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Hollywood Actors Combat Academy

Hollywood’s Film Combat Academy

Stage combat looks good on your resume, but does your stage combat look good on film?

Owner Tim Weske has worked as a film & stage fight director/choreographer/designer/arranger/trainer and coach for 30+ years. He opened his training facility/school, SwordplayLA, in 1992. He has trained and coached celebrities and actors just starting their careers. He has also designed and choreographed fight sequences for many of Hollywood's top directors and producers. See Weske's resume/reels/references at www.fights2film.com. For booking, contact us at (818) 421-2926 or swordmaster1@earthlink.net.

Weske has developed a system of "Staged Combat" that is far superior to the "normal" 6 parry system that has been used since the beginning of film making. The system draws the power from the body and not the weapon. Specific balance, tempo and timing are just a few of the techniques learned in the Weske's system. Understanding these techniques, and understanding how your body works will allow you to be more committed and confident during your fight sequences. What's more, the system allows you to arrange your fights in an entertaining fashion. And after all, what we do is entertainment, while still keeping that realism of the commitment in the objective of the fight. With this system's techniques in place, and when rehearsed with a fight arranger that knows what he/she is doing, you can have full body shots with cameras locked down while just allowing the actors to fight.

Tim Weske

See Owner & Fight Master Tim Weske's full resume at www.fights2film.com

Projects choreographed by Tim Weske

Please look at this video as an example of how the system can work.

The power of timing, tempo, balance, vision and precise movement can be seen clearly in this video. All the fighters seen in this video had little or no fight training before they trained with Tim Weske.

If you have more questions about classes or would like to book space in our classes, please call (818) 813-3343 or email director@swordplayla.com.

Classes include:

  • Private and semi-private lessons.
  • On set training and choreography.
  • Group seminars (in and outside Los Angeles)

View class schedule

Hollywood Actors Combat Academy (HACA) Certification Courses

The Certification Course is designed to help the actor get in touch with the physical side of acting while gaining skills to learn and perform staged fighting. The courses feature a weapon or combination of weapons depending on each course theme. Students learn a fight, choreographed by Tim Weske, using the fight system he has created. Students learn fight techniques that will help them excel in their performance as well as keep them safe on a set. Being able to tap into the emotional side of your acting using the tool of physical combat and a choreographed fight sequence in performance is a great asset to the actor, this is a goal of the course. Final performance is in front of a casting director.

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

View certification schedule

For information and booking, please call (818) 813-3343 or email at director@swordplayla.com.

Hollywood Actors Combat Academy class

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!

Upcoming Certification Courses at Swordplay LA in Burbank

$20 discount if signing up before Sept. 1st.

Sunday Fall Certification Course #1

When: Sundays, Sept 10 -Oct 29, 2017
Time: 6-7:30pm
Weapon: Broadsword & Shield
Cost: $280 ($20 discount if you register before Sept 1st)
(Refer a friend and get an additional $10 discount)

Only 10 spots available!

Register for Course 1, $50 non-refundable deposit:

Sunday Fall Certification Course #2

When: Sundays, Sept 10 - Oct 29, 2017
Time: 8-9:30pm 
Weapon: Broadsword & Shield
Cost: $280 ($20 discount if you register before Sept 1st)
(Refer a friend and get an additional $10 discount)

Only 10 spots available!

Register for Course 2, $50 non-refundable deposit:

Rapier & Dagger Certification Course #3

When: Sundays, Jan 14 - Mar 11, 2018
(no class on February 4th)
Time: 8-9:30pm
Weapon: Rapier & Dagger
Cost: $280 ($20 discount if you register before January 5th)
Owner Tim Weske will instruct the course.

Only 10 spots available!

Register for Course 1, $50 non-refundable deposit:

Hand to Hand Combat Certification Course #4

When: Sundays, Jan 14 - Mar 11, 2018
(no class on February 4th)
Time: 6-7:30pm
Weapon: Hand to Hand Combat
Cost: $280 ($20 discount if you register by January 5th)
(Refer a friend and get an additional $10 discount)
Owner Tim Weske will instruct the course.

