Fencing & Stage Combat Techniques : Choreograph a Stage Fight

So we have the pieces–we’re going to put
them together and make a quick bit of choreography. So beginning with a beat. So let’s take that
back for a second. He attacks my three, I’ve parried three, I attack his two, he parries
two, three, two. So once again we started in an on guard, he beat, I protect my three,
attack his two, protect my three, attack his two. Moving on, let’s add to that. Beat. Parry,
attack, parry, attack, now I’m going to go to my three attack. So that was I attack his
three, I protect with a parry five, and I bind down to the ground. So start from the
beginning. Beat, parry, attack, parry, attack, attack, parry, bind. Once I bind him, I’ve
cleared the way for a slash.
So, come into a lunge, I made a nice, clear slash. Remember your elbow always comes in
to make a nice draw cut, and your opponent’s taking a step back to protect himself, but
mostly to sell the shot. I’ll recover into a one parry, and bind over his head, my way
is clear so I’m going to come in for my kill on a lunge. My opponent sells my lunge with
a very satisfying death. So those are the pieces. Once you have the tools you can put
together your choreography in whatever form you like. Just make sure that you add little
bits at a time, work slowly first, keep all your safeties in mind, and speed is added
later. The very last thing you do is add the acting, the drama, and the special effects
that will help make your fight look really rewarding, feel really rewarding once you’ve
done all the work beforehand. Let’s put it together one more time a little bit faster.
One more time, a little bit better. Sorry. And that is a choreographed fight. You are
going to be all right? I think I’ll be. Little bit of a flesh wound.

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Reader Comments

  1. Tiago da Cruz

    You should restrain strength but you can go full speed if you know the stage fighting rules and practice a lot (which means study and work as hard as a professional).

    Sport fencing and stage fighting are very different with many different safety and technical concerns and rules.

  2. Tiago da Cruz

    Being a professional, you should give importance to some technical aspects that lack here (the tip of the weapon should be pointing at your opponent in most defences instead of pointing at the sky, you shouldn't bend the wrist to defend, the hand position comes from a slight rotation of the forearm, etc.). You should also keep displacing, to add to the choreography drama 🙂

  3. Tiago da Cruz

    There are many differences in style and technique according to place and age being represented (when its historical fencing), although I prefer show to merely reconstitute the past 😉

    As you seem to live stage fighting check up some of my work here in Portugal (in my acount) 😉

  4. Tiago da Cruz

    Yes, you are off course correct. One shouldn't point the tip towards the face or body as one does in a real fight (with masks and kevlar). However, terça e quarta (tierce and quarte in Portuguese) in a "real" fight are usually executed with the tip to the face or body to defend yourself and preventing the opponent from advancing. Thus, when stage fighting, I tend to simulate this by having the tip lower while keeping a safety distance.

  5. UltimatePlayList

    Despite you guys are "experts", fencing without your masks shows the lack of judgement you give to your viewers. Oh, and your stupidity

  6. Tiago da Cruz

    Right… because artistic fencing or stage fencing is not real fencing. My master in this discipline defends that one should keep safety distances, never point the tip of the blade at the face (as high as the shoulders or above the face, but never at the face). But the movements should be technically correct.

  7. Hero✩Lydragius

    Does anyone know any organizations that teach this stuff in america? I really don't want the artistic sort of thing… I really wanted it for the discipline side of it… I sort of wanted to learn how to use a katana… Uhm… If anyone can help me out with that please just reply to my comment- I would really appreciate it. This looks really interesting..

  8. Tiago da Cruz

    I have to retract myself.
    The blades are well positioned in the "en garde" stance. I have only recently thought about this… they are using sabres…
    Plus… they are speaking about this to people that know little of the subject… so… its good that the choreography isn't too complex (no foot work).
    Thus this is a generally good video. The only technical mistake is the that the sabre in the guy's second is pointing way low and his elbow is too high. But I have seen worst in this year's WSFC.

  9. Tiago da Cruz

    I didn't mean pointing the tip, not like that… It was just that the tip should be lower, bad reference from my part. I didn't actually imagine having the tip in front of the face, it was a matter of eight and at the distance. But the correct place to aim is actually shoulder height.

    However this is not true either because they are using sabres. I have posted retracting myself. Keep up with the good work.

  10. Tiago da Cruz

    Mmmm, they aren't fencing you see… its a choreography. The idea is to simulate a fighting scene and make it seem real. But they don't want to hit each other. Lots of safety rules to prevent that from happening.

    Imagine Catherine Zeta Jones and António Banderas sword fighting in "Zorro" with masks :p
    Its dance with swords, not actual fighting.

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