Table of Contents

  1. Things you get graded on.
    1. Ways you can Fail
    2. Levels
  2. Work Ethic
    1. Tell me a core Value and what it means
    2. Qualities of a fight performer (MC_Combat)
  3. Understanding
    1. Explain why its important to have eye contact
    2. Describe ways you can improve your footwork
    3. Describe ways you can remember choreography
    4. Describe ways you could maintain your fight standard
    5. Describe how you would get yourself out of a situation if you or your partner forgot the fight.
    6. How do you implement notes into your fight?
    7. Explain how understanding your characters thought process can help you as an actor.
    8. Explain the history behind the weapon you are using.
    9. What habits have you noticed in yourself as a fighter?
  4. Explain the history behind the weapon you are using
  5. The Weapon
    1. Parts of the Sword
    2. Areas we target on the body
    3. Difference between a thrust and a cut
    4. Difference between a break cut and extended cut
    5. Difference between a hanging parry vs a parry 5
    6. Difference between a parry 1 and parry 7



Things you get graded on.

Eye Contact

  • Maintaining eye contact during linear fight sections
  • Getting eye contact before rotating into an attack when back is to partner
  • Getting eye contact before landing any attack to the face
  • Finding eye contact again after losing it on duck or grappling


  • Keeping targets in line with (not too high or low)
  • Keeping targets tight to the body (not too wide)
  • Correct angling for any hits to face to make them look like they land
  • Utilizing entire body to sell attacks – rotating through the core and feet


  • Correct footwork
  • Maintaining correct posture (not hunching through shoulders or leaning forward)
  • Using footwork to travel forward with power
  • Utilizing entire body in footwork


  • Not hitting too hard on attacks or blocks
  • Not disarming towards the audience or partner
  • Allowing some movements to be victim led (where appropriate)
  • Awareness of partner and whether they might bump into set


  • Fighting at a distance appropriate to the weapon
  • Not being so close that it becomes dangerous
  • Not being too far out of range so the attacks don’t look believable
  • Correct distance for non-contact hits to face


  • Not fighting too fast that it becomes unbalanced or unsafe
  • Not fighting at a pace that matches the level of intention
  • Use rhythm and timing appropriate to the demands of the text/fight
  • Timing with partner – not preempting attacks etc

Scene Work

  • Opening in keeping with the scene. Using the space and characterization well.
  • Make effective use of the space, props and costumes.
  • Good use of dialogue throughout the scene. Keeping the characters alive.
  • Good ending to complete the story.
  • Perform from memory with fluency, focus and spontaneity


  • Communicate an understanding of the intentions and objectives of the characters portrayed
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the text, subtext and context
  • Use of facial expressions
  • React to the words, actions, and attitudes of other characters, demonstrating an understanding of the text
  • Demonstrate an awareness of relationships between characters


  • Vocal intention during fighting and dialogue
  • Physical intention during fighting driving the fight forwards
  • Use of facial expressions
  • Communicate an understanding of the movement, posture, stance, and gesture(s) required


  • Physical and vocal reactions to pain
  • Communicate an understanding of the movement, posture, stance, and gesture(s) required
  • Reacting to moments that take your character off guard/close calls
  • Playing other emotions; fear, panic, worry, pain etc

Partner Work

  • Having a good rhythm, energy with your partner
  • Giving correct timing to partner to allow them space to act
  • Helping partner should they get stuck on movement
  • Shared responsibility for the performance


  • Performers energy – personal stamina during fight both physically and mentally
  • Characters energy in fight – is it realistic to the moment/scenario

Ways you could fail your exam

  • Coming out of character during the performance
  • Drawing blood from your partner
  • Disarming your weapon towards the audience
  • Being disrespectful to the examiner, teacher, or peers
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing during the exam


  • Level One
  • Level Two (Plus blue)
  • Level Three (Plus blue and green)
  • Bronze/ Silver (All apart from Gold)
  • Gold = ALL


Tell me a core values and what it means

  • Self Control – Managing your emotions and actions in a stressful environment is the sign of a true professional. The creative industry can be an unpredictable environment; having the ability to acknowledge and control your emotions or impulses helps ensure a safe space for yourself and others.
  • Respect – Everyone deserves to be respected, valued and heard. Respecting other peoples autonomy, boundaries and individuality will work towards creating an inclusive space to grow and be bold.
  • Integrity – it is essential for building trust and credibility. People are more likely to trust and respect individuals who demonstrate integrity, as they know that they can rely on them, to be honest, authentic, and accountable.
  • Collaboration – The heart of MC_Combat is building a community. In an industry of rivalry and competition, we want to stand out by making Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and Friendship the pillars of our ethos.
  • Dedication – Every single person in the creative industry will encounter many obstacles and challenges throughout their careers. To be resilient, to acknowledge those obstacles and then to power through with focus and determination, is what makes a successful performer. Bringing an energy and passion to your work is imperative to the creative industry. Our job is to create experiencing, emulate real life, take the audience on a journey – this can’t be done without real dedication from the performer.

