In learning to sword fight, Japanese samurai used wooden replica swords and medieval knights used blunt swords (which were safe enough to use on plate armour). However, lightsabers 'handle' very differently to a physical objects like sticks and swords; so how do Jedi (and Sith) learn and maintain their skills of lightsaber duelling?

Is there a non-lethal 'practice' lightsaber that can be used on a training partner safely? I know the movies backwards, and this is clearly not covered (apart from Luke training to block mini blaster shots from a floating droid, but that's a far cry from a lightsaber duel). On the other hand I have zero knowledge of any books and TV series. Is there is any of this material a clear depiction of Jedi (or Sith) learning to duel by 'sparring' in some way that emulates a real duel without the lethal danger?

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    Who needs training sabers when you have perfect cybernetic limbs? Feb 2, 2017 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


Depends on the era and the place.

The Sith used training sabers with numbing poison. These training sabers were crafted out of durasteel with blunt edges and were balanced like real lightsabers.

For the Jedi there are training lightsabers. They are not completly harmless, but they will not cause devastating damage. These training lightsabers were also sometimes used by the Sith.

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    and no doubt both sides used that age old substitute sword, a wooden stick, as well, but that doesn't make for a sci fi story so is omitted :)
    – jwenting
    Jun 5, 2013 at 11:49
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    It is unlikely that they will have used sticks, as the balance of a lightsaber is extremely different to a standard sword, due to the fact that the blade has no weight - the wiki page on Sith training sabers does mention their balancing, but the only real substitute will have been the Jedi equivalent, which still has a light blade, and as such, mimics the 'real thing' exactly Jun 5, 2013 at 13:21
  • @MattTaylor I guess the Sith start with those training sabers, but when they know the basics they start training with the real deal. It would be the same as training kenjutsu, you start with bokkens but when 2 advanced persons have a spar they use real swords, they just know when to stop
    – Frederiek
    Jun 5, 2013 at 14:10
  • A few of the books have mentions that there are indeed practice sabers, both Pre-Empire and Post-Empire. The damage was to stun the opponent, but it still acted like the real thing (i.e., it would mime cutting off a hand or stabbing someone without the actual damage). I think the worst it could do was give a mild burn and a zapping sensation, the whole 'no pain, no gain' theory. This answer is in reference to the New Jedi Academy books, and I don't remember their canon rating off the top of my head. I'd still take a practice saber even if it didn't kill anyone. Still too cool.
    – Jersey
    Jun 5, 2013 at 14:41
  • I thought they used wooden swords in I Jedi to master the forms? After all, its about feeling the force and letting it guide you in early stages.
    – z -
    Jun 7, 2013 at 13:32

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