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


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 information about class times and dates contact Mick at:
Phone: (818) 813-3343
Email: mick@swordplayla.com

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 an eight 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, a ninth class will take place the third to last week 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

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

Sunday's Spring Session

When: Sundays, March 26th - May 21st (no class April 16th in honor of Easter)
Time: 7:30-9:00pm 
Weapon: Dual Wield
Acting Class: Friday, April 21st 7pm-9pm
Cost:  $280 If you register before March 20th (refer a friend for $10 off)! $300 if register after 3/20
Only 12 spots available for each session!

Wednesday's Spring Session

When: Wednesdays, March 22nd - May 10th
Time: 8-9:30pm 
Weapon: Dual Wield
Acting Class: Friday, April 14th 7pm-9pm
Cost:  $280 If you register before March 15th (refer a friend for $10 off)! $300 if register after 3/15
Only 12 spots available for each session! 

 

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

To be put on our call list: Please contact Mick at (818) 813-3343 or mick@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 Mick for details.

Walk in class
Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm $20 per class
Wednesdays Noon-1:30pm (3:30-5pm until August 10th) $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."

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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