Qualities of a Fight Performer (MC_Combat)

  • Measure: Establishing the correct distance to your partner is crucial to performing the fight correctly. Having distance gives you permission to move. You have to measure the correct distance for each weapon as the length of the weapon will have an impact. Particularly in stage fights, it is also important to allow the audience to see everything you are creating; if you’re too close, they won’t be able to see the moves properly.
  • Control: As a performer, it is important to have control over our physical actions. In order to keep your partner safe, you must be able to have the control to stop your movements at any point. It is a skill that will make you very employable. It can also relate to your own emotions; stage combat is not a way to let out your real life anger. You must be able to control this and have an approachable, professional manner.
  • Communication: We communicate with our partner through eye contact. As we cannot verbally communicate throughout the fight, eye contact ensures the safety of both fighters. It is also a great tool for storytelling; it can help tell the audience where to look, the emotion of the character, and the relationship between the two characters.
  • Objective: Every character has something they want to achieve. The fight must have meaning, a journey, in order for the audience to relate to the characters. The stakes must be high enough for it to be believable. Objectives can change throughout the fight and this can create an interesting dynamic for the audience to watch.
  • Masking: When creating the illusion of hitting someone, we must mask the angles; both on camera and stage. Understanding when to be on an open angle or when to be closed is integral to creating the right image. As a performer, it is important that you know your surroundings well enough to make decisions and be adaptable in your masking.
  • Balance: We want to have an even distribution of weight to maintain our center of gravity. It is important to have security in your body so that you can quickly recover from moves. Not only does this help with the pace of a fight but ensures you can safely pull back from something if it is going wrong.
  • Awareness: This comes in many forms as a performer. Awareness for your partner and their safety. Body awareness for your own correct placement. Spatial awareness for the surroundings; the camera, obstacles, audience, etc. Awareness of the context and character decisions. Awareness of your audience and what your role is in creating their experience.
  • Timing: The phrase ‘it takes two to tango’ springs to mind. Although we are emulating a battle, we must move in harmony to create the desired effect. If someone reacts too early or late to a punch, the whole illusion will be broken.


Explain why it’s important to have eye contact

  • Having eye contact allows you to communicate with your partner non-verbally. If they are panicking or have forgotten their next move, you will be able to notice it and help them through it.
  • Eye contact helps show our audience where to look. If your attention is on your partner’s face, it will help draw the audience’s attention to their character work and, as a consequence, the storyline.
  • If you have your back to your partner during choreography, searching to find the eye contact will ensure they don’t get hurt. This should be done alongside not ‘breaking the line’ – not allowing your attacking movement to go past your peripheral vision.
  • Helps to share the intention behind your character and the storyline of your fight.
  • Helps to keep your spatial awareness strong as your attention will be focused higher rather than on just the weapon.

Describe ways you can improve your footwork

  • Putting weight into the correct leg to push off with more power.
  • Trying not to bounce up and down but glide instead so that all movement is pushing forwards.
  • Keep heel down so your weight is balanced.
  • Keep front foot pointing towards partner so your movement is more directional.

Describe ways you can remember choreography

  • Learn the choreography in chunks that logically connect or tell a story. Everything is choreographed with a purpose; find a meaning to the move to help you remember it. Use emotions, objectives, and reactions to define sections that will help you connect to it from an acting perspective.
  • Mark it slowly but correctly. If you mark it with poor technique, your muscle memory will learn poor technique and never be able to get it up to tempo.
  • Write it down. Not only will this help you learn the terminology, but it will help your brain to process the movement and allow it to seep into your muscle memory.
  • Go over it in your mind before you sleep. Sleeping helps strengthen memories you’ve formed throughout the day. It also helps to link new memories to earlier ones. You might even come up with creative new ideas while you slumber. “Sleep after learning is essential to help save and cement that new information into the architecture of the brain, meaning that you’re less likely to forget it.”
  • Look at the bigger picture. Looking at the fight as a whole will help you understand why moves are choreographed. If you are able to understand the other person’s side of the fight, it will help inform your own.
  • Film the fight to look back over notes and feedback.

