Lightsaber fencing is going mainstream

Posted by David Konow

Let’s face it, we all did what the Star Wars kid did. We all had toy light sabers, or rolled up posters and pretended we were light saber fencing.

The poor Star Wars kid got caught, but we all jumped around in our bedroom slashing our toy lightsabers, don’t deny it, don’t even try. 

Now there’s a class up in San Francisco where you can learn what the L.A. Times terms "combat choreography." It’s surprising that there aren’t already classes like this in martial arts schools, but this new class is being taught by Alain Block, a software engineer who turned his love of Star Wars into a class that can teach you the moves of the Jedi. 
 
Block learned his moves from Matthew Carauddo, a fencing / martial arts teacher, who was also teaching his younger students Star Wars choreography. Block and Carauddo decided to start their own class, Golden Gate Knights, and you can join for $10 a class. Students are often in costume, some bring their own sabers, and as Block said they "really want to learn how to use them and look cool flourishing them around." 
 
Like many of us, Block said, "Since I was a kid, I wanted a light saber. It would be very symbolic of being a hero, in a sense. So a lot of people come to our class, and they kind of want to live out that childhood or maybe adult fantasy of being a Jedi knight, so our class is sort of a dream come true for them."
 
It wouldn’t be surprising if more classes like this pop up, and I could see it becoming a popular thing at local gyms. Although a lot of geeks look like they’ve never seen the inside of a gym, this could be a good place for them to start getting in shape.
 
Block also told the Times that people come to the class who want to learn choreography for films they’re making, and the classes also offer mediation along with the saber moves. If you can’t make it up to San Francisco, you can also get their instructional DVD at www.sabercombat.com.
 
So could this become the hot new trend in staying in shape? Could we see lightsaber classes on every corner instead of hardcore pilates? Block told the Times he hasn't quit his day job, he only gets his Jedi on on the weekend, and maybe now the average person can grab a lightsaber, swing it around, and finally understand why we nerds loved it so much when we were kids.