What Do We Do

Authors Combat Academy is both an annual convention and year round writing support. We are devoted to providing expert resources for developing and published writers alike. While the 3-day Academy each spring in Nashville is focused on fighting, tension, and research, the online community is structured for even more. The 3-day conference is a celebration of all we have learned and accomplished through the year. It's also a great opportunity to learn about fighting in all its forms. Ever been in a prison brawl? Experienced combat as a Navy SEAL? When was the last time you got punched in the face? Authors Combat Academy will open up the world of fighting like never before. See fighting techniques from medieval to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Learn what happens from the first punch to the last man standing to the ER. Get tips on pacing, wording and accuracy from the best. Write it Right!

Who should come?

Authors & writers, multi-times published and hopefuls alike! Anyone who wants to learn how to write the kinds of scenes that leave your readers wanting more!

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What is ACA?

The Academy is a 3-day conference with filled with special guests, fighting demos, writing classes, QnA, Rent-A-Ninja sessions, group participation, a banquet and more!

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When and Where?

Join us in Nashville, TN March 31 - April 2, 2017 at The Inn at Opryland for the most in-depth training on fighting styles and writing techniques.

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The market is saturated! What will make your book/story stand out? Learn accurate fighting techniques and build on your story development. Meet experts in an amazing range of fields as you study dynamic writing techniques.

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Rent-A-Ninja Fighting Demonstrations

The Rent-A-Ninja sessions were borne from the idea of using trained people to help mock-up a scene you can't do on your own. You can get 1-3 "ninjas" cross trained in 11+ styles of fighting. Everything from boxing to Muy Thai to weapons use. Conference co-founder, author AJ Scudiere says, "People really do come up to me and say 'It's obvious you're a fighter, you write such amazing fights in your books.' And I always think 'Oh, no, I'm a ballerina. But I have ninjas.'" Book a private session with the ninjas in 25 minute blocks. During your session the assigned ninjas will act out your fight scene as you describe it from your novel. This gives your writing the accuracy and details that your readers deserve. Ninjas will also happily explain how to get a character into or out of a situation, what moves would be appropriate, and what a fighter can and can’t do. For 2016 we are offering the option of a spare ninja to video tape your session for easy reference later (so bring a video recorder, cell phones are fine). Even better, our ninjas will interact with you to practice a move or just get a feel for what it's like to throw a punch, be in a choke hold, or take the fall. Tell them what you need and they'll work with you. Just ask!

Authors Combat Academy was interesting and informative, but most of all it was amazing with the personal 1-on-1 session with real, experienced black belt ninjas who act out fight scenes from your novel, giving you valuable insights and accurate details. Saves so much time on researching how a gun should be pulled, how it feels to be in a choke hold, where to hit someone to knock them out, etc. Ask anything, and they can act it out and answer it for you. Worth the trip just for this experience!

Black belt Ninjas act out fight scenes from YOUR novel
-Stefanie Edwards, www.stefanieedwards.com

There are very few events where you feel you get every penny of your fee back in content and instruction. The Authors Combat Academy hit the ball out of the park. From the top notch instructors, authors and martial artists, to incredible volunteers who went out of their way to answer any and all questions, an author could not ask for more in a weekend. The best compliment? When asked what they could do to improve on next year I came up a blank. I have already made room on my schedule for next year.

Worth every penny!
-Tony Acree, author of the Victor McCain thrillers.

I came to the Conference expecting to be refreshed on a few areas and to enjoy hanging out with my two favorite types of people: writers and martial artists. I got so much more than that. The panels were amazing; the Instructors dead on in their knowledge of their subjects, and they were exactly what I needed to help with projects I was working on. The activities let all the attendees and Instructors get to know each other, and most of us walked away from the experience as comrades and even friends. Contacts were made, knowledge was passed, and the most amazing times were had. If you were not able to attend this year, don't make that mistake next year. This is an experience you can't miss out on. It inspired me and was life changing, so don't miss out!

