Sword Fight Choreography

Are you looking for realistic sword fight choreography for your Medieval, Renaissance, or fantasy production?  ARMA Houston can provide decades of martial arts teaching experience with a wide variety of historical European weapons as well as unarmed combat to make your fight scenes look more like the real thing.

We can analyze the needs of your scene and create a fight sequence using valid techniques from historical sources and sound martial principles that will be both exciting and safe to perform.  Our goal is to give the appearance of real danger between trained fighters for greater drama instead of an elaborate sword ballet.  We will train your performers to move in realistic ways as the trained fighters they are portraying would do (or show the difference between trained and untrained fighters), and coach them on the appropriate mindset of a trained character in a violent situation.  We will incorporate any important stage directions and make them look natural to the course of the fight (even the famous rapier switch in Hamlet!).

We can work with most major European weapon types and scenarios in foot combat, including:

  • Longswords (two-handed)
  • Arming Swords (one-handed) with or without an off-hand weapon (dagger, buckler, shield, etc.)
  • Rapiers
  • Daggers
  • Staffs, Spears, & Polearms
  • Improvised Weapons
  • Unlike Weapons (i.e. sword vs. dagger or sword vs. spear)
  • Unarmed vs. Armed
  • Multiple Opponents

We can work with any amateur or professional stage or film production, including high school plays and UIL competitions.  If you are ready to add a realistic thrill to your historical fight scene, let us help!



Below are a couple of samples of our coaching work for a Jersey Village High School production of Romeo and Juliet where the teacher has asked us to make some changes to the original scene.

Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 1

This is the famous scene where Tybalt and Mercutio fight and Romeo tries vainly to intervene. The drama teacher has asked us to do this as a longsword fight instead of the traditional rapiers, so we work out a sequence where they fight their way down the ramp and Tybalt can stab Mercutio under the arm as described in the play.

Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, Scene 3

In this scene an enraged Count Paris challenges Romeo in Juliet’s crypt, thinking he has come to desecrate it. Romeo tries to talk him down, but Paris gives him no choice but to fight. The drama teacher has asked us to use longswords instead of rapiers in this production, and we add the twist that Romeo is unprepared for a fight and must defend himself with his dagger. Paris fights well, but Romeo prevails by closing in quickly.