What are the benefits of being an AoC member?
See the benefits page.
How is AoC different from other stage combat organizations?
We differ in two major ways:
a) Our approach to the art itself differs. We have been actively studying and applying the historical styles to stage combat as accurately as possible for the past ten years. Dr. John Lennox wrote his dissertation on the relationship between personal combat (dueling and street brawls) and stage combat from the late 16th to the early 20th century. We have done extensive research into this to give the audience as accurate a depiction of how a fight would have looked in Shakespeare's day, as well as how his audience would have seen it onstage.
b) We are more of an apprenticeship program than an organization of combatants. In AoC you join to learn a trade- that of fight direction. While we don't require that everyone who joins ultimately end up as a fight director, that is the way the company's curriculum is structured.
In the apprenticeship program students do not leave the side of a
fight director until they are ready to test for that title
themselves. They assist them in teaching classes, working on
productions and teaching newer members of the company. It is an
intensive study process which is constantly guided by the fight
directors of their chapter.
How do I join AoC?
The only way to join AoC is to work with fight directors from the company. This can be done at workshops that they attend, or even one that you create to bring them to you. We have recently begun creating a system whereby members who do not live in areas where we have chapters can still join the company and work toward becoming an AoC fight director. The best way to do that is to attend one of our week long intensives held annually in New York, and soon to be in L.A. and Chicago. If you do have a chapter in your home town, or near you somewhere, contact that chapter's fight director and ask to attend their next AoC members workshop. That is the first step. Typically you must attend three events (or the week long intensive) before voting will commence on your admittance. This is to give the best chance for all the members of that chapter to meet you. You will then be a probationary combatant for four months.
I don't live in a city where AoC has a chapter, Can I still join?
Recently many people who do not live in cities where AoC has a
chapter have been approaching us at workshops with interest to join.
Therefore, the fight directors of the company sat down and created a
process for distance learning with the company. Each student's
process will be different, depending on their experience and skill,
but they will all begin in a similar fashion: an AoC Intensive
workshop such as the one that was held in New York in the summer of
here for details). If AoC is not
doing a workshop close enough to you, you can always coordinate one
of your own.
Contact us for details on how this
can be done.
Does AoC have a book on their system?
It has been written, and is awaiting publication.
How many members does AoC have?
We aren't interested in generating a large number of members from whom we never hear. We want those who will study with their fight directors constantly to work hard on their craft. AoC is a brotherhood. The people in this company are family to one another. Arbitrary membership weakens that bond.
How long does it take to become an AoC fight director?
It depends on the student. Some have done it in approximately 5 years. It is possible to do it sooner, but that would require an immense amount of work and dedication.
What are the levels or ranks in Art of Combat?
These members represent AoC at the non-choreography level. Combatants may serve as fighters, extras, weapons masters, class assistants, trainers, fight captains and assistant fight directors. Combatants carry full voting rights in the company on policies and procedures. They may propose Amendments to the By-Laws. Every 4 month period, from their promotion to Combatant, they must attend no less than four (4) fight related events.
AUTHORIZED COMBAT INSTRUCTOR
The Authorized Combat Instructor, or ACI, is a Combatant who has successfully completed a specified number of hours training actors in stage combat under the direct supervision of an Art of Combat Fight Director, and who has been given permission to teach a specific style of combat for stage to members of AoC as well as non-members. The ACI may call and host workshops for AoC members, and take jobs teaching workshops to clients in those styles in which he/she has been granted ACI status only.
The Fight Director in Art of Combat holds all the responsibilities of the Combatant level, and also represents AoC in any and all physical work sequences and fight choreography. FDs have full voting rights and are responsible for appointing Combatants to positions listed below, promotions to FD status, and final resolution on any and all disciplinary measures. Every four (4) month period from their promotion to FD, they must attend no less than four (4) fight related events.
CERTIFIED UNIVERSITY INSTRUCTOR
A Certified University Instructor, or CUI, is an FD who has fulfilled the requirements to be certified by AoC to teach university level classes. They have all the responsibilities of the Fight Director listed above, but also may appoint assistants for any classes they teach at the college/university level.