A Day With The Ultimate Warriors
“Raaaargh!” A ferocious scream reverberates around the hall. A defeated Viking lies dead on the floor. His helmet knocked off of his head, rattling next to his fallen axe. The triumphant warrior stands over him, his own axe raised in celebration.
The dead Viking suddenly comes back to life. He starts to get up and his sparring partner offers him a hand. The victorious Viking removes his helmet, revealing a huge smile. This is the Warrior Masterclass Phase IV: Ultimate Warrior. The last phase of the grueling screen combat training course.
Everyone taking part today has put in a tremendous amount of effort. It hasn’t been easy getting here. This is the result of months and months of training, and that’s not just the previous three 3-day training courses. In between these Warriors have been meeting up regularly to train, to push themselves and each other. They’ve all felt elation, disappointment, and frustration. They’ve felt the pangs of defeat, and the ecstasy of victory. They’ve all had moments where they’ve not made it, where they have not quite met the standard. They’ve had to go away, train, and come back for re-assessment. It’s all been worth it though because now, they’re here. Almost at the end of their Warrior journey.
The Ultimate Warrior is the last phase of the Warrior Masterclass and being such, the quality of the combatants on display is incredibly high. There is an energy and a confidence here that can only be achieved by earning it. Having recently attended both a Phase II and Phase III, the improvement in ability is awe inspiring. The amount of growth that’s been achieved in a matter of month is incredible.
Phase IV has got a different atmosphere from the other phases. The Warriors turn up knowing what to expect. They know the instructors, they know each other, and more importantly, they know that they deserve to be here. There’s an easy rapport between all of them. It also helps that there is no assessment on this Phase. There is a written theory test on Phase IV which they get out the way quite early, meaning that there is a more relaxed atmosphere for the rest of the course. This is now a chance to get to grips with new weapon systems and new characters.
The previous phases have been focused on the Knight, Gladiator, Hoplite Thug, and Pirate. Here, our Warriors get to grips with another five characters; The Viking, Ninja, Secret Agent, Musketeer, and Sword Dualist. These new characters require a different approach, especially the Ninja and the Secret Agent, which rely on stealth and subtlety, whilst the Viking is the complete opposite and is full of raw aggression. These characters also represent an exciting opportunity to learn some new weapons. The Ninja re-introduces the nunchucks which were touched upon on Phase III, whilst The Viking brings in perhaps the most dangerous weapon the Warriors have used so far: an axe. It’s not a real axe, but there’s enough heft to it that I really wouldn’t want to be hit by one. To add an extra element of danger, the Warriors also have to wear Viking helmets, which restricts their vision. It makes the routine a hell of a lot tougher, but hey, this is what it’s going to be like on set.
The group is split into pairs, and go off to practice their routines. The room soon becomes filled with the sounds of swords clashing, chains jangling, axes smashing into shields, and more than a couple of Warrior screams, just for effect. Once the routines are down they are placed in front of the camera to perform, then it’s straight over to Andreas and Noel for their review. The Warriors lap up all the advice and constructive criticism they are given. This information is vital. There may be no assessment on Phase IV, but there is the Advanced Screen Combatant Test (SCT) to think of.
Today, the last day of Phase IV acts almost like a mock test for the SCT. The Advanced Screen Combatant Test, once passed, gives the Warrior their qualification in Screen Combat. The only industry recognised qualification in Screen Combat. It’s an elite group with only around 50 Warriors making the grade. Our Warriors take the criticism from the instructors and go away to work on the notes. When they return to face the camera, there is a marked difference in the quality of the routine.
The big difference between Phase III and IV is that there is a conversation taking place when the Warriors are getting their routines assessed. Andreas and Noel know the quality these Warriors have, so when they’re not happy with a performance they ask the Warrior’s themselves why they think it’s not working. They’re at the stage now where they need to able to self-assess. If it isn’t working they need to be able to recognise what’s not working and think of the solution themselves. The next step from here is a film set, and the instructors won’t be there to help them out if it’s not going well.
There are no results to await after Phase IV, just the knowledge of what needs to be worked on before the final test, which is only six weeks away. Everyone here has proved themselves multiple times. They’ve all achieved so much as both individuals and as a group. There’s just one mountain left to climb now, it may be the biggest and toughest mountain of them all, and inevitably some may not make it, but they all have the tools and the skills they need to conquer it and become Ultimate Warriors.
You can find out more about our Warrior Masterclass right HERE
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Created by 28 Nov 2018on