If you’ve ever walked by Tooker House and seen a group of people hitting each other with big lit up swords, you may have witnessed a meeting of AZ Saber, ASU’s lightsaber fighting club.
Once a part of a larger lightsaber fighting club, AZ Saber has made its home within the ASU community. Monica Conner, an ASU staff member, brought the club to ASU and has watched it grow ever since.
“I think everybody is that little kid who finds that stick and is like ‘I am Luke Skywalker and I am gonna fight everybody,'” Conner said.
Members of the club meet twice a week on Monday and Thursday evenings to learn new skills, spar each other and play games like capture the flag or “Lone Sith,” a Mafia-style game.
For those who might be worried about lacking any pre-existing fighting skills, accessibility for first timers is one of the core aspects of AZ Saber. The first time a new member comes to a meeting, one of the club’s more experienced members is more than happy to help teach newcomers the basics.
“If you show up with an urge to learn and the enthusiasm behind it, it won’t even be a second for one of us to want to train you,” Steven Sanders, the club’s treasurer and an ASU civil engineering sophomore, said.
It isn't long before those newbies become formidable opponents either. If you miss a week or two and come back, some of those first-time fighters will have already grown.
“It doesn't matter if you’re good or if you’re bad, but if you're there to have fun, you’ll get good along the way,” Conner said.
The friendships that have come out of AZ Saber are a vital part of the club’s culture. After each practice, anyone who showed up is invited to a group dinner afterwards.
“I made most of my friends through AZ Saber,” Sanders said. “There’s nothing more intimate than fighting someone.”
AZ Saber has become not only a place of honing skill and friendship, but for some members, the twice-weekly evening practices are a place of respite from the stress of school.
“You can be having the worst day of your life, you failed a test, you just need to go and relax somewhere and it's there for you,” Lori Garrett, materials science and engineering fourth year graduate student and AZ Saber vice president, said.
The community around the club is so tight that Conner invited them all to her wedding and 30 showed up, lightsabers in tow.
“It’s just such a special part of my life,” Conner said.
Kate Ourada is in her 5th semester as the editor of the podcast desk and is doing her best to spread her love of audio journalism. She works in radio as a reporter and board operator. Kate has a passion for creative writing, her cat and making niche playlists for her friends.