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Sword Fighting Arena is His Dream Business

Storm Dye, a Saddleback College student, dreams of building a live action role playing arena for kids and young adults.

His big dream is to open a battle arena, and he's developing a business to do just that.

Since he and his younger brother played around with pipes and broom sticks as children, Mission Viejo's Storm Dye, 23, has always loved a sword fight.

His mom eventually banned the two brothers from household items. They just broke too many of them, he said.

So when he came to Saddleback College in September, it was only natural that he would start "Saddleback Swords," a live action role playing weekly event.

"I managed to get a good dozen people to fight with me," Dye said.

Now the group has roughly doubled, he said, with a rotating cast of former U.S. Marines, wrestlers, nerds and interested others ages 17 to 36.

That diverse group is what separates Dye's sword group from others, he said.

"You don't need to be a nerd to join us," he said. "We come from all kinds of backgrounds."

Seeing college students battling with toy weapons raises a few cackles from the crowd, but the main thing is that it draws a crowd, Dye said.

"This sport definitely attracts spectators," he said. "They're interested."

Just show up Tuesday from noon to 6 p.m. and ask for a sword. Dye encourages the role players to make their own weapons, too. But each one has to pass his safety examination first.

Safety comes up often as Dye sits at the kitchen table in his apartment, winding tape around foam he's shaped into a battle ax.

"The whole idea of this is safely fighting," he said. "It's for people who don't actually want their limbs chopped off, because that's kind of inconvenient."

Part of the reason is to protect people like his 11-year-old sister, Dye said. For more on this, see the video above.

The other reason for safety is legal liability. That's why Saddleback Swords is not an official Saddleback club, Dye said—too much red tape.

Dye wants to find a warehouse to build a sword fighting arena. He'd like it to be officiated, because rule breaking kills the fun, he said.

"You'll ruin the game for everyone if you cheat," he said. "If they hit you, give them the shot. If they fall down, help them up."

The business would be somewhat modeled on laser tag, Dye said. He needs to raise $90,000 to get the business off the ground, he estimates.

Check Patch Thursday for sword fighting video tips from Storm Dye.

Martin Henderson December 26, 2012 at 01:46 PM
This is a fun idea. I'd recommend a suit with targets that light up when one is hit (injuries, kill shots, etc.), developing a working model and a business plan—then hit the Shark Tank.
Alberto Barrera December 27, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Sounds like a project he should put up on Kickstarter or Indiegogo
Rebecca Knapp January 03, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Great feature, Storm! So proud to see your business beginning to bloom!

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