Course Information

Fall 2021
Session Runs Sep 19 - Dec 16

SAFD Skills Test Courses

Our Fall classes all culminate in the opportunity to take part in the Skills Proficiency Test for the Society of American Fight Directors.  The SAFD is the largest stage combat training organization in the country, serving as a network of professionals who collaborate and cross-train to maintain a set of professional standards in the field of stage combat.  All our courses exceed the 30-hour minimum training requirement to ensure students are well prepared to enter the professional realm at a high level of proficiency.

Participating in an SAFD test event is not required to participate in the full course, but does gives you the opportunity to have your skills observed and critiqued by a third-party eye with decades of professional experience.  SAFD adjudicators are collegiate program heads, Broadway choreographers, and award-winning fight coordinators for blockbuster films.  It is a unique opportunity in arts education to have your skills compared against a national industry standard.

The adjudication for the Fall 2021 sessions will take place in December 2021, date TBD


Covid-19 Protocols

At Art In Arms, we're committed to the safety of our students and staff.  That includes safety from viruses in addition to the physical risks involved with performative combat.  In order to minimize the risk associated with the Covid-19 virus, we are requiring that all students and staff provide proof of full vaccination status prior to entering the building.  Furthermore, we will follow all CDC recommendations and local directives regarding sanitation procedures and mask use (which, as of August 2021, includes wearing a mask indoors for all individuals in Ramsey County).  To further reduce exposure risk and to optimize the learning experience, we are limiting registrations to 8 participants per section.

Fall 2021
21st Century Violence

Art In Arms' focus for our next round of courses is on addressing contemporary violence in the theatre.  First, we are offering Unarmed and Knife as our course disciplines for the semester, diving into the most prevalent forms of stage violence featured in stories set in a contemporary setting.  Also in keeping with the changing times, our courses are grounded in foundational techniques that will serve not only live performance, but on-camera work as well, as hopefully new tax incentives bring more performance opportunities to the state of MN.  In addition, we will be centering our classwork on not only modern stories, but how to perform them for a modern audience.  It is important for us as storytellers to be aware of the impact that violence in media and the real world have on one another, and to treat the matter responsibly.  To that end, we will also be looking at what has changed in the craft of stage combat.  What worked in the world of violent illusions in decades past doesn't necessarily suffice for today's viewers.

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Unarmed SPT Course
Sundays 3:30pm-6:30PM
Tuesdays 7:00PM-10:00PM

Instructor: FD/CT Mike Lubke

Unarmed stage combat forms the foundation of stage combat training and serves as a solid skillset for a performer's toolbox.  This course is designed to train performers in all the components of what it takes to present violence onstage, using just the weapons of the body.  Ranging from all the elements necessary to convincingly stage a slap or a fall, to developing the attributes to pull off a high-octane fight scene, students who complete this course will be equipped to tackle the spread of challenges that an actor might face in their career.

The course will consist of drills and exercises that mix practical application and understanding of combative techniques with the truths of what it takes to safely perform them as part of a compelling story.

For those performers wishing to be recognized as Actor/Combatants by the SAFD, Unarmed is a prerequisite discipline.

Two class sections are offered to accommodate student demand, enrollment in only one section is necessary.

Knife SPT Course
Sundays 7:00PM-10:00PM
Thursdays 7:00PM-10:00PM

Instructor: CT Don Preston

Fighting with a knife on stage or screen is one of the more challenging aspects of stage combat.  When the prop is so small, we rely on the performer's body to fully tell the story.  When the prop is dull, we rely on the performer to make it read as dangerous.  And lastly, when the concept of knife violence is very commonplace to our audiences, we rely on the performers to play the truth of the violence responsibly.

This course will consist of exercises and drills that fuse acting intentions with practical techniques in a variety of aesthetics, from tactical martial-arts-inspired scenes to gritty, messy, fear-soaked self defense stories.

The skills acquired in this course will serve any actor by honing their abilities to specifically isolate what their character wants and needs from moment to moment, regardless of whether a knife is involved.  From swordplay to straight scene work, clarity and specificity are key.

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How Do I Register?

Head on over to our Registration page to get started.  There you can pick a course, enter your contact information, and pay your deposit to hold your spot in class.

Single Course: $400

Two Courses: $750


Our classes require a non-refundable $50-per-course deposit at the time of registration.  To sign up for multiple courses, simply register for each course you're interested in individually, and process each deposit separately.  We will handle the remaining balance in-person with flexible payment plans available. 

After you register, you will need to send in an image of your vaccination card to confirm your vaccination status.  If you do not have your card, please contact us and we will see what alternate verification we can secure.

Cancellation Policy: due to class sizes being limited, barring special circumstances, any cancellations occurring after the 2nd week of classes will be responsible for the full course tuition.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please do not hesitate to contact us at