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The Sport

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Master the Combat Saber

The Sport of Combat Lightsaber Dueling

An Introduction

The sport of Combat Lightsaber Dueling has its roots in modern fencing sports such as Olympic Foil, Sabre, and Epee, and martial arts disciplines such as HEMA and Kendo. As the combat saber itself is so different from a sword or shinai, the definitions of successful hits, target zones, and proper technique are noticeably different. The Rogue Saber Academy's Official Rules of the Sport represent an amalgam of the overlapping rules taught by a number of different lightsaber dojos, online schools, and training academies which have been developed in recent years. These official rules and have been carefully designed to be flexible, intuitive, and generally compatible, so that a champion from one academy will be able to contend with a rival from a different academy from across the globe!

On the Rise

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This new sport is growing in popularity, primarily among Star Wars fans, but it is also quickly gaining momentum among martial arts enthusiasts, fencing clubs, and the lovers of new alternative sports (such as “College Quidditch,” and “Archery-Tag”). The construction of these new high-end, durable combat sabers has become a highly competitive and lucrative industry. No longer are we content to admire the glowing light, we want to spar with our friends, challenge other duelists, and become champions!

Community Tools

What if you lived right next to other saber collectors, duelists, clubs, dojos, performance groups, or tournments going on right now - and you didn't know it? exists to help you avoid that, as well as grant you access to amazing community tools in order to help the sport grow. We also have tools to aid in your own mission, to start your own group or train to become a formidable duelist! To get started, create a Duelist Account here and check out our Duel Finder Map!

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Official Rules and Safety Standards

These Standardized Rules and Safety Standards (for spars, duels, and tournaments) are frequently updated and modified to match what works best across the many saber organizations across the globe. It is a good practice to keep a printed copy with you as you participate in events and to check back here often to ensure that you have the most recent version...

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What Kind of Armor Should I use?

You may have already noticed that some Saber Academies wear a completely different set of armor compared to others. As you invite others to spars, duels, or tournaments, you will be asked which class of armor participants of the event are expected to wear in order to fight. On this site, we have split all of the variations found across the community into three classes: Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor. We have also included italicized search terms that you may use to help get you started with online shopping.

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Armor Classification: Light

This is a popular choice if you want to attract the largest numbers of participants, especially new duelists. Light Armor is inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to wear in hot weather. This minimalist approach is similar to how the Jedi fight as peace-keepers in the Star Wars universe. Stabbing and head attacks are outlawed if this armor type is selected. However, even as duelists actively try to avoid the head and face (compromising many martial aspects of the sport) injury may occur, making this the least safe option. This armor class is similar to those found in Ludosport, The Saber Authority, and in many costumed performance-based groups.


Required: (1.) Gloves which are at least moderately padded with covered fingers to avoid breakage of the skin such as climbing gloves, padded lineman gloves, or thick leather gloves. (2.) An athletic cup or protective sport cup for male duelists.

Recommended: (1.) Eye Protection with a strap to avoid slippage in a match such as sport goggles, safety goggles, or other secure protective eye wear.

Optional: (1.) A common teeth-protective mouth guard.

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Armor Classification: Medium

For experienced fighters looking for a more authentic battle, Medium armor provides a good middle-ground compromise. It is not as expensive as Heavy Armor, and protects a great deal more than Light Armor. This approach is similar to how the Jedi fight as generals in the Star Wars franchise. Attacks to the head from above or the side are permitted, however all stabs are still forbidden with this armor class. Unfortunately, you may be turned away from some of the most intense of events if you only have Medium Armor. This armor class is similar to those found in the The Terra Prime Lightsaber Academy, The Lightspeed Saber League, and The Saber Legion (for sparring).


Required: (1.) A mask/helmet with mesh to protect the face (not just a metal cage or face guard) and with protection from above and sides such as a fencing mask, hockey goalie mask, HEMA mask, or kendo men bōgu. (2.) An athletic cup or protective sport cup for male duelists. (3.) Heavily padded gloves such as fencing gloves, padded fighting gloves, hockey gloves, lacrosse gloves, or HEMA gloves.

Recommended: (1.) Padded (not hard plated) protective arm sleeves such as arm guards or arm pads.

Optional: Additional shoulder, chest, and/or stomach protection (see the Heavy Armor section for more information).

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Armor Classification: Heavy

Heavy Armor allows for a full experience of the intense historical and martial realism that the sport can provide. This approach is similar to how the Sith Lords and imperial or republic soldiers armored themselves in the many massive conquests in the Star Wars Universe. As all of the armor can cost over $1,000 together, it is an option only for a section of the community. stabbing and head attacks are allowed when this armor class is used, however all other safety standards and rules apply. This armor class is similar to those found in San Diego Sabers or The Saber Legion (for tournaments).