Describe ways you could maintain your fight standard

  • Continue to practice your reach/extension in both footwork and actions outside of courses. (Our warm-up drills are designed to help you with ideas for this). Push your partner to match your range rather than shortening it.
  • If your partner is not traveling back out of the way, explore ways to move around them. For example: rather than doing two single passing steps forward, do two zigzag moves traveling diagonally forward.
  • If you are fighting at a pace you deem to be slower than normal, consider how you can fill the gaps through your intention. For example; you go in for a move and they cut you off, you look at their attacking coming in, you try to get out but can’t get away, etc.
  • Ensure your quality of movement stays the same regardless of who you are fighting. Keeping your movement coming from the core, driving forwards, maintaining tight targets.
  • Think about the rhythm of your fight. Speed is not your friend. Rather than trying to fight quickly, create a rhythm that works well for your pairing and is interesting for the audience to listen to/watch.
  • Consider how your storytelling will aid you, it’s not just about the movement. Put a focus on your character work, scene development, and storyline.

Describe how you would get yourself out of a situation if you or your partner forgot the fight

  • Get space from one another to think.
  • Give a verbal cue to help them back on track.
  • Agree beforehand where you would restart from.
  • Give a physical cue to help them back on track.

How do you implement notes into your fight?

  • Rehearse the same note multiple times so it goes into your muscle memory.
  • Work through the fight in slow motion to be accurate with notes.
  • Slowly build up the performance pace to be accurate with notes.

Explain how understanding your character’s thought process can help you as an actor

  • You will be able to show reactions throughout the scene.
  • Means you have a better understanding behind why your character chose those attacks and therefore the damage you intend to do.
  • You understand their objective throughout the scene; meaning it’s about more than just the fight itself.

Explain the history behind the weapon you are using


The word ‘rapier’ is thought to have come from a Spanish term, espada ropera or ‘sword of the robes’ – hence, a dress sword or one associated with civilian rather than military clothing. It also may be traced to a French document of 1474 that makes reference to the épée rapière. Whatever its origin, the term was in common usage by the late 15th century.

Broadsword (single or with shield)

The Broadsword was a typical medieval sword that was used in many battles during the early medieval period and was still popular in later medieval times. This double-edged sword was made for cutting rather than stabbing, with proper skills and power this weapon was capable of cutting off the limbs and head of its victim. The Broadsword did have some disadvantages as it was quite difficult to master and took some skill to use.

What habits have you noticed in yourself as a fighter?


Parts of the Sword

  • Pommel: to weight/balance the sword
  • Handle: for our grip
  • Guard: To protect the hand, worn in society to show class status, to attack someone with
  • Forte: strongest part of the blade, that we parry with
  • Middle: determines the length of the blade when they forge it
  • Foible: What we attack with, the weakest part of the blade and therefore the sharpest
  • Fuller: For balancing the blade
  • Tip: for thrust attacks

Areas we target on the body

  • Parry 1 & 2: intestines, femoral artery
  • Parry 3 & 4: lungs, heart
  • Parry 5: skull

Supinated vs Pronated

  • Supination: Palm facing up to the sky. Commonly a parry 7. (All offensive parries in single sword)
  • Pronation: Palm facing down to floor. Commonly a parry 8.

Offensive vs Defensive Parries

  • Defensive parries: numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. They all point either to the sky or the ground. Meaning you would need to use another move to clear the blade and attack. On the even-numbered defensive parries, your palm will be facing towards you; on the odd-numbered defensive parries, your palm will be facing away from you.
  • Offensive parries: 6, 7, and 8. The tip of the blade is angled towards your opponent so you can repost straight out of the parry into an attack. Your hand will be supinated for these parries.


Difference between a thrust and a cut

  • Thrusts: Bending the arm then re-extending for targets.
  • Cuts: Cutting horizontally towards the targets. Kissing the blade before the attacks.

Difference between a break cut and extended cut

Break cuts are kept closer to the body. They pull horizontally across and flick out at the end. They are used when performances are close to each other for extra safety.

Difference between a hanging parry vs a parry 5

A hanging parry is a continuous moving parry to help keep the flow of the choreography vs a parry 5 which stops the flow and requires another move to clear the blade.

Difference between a parry 1 and parry 7

Parry 7 is an offensive parry as it is pointed at your opponent and therefore you can repost to counterattack straight away. Whereas a parry 1 is a defensive parry; you can only stop their weapon and need a secondary move like a shunt to clear it and attack back.