Learned so much and walked away with great new contacts and ideas
-Christina Sizemore

This conference was so helpful! Eli Jackson and all of the presenters and supporting staff were knowledgeable and approachable. Everyone went out of their way to accommodate the informational needs of all levels of writers. I came away from this experience more sure of myself as a writer, and with loads of information and ideas. I highly recommend the ACA to anyone interested in refining the craft of writing believable and imaginative scenes that involve physical and psychological conflict.

Everyone was so knowledgeable and approachable
-Karen Janowsky

I didn't know what to expect when I agreed to go to the Authors Combat Academy. What I do know is I had a good time and I learned a lot. This is an amazing experience that is helpful to any writer. I am so glad that I went and got to share the experience with my best friend. Can't wait for next year.

Amazing Experience for any writer
- Yolanda I. Montalvo

I attended the first annual Authors Combat Academy and I loved it. Eli and AJ, well the entire group, were so welcoming and accommodating. For a 3 day conference, the price was great and the content fantastic. There were opportunities to learn about craft, there were many opportunities to learn about different weapons and fighting styles and you had the opportunity to take your own fight scene and have Ninjas, MMA black belts, show you how it would look and give you suggestions on how to make your scene more credible and exciting. If you have trouble writing fight scenes or write a lot of them and feel you are getting repetitious, come to the next ACA conference and learn how to PUNCH up your writing. Had a fantastic time!

Learn how to punch up your writing
- Marlena Faulkner/Marly Davis

The Authors Combat Academy greatly exceeded my expectations. Practical information. Cool people. Tons of fun. Can't wait until next year!

Greatly exceeded my expectations. Can't wait until next year!
- Yolanda Early

Stand out in your genre with the most vivid and realistic fight scenes.

Why a fighting conference?

Authors Combat Academy started as best-selling author AJ Scudiere shared some of her research techniques with other authors. “Everyone wanted a live action figure like I used. And I had TWO!”

ACA is hosted by Griffyn Ink Publishing, AJ’s publisher (www.ReadAJS.com). Griffyn Ink believes readers today want to experience fiction in new and innovative ways, hence the launch of Authors Combat Academy.

Eli Jackson, CEO of Griffyn Ink, has 30 years of experience in various martial arts. Eli holds a 3rd degree black belt in Isshinryu and recently received her 3rd degree black belt in MMA. She has also competed on the world tournament circuit in 2001-2002 ranking 3rd in the world in fighting and 4th in the world in forms. Continually pumped for information from AJ on how a fight scene would play out, Eli saw the value in developing a conference that provided writers with the ability to not only learn from fighters and experts, but to practice with them in live demonstrations.

Sword Fighting Demonstration with John Farthing

Rent A Ninja Sessions

You can get one to three "ninjas" cross trained in 11+ styles of fighting, from boxing to Muy Thai, to ground grappling and even weapon use.

Live Action Demonstrations

Presenters demo weapons, act out fights, and make sure that attendees get the most options to see and hear what actually happens in a conflict.

Authors Fight Club

Mornings begins with a live fight demo in a different style. Fights are played out and broken down for the writer to see the moves and, of course, ask questions!

Writers Training & Connections

Best-selling authors share their insights and experience on crafting the most dynamic novel possible. Pick their brains with your most pressing questions.

Gift and Promotional Raffle

The raffle giveaways are fun to participate in and win great prizes, but it's also a fantastic way to get exposure for your books or services. Donate today.

Keynote Speaker Presentation

Come prepared Saturday evening for a rewarding keynote speech, guaranteed to inspire, while you enjoy a delicious buffet dinner (included in ticket cost).


Authors Combat Academy is your opportunity to learn the secrets of crafting memorable, captivating scenes.

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Utilizing this untapped area is a great way to make your book stand out from the competition, no matter your genre.

Everyone loves a good fight scene.

