Tim Weske: Action Scene Designer, Sword Fight Choreographer, Fight Movement Trainer


Hollywood's Film Combat Academy

Stunt Coordinator Rehearsal Space
Staged Film Combat Classes

Learn Tim Weske’s system of fighting.  Instruction in ALL weapons including Hand to Hand combat.  Learn how to use the power of your body to create stronger and more entertaining fight sequences.  Look visually stronger and be safer while doing it.  See schedule of classes below.

Stunt Coordinators now have a training facility right in the heart of Burbank.  Train your actors and crew in a fight atmosphere.  Many film Stage weapons to chose from, swords, shields, axes, spears, etc.  Crash pads and pit, and if you want fencing, we have that equipment too.  Call Tim at (818) 421-2926 to scout or book the studio.  

RESERVATIONS FOR CLASSES MUST BE MADE
Call (818) 813-3342 or email combat@swordplayla.com

Weekly Classes

Tuesday  
5:30 - 6:30 pm Walk in class
6:00 - 7:00 pm Intermediate Weapons Combat
7:00 - 8:00 pm Introduction to Staged Combat
7:30 - 8:30 pm Beginner Weapons Combat
8:00 - 9:00 pm Beginner Hand to Hand Combat
8:30 - 10:30 pm Choreography class
   
Wednesday  
6:00 - 7:00 pm Beginner Hand to Hand Combat
7:00 - 8:00 pm Beginner Weapons Combat
8:00 - 9:00 pm Intermediate Hand to Hand Combat
8:00 - 9:30 pm Certification Class
   
Thursday  
6:00 - 7:00 pm Intermediate Weapons Combat
7:30 - 8:30 pm Intermediate Hand to Hand Combat
8:00 - 9:00 pm Introduction to Staged Combat

Upcoming Certification Seminars

Rapier Certification Class 1
When: Sundays, June 25th-Aug 20th 
Time: 6-7:30pm
Learn more

Rapier Certification Class 2
When: Sundays, June 25th-Aug 20th 
Time: 8-9:30pm
Learn more

Sunday Fall Certification Session 1
When: Sundays, Sept 10th-Oct 29th 
Time: 6-7:30pm 
Learn more

Sunday Fall Certification Session 2
When: Sundays, Sept 10th-Oct 29th
Time: 8-9:30pm 
Learn more

Wednesday Fall Advanced Certification Session 
When: Wednesdays, Sept 13th-Nov 1st
Time: 8-9:30pm 
Learn more


 

Class Descriptions

Film & Stage Combat

Tim Weske is available to teach you footwork, timing, balance, tempo and safety techniques for combat of all kinds in film and stage. Taught in the same way that Tim has taught stars including Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Chris Pine, Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway.  Video taping is done in class every day to see students growth.

For training and choreography for your production please call Tim at 818-421-2926 or visit fights2film.com.

Walk In Class

This class is set up for anyone of any level of experience.  Every week there is a new weapon that is being worked with.

Introduction to Staged Combat Class

This is a class for people that are just starting out. Often times students feel intimidated going into a class where there are students that have been fighting for awhile. We recommend that the inexperienced or low experienced student take at lease 6 of these classes before going to the beginner class.

Beginner Weapons and Hand to Hand Combat Class

Beginner Weapons Combat
People who are just starting out, brushing up or learning a new weapon from the beginning.  Each beginner class will work on the same weapon for the entire month.  The emphasis of the class will be to work on body awareness, control, balance, tempo targeting to name a few.  Each session there will be a small choreographed fight given to students to perform. Students from these classes can sign up to be used in the choreography class.

Beginner Hand to Hand Combat
Students will learn the same physical awareness and timing as in the weapons class, just without a weapon.  Each class students will learn and perform a choreographed Hand to Hand fight.

Intermediate Weapons and Hand to Hand Combat Class

Intermediate Weapons Class
Class continues to work on refining physical and mental qualities to not only make for great fighting but to also help fix problems that may arise on set.  Each month the same weapon will be used in every class. Each class will feature different choreographed fights, that will be of a higher difficulty than the beginner class.

