For FDC’s National Workshop, 2014. It’s test day. Remember:

It’s all about the story.

It’s tempting to get caught up in performing the technique perfectly, and yes, perfect technique is lovely to watch. But in the end, if you don’t know why you’re there, what your desired outcome is, how you feel about the actual outcome, there is no story and you are not doing stage combat. You are doing a martial arts-style dance demonstration. The audience has to believe that you are in a conflict where the stakes are so high that you are willing to kill that person AND will risk your own death in the process.

Keep your eye on both prizes: your technique (each attack and counter) must be well-executed and the character’s experience of each moment must be clear.

Rehearse the technique until you can trust your body to execute it safely, and then live each moment. Be the character. Experience the events. Care about what happens. This is what we mean when you hear us say “tell the story”.

You must know what you are fighting for, how far you will go to get it, and how the outcome affects you.

There’s a story everywhere you look: