Who is ASCA?
The Australian Stage Combat Association is Australia's premier stage combat association. ASCA was created by Stage Combatants for Stage Combatants.
What does ASCA do?
It is the goal of ASCA to continue to educate the Australian Entertainment Industry (AEI) of the benefits of using qualified Fight Directors and Combatants to get the most out of their productions.
ASCA strives to continue the advancements of Stage Combat in Australia by delivering the highest level of training in the country. This is achieved through constant contact with some of the world's more forward thinking Stage Combat associations.
What is Stage Combat?
Stage Combat in its basest form is a specialized artform used in theatre and film designed to create the illusion of physical combat without causing harm to the performers.
But it is so more than just that, click here to read more.
How do you differ from other Stage Combat Associations?
ASCA has potentially the most advanced Stage Combat system on the planet. We have strived to gather the best, and most up to date information that we can, from the top Stage Combat, and Historical Martial Artists worldwide, and create a system that is both exciting to watch and historically accurate and martially sound.
The ASCA system incorporates the use of Technique, Combat Theory and Performance Theory. The Technique is the means to safely create the illusion of violence. Combat Theory helps develop a sense of understanding of the basic principles of fighting. This leads to a greater understanding of how a fight evolves leading to a stronger more realistic performance. To compliment this Performance Theory is used to teach not just the basics of Acting, but to further develop an understanding as to why our characters use violence, what type of fighter they are, and so forth. As you can see, Stage Combat is so much more than “fake violence”. It is in fact a full acting system.
Who needs Stage Combat?
Stage Combat is for anyone in, or thinking of entering the AEI. The skills learnt through Stage Combat have the potential to save you from dangerous situations, be it the knowledge of how to fall safely, or the understanding that no one has the right to put your life at risk by not using a professional.
Stage combat is particularly relevant for theatre where there are no foley effects, stunt doubles or 2nd takes. You will be required to do all your own fight work and make it look good. A basic education in Stage Combat will prepare you for most violent situations and allow you to work quickly and effectively with a Fight Director or Choreographer.
Am I more employable with a Stage Combat Certification?
Yes! The attitude within the AEI are changing towards how Stage Combat qualifications are perceived. Directors are becoming more aware of the potential when hiring actors. Casting directors are yet to generally accept the qualification but we are slowly bringing them round. The more education we can put into the marketplace about Stage Combat the better. At the end of the day, it is cheaper, safer and logistically easier to hire an actor or stunt person who is fight qualified rather than someone who must be trained from scratch. Stage combat accreditation is also recognised in other countries including USA, Canada, UK, Norway and South Africa.
What are the ASCA Rankings/Levels?
Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Actor Combatant levels.
Followed by Level 1, Level 2 and Certified Stage Combat Instructor, then Fight Director. There is then the honorary title of Fight Master that is bestowed on select Fight Directors in recognition of their dedication and service to the organisation of ASCA and the art form of Stage Combat.
ASCA also has two non-certified rankings. These are Associate Members who hold no Actor Combatant rankings and Honorary Members who are recognised for their outstanding contributions to the art of Stage Combat.
Click here to see the ASCA Rules and Regulations for a full description of all rankings.
I’ve completed my Basic, so what now?
Great! Now the fun begins. After gaining your basic certificate you can now work towards advancing your qualifications further. The ASCA system develops at each level so you’re not just relearning the same techniques with different weapons, but learning whole new, historically accurate weapons systems.
As you progress it’s not just your combat skills that will be stretched. The ASCA system will push you to develop your acting further as with each level, not only are we looking for more advanced fights, but more complex performances.
Does training in Stage Combat make me a Stunt Man?
No!!! Stage combat is not a stunt qualification, there are a number of other skills that you must master to even be considered a stunt person. Stage combat qualifications can contribute to SAP grading in the area of movement. For more information on stunt requirements please contact the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
How long does it take to become a Fight Director?
At the end of the day this all comes down to the student. Students with the right level of commitment could see themselves going from Basic to Fight Director in 7 years. This would require an immense amount of work and dedication.
However everybody is different and on your journey to Fight Director you will be supported and guided by a designated mentor to help you know when you are ready to advance.
I’ve done 3 years of Martial Arts, does that mean I can start with my Advanced?
Unfortunately no, this is a very common question. We cannot recognise prior learning in martial arts/boxing/fencing. Stage combat and martial arts are very different things. While the techniques may look similar there are significant differences in performance in regards to safety and illusion. If you are an experienced martial artist you may find yourself unlearning many aspects of your art in order to learn Stage Combat properly.
I’m doing a no-budget short film/theatre production, how can ASCA help?
As a non-profit organization, ASCA cannot get directly involved with productions but we can offer free advice on how and where to contact the appropriate professional for your production needs. For more information on ASCA services click here.