Got such thing in Singapore ah: Lightsaber duelling, Lifestyle News

Most of you will agree that there’s nothing cooler than watching lightsabers collide in an epic Jedi vs Sith duel. From Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader to Obi-Wan and Qui-Gonn versus Darth Maul, the iconic “wooosh” sound of a lightsaber is unforgettable.

I fondly remember watching movies as a kid and swinging a toy sword around like it was a lightsaber. What Star Wars fan doesn’t want to play Jedi (or Sith) and wield their own lightsaber?

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If you really want to fulfill your destiny as a Jedi Knight, you can do it right here on our Little Red Dot! The Saber Authority lets you hone your saber duel skills while you train and have fun with fellow Star Wars fans.

The Saber Authority is headed by Jahaan V Balan, who works as a Venture Architect by day but dons the robes as a Master of the Force at night, one of the trainers teaching Padawans young and old.

He joined the school as a student in 2014 and transitioned to a coach before taking over The Saber Authority in October last year.

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At first it was something he enjoyed doing for a weekend. “I didn’t expect it to be such an intense workout. I thought I might as well stay because it’s a fun way to keep fit. When I got to know the group better, it was less about fitness and more about the people,” says the 28-year-old.

On this Star Wars day, I’m speaking with Jahaan to find out how I can become one with the Force just like him.

I want to be a Jedi Padawan! How should I start?

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Well, the easiest way would be to sign up for our Battle Saber experience. This is a one-off course that takes you through our basic techniques and footwork, ending with a dueling round where you can apply what you’ve learned!

Is there a minimum age?

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Yes, for safety reasons our minimum age is 15 years old. There is no maximum range though, in fact some of our best Duelists are those well into their 40s and 50s.

What style of swordplay do you teach? Is it inspired by the Star Wars movies?

The idea for The Saber Academy came about when the founding trainer wanted to try something different and make martial arts and fitness more accessible. His idea was to teach the Filipino martial art called Kali or Escrima, which emphasizes weapon-based combat but replaces the wooden sticks with lightsabers.

It’s an interesting system that assumes you’re not wearing armor. Because of this, it’s highly mobile and focuses on lots of good footwork to avoid your opponent, or being able to close the distance and strike when you spot an opportunity.

What is the best thing about Battlesaber Dueling?

I could tell you it’s the community spirit and camaraderie. I can tell you it’s a good workout. I could even tell you that it’s a great way to forget the worries of life because when you’re in the ring all you can think about is your opponent. And all of these things are true.

But the best part is the lightsabers to be able to apply a martial arts base with a lightsaber and live out the dreams we had as kids.

What challenges did you face to keep The Saber Authority running?

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When we started it was difficult at first to convey to people that we weren’t just playing around. That the course is based on a real martial art and is a real workout. These days that’s less of an issue, but the pandemic has made it difficult to conduct classes as freely as they used to. However, with the recent restrictions being lifted, we can finally get back to almost normality.

Tell us more about your annual tournament!

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Oh it’s great! Every year we try something new. One year it was a singles tournament. Another year it was teams of three fighting each other. Another year we tried a wrestling-style tag team system where you could trade with your partner. The tournament is certainly a place where we can test our skills and see how we’ve improved, but it’s also a big community event where we can come together and celebrate our shared passion.

What are some common misconceptions about battle saber duels?

People sometimes think that we’re big kids and that we’re just wasting our time running around waving a stick in the air. Now that we’re definitely big kids, we train with purpose – every shot, every angle, every move has a purpose. And if you understand that purpose, you can become a better duelist.

How much does it cost to learn battle saber dueling?

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For the unique battle saber experience. It’s $25 If you wish to go beyond that, you can join our Apprentice Course which is a structured nine week program to give you full mastery of your fundamentals and build your combat experience.

In fact, we’re having a special offer right now on the Apprentice Course, giving you the nine sessions plus your choice of saber for just over $300.

If you’re interested in learning lightsaber dueling, visit The Saber Authority’s website here. As Master Yoda once said, “Do it. Or don’t. There is no try.”

ALSO READ: Got something like this in Singapore ah: Historical European Martial Arts

This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.

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