Intermediate Hand to Hand
Students will continue to learn more complex choreography and timing.  Each class will have more difficult fight sequences and movement.

Choreography Class

For students who would like to put their own fights together.  There is more to doing a good fight then just knowing how to set up a choreographed sequence of violence.  There is training and talking to actors, and there is safety first. Choreographers will be given a pair of students from the Beginning/Intermediate classes and will have to arrange a fight in a set amount of time. They will have to train them and get them ready for a performance that evening. Fight sequences are filmed and critiqued at the end of the night.

 

Class Prices

Every class has a size limit.  Reservations MUST be made in advance of attending a class.  By showing up to a class you will be allowed to enter only if the class is not full, but you do this at your own risk.  We will have a waiting list for each class and you will be informed of cancellations.

Cancellation of a class 
AT THIS TIME we do not take a deposit for reservations in a class.  If you make reservations in a class and do not show up to the class or call to cancel that reservation 24 hours ahead of time, then future reservations will require payment in full before entering class.  Please provide a 24 hour notice for class cancellation.

(818) 813-3343         combat@swordplayla.com

$22 per class (for the follow classes)

Introductory Class
Beginner Class Weapons
Beginner Class Hand to Hand
Intermediate Class Weapons
Intermediate Class  Hand to Hand

$30 for “Choreographer” Students in choreography Class

$7 for students in class to perform “The Choreographers” Fight

 

Hollywood Actors Combat Academy (HACA)
Fight Certification Program

Combat Classes For Film and Theatre

Tim Weske's system of fighting is based in movement with a weapon.  If you can move fluidly, with balance and tempo, fights can be performed in a safe, real and entertaining "Hollywood style".

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
How do you decide what class to take with so many sword/fight classes out there? Compare video. Look for full body master shots that work. Cut up and major close up editing means the fight was bad and had to be edited a lot to make it work. Remember the shot they use is the best one they had.

Take a Little Time to Research
It's your training. Whatever training you choose will stick with you, don't settle for an imitator. Don’t just take anyone’s word for it, research your options and choose the best program that’s right for you.

Fight Certification ProgramWhen you see someone fighting in a film and that person claimes they choreographed those fights.  Ask yourself how they were able to train everyone, choreograph all the fights AND perform them?  Truth is, they didn't.  The person you don't see behind the camera did and you are being lied to.

After 30 years of consistent study in the art of film violence, and having trained thousands of people and choreographing thousands of fights, I am now bringing my system of training to you.

For many years Tim has been asked to have a fight certification program for actors, and finally, after 30 years of saying NO, he has decided to do it.  

"My reasoning for not having a certification program like this up until now, was because I did not feel that JUST teaching sword movements and doing a simple fights were enough.  I wanted to challenge the actor with creating a character through the physical part of acting. I wanted to help students understand focus and commitment at a higher level.  Now I feel good about what we are doing with the program."

Certification programs feature different weapons. 

Tim is also available to bring his expertise to you!
Seminars can be held outside of Los Angeles at your location.  Call for information.

For questions and information contact us at:
Phone: (818) 813-3343
Email: combat@swordplayla.com

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Classes and Private Lessons

Classes

Learn the system trusted to train Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock and many more! Students will be taught timing, balance, footwork, focus, attacks and defense all while learning a choreographed fight and scene!

Certification Class is a nine week session using a weapon chosen for that session. Students will learn the same choreography and all students will attach a scene of their choice to the choreography. Techniques that are mentioned above are used and taught while working on this fight. In addition, on the 6th class students will work with a professional acting coach, Robert D'Avanzo, to prepare for the showcase! Students will perform their scene on the final night in front of an invited professional casting director or industry guest!

