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Volume V
Spring 2008
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Posted: Feb. 13, 2008    

Medieval fight club meets at Newman Center

On guard, dastardly bad-doers, Dagorhir is here

By Tad Wissel/

EDINBORO – Pop culture has seen a surge of epic battle films in recent years, ranging from “Beowulf” and “Lord of the Rings” to “The Chronicles of Narnia,” but for some Edinboro students, satisfaction isn’t just in watching the movies.

It’s living them.

Armed with foam swords, maces, battle axes and javelins, Edinboro students and local residents meet on Wednesdays in the Newman Center for Dagorhir, Edinboro’s medieval fighting club. Pronounced “Dagger here,” Dagorhir is a nationwide role-playing phenomenon that can trace its roots back to the early 1980s. Fighters engage in melees, one-on-one combat and objective-style missions in supervised battle.

The rules of battle are similar to those you may have used when stick fighting as a child.

“There are different targets,” said group leader and third-year Edinboro student Anthony Fioretti. “If you get hit in the leg, you drop to a knee. If you get hit in the arm, you drop whatever you were holding and you use one arm. Take a hit to the torso or lose two limbs and you’re dead. The head and neck are off limits.”

And when slain, a fallen fighter must lay on the ground until a winner has been decided.

Weapons, which range from the simple one-handed sword to monstrosities like Fioretti’s 5-foot-long war hammer, are constructed of PVC piping and blue camping foam to prevent injury. However, just like other contact sports, injuries can occur.

“People do get hurt. It’s a sport. Someone may strain a muscle, get a bloody nose, a stoved finger,” Fioretti explained. Once an injury occurs, referees immediately stop combat and help the injured fighter off the field of battle before play resumes.

The Edinboro unit of Dagorhir fighters, known as the Sunhawks, consists of about 15 combatants who travel as far as Somerset to compete with other units. At these events, there can be up to 500 fighters and combat can be 250 versus 250 and last up to half an hour.

Dagorhir meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays in the Newman Center next to College Park. For more information, stop by or call Fioretti at (814) 464-4355.


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