Character Profile: The Hoplite

In ancient Greece, between 7th Century BCE and 4th Century BCE, Military Service was compulsory for most male citizens between the ages of 18-20 years old, and if an all-out War broke, then it was a requirement that all able-bodied male citizens below the age of 60 would be required to join the army. These soldiers were The Hoplite’s, armed foot soldiers who were expected to equip themselves at any point to defend their homes.

The Hoplite is also one of our toughest characters on The Warrior Masterclass, just behind the pirate! It’s a tough character for many reasons, but one of those reasons is the weapon system itself. The shield and spear routine is very different from the other routines on the Warrior Masterclass, and the distance travelled is also a lot further. So, to help you with both the weapon system and the character we’ve put together some of our best advice for getting to grips with The Hoplite!

When looking to get into character for The Hoplite, it’s best to hit the history books, and some of the most well-known hoplites were Spartans, helming from Sparta. Sparta was slightly different from other city-states in Ancient Greece, as they required all able-bodied citizens over the age of 20 to be a part of a professional army. This meant that they were incredibly well trained. So when you perform as the hoplite you need to look like you know what you are doing, so the aggression needs to be controlled, and your movements need to be deliberate whilst maintaining consistent high energy.

It’s important when performing as The Hoplite to maintain weapon control. The most crucial thing here is to make sure the weapon is always balanced, and the best way to do this is to make sure you hold your spear right in the middle and keep it as close to you as possible. When thrusting make sure you full extend using your full arm and drive forward with the front foot. A big problem a lot of people have is that they don’t step enough, remember that the power of the blow will come from taking big steps, and each move needs a step.

The other thing to be aware of is making sure your attacks go high enough, and low enough. When you are attacking low with your spear make sure you go for your opponent's ankles. You need to make your opponent work when they are defending against your attacks. If you attack the middle, and then your low attack is aimed at their feet, the appearance is that it is very easy to defend against and takes the realistic performance aggression out of the routine. The same goes for high attacks, you always want to be aiming for the shoulder. Don’t go too high at the head, but again make your opponent work to defend the attack.

When swiping with the spear, you need to keep the weapon resting against the inside of your forearm, and tucked under your hip. This position means that you can keep control of the spear, and use it drive the weapon, swinging as you step.

If you are holding the spear overarm, you can only control the weapon so far when extending, so you need to drive with your feet and step, otherwise, once the weapon is at more than a 45-degree angle from you you will lose power. When you are driving forward make sure you drive off the back foot, and then back on the front foot. When you drive forward you are putting yourself in the range of your opponent's weapon, so you have to be fast, getting in and out like a scorpion.

The last key points we will leave you with, to make sure you are believable as a trained Hoplite, is to make sure you always keep the point of your weapon aimed at your opponent's chest, make sure your shield is slightly angled (ready to attack with) and that your shield and spear are touching.

Remember, you get out what you put in! Keep up the training, and film all your performances so you can watch them back! If you would like any of your routines critiqued by our instructors, or just want any further advice please get in touch by emailing us at

Happy Training Warriors!

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