What is Stage Combat?

The answer to this question might change with every combatant you ask but, in basic terms, Stage Combat (also referred to as Performance Combat or Dramatic Combat) is an artistic physical discipline performed with the aim of portraying violence on stage and screen. Moreover, it should serve the story and be rehearsed/performed safely. There are minor differences in the delivery of technique from stage to screen, but the principles that make combat work are exactly the same. The skills you learn in Stage Combat are absolutely transferable to the screen.

Do I need to train in Stage Combat?

If you are an actor you will benefit greatly from Stage Combat training. Humans are historically violent. Playwrights and screen writers understand this and often create drama around it. Aside from the obvious vocational benefits, Stage Combat is also good for fitness and great fun!

Do I need to be fit to do Stage Combat?

Again the answer to this is very subjective. A decent level of fitness is never a bad thing under any circumstances, but you don’t need ‘washboard abs’ to do Stage Combat. Your Stage Combat tutor is not responsible for your level of fitness but you should inform them of any health conditions, existing injuries or your perceived physical limitations. Your physical and mental fitness will inevitably improve during a course.

What is the BADC?

The BADC (British Academy of Dramatic Combat) is the oldest teaching body of its kind anywhere in the world. It has teachers and associates all over the world and UK based teachers can arrange for certificated courses throughout the year. Visit http://www.badc.org.uk for more information.

What is a certificated course?

A certificated course offers students the chance to earn a performance certificate in Stage Combat. Successful BADC candidates are rewarded with a ‘Training and Certification Record’, proving their training and effectively recommending them to the wider industry. Students can train at various levels of proficiency (including Standard, Intermediate or Advanced). The BADC Standard exam requires a minimum of 40 hours preparatory training. A TCR does not qualify a successful student to teach or fight direct.

How much training do I need?

It depends on what you want to achieve but, if you want to gain certification, the BADC recommendation for a Standard exam is a minimum 40 hours training. It is of course beneficial simply to partake in one-off workshops and non-certificated classes to gain skills.

I’m not an actor, can I still do Stage Combat?

Yes! Why not? We teach actors, mimes, dancers, stunt persons, technicians and anyone who wants to have a go. Non-performers are just as welcome. Come and play!

What about my existing skills?

Every new student inevitably brings some existing physical skill to bear on Stage Combat. However, you should be aware that your existing skills (dance, gymnastics, martial arts/ fencing, HEMA) can be a help or a hindrance. You should treat Stage Combat as a brand new discipline in its own right whilst drawing upon existing skills.

What should I wear for training?

Sportswear is good. Loose fitting or stretch fibre clothing (T-shirts/vests, joggers/leggings/shorts, sturdy non-slip footwear such as trainers/pumps).

What should I bring with me?

A bottle of water and a professional attitude will take you a long way! Some people like to bring a pair of gloves for sword play. We provide the weapons and any other equipment.


“Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.” – Constantin Stanislavski

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