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Stage Combat Short Course


De Montfort University (DMU) has been recognised as a Centre for Excellence in Performance Arts – an accolade that also reflects our commitment to innovative and excellent teaching and learning. 

This short course takes place over four days and has been developed to engage and widen participation in the performing arts, and the nature of this course is on combat in performance.

Exploring topics such as character intention and fight rhythm and staging, students will learn to create a fight in which they are connected and truthful in order to deliver an engaging and dramatic piece of theatre to an audience.

As such, the course will not only focus on fight choreography but also on acting skills, with students working on incorporating their learning into dramatic scenes.

To find out more open the headings below.

Interested? Email for more information.

Structure and content

This course will cover Swashbuckling Rapier and Unarmed Combat Techniques*

This is an intensive course in which students will spend up to 25 hours learning to safely perform fight choreography in each of the prescribed fight disciplines.

The techniques and weapon systems taught at this level of training will prepare the participant for further training with a more diverse range of weapon systems, as well as touching upon the differences between fighting for stage and fighting for screen.

* If unarmed combat cannot be taught due to covid restrictions, the second weapon covered will be Renaissance Rapier and Dagger.

Who the course is for

This course is for beginners to stage combat training, or those with no previous British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC) qualifications. It is also for those wishing to renew an expired BADC Standard (Level 1) certificate.

Key learning outcomes

On completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Confidently execute Armed and Unarmed Fight Choreography.
  2. Understand the safety practices required to safely perform moments of violence.
  3. Understand the emotional and physical commitment required to convincingly perform moments of violence.
  4. Confidently perform a choreographed fight, using armed and unarmed combat techniques, within the context of a dramatic scene. 

What you will achieve

Students will be provided with a Training Certification Record upon successful completion of the exam.

Professional accreditation

The British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC) Standard qualification is the fundamental building block of all stage combat training, and is accepted as the industry standard level of training expected of professional actors.

Students will have the opportunity at the end of the course to certify with the BADC at Standard level. Passing grades include Pass and Merit (the Distinction grade is unavailable at Standard level, although students can still obtain percentage grades up to 100% at the Standard level).

Upon achieving the minimum of a pass grade, students will be able to take Further Weapons training and courses to obtain the Intermediate and Advanced Fighter BADC qualifications.

In addition, passing the exam guarantees the student a year's free membership to the BADC as a Swashbuckler Member (currently £35 per year), which allows the student to sign up for several free workshops with the Academy throughout the year.

Our experts

Kiel O'Shea

Kiel is a Fight Director and Stage Combat Instructor with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. He balances teaching for Drama Schools and universities throughout the UK with running his own independent BADC accredited courses, and offering fight support for stage and screen.

Alongside this, Kiel also works as a Special Action Performer for film and can be found performing bouts of historic martial combat in various castles and palaces.


The intention is to deliver this short course face-to-face, however this will be subject to current Covid-19 guidelines, and specific details will be provided to individuals prior to joining.

We will continue to follow UK Government guidance and adopt measures to keep our community and staff safe. This may include offering some contact hours and other elements of our provision via online technology. Find out more about these measures here.

The location of face-to-face delivery will be: PACE Studio One, PACE Centre, Richmond Street, Leicester, LE2 7BQ


The Performing Arts Centre for Excellence (PACE) is a four-floor dedicated building containing numerous large-scale studios to support traditional performance and rehearsal activities as well as experimental work in sound diffusion, interactive performance and audiovisual installations. 

PACE Studio 1 is a highly flexible 16m x 16m space and can serve as a white-wall or a black-box space. Fully modular seating can be arranged as needed for specific performance, installation, or classroom needs. A Steinway Model-D grand piano, high-definition video projection and a full theatre lighting rig complement the extensive sound diffusion system.

Contact us

Interested? Email for more information.



TEXT LOGO BLACK (RED O)Our expert and course tutor (pictured below):

Kiel O'Shea