I Survived Combat Con!

GameStop, Inc.

What is Combat Con? It’s a venture unlike any other! It’s a place where the history of Western Martial Arts, European ancient fighting techniques and fantasy meet amongst top tier professional martial artists, stage & screen fighters, and fight enthusiasts from across the world! An attendee of Combat Con can be immersed and trained in any combative fighting system genre that they choose. Whether you are interested in attending panel discussions, demonstrations, or take instructor led classes that incorporate themes and time periods such as steampunk, Sci-Fi, Ancient Greece, gladiator, Medieval European techniques, etc., Combat Con has something for everyone!

Tricia Nangkal, still writing even after being beat up all weekend.

Tricia Nangkal, still writing even after being beat up all weekend.

With over 100 classes to choose from during my 4-day run of work-n-play in Vegas, choosing a few courses to participate in between interviews, filming and writing was a difficult task to say the least. Trust me, I wanted to take them ALL! The top 3 courses that I chose to partake in were as follows:

ANCIENT FIGHTING ARTS: FUNDAMENTSALS OF GLADIATORIAL COMBAT led by instructor Steven Huff and assisted by Hunter C. Smith of Iron Shield Arms, LLC., a Los Angeles based training facility offering “Action-Centric” film & live event production, Western Martial Arts, & fight choreography. This course possessed all the grit and glory that comes to mind when you think of gladiatorial combat. As a definite newbie to the gladiator realm, I was relieved when instructor Steven Huff, provided all his students with replicas of gladiator weaponry such as the Sica and Gladius, Parma (small shield) Scutum, Thraex (sica) and Murmillo (gladius)! Not only did I learn how to swing, dive, grunt and strike like a gladiator, but I also got a thorough schooling on the development and practice of historical gladiatorial combat! The men of Iron Shield Arms know combat in every sense of the word!

(l. to r.) Hunter C. Smith and Steven Huff demonstrated gladiatorial warfare.

(l. to r.) Hunter C. Smith and Steven Huff demonstrated gladiatorial warfare.

SILENT KILLING led by Maestro Paul Macdonald a master of European Martial Arts. Maestro Macdonald has researched and played an integral role in revitalizing the use of the medieval dueling shield, the spade in arme, dusack and backsword. He is also the founder of Macdonald Armouries dedicated to the research and manufacturing of historical European swords and edged weapons. The title of this course says it ALL! With stealth like precision, Maestro Macdonald demonstrated how to remove your sentry with minimum fuss and optimum efficiency! Before I knew it, I was armed with a commando training knife where I learned the correct way to be a silent killer! You’ll definitely want to take this course, the man is a #BADASS! Many thanks for the new skills Maestro Macdonald!

Maestro Paul Macdonald demonstrates stabbing techniques on Steven Huff.

Maestro Paul Macdonald demonstrates stabbing techniques on Steven Huff.

HANDGUN HANDLING FOR STAGE, SCREEN & THEATER led by the Legendary Hock Hochheim! Hock Hochheim has trained civilian, police and military personal around the world in hand, stick, knife and gun combatives. With a multitude of black belts in Filipino Martial Arts, Kempo, Kajukenbo and Aiki-Jutsu, Hock was voted into the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame! Need I say more?! Armed with a training handgun replica and rubber-band bullets, I engaged in gun-to-gun face-offs, re-enactments, military and police handgun basics, disarms, maneuvers, stunts, effects and authentic performance training! Hock’s ability to not only train but also entertain his students with real life stories of his experiences, made this course a perfect 10!

Hock Hochheim teaching his gun seminar at Combat Con

Hock Hochheim teaching his gun seminar at Combat Con

There is so much more to write about Combat Con, from watching celebrity panels with stars such as Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies star; Colin Cunningham and The King of Fling; Jack Dagger, whom might I add are all super cool, laid back and share a love of all things combat, Combat Con provided a wide array of sword fighting tournaments and training expertise in Western Martial Arts (WMA) and Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) by renowned experts such as Scott Brown founder of Schwert am Schwert and Ancient European expert Steaphen Fick founder of Davenriche European Martial Arts School (DEMAS), demonstrations by one of the world’s foremost British Pugilism experts; Tim Ruzicki, a rarely seen fight demo of the Macuahuitl by co-founder of the Elite Fencing Club; Roberto Martinez Loyo and Fight Director Dr. John Lennox, as well as classes, panel discussions and demonstrations by AMEK founder Mishael Abia Lopes Cordozo and Historical Fencing expert; Officer Derek Conley & United States Marine! Want to know more about Combat Con? I could go on and on but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I leave you with a video glimpse into the world of COMBAT CON!

Overall the weekend was well worth the four days I spent in Las Vegas, the travel, the experience and the knowledge I walked away with will only draw me back for even further training at next year’s Combat Con.

Anytime Costumes

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