Ducking, Dropping, and Throwing Around

Objective

Students will learn and understand basic drops and throws that are often used in a choreographed fight in a play and/or film—namely: Knee Drop, the Body Throw, and the Victim Lift.

 

 

Materials Needed

Tumbling or wrestling mats

 

 

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook:

Have students get a paper and pencil and sit down in their desks. Announce that they are having a pop quiz. Have the students write their answers to the following questions:
Ask: What is the first thing you should do when preparing to practice stage combat? (remove all jewelry–rings, watches, earrings, necklaces, etc. and empty their pockets and put everything into their backpacks.
What is the next thing you should do in Stage Combat Class? (Put their backpacks against the wall as soon as they come into the classroom)
Before practicing any moves, what should be done? (warm-up exercises)
What are the Partner Rules? (1. You can never have the same partner again. You must work with a different partner every time.—except when the teacher assigns a partner for the final fight, then you must work with that partner every time.
2. As partners, you must listen to each other’s suggestions, especially when the suggestions come from the partner playing the victim at that time. Give equal weight to what each partner says. Neither one of you should work as the teacher of director unless mutually agreed upon by the performers and your director/teacher.)
Detail what you learned in the previous lesson.

 

 

Instruction

Step 1—Transition: Have the students submit their quiz papers and put away their pencils. Then have themselect a partner that they have not worked with before.

 

Step 2—Transition: Ask the students to think about the different combat lessons we have learned.
Have we learned any moves that that involve extreme differences in levels?
As we have studied acting, what is the value of utilizing different levels in blocking a scene?
Do you think that this applies to our acting a staged fight? Why? Why not?
What kind of things have we learned that utilize different levels? (ask several students to demonstrate their suggested moves with their partners, then discuss the moves in relation to levels.)
Do you think that we know a sufficient amount of levels to create an interesting stage fight?
What would make a staged fight more interesting?

Explain: Today we will be learning some typical stage combat strike—in particular

 

Step 3— Making certain everyone can hear the explanation and see the demonstration, teach the students how to do the Victim Lift.
Always use Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: The lift is cued with a physical cue by the Attacker placing the left hand on the victim’s right shoulder.
Instruction: This is a technique to prepare the victim for another attack after the stomach punch. A light lifting motion is then initiated, the speed of which is controlled by the victim. The victim must do all the work of the lift. Never forcibly lift the victim, or grab a sensitive area of the body like the face or neck to lift them.

 

Step4—Modeling: Ask for a volunteer to demonstrate what they have learned for the class. Remind the student to always be in control.
As the student performs the skill, spot him/her if needed.

Ask: Was this skill done correctly?
What was good about it?
How could it be improved?
(Students give feedback first, then add corrective information)

Have the volunteer repeat the skill. Give him/her appropriate feedback. Let others who want to demonstrate their ability to perform the move to do so. Give them appropriate feedback.

 

Step 5—Guided Practice: Remind the students about practice speed (slow motion). Have Partner A practice the move as the attacker. Then switch, and have Partner B practice the move as the attacker.

Give students feedback as they practice so they can improve their performance.

Checking for Understanding: Ask the students how they feel about doing the move. What is difficult? Answer and clarify as much as possible. If necessary, go through the process again to help students improve.

 

Step 6— Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for the Duck.
Make certain everyone can hear the explanation and see the demonstration, teach the students how to do the Knee Drop.
Always use Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: The Victim lifts head and leans back slightly.
Instruction: This move is a reactionary move to avoid a strike. The intended Victim lifts head and leans back slightly. Keeping the back straight, the Victim bends his/her knees slightly, and bending at the hips, brings his head straight down towards his knees. When ducking, keep eye contact with the attacker. Never bend from the waist, as this will bring you dangerously into close distance. Never duck towards the incoming attack. Never close your eyes when ducking. Re-establish eye contact with your partner, after rising from the duck and before moving on to any other technique.
NOTE: Sometimes this move is referred to as: “Action – Reaction – Action.” This means that one partner is giving permission for a move to continue, for example:
· Partner A. Cues by winding up (action)
· Partner B. Begins duck (reaction/permission)
· Partner A. Follows through (action)
In this example, Partner B gives permission for the punch to proceed by beginning the duck.
When performed correctly, the attacker’s arm should miss the head by 8 to 12 inches, but never closer.

 

Step 7— Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for the Knee Drop.
Making certain everyone can hear the explanation and see the demonstration, teach the students how to do the Knee Drop.
Always use Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: The Victim struggles to get onto hands and knees.
Instruction: This technique will safely allow the combatant to go to the floor without damaging the knees. Let the body relax. Open up the stance. Bend the knees, at the same time counter-balancing the upper body backward. Controlling your weight, place one knee to the floor (either one) followed by the other one. Don’t hit the floor with any speed or energy. Exhale when you “hit” the floor. Practice with kneepads, or on a mat until this technique is consistently controlled.

Checking for Understanding:

ADAPTATON: This movement can be extended by dropping forward and placing the hands onto the floor so the participant finishes the drop by being on all four limbs (both hands and both knees).
Practice the adaptation.

Checking for Understanding:

 

Step 8—Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for the Body Throw.
Always use Eye Contact
The Sign/Cue: The Victim struggles to get onto hands and knees.
Instruction: The Attacker takes hold of the Victim’s collar at the neck and belt at waist. Swinging arms toward the Victim’s feet, then, creates the illusion of heaving the Victim forward to the floor. Simultaneously, the Victim leans his/her body toward his/her feet, and using his/her feet to help thrust the body forward into a Forward Slide Fall, landing on the floor.
The Reaction: The Victim makes a verbal reaction as he/she falls to the floor.

Checking for Understanding:

ADAPTATION: The Attacker can utilize this move when the Victim is in the Knee Drop position. Practice the adaptation.

Checking for Understanding:

 

Step 9— Ask: What are the different levels we have utilized in these moves?
How can these moves enhance choreographed fights?

 

Step 10—Transition: Inform them that each partnership will perform the newly learned moves in combination for the class. Give the students a few minutes create a mini-performance utilizing anything been taught (jab, upper cut, John Wayne, instigation(s), defensive move(s), falls). Be sure to leave enough time for performances and critiques.
Emphasize that there is to be no improvisational moves.

Ask for volunteers to perform their devised combat combination. Remind the student to always be in control and use slow motion.

Ask students to critique each others’ performances:
Was this skill done correctly?
What was good about it?
How could it be improved?
(Students give feedback first, then add corrective information)

Students may volunteer when they want to perform but all must perform a short unarmed combat.

 

 

CLOSURE:

Tell the students they need to practice at home (on a carpet or on the grass). Suggest that they teach their parents what they are learning in class. Also, remind the students to reflect on what they learned today, then write in their learning log.

 

 

Assessment

Participation, Mini-Performance, and Learning Log Entry