Light fantastic! Star Wars-inspired ‘saber’ combat comes to Knowle
The force runs strong in Knowle – that’s because a new lightsaber combat class has launched in the area.
And academy instructor Josh Rockey is hoping to encourage local people – Star Wars fanatics or not – to try out lightsaber duelling, known as LudoSport.
Originating in Italy in 2006, LudoSport combines traditional sword combat, such as fencing, with the iconic weapon of George Lucas’s blockbuster movies.
Thankfully, opponents remain fully intact after coming into contact with the blade, but the lights and whooshing sounds of the LED weapons remain true to those wielded in the films.
Josh, who works in technical services on board the ss Great Britain, has been involved with the sport since it launched in the UK in 2014.
He says that growing up, he was a “total Star Wars nerd” and when he came across the sport online, he immediately signed up to his first class.
Now, he runs the only lightsaber fencing academy in Bristol - and students travel from as far as Cardiff, Weston and Thornbury to get a buzz from the sport. Before launching in Knowle, he ran a class in Brislington.
Since joining LudoSport, Josh has competed nationally and internationally, and in December, he will be competing alongside two of his students in the championships in Madrid.
There is also opportunity for progression within the sport, where the colour of your tunic and blades change as you move up through the ranks.
Josh said: “LudoSport is great fun and you meet lots of people – I have made friends as far away as Hawaii.
“There’s also a competitive side to it as well.
“It’s great for people who may not have thought of themselves as sporty and may have always felt a bit intimidated by taking part in sport.
“We train people to be mindful and fight as safely as possible. I encourage people to just give it a try - you never know, you might enjoy it.”
Josh runs the lightsaber academy every Thursday, 7.30-9.30pm at The Park in Knowle.
To find out more about lightsaber combat, visit: www.facebook.com/Bristollightsabers/