Growing up, I watched a slew of different battle anime. My eyes lit up as I saw the protagonists power up and fight off evil using their supernatural powers and badass weaponry. I loved how awesome and flashy their weapons and outfits were. I’m sure everyone had their one moment in childhood where they dressed up funny, picked up a stick, and pretended they were their favorite hero from the cartoons and/or anime. Now, imagine that you could do that now at an event.

Nowadays, geek and anime culture conventions have been thriving and are as popular as ever. Many cosplayers and fans flock to these conventions to dress up as their favorite characters and immerse themselves in the experience. For years, I’ve wanted to not only cosplay as my favorite characters, but also fight as them. I’ve wanted to make weapons and cosplay that I could move around in and fight with.

 

Avid Belegarth fighter Niko “Mustang” helps explains the rules of the sport for our panel at Anime Los Angeles 2018.

Two years ago, I found a sport called Belegarth (aka Foam Fighting). Belegarth is a combat sport where players dress up in fantasy clothing and fight with safe, foam-padded weapons. All their weapons are safety checked to make sure nobody will get seriously hurt. I instantly fell in love with the game and dove headfirst into the community. Belegarth has not only satisfied my itch to fight and dress up, it has improved my skill as a cosplayer and builder. I’ve implemented what I learned to craft in Belegarth on cosplays I have worked on. Eventually, I found that my two hobbies started to mix. A friend of mine and I had the idea of hosting panels, demonstrations and promotional tables at nerd events.  We wanted to have fun at conventions while promoting Belegarth.

 

Attendees raise their weapons to indicate they are ready to fight.

We started small, hosting demonstrations at newer conventions like Titan Con, Coast Con, and Anifest. Soon, we began to gain traction and caught the eye of many people from the cosplay and nerd community. We became recognized at conventions and eventually hosted our demonstration with the highest attendance we’ve ever had at Anime Los Angeles 2018. We had at least 150 people attend the event and 100 people fight. Our reach goal would be to host panels and demonstrations at the two largest conventions in Southern California: Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con. Belegarth has been a positive impact on my life, and I look forward to spreading it to people from the nerd community. My hope is that soon, Belegarth will become a mainstream attraction at many conventions.

 

 

 

Attendees learning the ropes and sparring with each other.

 If you want to learn more about this game, go to www.Belegarth.com for more information.