Independent Drama caters for all levels of ability from complete beginner to experienced fight performer. Courses are run by certified stage combat teachers who are working industry professionals and many lead to accredited industry recognised qualifications with stage combat examining bodies such as the British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat (BASSC) and the British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC).
Our training courses listed here are aimed at ages 18 years and older however we can deliver training for students from 8 years old upwards. We also provide private lessons, training through schools and other institutions as well as corporate workshops. Please contact us via this booking request form and we'll do our best to cater your needs.
A list of all the training offered by ID from accredited stage combat courses to firearms, horseriding and more.
What is Combat Lab?
Combat Lab is a 2.5-hour drop-in stage combat class, designed to provide a space for students, teachers and friends of ID to keep up their performance combat skills or for complete beginners to try it out. Ideal for students taking fight exams or training with stage and screen combat academies to meet and exchange ideas with like-minded people.
Open to all levels of experience, Combat Lab often has a themed activity and we regularly have some great guest instructors including David Doersh (fight director of Marvel Universe Live!), Justin Sysum (ITV's World of Wrestling Champion) and many more.
Students are welcome to join in with this week's theme or if you have your own projects / skills you would like to practice, you are also welcome to "freeplay" (space and equipment permitting), which is where you can use our space and weapons for your own projects and skills training.
Do I need to bring my own weapons?
For themed activities, equipment will always be provided. For freeplay purposes, we usually have polypropene training swords, rubber training knives and handguns, plus a limited number of steel rapier and daggers for students to use. Bring your own training weapons (please show these to the teacher first for a safety check; no firearms allowed) or let us know in advance if you would like us to bring something along for you to borrow by e-mailing email@example.com, and we will try to accommodate.
Do I have to stay for the whole session?
Combat Lab is a casual drop-in class - you can turn up / leave at any time between 18:30-21:00. First-timers are encouraged to arrive at the start of the session as the first 15 minutes is usually dedicated to self warm up, and an opportunity for teachers to introduce themselves to new students.
All of the following courses are accredited by the BADC or BASSC. These are the two longest established academies for training in dramatic combat in the UK, and are industry recognised and respected internationally.
These courses will be essential training to anyone wishing to work as an action actor, stunt performer or special action extra. Designed and taught by working fight coordinators the course will provide students with the knowledge with the skills required in the industry to sell dramatic, exciting and powerful fight scenes.
With a wealth of knowledge working in the industry across all media, and a variety of genres, our instructors will guide students through exercises and on set scenarios to teach, improve and consolidate the techniques needed to effectively fight on screen.
The instructors will also share valuable tips and tricks, from working experience, for students to troubleshoot, adapt and impress on a variety of scenarios and curve-balls that may occur on set.
The courses are divided into two tiers: unarmed fighting and weapon work. Each tier will progress over four levels; Foundation, Standard, Advanced and Veteran, of 3 days long per level. Participants can progress through all the levels in either tier independently or work their way up each level of both alongside each other.
As unarmed fighting is the most common form of screen combat we will be focusing on this alone for the whole tier. We will cover a wide variety of moves and techniques, character types, fighting styles and martial arts as well as falls, rolls and reactions.
We will look at choreography for both trained and untrained characters in one-on-one fights, one v many and group brawls.
Throughout the levels students will improve their ability to sell the techniques appropriate to their character, to learn and perform choreography under pressure and camera awareness to be able to play to all kinds of set-ups first time.
We recommend students wishing to train to the higher levels of unarmed do additional training for physical fitness and some martial arts if they do not currently have some experience.
In this division we will be covering a range of weapons including (but not limited to) sword and shield, two handed broadsword, axe, knife, spear/staff, and rapier as well as improvised weapons from found objects. We will teach the ability to understand the concepts of different weapon groups and with this knowledge higher levels students should be able to lend their hand to just about anything.
This tier will cover character types, different fighting styles from different cultures and periods of history, wounds and kills. Incorporating that in choreography for duels, hero fights (vs many) and battles, including shield walls and clashes.
Throughout this tier student will continue to improve their comfort and proficiency with each weapon, understand how to keep the fight full of energy and high stakes, while maintaining safety for themselves and all around.
Learn the safety, law and handling techniques when working with firearms and ensure that you look competent and confident handling guns in action roles. From blank firing to room clearances our courses have been designed by our Theatrical Firearms Instructors who have trained and/or consulted with UK police, UK and US Military, Fight Directors, Stunt Coordinators and film Armourers to make the training relevant, fun and great value for money.
Our supportive skill courses are designed to give you that added edge as an actor or action performer. We have brought together a pool of highly experienced, award-winning teaching staff, including a number of GB champions, to offer an exciting range of classes throughout the year. As with all our courses, class sizes will be strictly limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
Courses include: firearms, falling, weapon tricking and spinning, Wushu for film and wrestling for actors.
Our stunt courses include aerial performance and wirework training, precision and stunt driving, as well as horse riding skills.
We periodically hold open casting sessions as well as and headshot days - get your headshots or action shots done at a great price.