Women with swords are massing on and off the stage to do combat with
the Beast of Terror. The Lady Cavaliers are helping strengthen
the skills of women in both stage combat and life combat. Find
out how they are chasing the Beast back to his cave.
10, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 697
Women Of Vigilance Rule Over The
Beast Of Terror
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Aug. 10, 2003--
Men are not the only warriors capable of slaying the Beast of Terror
dead in his tracks. And, if they have their way, the Lady
Cavaliers will sweep Terrorism not only off the acting stage, but also
pin it against the Wall of Vigilance with the tip of their rapiers.
workshop to explore the female approach to stage combat through
hands-on practical experience, historical knowledge and
Yesterday, I got a
sharp taste of the Lady Cavalier's theme of remove the "weak" from
"women" when it comes to combat. I joined my wife at a
four-hour hands-on stage combat workshop in Brooklyn, designed
to help promote a "stronger female image through the art of stage
Our two daughters linked arms and purchased two
tickets allowing myself and their mother to attend the workshop as a
gift for my wife's birthday, which is today. The
session was conducted by the Lady Cavaliers, a three-year-old New York
theatrical group focusing its efforts on increasing the stage combat
skills of women.
On its website located at
the group promotes women actors and the general citizenry to reshape
the image of women from the "weaker" sex into equal combat-capable
In the arts, women have been portrayed as the
"damsel in distress" and stage combat has generally been reserved for
the "knight in shining armor." The Lady Cavaliers hope to
shift the de-emphasis of women in theatrical combat, offering them a
more dominant role when it comes to "saving the world."
Cavaliers honor the history of the fierce Dahomean woman warriors
from Asia Minor
To further their message, they
reach back in history and cite famous women warriors such as Queen
Boudica of ancient Britain, pirate captain Hsi Kai Ching and the
African kingdom of Dahomy comprised of fierce women warriors.
Fortunately, both our daughters are warriors.
My wife and I trained them to tackle the world with vim and vigor, and
our older daughter picked the Cross as her 'weapon'. She
has traveled to the distant jungles of the world, risking her life to
carry the message of peace and prayer to war-torn countries, and lives
a life of service to her community.
Our other daughter chose the gun and bullet as her
weapons, and is a federal special agent who day and night tracks down
criminals with her two 9mm Glocks to back her up.
Women are just
as brave and capable in combat roles as men
My wife grew up in a
world where women were denied the right to compete. She
was raised in a period of segregation, where such things as girl's
sports were limited to field hockey played in dresses while the boys
had the free reign to play whatever.
She wanted to become an engineer but her father
steered her away from the "man's world" and directed her a hospital
laboratory career where a "woman had a better chance."
The stigma of the woman as "weak" has permeated
not only the theater but society as well. The United States
military, for example, still resists putting women in ground combat
roles, clinging to ancient beliefs that a woman is less capable of
withstanding the rigors of battle than men. Perhaps Private
First Class Jessica Lynch, the well-known rescued captive of the Iraqi
War, helped reinforce to the world that women are just as brave and
capable in combat roles as men.
treated my wife and me to the Lady Cavaliers' Workshop
The Lady Cavalier
workshop was fascinating since I was the only male there amidst
nearly two-dozen women, all learning the skills of stage combat.
We learned how to perform mock fights that
included hitting, slapping, pulling hair ala the brawls commonly
reserved for men. Everything was choreographed with
maximum safety and realism, insuring that both "aggressor" and
"victim" were working as a team to achieve the final goal of realism
for the audience.
Then we switched to swords.
The instructors, all of whom are certified
in their fields, taught us how to use the rapiers as well as any man
might, attacking and parrying with the skill of Errol Flynn.
For me, the
ultimate combat was bayonet to bayonet
For years I have
collected swords, and have a fine assortment that would make any sword
master green with envy. As a former Marine, the ultimate
combat was bayonet to bayonet with the enemy. No matter
how technologically advanced a society becomes in the art of war, when
the bullets run out, you fix bayonets and end up as all have
throughout history in the fields of combat, struggling one-on-one to
achieve victory over your opponent. Besides the training I
received about shooting my rifle, the most intense secondary training
was how to use the rifle and bayonet to slash and thrust until the
enemy was eliminated.
After the day's session, swords
reminded me of the most primal force of combat, not only for a man,
but also for a woman.
Ultimately, all combat comes
down to hand-to-hand.
A mother is
just as capable as any man to act in defense of herself and her
the stage or in life, the ability of a man or a woman to defend
himself or herself, or to serve as a protector of others, is a
necessity. A mother with her children coming under attack
by someone seeking to harm the children or home can ill afford not to
think as the Lady Cavaliers seek to image women on the stage--that she
is just as capable as any man to act in defense of herself and her
I have little
doubts what our gun-toting daughter would do to an attacker
While I've never asked my older daughter who is involved in the
religious world of peace and prosperity, I suspect that if she had to
protect her three children from assault, she would be capable of
turning the cross around and making it a sword. My wife reminded
me when she was in elementary school, the nuns urged her and her
classmates to always carry their rosaries in-hand - as a
reminder to constantly pray....and, the cross could serve as a weapon
if they were threatened. Of course, I have little doubts what
our gun-toting daughter would do to an attacker.
