BY Lorenzo Ferrario, Instructor and Champion (Italy Monza)
"WORLD LIGHTSABER CHAMPIONSHIPS - OUR INTERVIEW WITH THE CHAMPION" nerdburger.it
NERDBURGER.IT: CHAMPIONS' ARENA : WE HAD THE GREAT HONOR OF INTERVIEWING THE 2017 CHAMPION!
HERE'S HOW IT WENT! THE CHAMPION.
Lorenzo Ferrario (nom de guerre: LorK) was crowned World Champion of Sports Combat with Laser Sword for the second consecutive time, in 2017, after also triumphing in the first edition of the Champions' Arena, held at the Fencing Museum in Busto Arsizio, in 2016.
LorK has been practicing this discipline for about 11 years (Ludosport was founded 12 years ago in Milan, where the historical nucleus of the "Crypt" is based) and has already achieved several successes in the national arena, in addition to these two international affirmations.
-- What has it been like for you to measure yourself against athletes from other nations in Laser Swordfighting, a sport you've really seen grow over the years, up to this great achievement of the World Championship? --
I would say it was really a fantastic thrill. I still remember when, now eleven years ago, I approached the sport: in the whole school, there were fewer students than participants in the last Champions' Arena! To have seen this dream grow, and to have been a part of it practically from the beginning, was truly a unique experience: and this is just the beginning! =)
-- In the final stages of the Champions' Arena, you were one of the few athletes who kept training while the other duels were taking place to keep your concentration high. Also, I often saw you studying the next opponent: how important is the mental aspect in this discipline and in this type of competition--
I think the mental aspect is crucial in our sport. After all, a duel is nothing but a clash of two personalities and two minds, as well as two techniques and two physicalities. Concentration, study and management of timing and distance are the basis of every fighter. During competitions, between rounds, there is often a lot of down time, and it is easy to "relax" and lose momentum, only to find yourself mentally unprepared when it is your turn to enter the arena. As a result, even during these down times, I always try not to let adrenaline and concentration go down...and usually that includes getting the miles of walking through the hallways or around the arena...
-- 2016/17 was an important two-year period for you, both for achieving this prestigious encore of world triumphs and because you also began teaching at the Iron Crown Clan, at the Ludosport School in Monza: goals that complete a journey or a new personal incentive? --
Yes, they were two very important fencing years for me. The desire to be an instructor was (almost) always there, but for various vicissitudes I never managed to materialize it, until last year, with the opening of the Monza School. And what satisfaction, then, to be able to see one's students compete at their first tournaments and to be told "you can see they are 'your' people, they fight like you"! Teaching, and then being able to "give back" what I received from my teachers, really gives me a great sense of accomplishment, at least equal to that of seeing a cohesive and united group form before my eyes. At first I didn't believe it when I heard it from instructor friends, but the satisfaction of teaching, of seeing a student succeed in going the extra mile, is truly at least as great as that of winning a tournament.
-- Some time ago you were telling me about the heated duels, as children, with your brother (who opened a Ludosport School in Sweden, where he lives), armed with sticks to simulate lightsabers. Your stick was red, of course! You could say that you were indeed the "chosen one" to become the Champion of the sport! How, then, did you come to know and approach Ludosport, Italy's first Lightsaber Combat Academy? --
Ahah! Well, "chosen" I'd say is a bit too much here...however, it's true, we started, like good brothers, to "beat each other up" from an early age. And, as a matter of fact, it was thanks to that "game" that we were introduced to Ludosport: it was the summer of eleven years ago when, while researching online about lightsaber fighting styles, I stumbled upon the forum of the fledgling academy. Enraptured by the prospect of a real fencing discipline with lightsaber, we went to the trial lesson
-- Lightsaber Sports Combat is a real sport: it is not choreographed and does not contemplate prepared duels, but techniques to be performed in one-on-one assaults to score points and, ultimately, victory. The spirit that animates Lightsaber Combat is closer to that of fencing and, therefore, naturally and profoundly different from that of other Star Wars-inspired activities. You don't have to be a super-fan of the saga to get involved with Ludosport, then? --
I would say no: many of the practitioners are not fans of the saga, and some have never even seen it (sacrilege!). What I do notice is that the affinity with Star Wars is often an incentive to approach, a stimulus to curiosity, but then one is captured by the greatness of the Ludosport project and to the greatest legacy of the founding Masters, namely having created a (now truly "worldwide") network of people who speak the same language and share the same values of Se.Cu.Ri. , a fantastic sporting discipline, and a good dose of desire to have fun. I would say that by now Ludosport has gone far beyond its initial purpose of "let's see what lightsaber fencing could look like," and has become a real phenomenon, a movement of people with its own great personality and dignity.
-- You also have a 'bureaucratic' role within the ever-expanding Ludosport network, with Academies open all over Europe, Russia, the U.S. and even on Reunion Island near Mauritius. How realistic is the idea of a Champions' Arena on the beaches of the Indian Ocean, in the Bay Area or in Hawaii, one of Ludosport's latest achievements? --
With new academies opening in virtually all corners of the globe, I would say that by now we are no longer talking about "idea" but actual reality. I would not be surprised if the 2019 or 2020 Champions' Arena takes place on another continent. There is still a long way to go and many nations to reach, but I believe we are in an "exponential" phase that will take us more or less everywhere much sooner than we expect.
-- The Champions' Arena is a time of celebration, not just sports, for all Ludosport athletes. It is not exclusively for those who compete, with themed games serving as the backdrop to the clashes for the Title. Healthy competition is always present, but even more palpable is the feeling of friendship and brotherhood that is established among athletes who have, as a common denominator, the language of the sport. How important is this spirit of sharing that results in the famous 'pork-side,' the scene of post-competition and post-training eating and drinking, and which is also summed up by the motto "one name - one sky" ? --
As I said before, the spirit of friendship, values and common language are the greatest achievement of these first ten years of Ludosport. It is really great to see so many people coming from such different places coming together under "one sky" to share a weekend of friendship and fun.
-- Outside of Ludosport, who is Lork? Or rather, who is Lorenzo Ferrario? --
Space engineer, husband of Veronica, big fan of all things flying, especially space.