Dagorhir: A look into Grand Haven’s sword-fighting club


Dagorhir, or Dag for short, is a club where members fight each other with weapons such as swords, axes, or shields. Throughout the year, members geared up to battle every Wednesday after school.

Junior Justin Beck took over the role as club captain after his predecessor Senior Frank Angers graduated, but he wasn’t always interested in Dag.

“It’s not something I was into when it first started,” Beck said. “I got here and was like, ‘These guys are kind of weird’. It’s a way to just blow off steam. It’s a way to just join and have fun. I never thought I’d be doing this Wednesdays after school.”

The weapons are commonly made of a PVC pole, surrounded by camping mat foam, and then covered with fabric. Weapons are categorized by the colored hilts. Blue is a basic weapon, red allows two solid two-handed blows to “break” shields, green swords can be used to stab and white weapons can be thrown.

“It’s medieval combat,” Beck said. “A bunch of nerds make foam weapons and hit them with each other. It’s not LARP. Everyone says it’s LARP. LARP has a story. This is just blowing off steam and having fun.”

The basic rules are, two limbs are lost from two slashes, a combination of one stab and one slash, a single hit to the torso or one backstab means a player is “dead”. If the killer hits another player in the head, the offender is the one who dies.

“I actually decided to do it because I really like this one video game Skyrim and it’s all about medieval sword fighting so I thought it would be fun,” junior Jasmyne Mohney said.

A game starts out with everyone in a circle. After someone shouts three random numbers and “play on”, the fight starts.

“It’s exercise and I really like the adrenaline rush you get,” Mohney said. “That’s the main reason why I like it so much. You get to hang out with your friends too or possibly if you’re new, you make friends.”

Although Mohney loves the game now, she had to learn how to defend herself against the almost entirely male club.

“In the beginning of Dag, I was kind of the only girl and it wa kind of bad because I was bad at it,” Mohney said. “But, I recently got  lot better and I guess you just have to focus on what you’re good at. I was always about strength and I realized I’m not a strong person I’m more of an agile person. Since I embraced that, I got really good.”

When asked the club, Beck assures everyone that the weapons don’t hurt, the members are just playing for fun.

“A lot of people don’t like to join because it’s embarrassing and weird. If you get past that, it’s a whole new world and it’s really fun.”