On the 1st November 2014 I did a workshop at the Clore Learning Centre on Stage Fighting. This would involve learning the basics of hand to hand stage combat.
The workshop began at 11.30 so I got there at 11.15 and was asked to wait outside which I thought was odd but accepted. When the doors opened I went in and filled in the forms and was directed up to this bar space to wait whilst everyone else turned up. In total there was 9 of us including teacher with about 2 people around my age. We started by doing some quite relaxed warming up and name exchanges. Then we did basic safety and how to stand. We also learnt some basic terms like ‘a knap’ which is the sound made on stage of the impact of the hit and ‘ti-chiing a move’ where you do the move very slowly to check it is being done safely and correctly. The leader told us that stage combat must be safe and look good but you cannot sacrifice safety for looking good but it does have to be visually exciting.
We started with slapping. We learnt two styles of slap, one where the attacker made the ‘knap’ and the other when the victim made the ‘knap’. We practised in pairs for a while until we moved onto a roundhouse punch, I really enjoyed this one. Then we did some hair pulling which was again very fun and good to learn. We then had a break for lunch. After lunch we recapped the morning stuff and moved onto caging which is where you grab each other and move around basically but it looks good. We then did ‘the Shatner’ which is reference to s fight move William Shatner(?) always did in Star Trek apparently…I didn’t get it but smiled along with it. This move seemed quite silly and clumsy so I wasn’t that keen on it. We did falling in the afternoon along with smashing someone’s face into the wall and strangulation. We ended the day with a fight sequence that involved most of these moves and a few others like a kick to the stomach and an uppercut punch.
This day was a lot of fun and I really want to do more workshops here because I learnt a lot. The website is difficult to navigate though and I am having trouble finding out about future workshops which sucks.