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Professional courses for performers.


The major focus for us are our accredited courses which run throughout the year and give attention to different weapons, and different styles of performance. Given the depth of knowledge and muscle memory needed to learn the choreography, scene, and techniques of a weapon, we run a 1 Weapon course over (a minimum of) 3 days, and a 3 Weapon course over (a minimum of) 5 days.

These are examined and accredited by Equity recognised exam boards with whom we are affiliated; The Actors Combat Theatrical Training, and The Academy of Performance Combat.


Whether a single weapon, or multiple weapon course, it's important that a performer is comfortable and feels more than a passing acquaintance with what they are learning. Physical arts such as Martial Arts or fencing clubs have the benefit of regular weekly training, which allows a great depth of understanding and a relaxed approach to progression. In the context of professional development, actors and performers rarely have the time to commit on a long term basis, so the 3 day courses need to provide the same confidence in learning achievements. What's more, the examination of the course requires a performed scene in which the fight takes place. We therefore run to the following routine for our 3 day courses...

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Technical class

The the course begins with an introduction to the weapon and style being taught, with a brief explanation of the history surrounding it, and the type of environment it would be used in (as well as the characters who would use it too!).

There then follows the technical class, focusing on the core principles of stage combat; partner work, distance, balance, mirroring etc. Then footwork, and the handling of the weapon and the type of strikes and parries it uses.

This is the class that gets the actor feeling like they are training in the art of that weapon, and feel like the master of the art they will portray on stage or screen.


Once the movements and principles are well and truly within the body (and mind!), the choreography follows. This will be a predetermined number of moves between the partners, taught in phrases to allow a steady pace of learning. While this is taught, the reactions, distances, and all the principles that go into the fight are added.

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Script & Rehearsal

Now the actors have learnt their fight, the scene needs to be applied - in theatrical shows, or film, the scene would exist already, and the fight or violence would be choreographed to suit it. However, for the sake of running courses, the actors learn by and large the same choreography (and therefore can be fairly assessed), and have to add their script to it after, in order to create their scene.

The partners choose a play (or film), and take a scene to apply to their fight. Now it's time for line learning and blocking the scene around it.

Once that is complete, it's continued rehearsal!

Mock & Exam

In preparation for the exam, the partners, now with a full, exciting scene to perform, will be seen by the instructors to present their work as they would hope to in the exam. This gives them a chance to receive feedback to polish the last parts, and bring the performance up to the best it can be.

On the afternoon of the final day, the examiner will arrive, and in order, the students perform their scenes, which the examiner will assess. Once that's complete, there will be a small workshop run by the examiner, to see how well the students can react and learn new technique, reflecting the workshop audition environment of professional theatre, and providing a chance to see the students work on a more individual level.

When finished, the scores are added up, and the examiner and teacher will present the students with their log books, containing their grade and pass!


It is then, only appropriate at the very least, to celebrate...  

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How a course runs

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