What is Stage Combat?
Simply put, Stage Combat is the dramatisation of both armed and unarmed fights for theatre or film (including TV) productions.
It gives an impression of violence without anyone actually getting hurt allowing the actors to tell the story physically. Stage Combat is also one of the few disciplines that lets you to combine fantasy and realism when performing a fight sequence.
The origins of Stage Combat are lost in the midst of time, dating back to antiquity, with staged fights taking place in everything from the Greek stage to the Roman amphitheatre.
During the Middle Ages many grand fights (tournaments) were staged for fear of nobles being injured or equipment damaged. The development of Stage Fencing enabled fights to be choreographed and allowed visually dramatic moves to be enacted for the benefit of the audience. Imagine whirling a swishing rapier around your head whilst a real enemy just stands and watches, waiting for you to finish!
Modern Style European Stage Fighting, the basis of the style used throughout the World today, can be traced back to the Elizabethan era, the time of Shakespeare, with the emergence of the first Fight Directors.
In the 19th/20th century fencing masters began to explore older techniques involving the use the broadsword or rapier and passing these skills on to their students.
Stage Combat in film really began in the 1920's when Douglas Fairbanks asked for a fencing master to assist him in his films.
Since then, the movies have gone on to use highly choreographed stage combat techniques as a vital part of story telling and visual enhancement - Star Wars, The Duellists, Batman, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Matrix Trilogy and many, many more.
Are you ready to become part of this great tradition?