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Learn stunt fighting at Lakewood Center

by: REVIEW PHOTOS:VERN UYETAKE - Kendall Wells, a fight master and actor, will teach sword fighting and stunt skills at the Lakewood Center for the Arts starting Saturday. Two sessions are planned.If learning stage stunt fighting skills or sword fighting is on your bucket list for 2013, you are in luck.

Fight master and actor Kendall Wells is teaching two such classes starting Saturday at the Lakewood Center for the Arts.

Wells, who said he picked up his first sword at age 5 and hasn’t put it down since, is the protégé of Hollywood fight master Anthony De Longis and is a certified instructor of the De Longis Performance and Combat Arts.

“Everybody (in the industry) knows who he is,” Wells said of De Longis. The list of performers who have trained with De Longis is long and impressive; Harrison Ford trained with De Longis for his role as Indiana Jones.

Wells began training with De Longis about nine years ago and is one of just two people De Longis has certified to teach his method.

“He teaches one-on-one and all the top-knotch performers train with him.”

Wells said there is a shortage in Oregon of people who can do high-quality work for film in stunt and fight coordination. He has been flying back and forth between Los Angeles and Portland helping to fill the void. Wells has worked on the television shows “Grimm” and “Leverage” in Portland and “Deadliest Warrior,” as well as DirecTV, LA Opera and many more in Los Angeles. He earned a Drammy in 2010 for fight choreography for Northwest Classical Theatre Company’s production of “MacBeth.”

Wells is a graduate of the Iowa Performing Arts Conservatory, a school program founded and sponsored by Hawthorne Direct and Actor’s Playhouse teacher Jennie Lee.

Wells will teach “Sword Fighting for Stage” and “Film and Fight Performance for Film, TV and Stage” at the Lakewood Center. The classes will be held Saturdays from Jan. 19 through Feb. 9.

“Sword Fighting for Stage and Film” is a class designed for people ages 13 to 17. It will cover the basics of how sword fights work with hands-on training. Wells will lead the class through attacks, parries, footwork and teach fight scenes that could be used for stage or the Hollywood set. This class runs from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $85.

“Fight Performanace for Film, TV and Stage” is for those 18 and older. Wells said Portland often is in need of actors with on-camera and stage stunt fighting skills. This class will provide participants with the knowledge of fight skills that will give them an edge over the competition. Wells will cover what is used most often in modern film and television, look at choreography through a camera and watch playback, and dissect the anatomy of a fight.

Students will use swords from Wells’ personal collection, which are made of aluminum rather than steel.

“They can’t hold an edge and are perfectly safe,” he said. “Sign up for the classes. This is an art form. It’s fun and athletic. It’s martial arts with extreme precision and control.”

This class will run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and the cost is $85.

Sign up for either by calling the box office at 503-635-3901. To see Wells in action, go to youtube.com/watch?v=VJw7bWa4ADs.



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