Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State Fight Club teaches students stage combat

Mia Hennen
Morgan Holcomb and Zac Richardson, both theatre performance majors, practice stage kicks. The two were involved in a newly formed Fight Club at Wichita State.

What happens in fight club, stays in fight club … at least until the next performance. Wichita State’s Fight Club teaches students the basics of stage-choreographed combat.

While the club prioritizes safety, Cat Kee, a theatre performance senior and the club’s president, said their name has elicited some shocked reactions from others.

“We had somebody that, when it came up, said, ‘What is fight club, and why are we promoting violence in the university?’” Kee said. “Well, you see, we’re faking it.”

Kee, who uses they/them pronouns, took two stage combat classes at Wichita State. They decided to start the fight club with the help of senior Emily Redfield and assistant professor of performing arts Joseph Urick after the class was not offered again this year.

“We wanted to give everyone the experience of having this kind of foundational work if they wanted it,” Kee said. “Anyone who’s seen a TV show or movie or play, if there’s a fight scene, and they go, ‘Hey, I wonder how they did that.’”

The class covers a variety of types of stage fighting, including punches, slaps, kicks, grapples, falls and swordplay.

“Everything that we’re doing as actors is choreographed,” Kee said. “Almost like a dance, with the goal of making the story work on stage, making it look intentional, but then keeping each other safe.”

Kee said consent and safety are the top priorities for the club.

“We’re always checking in: ‘Is that okay? Do you need more pressure, less pressure?’” Kee said.

Sky Duncan, a senior theatre major who wants to do motion-capture acting, said the club has provided necessary skills for the field.

“Having that base stuff, it helps you get on the ground quicker (in motion-capture acting),” Duncan said. “And then if you’re able to do it faster, they’re going to be a little bit more happy with you and keep you on longer and potentially think about you for other projects.”

Duncan called stage fighting “physically fun, mentally fun and emotionally rewarding.”

“It does work your whole body in different types of ways,” Duncan said. “So it can be good exercise in a way that you may not regularly exercise.”

Lynnaya McClure, a third-year theatre performance major, said she had no experience with stage fighting prior to joining the club. McClure noted that the instructors were good at communicating their knowledge to beginners.

“I started with essentially nothing, and I’ve already learned so much,” McClure said. “Even people who do know more, the instructors are really wonderful; the people are wonderful. I recommend joining the club to learn and be in a cool community.”

The Wichita State Fight Club is open to all, including non theater majors. The group meets every other Tuesday on the Wilner Auditorium stage at 4 p.m. Their next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 21.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacob Unruh is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. This is Unruh's first year on staff. He goes by he/him pronouns.
Mia Hennen
Mia Hennen, Editor in Chief
Mia Hennen is the current editor in chief for The Sunflower. Before becoming editor, Hennen was the news/managing editor. They are a junior at Wichita State majoring in English and minoring in communications and Spanish, hoping to pursue any career involving writing or editing.

Comments (0)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *