DENVER (KDVR) — Students at Metropolitan State University of Denver are being taught the art of fighting. Not for real but for the stage and screen.

The course is called Fundamentals of Stage Combat.

Think about your favorite action movie. Think about the characters fighting with each other with swords or fists. The fact is, those actors need to know how to fight, not for real, but to pretend-fight to make it look real. It may look easy, but it’s not.

“It is difficult. And acting is like you challenge your body and your mind in lots of different ways. You get physical and we learn it kind of is like a dance,“ said Julia Pace-Mitchell, MSU Denver professor of performance and advising.

Fake fighting does not come naturally. An actor has to learn the ropes firsthand.

“We’re learning basically fun stage combat, how to fight people without hurting them,“ said Levi Franklin, graduating senior at MSU Denver.

Graduating senior Paul Davis will soon have a degree in theater and dance and demonstrates the fundamentals.

“Paris is coming in hot ready to kill Romeo but he’s not as good. I’m going to put her on point and psych her out and lunge for her,” said Davis.

“It’s just a way to fight safely on stage. And we can keep doing night after night for every performance we have to do,“ said Imani Gholson, graduating senior at MSU Denver.

If you did not know, you would say this was real. But it is not. They are acting. And that is the point.

“Good hand-to-hand combat fights is like people, choking each other, is always fun,” said Pace Mitchell.