Basic stages of progress in composite materials, prepared by SHS method, from a scientific approach to a promising and rapidly developing applications are discussed in this paper. The systematic review of different forms of composites prepared directly by SHS or by SHS-origin precursors is presented. Powders are usually the starting material for manufacturing of ceramic and a lot of attention has been paid to find new routes for synthesis powders in form of nano or micro particles. The present work is aimed at efficient and convenient powder processing by SHS as an important target for future composites technology. The use of SHS may bring a considerable development in ceramic technology, by enabling a manufacturing of sinterable, high-purity nano or micro powders. It can be demonstrated in different ceramic systems explored by the authors and coworkers using SHS e.g. (a) Si-C-N, (b) Al-O-N as well as (c) Ti-Si-C-N. Rapid combustion conditions were successfully used to manufacturing composite powders and nanopowders suitable for preparing multiphase composite materials having controlled properties.