Learn foam-sword fighting with the Medieval Combat Society


Foam weapons are handmade by members of the club, or members can use hand-me-down or loaner weapons from past members. 

Sierra Hoeger

On the rare occasion that you are on campus on a Friday night from 8 to 10 p.m., you will hear the Tir Asleen Medieval Combat Society well before you see them. 

The student organization is a LARP-esque club, complete with self-made foam bats and shields, as well as medieval era outfits, crafted by members themselves. According to their Facebook page, “We are the Ames chapter of the Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, a national foam sword fighting organization.”

“It’s a medieval combat society and we don’t really care if you’re medieval or not,” said Elizabeth Harris, a senior majoring in chemistry and treasurer of the club. “Just wear whatever you want, wear whatever you’re comfortable with. And just fight, because that’s what we’re here for mostly.”

Combat and fighting is the main focus of the club, and what takes up a majority of the practice times. 

“We focus on combat and fighting,” Harris said. “Another thing is that we don’t have classes, we don’t have leveling up, we don’t have that stuff that would make it more LARP-ing. We have our fantasy races, we have all of that stuff. Each person has their own character, their own lore. Our main focus is fighting.”

While they aren’t considered a “LARP” club, in addition to weapon-making sessions, the club also holds outfit making sessions if members want to mimic dress from the medieval era. 

Harris joined the club as a freshman after visiting the booth at ClubFest and has remained involved since, moving up to fulfill the treasurer role. 

“I joined, and I just got kind of sucked in,” Harris said. “The way that I see it is that most people, including me, joined the club for the fighting and ‘this sounds really cool, I want to do that.’ And then stayed in the club for four years just because the community and we’re a giant friend group.” 

Being considered a national sport, there are national tournaments and events held every year for participants to showcase their fighting and combat skills. The society hosts multiple events a year, including a Halloween event that took place Oct. 16. 

Harris encourages those curious about joining to stop by a practice and check it out. 

“The main thing is that we do not require any previous knowledge, you don’t have to buy anything…,” Harris said. “We have loaner stuff we can give to you, we can explain the rules to you and you can just go on the field and fight a few rounds and see if you like it or not. It’s very open, and this sport is also focused on if someone happens to walk by, we have everything there that enables you to join.”