Why Stage Combat?


What is stage combat and why train in it?

A well-executed fight scene can make stage combat look easy – but, much like dancing, it must be intricately choreographed and extensively rehearsed to provide that authentic feel while remaining safe.

A significant amount of entertainment relys on characters sustaining injuries. As teachers, injury is something anathema to our professional interests, but many a play requires some form of violence – be it a comical slap or a full-blown battle scene. The challenge at such moments is always how to make the fight look exciting and real without any of the actors actually getting a black eye. 

A good stage fight is a work of craft and more difficult than it looks. Anyone can choreograph a fight – but that’s not to say they will be any good. Fights need to have martial or character logic, they need to have a story arc, they need to work for an audience and, most importantly, be safe and repeatable.

A good stage fight should be safe, efficient and effective, and to be so it’s necessary to learn the basic elements of a chosen weapons system, and to perfect those before working them into increasingly complex pieces of choreography. This way, you learn to fight safely, with balance, good distance and confidence. During this process you will also discuss how character choices should affect your fight – from how well you are able to throw a punch, to whether the weapons you’re fighting with are appropriate to your character’s status and training; a drunken punch will be sloppy, while a superhero’s blow will be a knockout.