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Basics of Stage Combat (With Swords!)

In this one time course, students will learn the basics of safely enacting a fight onstage, in preparation for a Shakespeare play. We will also learn about the history of sword fighting in the military and the duel.
Paul H. The Shakespearean Student
46 total reviews for this teacher
9 reviews for this class
Completed by 24 learners
55 minutes
per class
Meets once
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does a "One-Time" class work?

Meets once at a scheduled time
Live video chat, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Great for exploring new interests and different styles of teachers

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Class Experience


To introduce The martial culture of Shakespeare's England which permeates into many of his plays.

To show how fights like dances 🕺 can show character.

To introduce these students to the principles of stage combat, emphasizing safety & effectiveness. 
I was certified as an actor combatant in 2011 by the Society of American Fight Directors, which means I have professional training in unarmed combat, rapier/ dagger, and broadsword. I have choreographed several fights for community theaters and high schools over the last 8 years. I have also used my fight training onstage in such plays as "Macbeth," "Trumpet In the Land," "Hamlet," and "Der Bestrafte Brudermord."
There will be no homework, but students are encouraged to post video of their final fight on the Outschool page.
All you need for this class is: 1. Comfortable clothing that you can move in 2. any 3-foot object that you can use as a sword: - Long cardboard tube - Toy sword - Pool noodle - rolled-up newspaper - cardboard sword
Students will be given a certificate if they:
1. Pay attention
2. Correctly label the parts of the sword
3. Demonstrate that they understand the basic moves of a swordfight.
55 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
We will not be using real swords for this class. I encourage students to bring safe materials that are similar in shape to a sword such as foam swords, pool noodles, soft baseball bats, pieces of cardboard, etc. I take safety very seriously and do not want the students to hurt themselves or others. That said, they need to be able to move their "swords" in a 3 foot arc around themselves, and they shouldn't be fighting if they have bad knees. Students should wear clothes that are easy to move in with no hanging jewelry, baggy pants, etc. 
There are no required readings for this course, but you are welcome to read the website of the Society of American Fight Directors, the organization of professionally trained actor-combatants.


Paul H. The Shakespearean Student
Lives in the United States
Teacher, lecturer, actor, astronomer, and technology specialist
46 total reviews
79 completed classes

About Me

I specialize in Shakespeare and Astronomy, having worked in theater for over 10 years, and for two years as a professional astronomy assistant. I teach courses in Shakespeare Appreciation and Shakespearean acting, as well as basic astronomy for... 
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