TCW Video post

For those who are interested in some day pursuing Teacher Certification with the Society of American Fight Directors, the process can be a bit uncertain at times. As with any large and active organization, the rules and names are generally in flux, and for those of us who have not been able to do things like intern at the nationals, it might as well all happen behind closed doors. I can’t say how much of this Summer’s workshop I will be able to or want to discuss publicly just yet, but as they have now served their purpose I am willing to share my application videos.

The application process, which happens every few (2-3) years, involves a letter of intent, letters of recommendation, a CV showing teaching experience, full certification in all 8 weapons categories (with recommended status not explicitly required, but it obviously doesn’t hurt- I had it in 7 at the time of my application), valid/current First Aid/CPR certification, a bunch of paperwork (Save all your SPT certificates and membership cards, folks!), and some video samples of your choreography. These varied amongst applicants in length (it said a phrase, but most of us did more), production value, and public accessibility, but if you search YouTube for TCW, SAFD, and or the categories of unarmed and rapier & dagger (or R&D) you’ll find some.

I chose to put mine up as unlisted videos, so they wouldn’t turn up in random searches. Many of us who do fight choreography and fight direction have a love/hate relationship with publicity; we want to have our work seen, but not work that isn’t our best, and we don’t want people to outright steal choreography. It seems silly to me that anyone would do so, both because that’s one of my favorite parts of the job and because mine almost always comes from the production elements of that specific project- the actors especially, but also the set, the costumes, the artistic design, the directorial choices already established, etc. Still, I have heard people outright admit that they keep a video library from workshops, etc. and when hired as fight choreographers (which they bill themselves as) will often just pull a tape and copy the fight. I’ve also heard a story of Bob Chapin discovering a group doing his exact movie fight choreography from Ring of Steel in a Renaissance Faire a few years later. I believe his response was something like “I’m flattered, but stop now.”

So, with those caveats, in the name of open discussion, and a more creative commons approach to fight choreography (’cause let’s face it, we all steal bits and pieces from each other anyway), I’m going to go ahead and share the top-secret URL for my TCW application videos. My partner Dan Granke has consented. Are they perfect fights? Of course not. Amongst other things, we were both trying to learn something like 8 fights in two weeks (both his and my TCW application fights, and a big batch of SPR renewals). Still, it got the job done.


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  1. By Bonzuko » Link Linkletter on April 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    […] Them’s Fightin’ Words’ Teacher Cert Fights Revealed […]

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