1. #1
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Quick report on CombatCon (Las Vegas)

    Briefly, CombatCon is an annual conference held at the Tuscany Suites hotel just around the corner from the Las Vegas strip, blending Western martial arts and fight choreography with various pop-culture genres (steampunk, fantasy, science fiction etc.) This is a very subjective report as the convention is set up on multiple streams - participants choose from a huge range of classes, panel discussions and so-on, so everyone's experience is different.

    The event officially kicked off on Friday but almost all of the actual classes on that day were specialized master-classes in things like lightsaber fighting (taught by Kyle Rowling, one of the guys who worked on the Star Wars prequels), bullwhip cracking, etc. Evening events included a screening of the "Bartitsu: the Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes" documentary and a charity auction to support the documentary "Be Here Now", chronicling the life and death of Australian actor Andy Whitfield, who died of cancer shortly after starring in the TV series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand".

    Saturday's highlights (for me) included the 2-hour Bartitsu intro. seminar, several panel discussions and the production of a pitch video for CLANG, Neal Stephenson's swordfighting video game. I had a look in at numerous other classes including bowie knife fighting, various flavors of two-handed sword and rapier fencing, bare-knuckle boxing and wrestling. Several tournaments were held that evening, including the popular two-handed sword tourney, and later there was also a costume contest/dance party.

    On Sunday I attended a very unusual class called the "Alien Fight Club Experience" taught by Paradox Pollack, who has done fighting and movement design for movies like Thor, Star Trek and I Am Legend. I sat in on several other interesting panel discussions on topics including Motion Capture for Martial Arts Movies and checked out classes on catch wrestling and the use of the elbows in classical pugilism. There was a stage combat contest that evening.

    On Monday morning I had just enough time to return to the Strip and visit a very interesting museum exhibition on the art and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, before heading for the airport.

  2. #2
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good time.
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    On Monday morning I had just enough time to return to the Strip and visit a very interesting museum exhibition on the art and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, before heading for the airport.
    Oh, you wild man! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

  3. #3
    slamdunc's Avatar
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    My first question: Is this a LARP kind of thing? Next question: Is LARPing a bad thing?


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by slamdunc View Post
    My first question: Is this a LARP kind of thing? Next question: Is LARPing a bad thing?
    Thread: CombatCon - BS or useful?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk

  5. #5
    slamdunc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lklawson View Post
    Sorry (not trying to be a troll), I now remember commenting on that thread.


  6. #6
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slamdunc View Post
    My first question: Is this a LARP kind of thing? Next question: Is LARPing a bad thing?

    There was a literal LARP group at last year's event.

    The majority of the classes (both this year and last) were in various Western martial arts, a significant minority were fight choreography for live and/or screen performance. I guess there was some LARP element in the costume contest on Saturday night, but that was part of the overall theme of introducing WMA to "fan" subcultures.

    I'm not into literal LARP personally, but IMO as long as it's honest about what it is, more power to it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    Sounds like a good time.

    Oh, you wild man! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
    Yeah, I was burning the candle at both ends.

  8. #8
    slamdunc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    I'm not into literal LARP personally, but IMO as long as it's honest about what it is, more power to it.
    That's pretty much where I'm at with it. The fight choreography does interest me, just for the artistic element.


  9. #9
    Mostly, I just sit here. Mostly. hall of famestaff
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    I really do want to go to this some day.

    Any new details about CLANG?

    How big was the Cold Steel booth and what did Lynn Thomas cut up with a pocket knife?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick View Post
    I really do want to go to this some day.

    Any new details about CLANG?
    Yep - I updated the main CLANG thread in this forum, but briefly, we produced a final pitch video at CombatCon, released it on Saturday afternoon and the campaign hit the $500,000 goal just before midnight that night. So, the game is funded!

    How big was the Cold Steel booth and what did Lynn Thomas cut up with a pocket knife?
    I don't think there was a Cold Steel booth per se this year, but Lynn did a number of demos and taught at least one class. Didn't see him cut anything, though there was one class by another instructor that allowed participants to try out medieval war-hammers, etc. against an old steel filing cabinet. They displayed the cabinet in the main hall afterwards.

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