Upcoming Certification Class at Swordplay LA in Burbank

SPECIAL Certification Class is a three week intensive course in hand-to-hand film combat.  This course focuses students education in hand-to-hand combat skills studying reactions to attacks, visual strength, timing, tempo and footwork. Each three hour class will incorporate filming students to watch back and receive critique from Tim. Learn punches, kicks, knife work, falls and more! Students will experience and see the tricks needed to make a fight look real with an emphasis on remaining safe without sacrificing quality. Actors will leave with the confidence to be in command to stay safe on set, rehearsal and in auditions when the situation is less than ideal.

Prerequisite: Must take one private lesson or drop-in class before registration. Call for details. 

Actors Survival Workshop
Hand to Hand Combat
When: 
Sundays, May 28th-June 11th 
Time: 6pm-9pm
Weapon: Hand-to-Hand
Cost:  $300 
Only 16 spots!

Sunday's Summer Session 1
When: Sundays, June 25th-Aug 20th 
Time: 6-7:30pm 
Weapon: Rapier
Acting Class: Sunday July 30th
Cost: $280 If you register before June 19th (refer a friend for $10 off)! $300 if register after 6/20
Only 12 spots available!

Sunday's Summer Session 2
When: Sundays, June 25th-Aug 20th 
Time: 8-9:30pm 
Weapon: Rapier
Acting Class: Sunday July 30th
Cost: $280 If you register before June 19th (refer a friend for $10 off)! $300 if register after 6/20
Only 12 spots available!

Sunday Fall Certification Session 1
When: Sundays, Sept 10th-Oct 29th 
Time: 6-7:30pm 
Weapon: Broadsword
Cost: $280 If you register before Sept 4th (refer a friend for $10 off)! $300 if register after 9/5
Only 12 spots available!

Sunday Fall Certification Session 2
When: Sundays, Sept 10th-Oct 29th
Time: 8-9:30pm 
Weapon: Broadsword
Cost: $280 If you register before Sept 4th (refer a friend for $10 off)! $300 if register after 9/5
Only 12 spots available!

Wednesday Fall Advanced Certification Session 
When: Wednesdays, Sept 13th-Nov 1st
Time: 8-9:30pm 
Weapon: Sword and Shield
Filming Day: Wednesday Nov 1st
Cost: $320 for the session
Instructor recomendation!

Call (818) 813-3343 or email combat@swordplayla.com with your name and phone number today to reserve your spot!

To be put on our call list: Please contact us at (818) 813-3343 or combat@swordplayla.com 

Other Ongoing Classes and Private Lessons

Discount Private lesson package - $200 for 5 one on one lessons!
Work with a Tim Weske trained instructor over the first 4 lessons.  You will put together a fight and learn technique while learning the choreography.  On the 5th  lesson Tim will come to the class and work with you. Lessons scheduled whenever you and your instructor decide. 

Private lessons with Tim Weske are also available.  Please contact us for details.

Walk in class
Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm $20 per class
Wednesdays Noon-1:30pm (3:30-5pm starting June 7th until August 23rd) $25 per class
This is an ongoing class with students with all levels of experience attending.  Every  week a new fight is created and fighting techniques are worked on and studied.

IMPORTANT
Tim will be having weekend seminars at his studio. And he will teach out of state as well as out of the USA. Tim will also come to your location and choreographing and design your fight sequences.

"No one knows my business like I do."

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Photo Gallery

View pictures from the certification classes.

 

Tim Weske's Film Combat System

When you are ready to take your physical acting to the next level. 

View Tim Weske’s full resume for references, extensive list of celebrities trained and reels.

Tim has created sword sequences for films that have won awards and his style of hard hitting yet entertaining sword choreography, training and coaching actors, has kept shows on the air for years.

Tim's work is seen on television weekly.

Tim Weske has followed in the steps of the greatest Sword Masters in film history.  Fred Cavins, Ralph Faulkner, Bob Anderson and Bill Hobbs.  These four men are responsible for most of the legendary and finest sword fights ever put on the screen.

