a Post on the Blog
Francesca Crescentini A LudoSport Pupil and Influencer in Italy..
Ludosport: of lightsabers,
fighting and new friends
Tegamini: A student's experience.
His first lessons
Structural Note I will begin by doing my best to explain how a lightsaber academy works, delighting you in the process with a variety of photo testimonials and a FABLE video as well. At the end you will find all the useful references for contacting Ludosport, plus links to two trial lessons we have organized to do things together. That's it, I'm done. Happy reading.
My last birthday celebration-now dating back to March-will be remembered for centuries as the most auspicious ever. Not because there were any miraculous parties or special social occasions of gathering, but because Love of the Heart pulled the perfect gift out of the hat. In fact, it promptly responded to a prompt I never thought it would pick up. Partly because he is often bewildered by the formless, highly mobile mass of my interests and partly because I say a lot of things but then rarely apply myself. Well, not this round. This round I have become a bold warrior armed with a lightsaber. Because yes, mankind may have invented crossfit, but there are also academies out there that teach you how to fight with a lightsaber. And well, too.
But let's proceed in order. Fighting with a lightsaber, IN WHICH MEANS. And where, pray tell? Founded in Milan in distant but viscous 2006, the Ludosport academy set itself the task of creating a solid bridge between imagination and concrete sports practices. The question of the beginnings was a bit like this: is it possible to transport into the "real" world a nonexistent weapon that responds to precise physical laws that we do not yet govern (despite ourselves)? It would seem so. With due care. Based on the assumption that a REAL lightsaber not only has no weight (because it is made of energy), but also no edge (because it is capable of "cutting" in any way), the academy's talented founders have devised nine fighting styles made up of attacks, defenses and movements capable of responding effectively to the imaginary nature of the tool. More importantly, they have managed to structure a set of rules and values that allow everyone to learn and compete with as much fun as possible (while also keeping plenty of distance from the ER).
And here I think an autobiographical parenthesis is useful. I have always been a sportswoman. From an early age to my (hobbled) working years, I played tennis and skied at various levels of intensity and competitiveness. I always tried my hand at individual sports, where not only were there no real teams to belong to, but there was also rather little interaction with other participants. And, for years and years, I was not even able to conceive of the possibility of doing something different. I've been playing tennis all my life, but do you think I'm going to be here doing new stuff at age 30? For goodness sake, too much slamming. Here. Now the situation is this:
My gratitude to Love of the Heart for the gift it has given me is also vast. I, on my own, might not have really enrolled in a lightsaber academy. Maybe I would have let the ass-heavy component of my personality prevail. Or, certainly, I would not have turned to an activity that involves such a pronounced contact with others. For it is with others that one is confronted. And it is only with the help of others that one learns.
Beyond how FABULOUS it feels to knowingly wield a lightsaber specifically designed to assist you in combat - lightsaber that lights up, makes a lot of noise (RIGHT!) and also has an invigorating specific weight -, the greatest discovery I think was just that: the team spirit. And the distinct sense of how meaningful it is to undertake an entirely new activity with the support of other human beings. In Ludosport, no special protection is used - other than gloves. There is no course for females and no course for males. Just as there are no competitions reserved for men separate from those for women. It's not a matter of strength, because a lightsaber is not a 14-pound axe designed to smash skull caps, but you still wield a polycarbonate tube of undoubted material solidity ... and if it gets on your teeth you feel it. There, that's the point: no one will purposely try to slam it on your teeth, quite the contrary. Because it is not intended. And because you are not structurally inclined to consider those who fight with you a Nino Sarratore to be slaughtered. The values I alluded to earlier are not a condensed version of the teachings of Master Yoda-in fact, Ludosport is a thoroughly "secular" place compared to Star Wars, despite the fact that there are lightsabers-but a more articulated version of the most sane common sense: service, care, respect. It means that everyone should make themselves available to others so they can learn better, and it also means that there are no "enemies," only other people to practice with. And make friends. You can tell right away, from minute one. No one enjoys putting you on the spot; on the contrary. And everyone is vehemently encouraged to declare loud and clear in combat when a blow goes in. That's why at the end of class we are all in one piece. And we are also very much inclined to go have a beer together.
It sounds like a silly thing to say, but the venture is benefiting me. I am not easy to deal with on the sports front. I'm someone who spends my tennis matches talking to myself, taking balls to the net and throwing my racket on the ground. I suffer a lot from mistakes-but just as a concept-and the possibility of failure. I am not patient. Spending time with people I haven't known for at least three centuries generates some anxiety and I struggle a lot, but just mentally. Voluntarily placing myself in front of several strangers trying to hit me with a lightsaber was a bit of an act of bravery. There are far more relevant forms of heroism in the world, I am well aware of that, but we are all often crippled by small limitations and fears that, in the long run, convince us to stand still. Because it is too late to try. Because it's not worth trying, even. Or because FIGURE IF YOU CAN. I am far from the supreme dexterity of Darth Maul (yes, as of this year there is also a course for stick fighting. Or with the double sword. CREPO), but I hope I've managed to convey at least a fraction of the pride and hilarity that animates me as I don gloves and uniform and try to figure out how to transform myself into a fearsome laser swordswoman. Supercuori, Chaos Clan. We are absurd, but also very special.
Practical information Ludosport is headquartered in Milan, but academies can also be attended in many other Italian cities-as well as abroad. Yes, something invented in Milan has been exported to America as well, for once. To find out the locations of the various venues and pester the deans with even punctilious practical questions, use email.
Even more important practical information For those who are already in Milan (or want to drop by for the happy occasion), we have thrown together two BEAUTIFUL trial classes. I'll be there, there's no charge, and all you have to do is sign up. Flock to it, so I don't look bad to my instructor
-who also landed among the finalists at the World Lightsaber Championships and always expects great things from me. Often wrongly so. Swordmakers To donate or give you an AMAZING lightsaber, here are the Lamadiluce. Ludosport invented and designed them specifically for use in combat. And you can customize them, too.
Comics! Then, if you'd like to learn more about the Ludosport project, there's also a comic book - based on athletes who really exist but unfortunately haven't yet mastered metadimensional travel, although they certainly like to believe so.
Credits As Miss Universe, then, I would like to conclude by sincerely thanking my teammates and instructors from Chaos Clan and Ludosport Alpha for participating in SCIUTING the photo-video content and also Silvia Galliani and Tito Capovilla who actually took the photos and videos. HEROES, everyone. And come swashbuckling with me, mind you. No robes, but lots of joy.