Two young students have introduced lightsaber battles to Rossland.
Finley Kinghorn, 13, and Isabella Fisher Vockeroth, 12, have formed a Rossland Lightsaber Club and held a camp the week before school started at Rossland Summit School. During the camp they taught their peers a modified form of LudoSport — a combat sport using lightsabers, and based on the Star Wars universe, that was developed in Milan, Italy in 2006 and has since spread through Europe. Kinghorn and Vockeroth modified the rules slightly to make it safer for the camp’s young participants, who were between the ages of eight and 11.
“We modified the rules of the real sport because it’s pretty intense and you can get hurt,” explained Kinghorn. “It’s mostly total adults playing in Europe.”
In the official LudoSport International rules, the entire body is considered a target, but Kinghorn and Fisher Vockeroth’s rules exclude anything above the neck, below the wrist or below the ankle as a target. The Rossland Lightsaber Club also doesn’t use the official lightsabers and uniforms required by LudoSport International, but Kinghorn and Fisher Vockeroth provided padding and have constructed many lightsabers for the club’s participants to use during combat. The hilts are made from old racing gates and the blades are made from PVC conduit pipe covered in rust coat spray paint and clear finish. Kinghorn and Fisher Vockeroth had the campers pick a blade with their backs turned, so that they chose the colour of their blade by “instinct” rather than by choice.
During the week-long camp Kinghorn and Fisher Vockeroth led participants in warm-ups and drills, teaching them controlled attacks and defense maneuvers. During the final two days of the camp, participants tested their new skills in a tournament with five-point rounds and a ten-point round for the final. Fighters scored points by (lightly) striking their opponent in any of the acceptable areas.
Kinghorn and Fisher Vockeroth presented the top four winners of the tournament and the most dedicated fighter — the fighter who showed up on time and ready to learn, and who made good progress during the week — with trophies or medals featuring the Rossland Lightsaber Club logo, which Kinghorn designed.
Kinghorn and Fisher Vockeroth hope to hold another camp sometime during the school year. Anyone interested in participating should keep an eye on bhubble.com for details.