Forteza Fitness

Forteza Instructors team up with Two-Pence Theatre to present an armoured judicial duel next week!

Armizare 1

It’s Theatre with an Edge! (And a point an axe and a dagger!)

Two Pence Theatre provides the Chicago Area with intimate and dynamic experiences of Shakespeare and other artists inspired by the principals of the Renaissance, illuminating what it means to be human. Their new production of Richard II opens on February 28th at the Athenaeum Theatre (2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60657). The play opens with a judicial duel that is never fought to its completion. Immediately recognizable to Shakespeare’s audience, the duel and its meaning is blurred to modern audiences.

That’s where Greg Mele, internationally known teacher of Western martial arts, Forteza Martial Arts Director, and Dean of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, and Jesse Kulla, CSG Free Scholar and Forteza martial arts instructor, come in! Join us at the play’s debut, and stay afterword for a glass of bubbly and a live demonstration of armed judicial dueling!



Read More »


A 3-Class Overview for Actors and Fighters.

Sundays, July 8, 15, and 22
11 AM to 5 PM
Cost: $225

Southwark, London – 1597

A new play is published by a relatively unknown playwright. A tragic love story drawn from older sources, it resonates with Londoners because its characters and dialogue draws from real events and gossip filling the city streets. Filled with romance, plots, and poison, it pivots around a disastrous swordfight, carefully detailed by the author as….

They Fight

While the Bard’s rather vague directions have left centuries of fight directors a great deal of creative leeway, it doesn’t tell us “What did fighting look like to the audience of Romeo & Juliet”. In this three class mini-camp, students step back into 1597, taking the role of actors preparing to debut Romeo & Juliet to a Southwark audience well-versed in swordplay. Nervous of its reception, Master Shakespeare has arranged to bring in a pair of fencing masters to prepare his actors.

Each day of the workshop will have a different focus, but will present real historical martial principles alongside the stage combat techniques that make it possible to safely perform them:

Day One: Broadsword and Bucker
The traditional sidearm of English fighting men for centuries. Taken directly from a text written in London during the 1590s, learn how to use this stout cut-and-thrust sword to mind your swashing blows!

Day Two: The Rapier
An “Italianate” weapon favored by English nobles and duelists, the rapier was a long, elegant and deadly sword, the weapon of Romeo and Tybalt. Drawing from the greatest Italian masters of the year 1600, you will learn the foundations of rapier play and become what Mercutio called the very butcher of a silk button, a duelist and a member of the very first house!

Day Three: They Fight – Creating Effective Elizabethan Swordplay
In this final class we will begin with a short recap of days one and two, then show how to use the sword against the rapier (and vice-versa) before teaching you how to use your hard-won knowledge of real Elizabethan fencing to create believable fights on stage!

Presented by renowned stage combatants R&D Choreography and respected historical swordsmen from the Chicago Swordplay Guild, this is a workshop unlike any you’ve ever seen and will appeal to actors, stunt performers and martial artists alike!

Read More »