The reason is, they were able to create fights that could be shot as master shots where the performers body moved with power and timing so that it made one fluid, believable and yet entertaining fight sequence that continued the story.  The only way this can be done is through training and coaching of the performers and so the person training and coaching the performer must have the knowledge, experience and understanding of how the performers mind and body work while engaged in the art of swordplay.  It also requires talent, and most "Sword people" have none of that although they will tell you they do.  A great coach of theatrical combat listens.  Not just with his ears, but more importantly with his eyes.

Tim Weske has over 30 years of consistent experience and study in not only the art of swordplay and fencing, but also in the entertainment industry.  He has been trusted to teach and choreograph many of today’s top celebrates and he has taken films that depended on sword and fight sequences and not only made them long running hits, but also enabled them to win awards.  Films such as battles BC and History Channels 300, just a couple of these examples.  If left up to the unskilled director and production team, and the conga line of extras that had to be trained and choreographed for massive and numerous hard hitting sword fight scenes, I am 100% confident these show would have failed. 

"When I was first starting out in my education of swordplay, I studied the master’s films.  Years later I became friends with Bob Anderson and Bill Hobbs.  It was Bob who told production to hire me for Master and Commander the Far Side of the World.  This is because the production had hired a sword person who did not know what he/she were doing.  One of Bob's favorite quotes was "If I see more than others it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants".  And I do stand on these great men’s shoulders creating the sword sequences that they would be proud of."

Sword fight choreography can be simple, but is that effective.  With most people that say they are sword/fight choreographers, they have very little knowledge of balanced movement and fluidity in timing and therefore depend on repeating simple sword moves over and over again.  They rely on the editor to "clean up their mess".  That means that every director shoots master shots of their action and gradually come in closer all the way to close ups while fighting.  When an editor gets the film he has to make decisions on cuts that will make the fight look passionate and entertaining.  If the master shots can't be used because the action is not believable, doesn't sink up, stops, is uncommitted and for a host of bad things, the editor must then rely on the quick close cuts that make the terrible choreography look like something that resembles a sword fight.  TV and movies are full of these examples in today’s films.

I have had editors of my work call me and thank me for making their jobs so easy and telling me that the hardest thing about cutting my fight scenes was that all the takes are so good they don't know which one to use.  

All four of these Sword Masters were also fencing instructors.  This is how they are able to understand how the body works while engaged in this discipline.  People that do not study the full extreme of their craft have no business teaching this art.

Be smart when looking for an instructor.  I have had hundreds of students come to me with past "training", and these poor students have been taught incorrectly, and that makes it much harder to break them of bad habits.  Look at their reels and be honest about what you see.  If they appear in a reel fighting, that probably means that someone else choreographed and taught them, not that they look that good on their own.

It has taken me years to start a combat certification class for film and television staged combat fight training and choreography.  This is your chance to learn from the best system of staged fighting that there is.

The class features one weapon at a time (weekend seminars taught by Tim Weske in the future, so get on our mailing list).

The training comes from the ground up.  Balance, tempo, timing, command of the stage, confidence.  I have learned that celebrates would rather do their own fight sequences rather than having their stunt double do it for them.  If they feel confident about their fight, that they can perform it, they will.  I can safely say that 95% of all the actors I have trained have performed the entire fight in their films. 

Be ready for any kind of staged combat.  Retaining what you are taught will help you more understand action sequences to better tell a story.  Understanding how to move with consistency and fluidity while taking chances in creating choreographed sequences.  If you are a director, knowing how the actor feels while proffering and rehearsing a choreographed sword combat sequence will help you to move the actors and create the sequence you really want for your film.  

Swords and weapons taught and choreographed for theatrical combat:

Broad Sword Broad Sword & Shield Cutlass
Rapier Rapier & Dagger Katana
Small Sword  Short Sword Long Sword
Staff Guns Hand to Hand
Horse Saber Foil, Saber & Epee Knife
Axe  Whip  

 

   
 

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