Combat Saber Tournament 2015

Asia's first ever Combat Saber Tournament was held in Singapore at Liang Court, on 20 Nov 2015.

In case you miss the epic battles, here's a run down of what went down. At exactly 6 pm the duels began as curious crowds gathered to see what was going on. 15 combatants battled over 3 hours across 97 duels to win the grand prize: a Vaders Vault Dark Ardent saber ($900). Tournament format was held in a Swiss style round robin elimination.

Top 15 Elimination duels (Part 1 of 2)

First up, rules of the tournament.

2 combatants duel in an octagon arena 8 meters wide. The only targets are the base of the hilt, weapon hand to the forearm and elbow. Other targets were not allowed as the Combat Saber System is based on an unarmored blade combat martial art, so taking out the opponent's weapon hand is the first priority. Points are earned for unanswered or mutual hits on target. Points are loss when they step out of the arena. The combatant with the highest points after 30 seconds wins the duel.

Top 15 and Top 12 elimination

The round robin duels were fast paced, with only a short break between duels. As the duels progressed, individual strategies began to surface, along with a variety of fighting styles. Combatants had to stay consistent to secure wins to progress to the next stage. Too many ties or losses meant being eliminated.

Top 15 Elimination duels (Part 2 of 2)

Sabers and Gear

Standard dueling sabers are provided, but combatants can use their own if it passes tournament requirements; 32" blade length, no hand or cross guards allowed. Ultrasaber Initiate V4s and Vaders Vault Combat Class sabers were the only sabers used in the tournament. Protective eyewear is compulsory and lacrosse style gloves were used for the best flexibility and protection. The blades are polycarbonate and flexible, but when it hits skin and bone, it's still going to hurt.

The Crew

As with all events it wouldn't be possible without the help and support of the TSA crew and partners. Official time keepers, score keepers, judges, referees, commentators, photographers, videographers, medical crew, and of course the fans and fellow combatants that came down to show their support. Huge thanks as well to Liang Court for hosting the tournament and Sabermach for joining in this display of combat sabers.

Top 12 Elimination duels

Top 8 elimination

As we got closer to the grand finals and combatants were eliminated, the duels became more deliberate and precise, no one wanted to make mistakes. Less points were won and a lot of tie duels were seen. It all came down to timing, precision and footwork to move around the tight octagon.

Top 8 Elimination duels

The fans and supporters

Before the tournament, mini hourly workshops were held to let fans have a feel of saber combat. We brought them through the basics strikes and some partner drills, ending off with our signature 13 star 'kata'. Kids enjoyed the most as they sat around the arena taking in the sights and sounds of saber combat. Some even had their dinner beside the arena.

Between breaks we picked several lucky and eager kids to duel with some of our combatants and they where thrilled. It was an absolute joy to see the glee on the kids faces and the smile from their parents as they swung their way across the arena battling for 30 intense seconds.

The semi-finals and grand-final

It was a long hard fight to go through 11 other combatants to get to the top 4. Mark had a back injury and had to give up his slot. Alexis, our only female combatant was next in line with the highest points. She joined Lionel, Jahaan and Adrian in the most intense duels of the night.

As you watch the replays listen for the *thump* sound, that represents a clean blade hit on the glove. At this stage it came down to reading your opponent's moves and not making a mistake. Eventually Adrian came up tops with his very precise and well timed strikes to the top of the hands you can see a lot of this in the final matchup.

Top 4 - Semi finals and grand final

Respect, Harmony, Purpose

Our academy was built on 3 core values; Respect, Harmony, and Purpose. The tournament was the embodiment of the 3 values as all combatants showed excellent sportsmanship, camaraderie and encouragement throughout the duels, setting the tone for The Saber Authority's first ever tournament, and the many tournaments to follow in the coming years.

Top 15 scorecard

Top 12 scorecard

Top 8 scorecard

Top 4 scorecard