Lexington Lightsaber League stages fights for fun

Spirit of the Bluegrass

LEXINGTON (FOX 56)– It’s difficult to explain a class that takes place each Wednesday night in Woodland Park. It’s part fencing, part martial arts, part theater. And it’s all for fun.

Williams Atkinson, one of the instructors, said, “A common comment we get is, ‘I love your choreography.’ But none of it is choreographed. Nothing is planned.”

It’s the Lexington Lightsaber League– a group of friendly young people who will be fighting before the night is over.

“Once you embrace how ridiculous it is, it’s really neat,” Atkinson said.

Another instructor, Mike Thompson, said, “I sort of run the Sith faction of the group and Williams takes care of the Jedi side.”

Most of the league members are huge Star Wars fans, but you don’t have to be. You just have to enjoy role playing and not care what passers-by might think.

“It’s not for everyone, but it’s for us,” Atkinson said.

Thompson said each member of the group proudly accepts that they may be perceived as nerds. “My brothers say, ‘OK, go have fun being a weird, I guess’ and I’m like, ‘yes, I will.'”

The league always has some extra lightsabers lying around for anyone who might come by and want to give it a try. But the devices they use aren’t from the toy store. A good lightsaber from a specialty website can cost hundreds of dollars or even thousands.

“We collect them,” Atkinson said. “You know, if money’s tight and someone wants to come by and practice, we’ve got extras, because we want people to come.”

The members like for new prospects to be at least 15 years old, just for safety reasons.


When the force is with them, the league members stay late into the night making videos that are popular on Instagram. Even though these fake fights seem far out, the goals of the Lightsaber League are down to earth.

“It’s a healthy way to get out of the house and exercise and play pretend,” Atkinson said. “We have fun and that’s all that matters.”

And the best thing about this type of fun is there’s always a sequel.

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