School of Theatrical Fencing & Stage Combat
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to wait until the beginning of a term to start?
No. You can join anytime within the terms throughout the year.
What is the minimum age to join?
14 years old
Do you run classes for kids?
Junior classes for ages 10-14 years are by appointment only and are governed by class sizes. If you are interested in a junior class please send us your details, we will contact you should we have enough numbers to run a class. However we can run one-off group workshops for schools and birthday parties.
What is the youngest age you will run a workshop for?
10 years old. Anyone younger does not have the concentration, strength and safety awareness to use swords for the length of time. These weapons are real. They are not edged or sharp but can be heavy and are all metal.
I'm not very fit and have never done any martial arts before. Can I still join?
Of course! We all start somewhere. Swordplay is open to all fitness and skill levels. We hope you will come away from classes with improved fitness, coordination and confidence.
Do I have to perform?
No. Performances are optional. We have members who only create fight choreography in class and perform for only their fellow combatants. But we do encourage everyone to perform at the various festivals we attend throughout the year. It's so much more fun getting out there and showing off your skills.
How much drama is involved?
We are primarily focused on sword work. However drama does play a part in bringing your fight work to life. We teach drama techniques to assist you in creating and delivering dialogue, addressing a crowd and making the fight look realistic.
Are the weapons real?
All our weapons are real. However they are not edged or sharp. All our swords are made of metal and similar durable material to withstand impact.
Do you wear armour?
No. All the work is choreographed so combatants know what the next move is. We train stage combat so fights can be performed safely without armour.
What is stage combat?
Stage combat is the fighting style for theatre. All the fights are choreographed to suit the scene, dialogue etc. Safety and control is the most important aspect of Stage Combat. For film and theatre you will need to get up and keep doing the fight again or continue onto the next movement! Specifically for unarmed fighting in theatre and live shows we use parts of our bodies to make knaps/impact sounds. Whereas when we fight on camera we take the knaps out, that's when the sound department kicks in.
Do you teach stunts?
No. There is an extensive skill requirement to grade as a stunt performer in Australia. Theatrical Fencing is one section in the stunt grading criteria. Swordplay will fulfil the Martial Arts Section only. For more details on the stunt grading procedure in Australia click on the link www.alliance.org.au to contact them about stunt work.
What should I wear and bring to class?
Comfy clothes you can move and stretch in, sneakers and water bottle. No jewellery allowed.
How do I pay?
Payment is made by cash on a casual basis. We run on a pay-as-you-come method. All our instructors have trained at places where payment is auto debited and understand the frustration of missing a class but still paying for it.
Do you charge for performances?
We negotiate each performance based upon your requirements and situation. Please email or call us for a quote and to discuss.