Required: (1.) A mask/helmet with mesh to protect the face (not just a metal cage or face guard) and with protection from above, sides, and from BEHIND such as some types of fencing masks, hockey goalie masks, or HEMA masks. (2.) An athletic cup or protective sport cup for male duelists. (3.) Heavily padded gloves such as fencing gloves, padded fighting gloves, hockey gloves, lacrosse gloves, or HEMA gloves. (4.) Plated neck and throat protection (the larger the better, made not just of fabric) such as a HEMA gorget, throat guard, or goalie neck guard. (5.) Hard-plated shoulder, chest, and back protection such as (in combination as needed) HEMA body armor, hockey shoulder pads, lacrosse shoulder pads, umpire chest protector, kendo do (dou) bōgu, plated sport body armor, and/or body pad (protector). (6.) Heavily padded or plated knee AND shin protection such as (soccer / hockey / lacrosse / skating / motorcycle...) knee shin guards or knee pads and shin protector. (7.) Elbow protection such as (hockey / lacrosse / skating / motorcycle...) sport elbow pads or elbow guards.

Optional: (1.) Padded (not hard plated) protective arm sleeves such as arm guards or arm pads.

Lightsaber Requirements

What kind of saber should you bring to your next match or community event? First, it must be a Combat Lightsaber, and cannot simply be a toy or prop. Second, there are a few basic standards it must meet before it can be used in a competition. These are specified in our Standard Rules. When you arrive at a tournament, be sure to present your saber for inspection to the event's organizer to ensure that it is suitable for combat.

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About the combat lightsaber

Introduction and Disambiguation

What is a “Combat LED Lightsaber” or “Combat Saber?” In many ways, it is the culminating modern evolution of the dueling swords of our ancestors, properly modified for non-fatal sport and spectator amusement. In the ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ sport of fencing, the glowing saber provides many benefits to both athletes and the audience. For the sake of legal clarification and to ensure that all references contained in this site are not confusing, here is a breakdown of the terminology typically used in reference to this type of saber and other uses of similar phrasing. The term “lightsaber” or “saber” - in practical everyday usage - can mean a few different things:

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1. Star Wars Lightsaber

The mythical sci-fi “laser-sword” belonging to the amazing Star Wars franchise. It is an ancient galactic weapon with a hilt bearing a crystal that produces a blade of pure energy, brought to life by special effects on the big screen. They exist only in lore and are based upon the weapons of action heroes in movies past. Many fans speculate that if an actual weapon of arcing energy existed, it would not only be too dangerous to the user to be practical, but the plasma blades would simply pass through each other. Therefore, a proper solid blade would be needed for the kind of duels we see in our favorite science fantasy movies.

2. Cavalry Saber

The symbolic, militaristic and historic “cavalry saber” is a curved sword designed mostly to cut down enemies from horseback in the past. Today, they are mostly worn in uniforms for pageantry. The next saber, however, sees plenty of action.
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3. Fencing Sabre

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The “fencing sabre” is one of three metal swords used in the modern sport of western fencing, along with the foil and the epee. These swords have been refined for dueling and no longer have military application, but this isn’t what most people think of when they want to handle a “lightsaber.”

3. Toy Lightsaber

The “toy lightsaber,” is the Star Wars plastic movie merchandise (or even the more impressive cosplay replicas) that makes a great holiday gift or costume accessory. They either have glass blades that would shatter in a duel or blades made of telescopic near-conical plastic sections that can collapse down into the hilt. These usually are valuable mostly in their aesthetics and are not meant to actually be used to attack other people or defend oneself from such attacks.

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5. Combat Lightsaber

The “Combat Lightsaber,” is the fandom-inspired unique work of modern craftsmanship, with a polycarbonate blade attached to metallic (often aluminum) hilt that houses amazing electronics that produce futuristic sounds and illuminated vivid colors (or the colored light alone) usually via LEDs. These sabers (also known as “LED Lightsabers,” “Stunt Lightsabers,” “Combat-Ready Sabers,” or “Combat Sabers”) are reinforced and made for dueling, and belong, strictly speaking, more to the categorization of “sports equipment” than anything else. It is a real weapon for dueling and the result of impressive recent innovations. These are not official merchandise of Lucasfilm or Disney, nor do they claim to be. These are either bought in pieces and assembled by the consumer or made available completed by “saber smiths” and various online vendors. Does your combat lightsaber meet all requirements to be used in a match? Find out here!

The RSA's Usage

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We hope it comes as no surprise that when the term “lightsaber” or “saber” is used within the pages of this site that we are strictly referring to the fifth definition. If we would like, for educational purposes, to reference any of the others, we use the terms, “laser-sword,” “fencing sabre,” “cavalry saber,” or “toy lightsaber” respectively. This site is primarily about the sport of saber dueling or sparring.

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Copyright © 2021 Great Dad Media. All Rights Reserved. This site and its pages (first made available on March 4, 2017) are all privately owned and operated by Great Dad Media on behalf of combat saber enthusiasts, fencing clubs, swordplay dojos and alternative sport fans around the world. All images used here are either originally produced, used with permission, or are publicly available on open source sites. Unless otherwise stated, materials herein are not available to the public to be printed, used or copied. If there are any errors or outdated facts on this site, or if you have suggestions on how this material can be improved, please contact us here. Although our students are also predominately fans of the Star Wars franchise, and the term “lightsaber” is used herein to refer to the “combat saber” (see the disambiguation here), this is not an official site of Lucasfilm Ltd., the Disney Corporation, or any of their affiliates. The Rogue Saber Academy is not endorsed by or affiliated with these organizations.

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