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“Bladetoberfest” saber tournament sign of growing new sport

Tournament held in Rib Mountain draws competitors from around the country
Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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RIB MOUNTAIN, Wis. (WSAW) - Millions of people grew up watching saber fights in sci-fi movies. Now, the opportunity to wield one for oneself is a possibility.

The Saber Legion was formed nearly seven years ago by a small group in Minnesota, looking to replicate the battles from some of their favorite movies. That small backyard group grew into an international hobby-sport that continues to grow.

The Wisconsin Charter of the Saber Legion is headed by Seth Clendenning, who was introduced to saber battles by a family member.

“I was sold immediately,” said Clendenning. “I don’t think I’ve missed a practice in over three years.”

Held at the Immanuel Baptist Church in Rib Mountain Saturday, Clendenning and the Wisconsin Charter put on “Bladetoberfest”, a tournament coinciding with the fall holiday.

“This is called “Bladetoberfest”, not all that different than the German holiday,” said Clendenning, “And yes it starts in September.”

The process works similar to that of fencing, with points being awarded for a contact using the saber. Matches are played to ten. The tournament began with pool play before a bracketed tournament.

For many competitors, it’s not just a fun, physical activity, but it’s an opportunity to meet friends in a social activity.

“Even though this is a competition, we’re always cheering each other on,” said Clendenning. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from or your background, so on and so forth. We’re all really on the same team.”

Clendenning and the Saber Legion are always looking for more participants. It’s free to join. More information on how to join can be found here or on their Facebook.

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