It also teaches the flow of movements, and provides a secure grounding, when more advanced forms do not seem to work.

Makashi provides quick footwork and working with measure and angles. It offers offensive tools as well as deceiving defensives and feints.

Soresu provides the fencer with a strong defence and teaches timing for the counter-attack.

Ataru teaches athletic abilities, a strong offense and relentless attacking.

Shien provides the fencer with advanced feints and the use of pure force to overpower opponents (in its DjemSo-variant).

Niman finally takes all the styles below and forms a new style out of them, a blueprint for the student to build his very own.

Both Niman and Makashi have a variant that is called Jar’Kai. It is not a Form on its own, but rather an extension by using a second Lightsaber simultanously. Makashi favours a Shoto (a shorter blade) while Niman usually just uses another Lightsaber.

 

Juyo and Vaapad are seperated from the Forms, as they are more like philosophical expressions. Juyo uses aggression as a tool to overcome opponents, while Vaapad uses the thrill of the fight itself. Both need a firm grounding in the Forms.