Becoming A Warrior... What does it take?

In a recent article on The Action Reel we waxed lyrical about the virtues of hard work and training. We talked about constantly training and adding new strings to your bow, to fill out your CV with new skills to put yourself above the competition. The article looked at the attitude and the discipline needed to be an action performer in the film and television industry. We wanted to take this further, and look at training from a slightly different angle, to look at training in the context of being one of our students, especially a student on the Warrior Masterclass path.

The first thing we are going to look at is the training expected of you before Phase I. What can you do to prepare before you even start your Warrior’s Journey?

It’s true that the Warrior Masterclass Phase I is designed to take students of all experience and ability levels, and give them a solid foundation in Screen Combat before they move onto the next Phase. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be doing anything to prepare for it though. Preparation starts the moment you book on.

The best thing to work on before Phase I is your fitness. We wrote a great article earlier in the year all about how to prepare for your courses which you can find HERE. We would usually say that if you can complete a circuits class you have the fitness level to attend the course. The best advice that we can give though is that the fitter you are the more you will get out the course. It’s hard to take in all the instructors advice if you are constantly catching your breath, it’s also hard to put that advice into action if you are struggling to keep your sword up because the muscles in your arms are aching. You should be constantly working on your fitness and cardio before the course, and getting your arms used to carry heavy items and objects such as weapons. This can be done using and holding weights, simulating using weapons. This will make sure you are in the best shape you can be before you pick up a weapon. 

The most important parts of Phase I is being safe, and routine retention. It's advisable to get used to learning routines whether it's a simple dance, or martial arts routine. This will help you grow muscle memory and co-ordination before the course. For safety, you can simply use an object like a broomstick to simulate a weapon, getting used to controlling it, simulating an attack and stopping it a distance away from an object like a door or a wall. The weapons on the course are heavy, so it is vital that you are wielding them safely. 

You may be nervous before you attend Phase I, and you might not know anyone on the course, but don't worry. Everyone is in the same position as you, and by the end of the course, you will have made strong friends with likeminded students! 

What next? You’ve passed Phase I, and you’ve booked onto Phase II. Your student portal has been updated, and you’ve got your homework to work on. What's expected of you between the phases! Firstly, students turning up to Phase II should know the routines off by heart. This means that they can take in everything the instructors are teaching them without having to worry about remembering the next move. It’s hard to work on your performance energy when you’re concentrating on trying to remember what the next step is, or where the next blow is coming from. We often hear from our instructors about students turning up to Phase II without knowing their routines, and this makes it incredibly hard for them to pass Phase II.

When training, and going through your routines the most important thing to remember is that it's a performance. Each fight you perform should look like a fight for your life, where your opponent is going to kill you if you don't kill them first. The energy of your performance should reflect this. When you are training work on your vocals and acting as well. Be loud and aggressive. If you are shy and feel slightly embarrassed doing this in front of people, maybe take a few acting lessons, or attend drama classes to bring you out of your shell. You are not performing as yourself, you are becoming a character. A highly trained, deadly Warrior.

The expectation we have of all our students is that they are constantly training between Phases. They should arrive on Phase II as better performers then they were on the last day of Phase I. We would advise that everyone sets up a messaging group on Facebook or WhatsApp with other students on the course, and use this to arrange meets up where you can all train together. When you are training on your own we would recommend recording your performances and comparing them against the routines on the portal. This is a good way to see where you are at with your performance, if you can get your performance to look as close to the instructors in your videos then you are on the right track.

If you are struggling to find partners to train with, you can do the routines by yourself, in a type of shadowboxing style. This will help with fitness, and help you learn the routine. To help with your overall performance we would highly recommend that you join us on a Warrior Club training day, where you will get to work with our instructors and train with fellow students. In fact, we would recommend that every student if possible attends at least one Warrior Club between courses, as it will give them a great idea of how their training is going, and stand them in good stead before they move onto the next Phase.  You can find out more about Warrior Club HERE.

Ideally, between Phases, you should be training and working on your Warrior Masterclass homework a minimum of four to five hours a week, with the amount of training increasing between each Phase. There's a big step up between Phase I and II, and an even bigger step between Phase II and III. You need to be as fully prepared as you can be before the course, knowing all your routines and being prepared for your assessments. You can use the momentum of going straight from Phase I into passing Phase II, but it will get increasingly harder to pass each Phase without putting in the work away from the courses. Always remember, if you fail to prepare, you should prepare to fail.

Check out our full course diary HERE!

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