Light Saber Sparring: What to Expect
So you’re going to your first lightsaber class. You’ve checked the Loft hours online (right?), and out of all the gyms in Columbus Ohio, you’ve picked the one that offers virtual sparring lightsaber style. You’re ready to get in touch with the Force. But there’s a little bit of confusion. This is the very bleeding edge of lightsaber fitness; there’s nobody to tell you what to expect. But let us be the ones who come before, the ones who pass the force down to you. Every padawan needs a Jedi mentor to lead them into their first battle. So here is a quick list of what you can expect in your first sparring lightsaber class.
There may be other gyms in Columbus Ohio that use lightsaber fitness, but what you should know first off about how we do it at the Fitness Loft is that it’s virtual sparring. We employ virtual reality (also known as VR) technology to help immerse our community members in the exercise experience. You’ll need to feel comfortable taking a break or stopping, if you feel that VR is too visually intense for you, too. Prepare for the idea that you’ll be wearing something on your face during the class.
Form, Technique, and Using the Force
There are two basic actions that you’ll be performing during your lightsaber fitness class. The first is striking. This is the action of swinging your lightsaber towards a colored target to break it and earn points. There are different strikes that your instructor will teach you for encountering targets coming from different vantage points, which will be varied in their difficulty level. Some will come easier for you than others, just like a real Jedi padawan, and your other challenge is to accept that and learn to work through it.
Other techniques will be using the force to dodge obstacles, some of which can’t be struck with the saber. As many Jedi masters would tell us, not every problem can be solved through attacking alone. Make sure you focus as much on your body positioning and dodging skills as your saber skills.
WHAT TO WEAR
Your level of fandom will dictate how you dress. We encourage everyone to wear something comfortable that you can move in. Regular shorts or leggings and a shirt should be fine for most people, but don’t be surprised to see someone in full Jedi robes or other costume at the class and at the loft hours before or after a class! We love fanship!
WHAT EXACTLY AM I WORKING OUT?
Ok, we get it. You might not be a full Jedi devotee. You might not feel that the Force is growing stronger within you. But there are some great benefits to sparring lightsaber style. All sparring classes work muscles in the arms, shoulders, upper back, obliques, glutes and legs. Holding a lightsaber at arm’s length for an extended period of time places a lot of positive stress on your shoulder joints, safely building strength in that complicated set of tendons and muscles, as well as your upper back.
Striking and swinging build a different kind of strength in your arms, as it’s an explosive motion. You’ll stabilize with your glutes and obliques as you work, because the class will involve lots of twisting motion. Those groups work hard both when you’re striking and when you’re dodging. Lastly, your legs are used the whole time, but get a benefit both from the constant engagement of moving through the class and the explosive movements used in dodging.
Try out a class today at the Fitness Loft and awaken the Force within!