Recently I sat down with Kyle Rowling (One of Australia’s top Stage Combat Fight Directors) at the Sydney Stage Combat School to discuss his views on Stage Combat and why it’s a crucial part of any serious actors training.
Here’s the interview:
so this is my stage combat class (not me, different group) i thought they were rather hilarious though. this was our last day to practice before the final. i gots a B, not bad, we did a scene from Zorro and i am to much of a coward to watch that recording.
How to stage a fight, Othello style
Modern day female longsword expert wins the The Longsword Competition at the World Invitationals.
Trained in European martial arts as she puts it (When you think ‘martial arts’ it usually brings up images of Far East fighting styles, so this was interesting to hear European sword fighting described in this way), and using swords that she herself designed (specifically for her style of fighting and longsword competition), Samantha Swords is a girl after my own ‘Geek’ heart.
See her video interview above complete with sword play demonstrations and training.
Rather than bog down somebody else’s post with my dithering, I’m gonna
steal this gif andmake a fresh post.
STAGE COMBAT JAZZ AHOY!
Handful of things going on here worth noting:
- In my personal experience, knife fighting is HARD. It is SAVAGE. No other weapon left me more exhausted after a class, and for the handful of months we were learning a knife fight, my forearms were covered with bruises. The pay off was that little else has been as much fun.
- Don’t assume for a second that both of these guys aren’t padded very, VERY well under their clothes/bionic arms.
- In universe, however, Steve will probably not break a bone against Bucky’s arm. He’s protecting himself by deflecting Bucky’s punch—not stopping, but redirecting the motion. Notice how he’s swinging in toward the center with Bucky. He’s also using the inside of his forearm. THIS IS THE CORRECT WAY TO DO THIS. Never use the edge of your arm that runs from pinky to elbow to deflect things. There’s less flesh there, that’s how you break bones. Steve’s gonna have bruises, but his bones ought to be OK.
- The other rad thing I want to talk about is Bucky’s little grip flip toss. He’s going from standard grip to reverse or “icepick” grip. This looks rad, but it’s actually a pretty straightforward skill—that’s required in the certification test. Ten minutes of warm-up before knife class is tossing the knife from hand to hand and flipping the grip with a toss in BOTH HANDS. Dropping a knife mid-toss was worthy of some derision—and there was lots of derision, don’t get impressed.
- I would be curious to know if anyone who’s more familiar with Sebastian Stan’s face than I am can tell if that’s him or the fight double (here’s a still).
- What Steve can do to get out of this situation: Get control of Bucky’s arm while Bucky’s swing is outside of the center line of their bodies. Since he’s using the ice-pick grip, if Steve can get in close and brace his arm back while striking to disorient (head-butt, knee to the gut, knee to the crotch), that’d give him a beat to wrench Bucky’s wrist and get the knife away from him. The good news is, he’s got the knife in his fleshy, pain-feeling, vulnerable hand. Bucky’s got the upper hand with speed at the moment, so Steve has to be fast and he has to do it right the first time
- Just as a disclaimer, what I’m blathering about here is stage combat. I know very little that would serve as useful self-defense.