Born in 2012 in the United States, lightsabering as a sport has now developed around the world. The roots of this practice can be found in martial arts and fencing. Various communities have been involved in the structuring of lightsabering as a combat sport. As a result, there are 2 or 3 variations in the rules that make it possible to organise tournaments, in Europe in particular. Today, several dozen combatants take part in these competitions, while hundreds of clubs – including fencing clubs – are increasingly opening their doors to thousands of practitioners. As a result, in February 2019, the French Fencing Federation recognized lightsabering as its fourth official discipline, which was a significant step forward for the sport!


Matches are supervised by one or several referees on a battle ring, that can reach a diameter of 8 metres. Athletes must be equipped with protective gear for their head, torso, limbs and private parts. The lightsabers are also required to meet size, shape and resistance criteria. More specifically, the handle’s components should be neither protruding nor blunt. The blade must be 32 to 36 inches long, depending on the tournaments, and made of “Mid-Grade” polycarbonate with a maximum thickness of 2mm. The end of the blade must be round, and it is strictly prohibited to strike with the tip. And of course, lightsabers must be turned on during tournaments!


Lightsabering is a combat sport where strikes can be delivered in nearly all parts of the body. But the rules also include fundamental principles of respect for the opponent. All excessive engagements or dangerous moves are penalised and can lead to the loss of the game.


Protection is required to practice this sport. Furthermore, authorised moves, defence and attack techniques must be mastered. To this end, practising within a club with fencing masters or trained instructors may be necessary. You can inquire with the French Fencing Federation to get a list of the clubs in France. In addition, you can have access to clubs such as the Sports Sabre League, the Silver Sabres Combat Academy and other clubs which are listed on our page dedicated to clubs.


Different versions of lightsabering also exist. They include, amongst other things, choreographed fights where aesthetics and rhythm are important. In this case, no strikes are delivered. Furthermore, there exists a discipline dedicated to demonstration katas where a series of codified movements must be executed with precision. Here again, strikes are forbidden.