John Waller has been conducting research into the uses and application of arms and armour since the late 1950s.
He research led him to develop a specific philosophy when approaching historical combat styles and weapons. He also discovered a number of principles that need to be applied when using historical weapons. These principles can be shown to be common to most historical European combat styles and are also shared by many other martial arts from around the world.
John is a professional archer and also a horseman and falconer. He has helped with experiments in respect of the archery finds on King Henry VIIIs flagship, Mary Rose, raised from the Solent. His research into archery and into medieval weapons and their use are joined with a wide knowledge of medieval life, customs and behaviour.
A Founder Member of the Society of British Fight Directors in 1969, and an original member of Equitys Fight Directors Register, he founded the Medieval Society in 1963. This group was the first to be dedicated to the practical research of medieval life.
With the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, John made films on practical wearing and use of armour and weapons and films on swords and swordsmanship in which he directed the fights "How a Man Schall by Armyd" and "Masters of Defence".
Some of his other credits over the last 35 years have included:
Films, including "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".
Television dramas, including "Pride and Prejudice".
Many commercials, including "Strongbow" for 29 years.
Extensive work for the theatre, most recently as Master of Fight at Shakespeares Globe.
Historical documentaries including "Arms In Action" and "Warrior School".
For 19 years John taught Combat at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Arts Educational School and the Drama Studio.
From 1995 to his retirement, John was Director of Interpretation and Artistic Director at the Royal Armouries Museum. There he was responsible for research into the interpretation of the artifacts in the museum and the demonstrations that take place in the museums of The Royal Armouries.