Stage Combat

Learn how to present the illusion of violence for the stage or screen in Academie Duello’s Stage Combat Program. Our stage combat classes are for you if:

  • You are an actor wanting to upgrade your resume with combat-acting skills.
  • You are a martial artist wanting to learn how to adapt your skills for the stage or screen.
  • You like creating dynamic & entertaining scenes that combine action, suspense, and character.

There are two ways to get started:

  • Stage Combat Fundamentals – 4-class course, 2 hours per session.
  • Fight Directors Canada Certification Course – 60+ hours of instruction over 3 weeks in sword, staff, and unarmed.
    Read more about our FDC Certification course.

Stage Combat Fundamentals Course

Sign up nowGet a solid foundation in the art of looking awesome for an audience or the camera with our Stage Combat Fundamentals course.

Over four weeks you will learn important stage combat principles, such as timing and targeting, distance and cooperation, with which you can build a convincing illusion of violence. Each two-hour class features solo practice to learn and understand techniques and movements, a pairs lesson to put the techniques into context, and time to practice and show off what you learned.

This course can also serve to give you a leg up on prepping for the next FDC Intensive if you’re planning for more serious training through that.

Starting at the beginning of every month, Stage Combat Fundamentals classes run every Tuesday night from 8:00 – 10:00pm.

Cost: Intro course only – $99 + tax; Intro course & 2 hours of private instruction – $225 + tax

Course Times

If an event is closed, or if it shows no spaces available, give the front desk a call (604-568-9907) and we’ll see if we can fit you in!

This course runs once a week for 4 classes.

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Private Instruction

Ready to master the finer points of stage combat for an upcoming play or movie?  Book a private session in Stage Combat for an opportunity to focus your training under the expert guidance of one of our skilled stage combat instructors.

Benefits of Stage Combat private instruction include:

  • Develop weapon proficiency in preparation for a specific role
  • Develop choreography for specific scenes
  • Get extra focused training and instruction outside of the regular program
  • Work towards FDC Certification at your own pace
  • Develop your own fight scenes for movies, plays and books

Contact the front desk at 604-568-9907 or to book a private Stage Combat lesson today.  We can accommodate solo private instruction and small groups.  For larger groups, visit our Group Bookings site for more information.

We are also available to choreograph stage combat for live shows and films. The private lessons on this page are geared towards individual skill development. If you need a fight director, or would like to consult with us on potential projects, please contact us at for more information.

More About Stage & Screen Basics

Creating the illusion of violence is a vital part of many plays and films. The climax of a majority of stories is some physical confrontation, be it a slap in a drama, a swordfight in Shakespeare, or a massive battlefield in a war movie. The art of stage combat puts tools into the hands of the performer to keep them safe in those circumstances.

Safety is our primary concern during the program, but it’s only the first step, as we want our heroes to look skilled, for the victims to look like they’re really hurt, for the villain to be convincingly overcome, and for the murder to be horrible.

In short, we do stage combat because we want to create a heart-stopping climax for the audience while keeping actors safe.

Actors need to have a variety of skills and comprehensive training to be effective actor-combatants. The first is a selection of techniques that includes several types of punches, slaps, ways to fall, sword manoevers, staff manipulation, and ways to conceal safety tricks. The second is the ability to perform the choreography consistently and at a believable pace with good timing with a partner. The third ingredient is incorporating the fight into the play with dialogue, character choices, connection with your partner and the scene; including portrayal of anger in the attacker, fear in the victim, exhaustion in a long fight and the pain of wounds.

Stage combat is a shortcut to mastering your instrument by incorporating:

  • Interacting with another character in a life-or-death situation
  • Playing fear, anger, injury and effort while still concentrating on the choreography
  • Staying aware of your environment
  • Moving around the stage with purpose
  • Breathing, yelling and speaking your lines while exerting yourself