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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fighting with Foam!

I promised that I would explain the whole foam-fighting thing. There are several subsets of Geek, and I am fluent in many. Amongst my favorites is foam combat. This is basically quite similar to medieval reenactment, but replacing real weapons with foam versions of the various implements of destruction. It may seem odd to you, but for me, it’s 187,000 times more exciting than something “normal” like stamp collecting.

Fighting societies like this are similar to Live Action Role Play (LARP), which I also enjoy, but tend to focus much less on costume and improvisational acting and far, far, FAR more on opening big foam cans of whoop-ass on each other. This is a fight club that you can talk about.

The group I’ve been playing with is known as Dagorhir, which got its start in the late ‘70s, and owes much of its traditions to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. If you’ve seen the movie Role Models, you’ve seen a comedic version of the concept. As for the real life version…yes, it IS that fun.

Well over 450 fighters on the field at a little thing they call Ragnarok.

Also, it’s exercise. Some of the larger battles can be a straight 15 minutes (or more…ugh!) of heavy cardio, and believe it or not I feel LESS silly looking like a Master of the Universe than I do on a Stairmaster. I’ve managed to get my “desperately sucking for wind” phase down to the first 5 minutes of the day, as opposed to the 10 it was. That’s progress, gang. It’s hard work lugging this budding beergut around a field of battle.

The boys and girls of “Dag” fight hard. There’s shield bashing, grappling, and of course the requirement to strike with “sufficient force” when using a foam weapon. It’s relaxing…like being trampled by a herd of drunken wildebeests.

There are different battles to partake in, from team vs team to duels, from the "meatgrinder" to the free-for all. There are objective battles such as escorting, holding a bridge, or capture the flag. All this, and these are just Sunday practice sessions. The big events get wild, lasting an entire weekend or longer. In short, it's FUN. When I'm feeling more humorous, I explain it as "more fun than adults should be allowed to have playing dress-up." If you call leather and steel dressing up.

The median age of the local group is about 20, I’d say, and that makes me the “old man” of the group. I may be able to outstrategy quite a few of the youngsters, but they run rings around me like Road Runner and Wile E Coyote. I’ll teach them when I get my Acme Smackamatic 3000.

There’s just something downright cathartic about strapping on 30 pounds of chain mail and leather, grabbing a shield and a bastard sword, and laying down (and if I’m honest, receiving) some righteous asskicking. Breaking through a line and mowing down the opposing team from behind, hoping to make it back out “alive”? It’s a serious adrenaline rush. Leaving an arm out just a hair too long after a strike and getting swatted for my trouble? It’s a good reminder on proper technique. A day spent leaving it all out on the field, accumulating aches, pains, smiles, and laughter? Well, that’s just a damn good day.

Well, now you know just how geekariffic Dangerboy can be. And you know why I'm usually sore of a Monday morning.

What’s your oddest hobby?


  1. My oddest hobby is you.


  2. You, sir, are playing the wrong kind of "Adult Dress-Up" games if this is the one that's "more fun than adults should be allowed to have playing dress-up." Just sayin'...

  3. @Wifefish You are a brat. And I love you.

    @ladydyani Oh, it is. It is. Hope things are awesome for you.

    @Anonymous Well, you may have a point. ;)

  4. Random Googling of inane questions.

  5. @ Onion that's odd, but at least informative. Dependent on how inane we're talking.

  6. When Andrew and I move back would you please introduce him to this. He is a closet geek. He is all geek but has no venue to release the inner geek. This sounds fun.

  7. First- AWE at Wifefish's comment!

    Second- That actually looks like fun. Wonder if Boyfriend would be in if I bring home a bunch of foam swords?

  8. And when I saw this video I had to come and share it with you.

  9. Wifefish's comment MADE MY DAY. So thank you, Wifefish. Thank you.

  10. Oh. My. God. Don't ever tell my son about this. I'll lose him forever. Bad enough a--as he like to announce it- "nerd hour" in his room flipping through Yugio (I don't know the spelling) cards, and a, hold on Mom, I need a dork moment online. (And then there's the air gun and the woods out back.) Oh no, he would be sucked into the great vortex known as Ragnarok. No, no, NO never!
    (Although it does look like fun.) ;)


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