Article Overview:  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.


Sunday--August 10, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 697
Women Of Vigilance Rule Over The Beast Of Terror
Cliff McKenzie
   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.

A 4-hour workshop to explore the female approach to stage combat through hands-on practical experience, historical knowledge and physiological discovery

     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 combat."
      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 actors.
      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."

The Lady 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.

Our daughters 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 family

         On 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 family.

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 combat.

The times, 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.

The Lady Cavaliers' Workshop was a symbol of Women of Vigilance

        But what 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

        Women 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 man.
          This is not a battle of the sexes issue.

I believe the general population would benefit from participating in a Lady Cavaliers' event

         It 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.

        As I 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 key.

My wife learned difficult sword techniques while wearing a long skirt

       However, to 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 Terrorism.
        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 generations.

        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 Lady Cavaliers

       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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