Fight Directors Canada Certification Course

Our next Level 1 certification intensive starts January 8th, 2017!
Register online or call 604-568-9907. Space is limited!

Fight Directors Canada (FDC) is internationally recognized qualification, and the only stage combat training officially recognized by the Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA).

  • Develop you skills with a Combat Acting course at AD.
  • Convenient weekday classes with make-up opportunities.
  • More than 60 hours of instruction from certified and experienced instructors.

Learn the foundations:

  • Sword: applies to all one-handed weapons
  • Quarterstaff: applies to all two-handed weapons
  • Unarmed: brawling and martial arts

Then upgrade with Intermediate historical skills:

  • Rapier & Dagger
  • Smallsword
  • Longsword
  • Martial Arts

It’s not just combat skills.  FDC emphasizes:

  • Safety: You need to move with high speed and intensity, without risking any kind of injury.
  • Storytelling: It’s not a game, it’s part of the play/movie… learn to incorporate combat into a scene.
  • Style: Techniques change based on history and geography. Learn a versatile system.

Note that FDC Certification at the Basic Actor-Combatant level requires 60 hours of training, a written exam and the evaluation of an FDC Fight Master. Intermediate certification requires 80 hours of training.

FDC Level 1 Course Description

RegisterOur Fight Directors Canada Level 1 Certification is a 60-hour program that runs for Sunday through Friday for three weeks from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Next Course Dates

  • January 8th to 27th

Fight Directors Canada requires three specific weapon systems at the Basic Actor-Combatant level: Sword, Quarterstaff and Unarmed. The 20 hours of lessons per weapon covers how to wield the weapon with accuracy and effective fighting style, in drills, choreography and flourishes. Equally important are the safety concerns with each weapon, and how to create the illusion of violence with each strike and move. At the end of the course, the student will perform three fight scenes (complete with dialogue and acting besides an impressive fight), one for each weapon, evaluated by an FDC Fight Master.

Register for our next Intensive by calling us at 604-568-9907 or registering online.

Stage Combat Basics

Fight Directors Canada requires three specific weapon systems at the Basic Actor-Combatant level: Sword, Quarterstaff and Unarmed. The 20 hours of lessons per weapon covers how to wield the weapon with accuracy and effective fighting style, in drills, choreography and flourishes. Equally important are the safety concerns with each weapon, and how to create the illusion of violence with each strike and move. At the end of the course, the student will perform three fight scenes (complete with dialogue and acting besides an impressive fight), one for each weapon, evaluated by an FDC Fight Master.

Actors need to have a variety of skills and comprehensive training to be effective actor-combatants.

  1. A selection of techniques that includes several types of punches, slaps, ways to fall, sword manoeuvres, staff manipulation, and ways to conceal safety tricks.
  2. Ability to tell an emotional story with the scene, portraying the anger in the attacker, the fear of the victim, the exhaustion of a long fight and the pain of wounds… all while keeping the choreography consistent.
  3. Incorporating the fight into the play with dialogue, character choices, connection with your partner and the scene.

Sword

The fundamental sword techniques taught in the lessons can be adapted to any one-handed sword, such as the rapier, the hand-and-a-half sword, the Scottish basket-hilt, the sabre and even the bayonnet. In this class we’ll cover footwork, parries, cuts and thrusts, control of the opponent’s blade, how to play wounds, and what options exist for customization.

Staff

Considered by many to be the most challenging weapon to keep both safe and exciting, the staff will test your coordination. Robin Hood would not be the same without Little John’s challenge to a quarterstaff duel.

Unarmed

At this level, we show you all the secrets of a great fist-fight featuring knock-down-drag-out action that looks realistic and brutal and that works in ancient and modern settings. The Fight Directors Canada Program will cover punches, slaps, throws, hair pulls, grappling and dozens of other topics.

Beyond Basic: Intermediate Certification

If you already have FDC Basic Actor-Combatant certification and you want to take your skills to the next level, we’re also running an Intermediate certification course. This level covers historical broadsword, small sword, martial arts and rapier & dagger. At this second level, certification requires 80 hours.

Get approved for Intermediate by contacting david@academieduello.com with your FDC Certification information.

FDC Certification Course FAQ

I have auditions in those times on weekdays… what happens if I miss a class?
You need to have 60 hours of instruction under a certified instructor, so you will need to make up the lesson you missed. Here’s a couple of ways of redoing those hours:

  • Arrange to have a private lesson with your instructor
  • Arrange to come to the evening Performance Classes when your instructor can take time to redo that lesson.

Are there prerequisites? Do I need another intro course/workshop?
No. We will take you through the entire course assuming you have no former training.

What’s the last day?
The course ends on a Friday. This will also be the test day.

What is the test like?
You’ll perform three fight scenes with three different partners of three minutes each with a short break in between. An FDC Fight Master, independent of Academie Duello, will evaluate your performance for safety, simulation and storytelling. There is also a written test of 50 short-answer questions.

How hard is the course? Will I pass?
FDC has some of the highest standards in the world. You’ll be evaluated by a Fight Master to professional standards, and this class is for serious students who are ready to add great performed stage combat to their resume.

The course is pretty challenging. You have to do a lot of physical training and there’s a written test. Dancers and other physically trained people do better, but you also need to memorize lines to perform the scene as well as fight accurately. In they end, you’ll be really proud of a huge amount of skill you’ll learn… but you won’t pass a test of those skills without practice and focus.

The overall pass-rate among candidates in Canada is 50%. However, David McCormick is an excellent instructor, and has an overall 80% pass rate here at Duello and at the FDC National Workshop.

Don’t Accept Less Than FDC Standards