Apprentice Program

Application Requirements

For those interested in applying for their teacher certification, the process begins following a certified AAC certification. As soon as possible, a combatant after AAC certification, must submit the following to the FM in charge of Teacher Candidates (FM J.F. Gagnon) and the Director of the Academy ( Send inquires to Once the following has been coordinated and received by AFDC, the 2 year apprenticeship can begin.
To be a Teacher Apprentice the Candidate Must:

  1. Have a Fight Master or 2 Fight Directors recommend them for the apprenticeship period who will become the candidates Mentor during that process.
  2. Send a professional resume detailing teaching experience and professional experience, and teaching/assistant credits.
  3. Send two recommendations from senior combat teachers or academic theatre/film programs satisfactory to the College of Fight Masters.
  4. Hold an AFDC Advanced Actor Combatant Certification or equivalent for a minimum of two years before testing for their Fight Instructor.
  5. Complete the apprenticeship process as described in P&P section 3.1(also found on this page)
  6. Be a member in good standing with AFDC for a minimum of 3 years, and a member in good standing for a minimum of 5 years before formally testing for their instructor level at the Nationals.

Apprenticeship Process

Once the preceding requirements have been met, the applicant is considered an Instructor Apprentice candidate with AFDC. The Apprenticeship process is a mandatory process to qualify for testing a the rank of Fight Instructor with the Academy. This Apprenticeship represents a period of a minimum of 2 years of preparation and is an essential part of the Instructor training program.
As an Apprentice, the Candidate for Teacher Certification is expected to achieve the following over the next 2 to 3 years depending on student ability or background.

  • Have a Mentor among the FM or Fight Director body that will follow their progress and report findings to the College
  • Acquire and possess a professional knowledge of the actors process, ideally from a practical perspective
  • Identify with the Mentor the weakness and strength of the candidate
  • Conduct extra studies in other forms of movement / historical sword training / acting style in other organizations/etc.
  • Improve personal knowledge of different dramatic styles and forms of presentation
  • Assist certification classes at all levels and find occasion to assist different instructors
  • Accumulate a minimum of 350 hours as assistant/coaching/teaching – not including Journey task below
  • Must participate as a Journey person to a National Workshop
  • Must obtain First Aid/CPR certificate from the Red Cross or other recognized organization.
  • Must train in firearm safety and obtain a License (PAL) from the Canadian Government (or equivalent, if non-Canadian)
  • Must study and learn the glossary at all levels
  • Become acquainted with different types of syllabus from combat schools/different University settings
  • Study the AFDC P&P to know the rules and regulations of the organization
  • Have an improved knowledge in anatomy, physiology, bio-mechanics
  • Have an improved knowledge regarding physical training, warm-up, stretching
  • Have an improved knowledge of the martial arts and numerous combat styles
  • Have an improved knowledge on historical fencing and mastery of arms
  • Have an improved knowledge of the Theatre/Film History
  • Must work on and hand in a research paper on any aspect of stage combat, Historical, Theatrical, Psychological... Leading to a written article that could be published. (minimum 4000 words)

Journeying and Fight Instructor Testing

Following a successful Apprenticeship process, the Mentor will report to the College of Fight Masters on the Apprentices’ successes and if appropriate, will recommend that the Apprentice be considered for Journeying. Journeying is the final step before formal testing for Instructor Certification with the Academy. This position is offered to a maximum of 3 people per year and is considered an award or bursary with financial support.
It involves the following:

  • The Journeyperson will come to a National Certification Workshop, and assist several Faculty members
  • Learn how the Certification process is run institutionally and learn how to contribute organizationally and how to coordinate such events themselves
  • Coaching, Assisting, Student problem solving, Fighting skills will be assessed.
  • Learn more about AFDC Policies and Procedures
  • Witness and Observe the Teacher Candidate testing process in preparation for their own testing in the future
  • Assist and observe testing and adjudication at all levels.

This is a very important opportunity for the Faculty to observe and discuss the Candidates pedagogical approaches as well as their professional etiquette in the classroom, organizational and people skills.

Once the person has journeyed and received feedback on their experiences, they can register for formal testing. They are now able to complete the Fight Instructors Workshop and must pass all requirements for certification.
Testing Involves

Evaluation of two different syllabus structures that the Candidate will present.
A - Syllabus for a University course of 12 weeks at 6 Hours a week , 72 hours
B - Syllabus for a Conservatory type Acting Program , 90 minutes courses twice a week, The term is 14 weeks but you are given a total of 60 hours

  • Academic evaluation of the Candidates’ teaching methodologies and practices in all weapon systems and at each level
  • Professional evaluation of their knowledge of the Acting and Creative Process as it relates to Stage Combat training
  • Institutional evaluation of knowledge of AFDC’s policies procedures
  • Academic evaluation of the candidates curriculum building processes and choices
  • Final evaluation of previously identified improvements needed as addressed after Journeying
  • Evaluation of the professional etiquette of the Candidate as it relates to AFDC Professional Conduct and its’ expectations

Probation might be given in cases in which an instructor candidate has not completed all work necessary to pass. In these cases the candidate will be given a detailed description of what they need to attain and in the time frame appropriate to the need.