Session Runs Feb 2 - May 17
SAFD Skills Test Courses
Our spring 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 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 Spring 2020 sessions will take place on Friday, May 22nd.
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. 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.
Unarmed SPT Course
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
Fighting with a knife onstage 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.
How Do I Register?
Head on over to our Registration page to get started. There you can pick a class, 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.
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