Stunt Training School

Gymnastic Training Course

Bike over carGymnastic skills are the building blocks for becoming an accomplished stunt performer. Knowing what your body is doing and controlling it in the air is called “air sense”. Not everyone has it, but having this “sense” will make you a valuable commodity in the stunt business.

The difference between the stunt performer with air sense and the performer without it might be described like this. At a commercial audition, the performers are asked to hit a mini tramp and dive over a table of hamburgers and sodas, something any stunt performer should be able to do… but you, being the only performer there with air sense, are able to reach out and grab a glass of soda as you sail over the table, which is what the director is looking for. Having air sense got you the job.

Becoming proficient in the field will not happen overnight or in two weeks. It takes months to become skilled enough to utilize these skills in the stunt business. This course will teach you the basic maneuvers that will guide you on your way to becoming a professional stuntman or stuntwoman . After training and perfecting the basic skills, you will be able to take what you have learned and adapt it to the use of the following stunt equipment: Mini Tramp, Trampoline, Air Rams, Russian Swing, High Falls and more. The initial training course will be as follows:

  • Classroom discussion.
  • Question and answers.
  • Viewing videos – Featuring the best “air sense” action in the movies
  • Stretching and warming up.
  • Shoulder rolls, dive rolls, backward rolls.
  • Various floor exercises.
  • Various fall techniques.

The rest of the day will be spent going over these basic skills, utilizing them in various stunt scenarios.

Olympic Size Trampoline

Students will be introduced to aerial maneuvers utilizing a safety harness and spotting rig. This rig will enable them to practice maneuvers safely. This is where students begin to learn where their body is, in the air or what we call “air sense”.

  • Introduction to the safety harness and spotting system.
  • Seat drops/knee drops/ other basic maneuvers
  • Front and back flips.

Mini Tramps

This day will be devoted to learning the mini tramp. Mini tramps are used in many stunt situations, for when you need to fly farther than you can with just leg power. Also included on this day will be full size trampoline work. The trampoline is used less in stunt work than the mini tramp, but it is still a major tool in your quest to gain “air sense.” Students will perfect their skills with such exercises as diving over obstacles that will get higher and farther…diving through windows frames and doorways and “bull dogging” (flying thru the air and coming down upon another stunt performer…safely).

  • Introduction to mini tramps.
  • Mini tramp warm ups: tuck jump, straddle jump, dive roll and front somersault into pads.
  • Practice Mr. T’s throws.
  • Questions and answers.

Air Rams

This is the equipment that is a mainstay of the stunt industry. The air ram is a pneumatic device that catapults the stunt performer through the air. When you watch a movie that has an explosion and bodies are flying thru the air, it is most likely an air ram that propelled those bodies. Air rams are used for many situations that require the stunt performer to fly further or higher than possible off a mini tramp.

  • Introduction to air rams.
  • Air ram safety.
  • Discussion of air pressures needed for different stunt action.
  • Videos of air rams in action
  • Questions and answers.

The rest of the day will be spent learning how to go off the ram. Only basic maneuvers will be taught this day and further days, until students have shown that they have mastered the basic skills and safety knowledge of the air ram. After basic moves, moving on to higher levels (such as going off the ram backwards) will only be taught to students once they are ready.

Russian Swing

During this day, students will be introduced to yet another device for propelling them into the air. The Russian Swing, a swing platform between two-A frames with its origins in the circus, was adapted for stunt work because it has the capability to throw a performer extremely high and far, farther than an air ram. The swing works with two riders: one to push and one to fly. An experienced performer can fly over a house.

  • Introduction to Russian swing.
  • Safety of the swing.
  • Videos of the swing in action.
  • Questions and answers.

For the remainder of the day, students will practice the basic maneuvers of the swing, flying into an airbag.

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