The guards stand in a threatening circle around us, staring aggressively in silence. I am starting to feel very uncomfortable. When I signed up for the course, they told me I couldn't drive there because there was a shortage of car-parking spaces.
Instead, I was told I should join the others on their minibus to travel several miles from the station, so it is with a sinking feeling that I realise I am stranded.
My (very) weird weekend with the naked woodland warriors who travel to remote England to 'reclaim their masculinity'. How our man found himself with 65 naked men chanting, drumming - Author: Tom Mitchelson Irish mythology is riddled with powerful women, yet they remain an enigma, suppressed by a male-dominated Christianity, and forgotten by time. It seems, however, that the ancient Brehon laws entitled women to the same professions as men, and that included warrior status, as we shall find out Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins Browse irish warrior stock photos and images available, or search for celtic warrior or celt to find more great stock photos and pictures. Leopardstown Races. People: Oisin Murphy, Roaring LIon, Ryan Moore, Saxon Warrior. And That Night There Was Feasting And Joy In The Lonely Hut'
Many of the men talk about their relationships, work and feelings of anger and regret. They all appeared sincere and open. Not buttoned up and repressed, but here-it-is, take-it-all, heart-on-my-sleeve types. It is here that I learn a piece of warrior etiquette. When a brother 'shares', the correct response is to raise both hands as if surrendering and waggle your hands.
At the same time, you say ' Ahho'. At first, I mishear and say 'Ahoy'. Until the early hours of the morning, we engage in a series of exercises. I have to tell one man what makes me a man, and then wait while he tells me what makes him one, too. We are asked to describe how we fail to stand up to women. When Tom signed up for the course, they told him he couldn't drive there because there was a shortage of car-parking spaces.
For a supposed female reign of terror, this seems a weirdly banal example.
We are told to explain to each other what type of man we are. One of my 'brothers' tells me he is a liar and cheat. I suspect he means he has had affairs. Another tells how he feels worthless, a third man explains he doesn't know how to control his anger, and another tells me his wife won't let him ride his bike. It's not long before the blindfold is back on and we are asked to imagine we're in an African village.
To assist this illusion, the Men In Black rattle pots, flick water at us and make vocal noises to represent a bustling settlement. It's not entirely convincing. We are asked to imagine capturing a wild man who terrorises villagers and cage him. We then have to set him free. We have been asked to visualise meeting an animal along the way.
This becomes our 'warrior' name.
And I spend the rest of the time with Mighty Condor, Courageous Wolf and Intrepid Panther. It is odd that no one opts for a sheep, wombat or guinea pig. I, however, become Relaxed Penguin. Oh Lord. Now I've written that, they can identify their Judas. It's very late. I am tired and hungry and even my sleeping bag in a freezing yurt with strangers seems attractive.
It's not. I don't sleep because, a couple of hours later, the rhythmic banging of drums begins. A man appears at the door: 'Men, we have work to do. While each man steps under the water, the others watch and count to I manage to get a few words with some of the participants and they are mostly between the ages of 35 and They are not all - as I'd supposed - saddos.
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They work in careers such as banking, IT, education and business and all strike me as intelligent, articulate and enthusiastic about their participation in the project. The majority seem to feel that their lives are not going as they wish.
After breakfast a handful of nuts and a spoonful of porridge we spend the morning sharing how we feel.
We roar like lions. We talk to our childhood selves and watch the staff men act out scenes such as where one man says yes and the other says no. Then it is time for what I found one of the most disturbing parts of the weekend - where we are effectively 'broken free' of our emotional past. We are divided into three groups, each of which has a so-called 'sacred carpet', and for about an hour each man is subjected to emotionally manipulative questioning, on the carpet, that probes into his past.
Some of the staff are very skilled at reading visual signs of hidden emotion.
