The Book

The Textbook of Theatrical Combat ©

by Richard Pallaziol

The Textbook of Theatrical CombatA comprehensive manual that covers the needs of anyone who has to deal with violent props and violent actions on stage. It’s all here in one volume. Or, as the subtitle puts it,

a handbook for stagecraft generals and footlight warriors;
choosing props and preparing actors for theatrical violence“.

A must-have book for every theatre.
hardcover, 449 pages, 625 illustrations.

ISBN – 1-934703-82-3

 $19.95 free shipping


If you have ever wondered …..

What’s a squib?
What is a buckler?
What is a demi-volte?
What is a poniard? A dirk?
How should I store my swords?
What exactly was a Musketeer?
How can a .22 be larger than a .45?
How did an Elizabethan man walk?
How is a balestra-lunge performed?
Why can’t I find a retractable knife?
Can a Tommy Gun fit in a violin case?
How do you sit when wearing a sword?
What is a correct bow for 1590? 1623?
Who should have guns for The Crucible?
How did Roman and Greek fighting differ?
Who wears a pistol in the Elizabethan period?
How can I realistically stage a punch to the face?
What’s the difference between a cap and a blank?
What kind of sword should be used for Brigadoon?
What is double-action, lever action, or bolt action?
How do I fight with a quarterstaff? With a buckler?
How does a man of distinction stand in 1830? 1430?
Why did boxers in the 1900’s fight the way they did?
What kind of dagger would a 1770’s nobleman wear?
Why did Civil War officers wear their pistols backwards?
Should I block with the edge of the blade or with the flat?
What is happening in the wager for Hamlet’s duel in Act V?
When do duelists begin to formally “salute” with the sword?
What exactly is the difference between a knife and a dagger?
Why did the pirate on the rum bottle wear his sword “wrong”?
What is the difference between a rifle, a musket, and a carbine?
Why are these half-load blanks louder than last year’s full loads?
What is the en guard for the rapier and dagger? For the smallsword?

…. then this is the book you have been waiting for.

The Textbook of Theatrical Combat© is, in a way, five books in one, covering different aspects of violent actions and violent props. More than just another stage combat book, it has invaluable information for the theatre professional. Whether you’re a director, actor or technician, there is something here for you.  Click a topic title to read a sample from each section.

The Way of The Warrior

A brief and brisk history of weaponry and combatants: We take a trip through time and around the world to look at period style from the viewpoint of civilian and military fighting, helping the actor portray a complete character.

Weapons Defined

A Specialized Dictionary: from ahlspiess to zip gun.

Weapons Explained

The Nature of Violent Props: We examine the most common stage weapons, how they are made and how they should be operated and maintained.

Staging Violence

The Acting of Angry Actions: a stage combat book in itself. A complete and detailed instruction of stage combat fight skills [unarmed, rapier and dagger, broadsword, quarterstaff] for the director and actor.

Violence on Stage

Specific Scenes in Some Common Plays: We’ve noticed that the same ninety-odd plays always seem to cause a bit of weapon confusion. We clear the air about what prop to use and what really happens in the scene.

Send an e-mail with your information or fill out the order form and I’ll ship a copy to you today.

Allow 2 – 3 weeks for delivery