Learn to write it right at the 2016 Authors Combat Academy.

Some of our most common questions are posted to the right. But if you still have an inquiry you don’t see covered, please e-mail us for more information. We’d be happy to answer any questions.

E-mail us at ACA@AuthorsCombatAcademy.com.

What does the conference schedule look like?

The conference will run from 4:00 pm Friday through 1:00 pm Sunday. We will bring in guest lecturers and presenters to run dynamic, safe, interactive sessions throughout the weekend. Several sessions will run at the same time and you can choose what you’d like to attend. Some popular sessions will be on the schedule more than once.

How much will it cost me to attend?

We offer two levels of admission: Fighting Class ($179) and Golden Gloves ($279). Both grant you admission to all three days of the conference and include the banquet dinner on Saturday evening with our Keynote speaker. Golden Gloves admission gives you an additional benefits, including admission to special limited-seating sessions reserved for Golden Glove members only, conference t-shirt, discount on next year’s admission, free raffle tickets, an included Rent-A-Ninja session, and more!

Do you offer any discount packages?

We do! Partner up with your favorite writer friend and together you two can purchase the Bring-a-Friend special (offered for both levels of admission). These special packages will lower the cost of each admission ticket, but you’ll still receive all the same great benefits as everyone else. A great way to save! Part of a writers group or organization? Contact us for special deals.

What kind of presenters will there be?

Each year we offer a different set of presenters to change up the skills demonstrated, thereby keeping the conference fresh for new and returning attendees. Our presenters range in background and experience from: Authors, Martial Artists, ER Physicians, Lawyers, Police Officers, Personal Trainers, Military Specialists, Weapons Experts, Self-Defense Instructors, Boxers, Fencers, Military Historians, Sports Medicine Professionals, Wrestlers, Hostage Negotiators, and many, many more! Read our Speakers page for list of Confirmed Speakers.

Do you offer conference scholarships?

We want every devoted writer to be able to attend. We offer several discounted and even full-tuition scholarships. DO NOT wait to enroll as we expect to fill up quickly. Scholarship recipients must have a monetary need. (We do understand this need comes in a variety of forms. If you are having difficulty paying the admission price, PLEASE APPLY!) Scholarship recipients should expect a reply within 30 days.

Applicants must be currently working on writing a book and actively working toward becoming published.

Scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis until all spots are filled. If you want to apply, we recommend booking a Fighting Class Admission now (but it is not required). Then, send an email to ACA@AuthorsCombatAcademy.com with “ACA scholarship” in the subject line and we’ll send you everything you need to apply.

Authors Combat Academy takes place March 31 - April 2, 2017 in Nashville at The Inn at Opryland!

Located at 2401 Music Valley Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, The Inn at Opryland is a great facility offering easy access to the Nashville airport and multiple interstates. Within walking distance to the hotel are multiple dining and entertainment options in all price ranges, including a great restaurant (with live music) within the hotel. Parking is free and there is a complementary shuttle every 15 minutes from the hotel to The Grand Ole Opry, Opry Mills Mall, and The General Jackson Showboat. An airport shuttle is available round trip for just $40. The hotel also has a heated, indoor pool and offers both indoor and outdoor access rooms. You can request your preference. Both are available at our special reserved rate of $139 / night.

Fun Facts

Authors Combat Academy gives you access to experienced writers happy to share their knowledge on how to craft captivating, detailed fight scenes. Where else can you see live action fights broken down just for writers? If you have even one fight scene in your novel, you need to come to Authors Combat Academy. Improve upon the description, enhance the techniques, brainstorm new concepts, and more!

100 years of combined Ninja expereince amongst our trainers

Full tuition scholarships offered to need-based recipents

Our head of security is only 12 years old, but has a MMA Black Belt

Fight scene discussions about humans, ailens, animals, parnormals & more

Excited about attending a conference devoted to breaking down fight scenes especially for writers?

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