The 'naked woad covered' warrior is more myth than proven, although im sure the occasional frothing-at-the-mouth-wine-addled priest may have shouted curses/abuse at the enemy hoard b4 the real warriors got stuck in, but its more fun to write about the 'wild celtic Britons' that live on the strange island close to the edge of the known world went into battle painted blue and naked armed with Queen Maev by J. C. Leyendecker. Source: Wikipedia. An ancient Irish manuscript known as the Tain tells of how Maeve the Warrior Queen of Connacht began a war to capture the most famous bull in Ireland. This particular tale is known as the "Cattle Raid of Cooley".Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins Watch my performance as world's first official NUDE NINJA WARRIOR! What a surprise!!!I took part at the charity celebrity edition of Ninja Warrior Switzerlan
At times, three inquisitors demand the answers to questions that eventually leave a man weeping and apparently broken.
This is happening simultaneously on all three mats. At times, it is impossible to hear what was happening on my own mat because of the wails and screams from the other groups. The majority of the men who participate in this spectacle positively welcome this treatment.
Others appear less keen. The objective seems to be to provoke a violent reaction from the person in the circle. One man of about 40 has an issue with his mother. He felt she had treated him badly when he was younger.
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A staff man is chosen to represent the mother and, while other men stand in front of him, he is goaded to confront her by pushing through a human barrier. Instead, he flies into an uncontrolled rage. Staff become panicked and shout 'safety' as they try to immobilise him.
If these staff men have any professional training, I am unaware of it. The qualification they seem to share is that they are graduates of the course I am now on. ManKind deny that any therapy takes place. They call it training. Another man sobs as he is told to act out beating his stepfather and mother to death.
Again, he feels that they ignored him as a child and treated him with disdain. A third man is pinned to the floor by six men and has to wrestle his way out from under a blanket, cheered on by the watching men. It is extremely disturbing to watch.
Many of the men seem to feel they suffered mental or physical abuse from their parents.
They all appear to be functioning in day-to-day life, but these horrors appear easily released under the persistent and intimate questioning of their inquisitors. I make up a story about feeling guilty for hurting a former girlfriend. I give no specific examples, but feign deep upset. They suggest my behaviour had started in childhood. I tell them it hadn't. Deprived of food and sleep and subjected to the raging emotions of people around him, Tom is instructed to strip, put his blindfold back on and hold the hand of the man next to him.
They talk of regressing me.
I don't know if these amateur psychiatrists could achieve that or not, but they opt for getting me to wrench the guilt from my stomach by wrestling a rope up through my legs being held by four men.
Most of the men I speak to afterwards seem delighted by this experience. In fact, this is a point at which some men seem to embrace the Warrior Brotherhood. To me it seems like a way of initiating people into a kind of cult.
This session is clearly designed to be the pivotal moment in the weekend. Deprived of food and sleep and subjected to the raging emotions of people around me, I am instructed to strip, put my blindfold back on and hold the hand of the man next to me.
It is now we begin the walk in the woods that leads to that candle-lit ceremony where we become New Warriors. This scene showed the main protagonist humiliating three bullies by using his superior martial arts skills.
Not only did it quickly establish Ah Sahm as a tough lead, but it set his journey in motion as well. This is a show that primarily displays kung fu.
The main character comes from seventeenth century China, a time where kung fu was still a prominent art. Seventeenth century San Francisco was largely inhabited by the Irish, who were also adept fighters.
Jan 14, #1. Pre-Christian Celtic warriors are mentioned as going into battle naked on a number of occasions. The Celts that invaded Italy in the 4th Century BC fought naked, as did the Gaesati mercenary band that the Boii and Insubres called upon late in the 3rd Century. The consul Manlius Volso told his men that the Galatian tribes still Women Warriors In Celtic And Medieval Ireland. by An Sionnach Fionn. September 25, With the controversy over the supposed identification of the grave of a "female Viking warrior", known to archaeologists as Bj , continuing to rumble on, I thought I'd return to the subject once buckysboneyard.comted Reading Time: 4 mins
The difference between them and the Chinese is their fighting style. While the Chinese favored fluid kung fu over brutality, the Irish practiced bare-knuckle boxing.
