CombatCon™ Review – A Celebration of Martial Arts in Popular Culture

Sin City…  A shimmering mirage of dreams and decadence….  The desert town from which no incriminating story is ever meant to escape, and where the impossible seems ever so slightly more attainable.  Known the world over as an adult playground of casinos, nightclubs, bars, pools, and the occasional “special” activity, Las Vegas occupies a unique place in the American mythos.  And, for one weekend a year over the past six years, it has been host to a one-of-a-kind event called CombatCon™.


This year’s event takes place on July 8-10 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino and is sponsored by KA by Cirque du Soleil.

A “Celebration of Martial Arts in Popular Culture,” CombatCon™ is a jam-packed, three day convention where attendees can swing swords, try on armor, fight in or watch tournaments, learn tactical squad movements, attend panels on all manner of subjects related to combat and fighting, take classes in stage and screen combat, learn to shoot action films, throw knives, crack whips, watch demonstrations of Aztec Maquahuitl, gladiatorial combat, study bare knuckle pugilism, and even meet some of Hollywood’s best stunt fighters and coordinators (not to mention, a few actors thrown in there for good measure!). 

Hand-to-hand fighting

The convention offers close to 200 hours of martial arts, stage and screen combat, and personal self-defense classes, a host of panels and presentations, and tons of demonstrations and tournaments. Classes are offered for people of all skill levels, from complete beginner to highly experienced.


CombatCon™ is attempting to become the single largest HEMA (Historic European Martial Arts) tournament event in the world.  It offers the opportunity to participate in tournaments, including:

  • Rapier
  • Synthetic Longsword
  • Steel Longsword
  • Sword and Buckler
  • Cutting
  • Woman’s Longsword
  • Singlestick

The 2016 Tournament Room this year is 9,800 square feet. It will feature multiple rings, a staging area for fighters, and more than enough room for the audience.


CombatCon™  also offers a multitude of panels, presentations, and academic classes covering all aspects of combat in popular culture. Panels on writing believable fights, working as a stuntperson and crafting traditional weapons are among the subjects covered in the academic discussions.

Multiple vendors are on-site offering everything a modern warrior could need, from weapons to costumes, to books. After-hours, attendees can enjoy the Live Action Fight Scene Competition one evening, and the popular Time Traveler’s Ball the next. 

Worlds Collide

CombatCon™ is a truly unique event, and participants often find that it changes their lives in myriad ways.  Some past attendees have gone on to careers in Hollywood, while some have become superstars among the ranks of Historic European Martial Arts tournament fighters.  Others simply find confidence they never knew they had, or uncover a passion they had no idea existed.  Regardless of the paths they take after CombatCon™, however, attendees leave the event having had an incredible time that they simply can’t get anywhere else. 

Sin City…The town that has everything, including CombatCon™.

Learn more and register at the CombatCon™ website.

Images by Vania Lynd, CombatCon™ staff Photographer and Eric Laskin.



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