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starwars-lightsaberfight.jpgAdmit it: after you saw “Star Wars,” you tried to use the Force. I’m happy to admit it–I tried to move things across my room, using only my mind. “Heroes” makes me feel special abilities are more possible, but “Star Wars” initially put the idea in my head.  Oh, those Jedi mind tricks.

If moving objects with your mind didn’t work as a health strategy for you, and if you view the local gym as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy,” there is now a workout that even a scruffy-looking nerfherder will enjoy in a galaxy far, far away….

Meet “Master Flynn,” 38, who started teaching a lightsaber battling class in New York in early 2006.  “I had the idea to do a fight scene [with lightsabers] with my friends on the [New York’s Greenwich Village] parade route. People were so impressed when they saw what we were doing, and they wanted to know where they could learn to move the way we did,” said New York’s resident Yoda.

By “incorporating storytelling and choreography,” lightsaber battling involves cardio as well as upper and lower body movement. Many students, who initially attended because of their love for sci-fi and performance, started seeing the physical effects of battling.  Flynn’s Jedi workout classes started at a handful of students but gradually increased to 30-40 people.  Students attended two-hour sessions twice a week in New York.  A partner office also began a class in L.A.

“This was never meant to be a fitness thing,” said Flynn. “The class was about appreciating swordsmanship and performance.” Joe Shumaker, 23, says that he has lost 60 pounds since he joined New York Jedi six months ago.

Great Obi-Wan’s ghost, that’s a lot of weight. Maybe I’ll wait until next year to buy a new R2 unit or to learn that six millionth form of communication.  Instead, I’ll enroll in SaberWars classes in my local LA area and buy a lightsaber (or two, depending on which method the teacher uses).  Or, maybe I’ll follow the website’s sage advice: “If you do not have 2 sabers, no problem, go to Home Depot and for a dollar or two you can pick up a lightsaber-sized PVC pipe.  Translated into Yoda-speak, that would be: “cheap, shall you be.”

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