Terrorism is not the
privy of men.
Like protecting any
society, the duty of Vigilance falls upon both men and women.
The Lady Cavaliers
understand this. Their courses and workshops, while geared for
the woman actor, also teach the general citizenry how to use combat
techniques, even if they are mock and designed for stage, to increase
their awareness of their roles as Sentinels of Vigilance in a world
rife with Terrorism.
Sexual discrimination is,
without doubt, a form of Terrorism. It often makes a
person feel "less than" when society shoves up walls that favor men
over women, assuming that a "man" or a "macho male" is more capable
than any other to perform a certain function.
This is especially so in
they are a changing
Protecting the weak, the innocent, is certainly not the privy of males
alone, despite the fact that few action heroes are women.
Wonder Woman, once a heroine for females, was quickly replaced by
busty Barbie in a highly sexual domestic diva role. But, the
times, they are a changing. The tough yet feminine heroines of
Alias and the Laura Croft movies are strong examples of the "woman
warrior," and while Charlie's Angels mix and match the feminine and
warrior, unfortunately, they still have the stigma of the "beautiful"
who work for the "man."
Terrorism itself is a
base plate for women warriors. In the Russian assault last
year upon a cultural center, the leaders of the Terrorist group
included women. Iraq, while male dominated, had a
legion of women suicide bombers ready to battle the infidels to death.
My own experience in
Vietnam was evidence of women as warriors. Often the head of the
communist cadre, leader of the guerrillas in a village, was a woman.
Cavaliers' Workshop was a symbol of Women of Vigilance
I got out of the Lady Cavaliers group was more than simply mock combat
to stiffen the sinew of the female combative character on stage and
off. It was another symbol to me of Women of Vigilance--of
the need to erase old stereotypes of the woman as an anti-combatant,
and elevate her on an equal pedestal of men warriors.
Historically, no playwright would
disagree that behind every successful man is a woman holding the
ladder. The real interaction between men and women
ultimately reveals the power of the women to stand above the men in
the long haul, for women have a natal vision, one that drives beyond
the horizon of a man's.
Women are Mothers of Vigilance.
They can see beyond the immediate to the future, and that future they
see is not the fame and fortunes men tend to espy, but the vision of a
world safer for the children.
Women see the
Children's Children's Children with the eyes of the eagle
can see the Children's Children's Children with the eyes of the eagle,
while men often have their vision clouded by the present and the
obstacles that block the path of progress.
The mixture on an equal plane
of both sets of eyes is as necessary as the bow is to the arrow, or
the sword to the hand of the sword master or sword mistress.
Vigilance--the execution of
Courage over Fear, of Conviction in place of Intimidation, and of
Right Action for the Children's Children's Children conquering
Complacency--must never be segregated by sex. Those
who would even allow the thought that a male Sentinel of Vigilance has
any power greater than a female Sentinel of Vigilance has allowed the
Beast of Intimidation and Complacency to gnaw at his marrow.
The truth is that women
can carry the Sword and Shield of Vigilance with as much alacrity, if
not more, and wield them with as much skill and determination as any
This is not a battle of
the sexes issue.
I believe the
general population would benefit from participating in a Lady
is, instead, a marshalling of forces. It combines the Mothers
and Fathers of Vigilance into one group. It weaves strength
between the male Sentinels of Vigilance and female Sentinels of
Vigilance. It provides four watchful, dedicated eyes
instead of two, aimed at spotting the tracks of the Beast of Terror
and providing both the tools and weapons to drive the Beast away from
the children, and their future Children's Children's Children.
watched the Lady Cavaliers reinforcing the role of women on the stage,
I thought how important it is that what they are doing for the
performing arts be delivered to the general population.
What greater skill would a
young girl have than learning the art of swordswoman ship, or how to
use stage combat to work together with another through the conflicts
of life. State combat, while appearing real, enjoins both
parties as one, the antagonist and protagonist to produce the result.
Often in life, the majority of all arguments are nothing more than
stage combat, the will of one against the will of another. Were
people to learn that they can resolve such conflicts by working as
one, they might realize the futility of verbal lashings and emotional
swords play, and instead turn to the real audience, the Children's
Children's Children, and teach them that resolution of conflict is the
learned difficult sword techniques while wearing a long skirt
teach resolution one must be skilled at the art of combat.
Respect, unfortunately, only comes from the Beast of Terror when the
Beast knows whomever he is trying to inject with Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency has the power of Vigilance over these Triads of
The Beast will run when the Sword of
Vigilance is drawn, for he knows its keen, cutting edge is sharpened
by the flint-stone of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for future
And, when a woman draws a sword, he
runs a little faster.
He knows the Lady Cavaliers won't let
up once they start, for they are fighting from the womb not the groin,
as so often men do.
I salute the
I salute the Lady Cavaliers. And, if
you wish to become one, you can start by taking the Pledge of
Vigilance. And, if you happen to be in New York City, you can
sign up for one of their workshops.
I can assure you, the Beast of Terror will
not be there.
Aug 9--Terrorizing The Titanic
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