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Four Strategies to Combat Technique Repetition Boredom

Posted on by devonboorman

"The difference between an advanced action and a simple action is that an advanced action is a simple action done very, very well." A student and colleague of mine reminded me of this quote recently. I very much enjoy its sentiment every time I’m exposed to it. It reminds me of how much of my energy is best served in…

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Infinite Things to Learn

Posted on by David McCormick

Does the list of things to learn seem endless? It is. The more you think about the possible shows that require fight choreography and their potential needs, it can seem like an impossible task to be prepared for it all. One hand, two hands, look ma, no hands! When it comes down to it, you’ve got two hands to fight…

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Things To Do With Your Mouth for Valentine’s Day

Posted on by David McCormick

You might not associate the mouth with fighting, except maybe to “slug them in the kisser”. But there are plenty of actions that a desperate person might do in combat using their oral cavity. Here are a few suggestions for your maw: Spitting is an Option Spitting can be a taunt or a direct insult. On stage, we generally use…

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Ego in Performance

Posted on by David McCormick

Do you get stage fright? Have you ever delivered a performance, and thought that the audience hates you? Today, I want to remind you that it’s not about you. It's about the performance. The audience isn't judging you. Think about a clown. Laughing at a clown is not insulting to the clown. You’re not laughing at the performer, but at…

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To the Timid

Posted on by David McCormick

Being safety-minded is a valuable trait in stage combat. However, shying away from choreography itself will only cause delays and disruption of the rehearsal process. Choosing to hold back and only perform slowly will certainly be safe and more comfortable for you, but will diminish the show you’re producing. All fight directors want you to be injury-free and safe in…

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Posted on by David McCormick

We have a talented group of students in our FDC intensive course who performed their fight scenes on Friday as a test of their skills. Each scene is a performance, with dialogue memorized from a published script and full-speed choreography. Like a live professional show, there is no stopping midway and asking to start again. We choreograph all the movement…

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Feats of Strength

Posted on by David McCormick

During my physical culture workshop at VISS last weekend, we looked at a few feats of strength. Some of these might be thought of as cheating, others are outright stage illusions. Victorian Classic Strength First up, classic feats from the Bartitsu Compendium I, in a section called "How to Pose as a Strongman". 1. Using a chair for leverage  …

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Creative Combat

Posted on by David McCormick

I was inspired by CBC Ideas podcast “Eureka! Mapping the Creative Mind” to discuss creativity this week. If you have more technological interests, CBC Spark also discussed creativity this weekend. Mainly, I’m distilling the current research into creativity itself, and we’ll talk about applications to both theatrical combat and real fighting at the end. Creative Process We may think of…

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Stage Combat Trends

Posted on by David McCormick

Throughout the history of cinematic fights, a variety of stunt coordinators have come to prominence, and with them their iconic styles. When a movie becomes popular and has fight scenes that are appreciated, the market is flooded with imitators. Sometimes their style is overgeneralized to apply to every weapon. These days, if you wield two weapons, you have to do…

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Choreography is a Physical Story

Posted on by David McCormick

I just watched The Raid: Redemption (and I thought colons were only used for sequels, silly me!) which is a film that was hyped in martial arts cinema, and fits in the sub-genre of "Take The Castle". It's a fun genre. Troy is an excellent example: fortified city, army within besieged by an army without. The invaders use a ploy…

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