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Basic Fighting Advice

Hey all, ever want to get better at fighting, but don't know where to start? Here's a helpful guide, especially if you're wanting to play well and safely

1: Know your range. As cool as swinging your saber around is, in fighting, the wide sweeps of choreo are actually ineffective in combat, because you can start swinging and miss before your opponent is in range. Get used to your saber, and know from what range you can strike

2: Don't cross your feet. When attacking, you should be moving forward! However, sometime you cross your feet when wanting to change direction! Be careful, because if you have to back up, you can trip over yourself while retreating. Also, it's hard to fight someone if you're spinning and your back is turned from unwinding your feet.

3: Protective gear: Know how you want to fight, and bring gear accordingly. Maybe you like to close in on your opponent, or tend to block close to your hands. If your hands or limbs are getting hit and it's causing you pain, get padding! There's no shame in it, and it keeps ya limbs and fingers pretty!

4: Practice! And not just with people you know you can win against! We all want to be the best, but no one starts out that way. That's where practice comes in. Working on a shot you just saw, or trying to figure something out? Grab a person, and try it, see how it works in a non-game environment! This keeps potentially dangerous moves or untested ones off the field. Plus, you can always practice with someone on the side, and just work on fighting.

5:Communication: Our combat is a game of tag, and it's best to play tag while you speak. Call your hits, communicate with your opponent! Let them know what they're hitting, and condition yourself to call dead verbally. Not every saber turns off instantly, and if you don't want to get hit again, it's good to tell your opponent they got you

6: Play safe: Safety over risks should always be on your mind when fighting, especially if there's more than one person involved. Think before you start running, or swinging, and always keep an eye on your surroundings

7: Have fun. At the end of the night, we're all just a bunch of nerds with light up glowsticks. And games aren't tallied, and no one is keeping score past that night. If you're too invested in the game, pull yourself out. Keep it fun, and saber on!

This applies to every fighter

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Some good stuff here - thanks, Rellion!

I would qualify some of it, though. There are some valid techniques that actually require you to do odd things like cross your hands or your feet, and any time you lunge your center of gravity gets way out over one leg if you're doing it right. So it's not necessarily about keeping your limbs uncrossed and your center of gravity in a certain area so much as it is about being mindful of your footwork and your balance (like you said, if you have to show your opponent your back just to uncross your legs, you're in a bad spot). Consider the appropriate body mechanics for your style, your technique, and your tactical situation.

To your point about practice - very much yes. And it can be very helpful to practice specific skills/techniques, not just broadly practicing sparring. Targeted practice makes a world of difference. Know what you want to work on and focus on that throughout your practice session. If you know you're weak on the inside line, for example, work on that while you're sparring, and while you're practicing footwork, and while you're mastering new techniques.

I also think study plays a very valuable role. We're very fortunate to have access to centuries of knowledge and experience from masters all over the world. These people practiced the art of the sword when the cost of failure wasn't just a 15-second respawn. Smile You can see farther standing on the shoulders of these giants.

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