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He is the leader of the Irish Mob and spent most of his time targeting the Chinese. In one of his very own fight scenes, Leary challenges a Pinkerton agent named Jack Damon. They stepped into their own ring and had an old-fashioned brawl, ending in blood, sweat, and tears. It stood out from the other fight scenes, due to its lack of flashy kung fu choreography.
There was only brutal, realistic boxing in this fight scene, and it was painfully fun to watch. Ah Sahm made short work of many thugs, but once in a while, he would come across someone who could go toe to toe with him.
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One of those guys was Bolo, a top level enforcer from the same Tong Ah Sahm belonged to. Much like Ah Sahm, Bolo was a true warrior and very skilled at martial arts. The difference between them is that Bolo relied more on rage and brute force. Their fight scene together showed the difference between them, and it only added to the intensity. The two martial artist duke it out pretty hard and each fighter takes their licks.
Ah Sahm and Bolo were two different kinds of warriors that delivered a one of the most fierce fight scenes on the show.
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After suffering a crushing defeat, he wallows in a pool of self-pity and depression. He was kicked out of his Tong, and was forced to join the harsh working class of immigrants in order to survive. His spirit was seemingly forever broken until the Irish Mob raids the factory he was working in. When the mob is about to cripple his fellow workers, his inner warrior resurfaces. Ah Sahm uses his anger and skill to swiftly defeat the Irish Mob, even showing off his skills with weapons with common tools.
When he defeats them all, their leader, Dylan Leary, emerges and challenges Ah Sahm. Despite not being a kung fu fighter, Leary holds his own and the fight is interrupted by the police.
The best thing about this fight was how it echoed the factory fight scene from The Big Boss. Ah Sahm was heavily based on Bruce Lee, both in mannerisms and fighting style. The biggest difference between the two scenes is that Ah Sahm went up against a different kind of fighter.
It does a disservice to the countless generations who came before us to make their undramatic but necessary contributions and labours seem of lesser importance. Indeed this is simply a mirror image of the historical editing it claims to challenge, elevating the martial champions at the expense of the domestic ones.
For more on the genuine place of female warriors in a Medieval Irish setting, I can do no better than quote the historian Lisa M Bitel in her essential work, Land of Women: Tales of Sex and Gender from Early Irelan Cornell University :. Real women were lovers, wives, mothers and kinswomen to their men while in the sagas and histories shapeshifting raven goddess haunted the battlefields, dealing terror and bloodlust to men in combat.
Their stories of women warriors, war goddesses, and witches included everything modern pornographers offer their audiences The early Irish were obsessed with arms-bearing women warriors in contest with men, otherworldly dominatrices demanding sex from handsome heroes, insolent queens ordering soldiers around, or - best of all - any of these ill-humoured females being beaten in combat or sexually subdued by other warriors.
Women warriors rampaged through narratives and mythological histories but rarely entered either the secular or religious legal material. Like the princesses and the badbwho disguised themselves as hags, female warriors were cross-dressing symbols of sex and politics not historical representations of real fighting women. But the theme of aggressive, militaristic Celtic women is too formulaically pervasive in classical literature to be very credible.
Romans and Greeks wanted an upside-down world for the barbarians, who frightened and fascinated their sophisticated neighbours, and a standard ingredient in such a world was the manly warrior woman. Mis and badb had no historical ancestresses.
In neither pagan or Christian times did Irish women go to war against men.
Females - when not aristocratic leaders in their own right - supported their male kinsmen when they went to war, materially or emotionally. Those occasions when women themselves stood on the battlefield were extraordinarily rare, whatever their political or social standing.
And Medieval Scandinavia was much the same. Reason and facts ignored, propaganda, hype, and over- emotional hysteria guiding the blind masses to make-believe the world matches their delusional fantasies?
Say it is not so.
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Seems to be the mores of our time. Like Like.
There is a nice discussion here touching upon the subject of the Birka burial from a more social point of view. Very enjoyable indeed. Mixing two of my favourite subjects, beer and history. A toast to braciatrix for a job well done! Thanks for the link.