There is a lot of agitation at the moment about the “blade of light”, the iconic instrument that we built our sport – known as LudoSport – around some thirteen years ago now.
We have recently had discussions with several bodies, Federations and cultures in many European countries and we are so enthusiastic about the interest that people have shown in us and our sport: things are really changing.
Wanting to create a bit of order in this varied world, it only seems right to distinguish three basic macro-categories, in our sports area, that we can define as the specialities of one single great sport: Light, Freestyle and Art(istic).
In this category, we mainly, if not exclusively, find LudoSport: an original, full fencing form where the predominant elements are the technical movements and strikes with light contact, within a common, structured, definite language, so that each athlete knows the same “term” and can communicate with others in an enjoyable, satisfactory way. To do this, protections are reduced to the minimum essential ones to allow maximum freedom of movement, and technique is more important than physical prowess. The teaching structure offers different content in a progression of complexity and content that even provides for combat using different weapons (single saber, dual saber, saberstaff) held by the pupils from different countries around the world in the relative national and international competitions.
There is a broad, varied range of methods, from simple conventions to more structured forms of armoured fencing, based on true “full contact”. These groups are overseen by several subjects, often limited by their own national borders. For example, this scenario includes the now famous current experiment promoted by the FFE (the French Fencing Federation), that uses full protection for the whole body and a single, simplified fencing system, clearly inspired by canne de combat.
There are, however, other forms emerging, which are “lighter” (no armour and conventions), but no less technical or athletic, an experience which in Italy is being developed by the CSEN: this is a matter of managing to create a contact sport with mask and minimum equipment inspired by the various traditions of Italian and European “staff” fighters, reaching competition level that allows the various interpretations by the athletes (schools) to work with each other, refining and developing their own interpretation of the sport through comparison.
Considering the range and diversification of all these “freestyle” realities, there is scope for a forum wherein to establish common regulations and minimum requisites for the expertise of instructors, in order to guarantee the quality of the studies carried out and suitable protection for the athletes involved. The current deregulation taking place facilitates autonomy but does not help to create those standards that are an integral part of any mechanism used to make a sport popular on an international scale.
The world that we call “Art(istic)” comes from the need to not use lightsabers for direct competition, but to create pre-orchestrated choreographies and combats. This is also a physical activity that requires strict athletic preparation and the ability to memorise complex sequences. The use of a lightsaber in this case is linked to totally different needs: the competition no longer focuses on the search for gaining a point from your adversary, but on performance, in the same way as gymnastics or skating.
In this area too, the number of players is still significant; the challenge to transform this activity into a real sport will involve the establishment of a proper system of contests, a quality standard of training and specific regulations.
A common movement
So many realities that have one instrument in common and a part of a world – the institutional world of Sport – that is beginning to recognise the work carried out by those who have worked with this wonderful, fantasy weapon over many years.
LudoSport accepts the challenge of participating in a movement that will increase awareness of the national and international sporting bodies working for the sport that it promotes and develops, and for those who wish to join us.
We are absolutely sure that there is room for everyone inside a common platform of values and culture, with definition of technical and regulatory standards to achieve the highest levels of authority worldwide. Seriousness, professionalism and conscience are the essential ingredients for setting off along this journey that will probably take years. However, we are certain that this will allow us to obtain the result that we all want so much.
Our motto, “One name, one sky” demonstrates our desire for togetherness.
And now more than ever, together we are stronger.