Stage Combat - Short Course - BASSC Accredited

Course Overview

The essential course information

Book your place now!
Course Code:
  • Short Course (Term 3 - 3 hours per week)
  • Short Course (Term 1 - 3 hours per week)
  • Short Course (Term 2 - 3 hours per week)
  • £200 - £600
Birmingham School of Acting
City Centre

This course runs on the following dates:

Sorry, no dates are available for this course at this time.

Have you seen an exciting fight sequence in a theatre show, or watched a movie and wanted to find out more about how the fights work?  Want to do it for yourself?  Then this is perfect for you - a great opportunity for anyone with no previous experience to come and learn the thrilling art of Stage Combat!

Classes will take place on Monday evenings from 7.00pm until 9.30pm. Regular attendance is essential. Term dates are:

Term 1: Monday 24 September 2018 – Monday 10 December 2018

Term 2: Monday 7 January 2019 – Monday 25 March 2019

Term 3: Monday 29 April 2019 – Monday 15 July 2019

Course Outline

What is the course about?

This is a practical course accredited by the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat (BASSC) and split into three terms. A different weapon is studied each term and you can join all three terms or any individual term, depending on what you want to learn. Each term ends with the opportunity to take the Fight Performance Test in that weapon and gain an industry recognised qualification.

Term 1 begins with a weapon system chosen from the BASSC syllabus. The weapon will change each year to allow students from previous years to come back and join us should they wish to continue developing their skills. This year we will be studying Broadsword fighting. 

Term 2 will study the use of Rapier & Dagger. This is perhaps the most common system of sword fighting in the industry and is often seen as a basis for many other styles of fighting.

Term 3 will be studying Unarmed Combat. This is an essential skill for all actors and performers and covers a wide variety of techniques from punches and slaps to falling over, throwing or pushing someone around, as well as how to play the reactions effectively.

What topics will we cover?

The course is practical with all weapons and instruction provided. The class sessions will cover many different technical skills and how to perform those techniques so they are believable to an audience.  Students will spend the first part of each term engaging in exercises to master the techniques and will then move on to studying the choreography for the Fight Performance Test.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Safely and realistically perform a choreographed fight on stage
  • Have an awareness of safe technique for rehearsing a stage fight sequence
  • Realise character, emotion and narrative through the use of body and movement
  • Communicate physically in performance with confidence and assurance.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous knowledge or experience is necessary.  Everyone is welcome to join this course regardless of experience.  We welcome actors, directors, stage managers, fencers, martial artists and people with no connection to the performing arts at all! 

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

This is a practical course where teaching is done by instructor demonstration followed by students working in pairs. Students will be expected to engage in Q&A sessions with the tutor as part of the group learning process.  A certain amount of physical and mental stamina is required.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will need to wear comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing and training shoes with a good grip.  A pair of sturdy gloves (leather or canvas) that cover your whole hand are also recommended when working with weapons but not essential.  You may also wish to bring a notebook and something to write with.

What feedback will I get?

You will receive regular feedback from your tutor throughout the course, as and when appropriate.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You can enrol on any of the other stage combat courses, or study other weapons on this same course in future years!  Contact the Director of Part-Time courses for more information or speak to the fight teacher!

Entry Requirements

This course is open to anyone regardless of your previous experience. We welcome beginners and advanced level performers, actors, directors, stage managers, martial artists, fencers or those who are simply curious!

No previous experience is required. You must be at least 18 years old.

Further Information

You will be asked to participate in rigorous activity from time to time. Please consider whether you could do this, if you are in any doubt consult a medical practitioner.You will need to wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and training shoes with a good grip. 

You may also wish to bring a notebook and something to write with.  A pair of gloves can also be useful – they should cover your whole hand and be made of leather, suede or canvas.

Book your place now!


Prospective students from the UK
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team by emailing
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK

Further Information

For further information about the part-time evening class in Stage Combat, contact Roger Bartlett: