This fact was not lost on actor and stunt trainer Adrian Paul, who heads kids’ charity The Peace Fund. Last year Paul set up lessons in swordsmanship to raise money, and the event was so successful that he decided to develop it into a new teaching model.
After months of preparation, he launched The Sword Experience on April 10 in Temecula, Calif., with classes scheduled throughout 2016 in various cities. Open to adults of any experience level, the day-long events feature safety protocols, stance and sword-position training, and reward participants with a choreographed on-camera duel.
During the course, Paul highlights the differences between on-camera sword fighting and traditional martial arts or fencing styles.
For example, on-camera actors must learn blocking to ensure that their faces and expressions are visible. Sword movements are staged specifically to heighten tension and provide dramatic punctuation throughout the scene.
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“Whether the experience inspires them to continue training or gives them a memory, it’s a day people will remember for a long time,” said Paul.