Survive if you Can, Win if you Dare!
CombatCon is proud to introduce North America’s first Stage Combat Competition! Ever want to know who has the most creative choreography? Who has the sweetest moves? Who looks the best while fighting? Now’s your chance!
Vegas is for winners so this is your time to shine. Bring in your best fight choreography and perform it live for a panel of experts in Combat for Stage and Screen to see who is the best. There are two different categories and you can enter in one or both.
What are the categories?
- Vegas Shoot-Out: Ever see a fight on film that makes you go “Ohhhhh?” We want you to take the scene from a famous film fight and create your own choreography to it in the style and flavor of that film. Don’t be obscure, it should be easily recognizable (You killed my father. Prepare to die!). However, the weapons, fight and even time period are completely up to you.
- Tactical Roulette: This is an open category where anyone and everyone are encouraged to come together and show the best fight they ever created. The choice of theme, weapons, style, costuming is all up to you. The winner goes home with all the bragging rights that a night in Vegas can earn you.
What weapons can we use?
Whether you’re into cutting-focused weapons such as long swords, katanas, basket hilts, Cavalry sabers, etc., or thrusting weapons such as rapiers, small swords, foils, etc., we want to see what you’ve got. Everything from your fists/unarmed, military knife, tomahawk, cutlass, gladius, Greek spear and shield, improvised weapons, flexible weapons – the sky is the limit. If the weapon can be used to kill someone, then this is the place to show everyone how. The only weapons not allowed are projectile weapons; no guns, bows or crossbows, slings, etc – if it’s not in your hand when it deals damage then the answer is no.
How will we be judged?
There are three areas the judges will focus on: Technical, Artistic and Dramatic Action. Each area will be judged out of 10 with the best mark out of 30 winning the prize. In the event of a tie, the contestants will be given notes of improvement by the judges, awarded 5 minutes to work the comments into their fight and will perform again for the win.
- Technical: To get top technical marks the fight must be well executed. The judges will be looking for good footwork, good targets, good body alignment and safety. Is it a martially sound fight? Do the moves make sense within the context of the theme?
- Artistic: This is where you get to show how creative you can be with your choreography. How unique is it, how ingenious are your moves? Were there great “wow” moments? Were costumes used and did they help or hinder the presentation? Music? You’re a creative group of people by nature, let it fly!
- Dramatic Action: This is where the judges look at the story of the fight. Every piece of drama has a beginning, middle and an end, and so does a good fight. The judges will look at the dramatic arc of the piece. Was there a climax, did the story ebb and flow, did the fight move the plot along? We don’t need Act I, II and III to understand why the fight begins but we encourage everyone to set up the scene. Give the judges a peek into the lives of these characters so they know how to feel when someone wins or loses.
What are the Prizes? TBA
What are the rules?
- Participants must perform as a team of two or more people. There is no prescribed maximum but you will be fighting in a 30 foot diameter circle (and you do want your fight to be seen, don’t you?).
- While the audience may be all around, the performance should be proscenium oriented for the judges.
- Weapons must be checked and inspected to meet stage combat safety requirements by the judges before the competition takes place. The blades must be blunted both along the blade and at the point. Steel weapons must run from the tip of the weapon to the base of the tang, with no welds – this is to ensure the weapon will not break.
- Weapons made of aluminum, rubber or wood are all acceptable so long as they are fighting a common substance. Ex: no aluminum swords against steel blades.
- Each team will have no more than two minutes to set the stage (props, costumes, etc), and no more than two minutes to strike the stage.
- Each scene must be no more than 5 minutes from start to end. Combined with the four minutes allocated for setting and striking, teams will be allowed no more than 9 minutes total time “in the ring.”
How do we sign up?
Simply send an email of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know the number of people in your fight, the weapons used and in which categories you would like to compete. Please include any other pertinent information we should know (ie, will you be using music? Does your fight require something special?). It’s your fight, so tell us what you need. You can always change the details of your fight later – nothing in Vegas is ever set in stone.
We will also ask you to submit a demo video (via YouTube etc.) of either previous work you’ve done, or the fight you’ll be presenting to make sure we’re all on the same page regarding safety.
A note on Safety:
This is a stage combat competition and one of the basis of a good fight is that it is repeatable and safe for the performers. The judges should feel fear and excitement for the characters, not concern for the performers. Once an audience member is afraid for the actor they are removed from the moment – and we always do it for our audience as they pay to see us perform.
Should participants perform in an out-of-control manner or be deemed unsafe by any of the judges they will be disqualified.