Only 12 spots available!

Register for Course 2, $50 non-refundable deposit:

Call (818) 813-3343 or email director@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 director@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 learn technique and choreography to put together a choreographed fight. 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.

On-going Weekly Classes
All classes are $22 per class.
The weekly classes are ongoing and accomodate students of all levels of experience.  It is suggested that you first start with the introduction to stage combat class so that you can start at a slower pace learning the techniques of staged fighting, but you may attend any class you wish. In all classes, you will learn a choreographed fight, as well as continuing to learn good techniques.

View class schedule

Hollywood Actors Combat Academy class


Hollywood Actors Combat Academy class

Weske trains on location or at his private studio. He trains and choreographs in ALL weapons from one-on-one duels to full scale battles. Students will be taught timing, balance, footwork, focus, attacks and defense as it pertains to theatrical swordplay.

Tim Weske has adapted his extensive knowledge of technique with the contemporary demands of today's film/television & theater industries. Swordplay's Film & Stage Combat program focuses not only on practical technique, but also serves as a foundation for creating and applying your own. Whether you're an actor, choreographer, director or "hobbyist", this unique program will condition your senses and broaden your abilities.

Stunt Coordinators

Studio space is available for fight sequence rehearsal, training and choreography.

A huge variety of weapons and accessories to choose from, including:
- pole arms
- swords
- axes
- pole axes
- much more.

A Variety Crash Pads Are Available
8 x 6 Pit

16.5' ceiling
48' X 38' Large room
18' x 37' Small room
Air conditioning
Big Screen TV for video playback
Private gated parking

combat space

combat space

View more pictures of studio.

To book the space or to scout, contact Tim at 818-421-2926 (call or text).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose where to train?

Now days there are many "Fight Trainers" to choose from, so how can you tell who knows what they are doing?

Lesson number 1
Actions speak louder then words. Look at their work. Not them fighting, but their students fighting. If a person shows you video of themselves fighting, ask who choreographed that fight? They may not tell you the truth, but it probably wasn't them.

Lesson number 2
Do they understand fencing? The greatest sword masters/fight rangers in film history were Bob Anderson, Bill Hobbs, Ralph Faulkner and Fred Cavins. All of them were fencing instructors.

Lesson number 3
Being able to really teach fencing means that you are able to see what a student is communicating to you and you understand what needs to be adjusted to make the students body work in harmony with his brain allowing confidence to be able too move freely and believably during the course of a fight.

Lesson number 4
Is the persons resume accurate? It is easy to "mislead" a person with a resume. I have past students that actually take credit for my work and claim they had something to do with people that I have trained.  You have to decide because they will never tell you, but the biggest braggart usually is the one you want to stay away from.

Lesson number 5
Make the right choice. Yes, it may be some work to do that, but it is your career. Once you learn things wrong, they stay in your body. I have seen it thousands of times.

COMBAT is not just for fighting

The first acting and stunt academy's in England had mandatory Fencing & Staged Combat classes.  The reason for this was mainly as an acting exercise.

To keep your instrument in tune is essential for every performer. Most people work on just their head, and that keeps you "in your head". Working on allowing the physical part of YOUR work in combination with the mental will hopefully help you be emerged in the emotional side of YOU when it is called on.

Combat classes help with understanding and keeping in touch with that combination of physical, mental and emotional.

When you are submersed in a staged fight sequence, there is no time to act and when you are in focus on the objective, the acting will just happen, because you are completely immersed in it.

If you just take a class or two to put it on your resume, trust me, people will know, and what's more, you're cheating yourself from growing at your craft.

Share Your Experience

Do you have a stage combat horror story? Or do you have a testimonial on how taking a HACA or SwordPlayLA class helped you succeed? Let us know! We want to hear about your experience with training and/or performing on the set.

Share Your Story


For information or to make a class reservation, please contact us.

Swordplay: 416 S. Victory Blvd., Burbank, CA

(818) 813-3343




Burbank Studio

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