- The AtoZ of me – Blogging from AtoZ2023
- A for all that – an evolving list of my post
- A is for All together now…
- B is for Blogging #mondayblogs #atozchallenge
- C is for Cats
- L is for LudoSport #MondayBlogs #OneNameOneSky
- C is for C-PTSD
- D is for ‘dont call me that’ – aka Donna #Mondayblogs
- E is for Edinburgh
- F is for Fun…
Just under a year and a half ago, I took part in a discovery class which changed my life. And I don’t mean that with any hyperbole. I mean it literally.
I have, as i’ve mentioned, CPTSD, anxiety and I’ll talk a little about psychosis later in the month. It’s also something I talk about in ‘Run Girl, Run’, which will be on my other blog later in the month.
How I joined…
(I’ve talked about LudoSport before a few times on my blog, so you may already know some of this)
Lockdown was, I guess, sort of the normal point of my life for the last five years, so 2020 wasn’t the shock it could have been to me. In fact, the only thing I really missed was going out for coffee with friends, and gaming with friends, which were not regular things. We stopped attending the cinema, but again, it was something I didn’t miss. My world was basically, Tempus, my kids, my cats, and I was even pulling away, I guess, online. I saw my family occasionally, when they visited us, and we visited them, but, I lived a very isolated life. I’d run Nanowrimo and Camp Nanowrimo, as I could, but I didn’t like to leave the house. At all. I’d go see my psych for treatment, and even then, by lockdown, all that happened was that I was living in a world where everyone in the UK was, basically, doing the same as me.
We both came out of lockdown looking to do something about our health. In my case, I went along to the discovery session to see what Tempus was talking about, because I fully expected not to enjoy it. But I did. A year and a half (nearly) later, and here I am, an Initiate, moving through Form 2, looking forward to the summer and more training, and then hopefully Form 3. I don’t duel often, but Thursday, unless I’m sick, is reserved, always for LudoSport. And if I’m sick and not contagious, I still often try to attend. Even if I can’t train, watching everyone lets me absorb so much.
We train, to our own needs, year round. We compete in the UK, and internationally (well, I mean ‘we’ as in the Academy. I rarely compete, because it’s not what I enjoy. And, honestly? That’s also ok. I don’t compete as much, but I go along and I provide help. If you know my role in the indie author community, sound familiar?) 🙂
That was October 2021. By December 2021, we both joined the Order of the Tempest, Clan Siren. We joined an amazing community, with so many wonderful people. Our Order, in Bristol, is the home of the current UK champion (our co-Rector and a good friend) and we’ve had several UK champions before him from our Order. More locally, there’s an academy in Cheltenham, Order or St Luke’s (who were not running when we started, and but we do join them for duelling when we’ve got time), and then there’s Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. There are more hopefully coming, as, there’s now a push to train people to open academies.
A special community
I wanted to be clear on this – LudoSport isn’t pretending – it’s a controlled, rules based, safety oriented contact sport. It’s an all over workout. It’s great fun. And yes, it does really involve lightsabers. But, I think what makes it for me, more than all of that, is all of the people I’ve met. From the team at Bristol and those that I train with, and out visitors, but beyond that, there’s so many nice people in the UK, and those that I’ve met from the international community. And I did say ‘they changed my life’.
There’s the easy stuff I can point to is that I’ve gone from 110lb, to 95lb. I’m a bit more confident and can do stuff that I’ve not been able to manage for years – I can go into shops and I can talk to people again. I can go off and grab my own little bits and pieces when others need to be somewhere. I can sometimes even leave the house to go for a walk, and frequently do go outside to the shared lawn near our house and practice with my saber. It might seem like small things to others, but… I even managed (mostly) to battle at Reignite the Light this year. For someone that, at one point, refused to leave my bed, and was told that I’d be untreatable, I think this is huge.
And while I know a lot of what appears (including in the Times, recently, for our international ‘Reignite the light 2.0’ tournament) is about the lightsabers, the thing I want to talk about in LudoSport isn’t just the fact that we get to duel, and are learning an interesting, engaging, FUN sport, but that they’re so good to us while doing it.
LudoSport is all inclusive. Doesn’t matter what you’re comfortable with, you can do everything that you can, and accomodations are made to support you. And just saying it like that isn’t…quite…enough, I guess. It doesn’t explain how caring and supportive everyone is. When I’ve had a bad night at training, whether it’s been because I’ve managed to ‘trigger’ myself (as in, something has made me unsettled, or I’m having a bad day because of my mental health and it hasn’t improved while training, the distraction hasn’t worked), or because I’ve just had an uncomfortable night in general (cause honestly? Any sport that you train in can just not be great, as in, it wasn’t a good, optimal day, you couldn’t feel good about what you did…all of that), and we all check in with one another. Our clan chats are hilarious, and as an Academy, we’ve been to a concert together. And, honestly, part of the ‘community’ is Porksides. Social events, sometimes after tournaments, where we all eat, meet, socialise together and hang out. There’s international tournaments, and a week of training in Italy, during the summer, for those that want intense practice, but…it really is all about what you want to get out of it. And, I guess, what you put in.
Would you like to join in?
I’d love to see LudoSport explode and give everyone a chance to enjoy it. I love the community and feel that there’s a lot that can come of it. I don’t know if it’d work as therapy the same was as it does for me, but I am talking to people about that. What I do know is that we’re a good community – the world over – and there are academies opening all the time. And the discovery sessions are a great way to get into it. If there’s not an Academy near you, keep an eye on LudoSport UK (for the UK) and LudoSport International for the rest of the world, because we’ve just had a batch of technicos train, to teach others to run an academy. The UK is running a class soon, while I’m sure there are others running elsewhere.
Let me know if you’ve got questions – if I can’t answer them, I’ll tag someone that can, and let me know what you think?
UK Academy social media
Bristol – https://www.facebook.com/Bristollightsabers
Cheltenham – https://www.facebook.com/Cheltenhamsportslightsabers
Birmingham – https://www.facebook.com/ludosportmidlands
Liverpool – https://www.facebook.com/LudoSport.Liverpool
Manchester – https://www.facebook.com/Ludosportmanchester
And LudoSport International – https://www.facebook.com/ludosport
Wanna see some EPIC combat? Check out the pages, watch out for when we announce tournaments, and have a look around. I’m only at the beginning of my journey with the sport, and I’m in my 40’s, so it’s not just for young people either. Give it a try!
(With thanks, as ever, to my LudoSport community, who helped me put this post together, gave me the graphics, and the links to use. You guys rock!)
Kai is a writer, author and avid reader. A mental health advocate, Ludosport athlete and coder. She’s the mother of two young adults, owned by two cats, and lives with her beloved in the Cotswolds.