The Art Of Hard Work And Training

“I just turned up without training and won the gold medal.” - No Olympic Athlete Ever

Every now and again someone displays such great raw talent, such amazing potential, that you can’t help but sit back and admire it. It’s an incredible thing to behold, and you can’t wait to see where this potential leads. The thing is, it is only potential, and as any football fan will tell you, potential doesn’t always develop into greatness. Even Samurai Warriors, who showed such great potential at a young age had to undergo vigorous training regime’s to fulfil the promise sensed in them. They were all trainees before they were Masters. It may be cliche, but practise really does make perfect.

This need to train is true for highly trained, Samurai Warriors, and Screen Action Performers.  We’ve seen many students come through our doors at the British Action Academy, and many of these students have the raw potential and promise to be some of the best screen combatants working in the industry. Sadly, the majority of these students won’t fulfil this potential. Why? Maybe simply because they didn’t put in the time and dedication into their training. They didn’t have the right attitude and thought they could turn up on the day and coast through, only to find that they had fallen behind other students who had put the effort into their training.

“Your love for what you do and willingness to push yourself where others aren't prepared to go is what will make you great.” - Laurence Shahlaei

The difference between those who make it through all four Phases of the Warrior Masterclass Course, and those who don’t is simple… it’s down to dedication to their training. The students who pass are those who are prepared to put in the hard work where others aren’t. The Warrior Masterclass is a tough course, and it should be. If you could turn up and pass the course straight away, well… what’s the point in doing it? It’s not about passing the first time, a lot of our best combatants are students who have not met the standard on at least one of the Phases, gone away, put the training in and come back and passed the course.

"There may be people that have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do." - Derek Jeter

This attitude and willingness to train hard are also essential in carving out a career in the film and television industry away from the courses. We all know how incredibly competitive this industry is, and if you’re chasing a role you need to have every advantage over your rivals as possible. Natural talent is an asset, but it doesn’t come close to months of dedicated training, and that will come through in auditions, and particularly on set.

Those around you aren’t going to stand still, and if you do you will be left behind. The truth is that training never stops. You don’t make it onto your national football or rugby team and decide to stop training if anything the hard work has only just started. If you reach your goal, you need to set yourself a new one, otherwise, you will start to slide backwards. It’s why our Warrior Club’s are so essential, a chance to train with other combatants at the same level as you, and with experienced instructors who are there to help you improve. Even students who have passed their current Phases come along to Warrior Club’s to make sure they aren’t getting rusty. We have Advanced Screen Combatants who are regularly getting work within the industry taking time out to come back and train with our instructors. They want to make sure that they keep at the high standards which they've worked so hard to reach. Conversely, we've also seen students who have reached a high level, who come back after not training for a while, and they are nowhere near the standard they were once at. They've fallen behind the pack. The redeeming factor for these students is that they have come back, they've realised they were falling behind, that their level was slipping, and they've got themselves back into the training. Training needs to become a habit, it needs to become a part of your weekly routine. The great thing is it's never too late to start.

"No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that's the exciting part." - Tiger Woods

We also work in an industry where it’s important to have as many strings to your bow as possible. There’s a reason why the British Stunt Register asks for at least six skills, and even when they’ve achieved the six skills the best will keep on training, learning completely new skills, anything which might improve them as a performer, and help them land a job that they would otherwise not have the experience to pull off. Many new BSR members will also come along to our B.L.A.S.T. British Live Action Stunt Course, yes they’ve already got their six skills, but their eager to learn and to become better performers, and it’s the perfect place to learn how to actually perform the stunts before they get on set, and with experienced stunt co-ordinators as their instructors, they couldn’t ask for better mentors.

We’ve seen that productions now are looking for wider skill bases when casting skilled supporting artists. The ability to fight well on camera has almost become the minimum that is expected, and the last five productions the British Action Academy Action Agency have worked with have all asked about firearms experience, and in particular firearms on film and television experience. In these cases, it’s very easy for us to narrow down who we put forward for those roles by looking at who has done our Gun Rush: Firearms For Film Course, by doing additional training our students put themselves in a better position to land the roles that they want.

What’s the most iconic scene in Rocky? Is it the final fight? No. Is it Rocky feeding his turtles? No. Is it him trying to get Adrian to go out with him (definitely wouldn’t get away with that in 2019)? No. It’s the training montage. It’s Rocky beating a lump of meat, chasing a chicken, and running up those steps! It’s iconic because we all know that achieving greatness takes hard work, and effort and Rocky has to push himself to his limits to earn a draw (spoiler alert!). If you’re not putting in the training, if you’re not pushing yourself to your limits, if you’re not dedicating yourself to your goals, you don’t have any excuse when you come in second place.

You should never forget the reason why you started on this journey... it's because you love what you are doing, and that love and passion should always be there. Yes, training should be hard work, but it should always be fun.

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