The summer nights are finally here and, now it looks like we’re in for some better weather, its time to get back to some Night-time Cloak and Dagger training! We have around 6 weeks left of lovely dusky evenings and, regular attendees will know that, this is the best time of year to practice the stealth tactics that we’ve been training so hard on over the spring break.
For those who are new to the Volunteers, welcome! Cloak & Dagger training is a wonderful historical martial art that can be practiced by people of most abilities. Mostly used by Shadow Monks and Rogue Priests, under the employ of the church, these sleeper agents secretly trained in the arts of stealth and subterfuge whilst going about their clerical duties. When the message came from the Cardinals or Bishops in Rome, they would be sent to undermine political connections and cause dissent.
As the decades and centuries passed, these agents were slowly either retired or killed in the line of duty and the church found more discrete methods of infiltrating governments and monarchies. However, the art of stealth and dagger-work has been kept alive and well, passed down from generation to generation. Today, we practice Cloak & Dagger techniques almost as a form of meditation. Much like Yoga or Tai Chi, the movements and skill involved require patience and flexibility to master. A beginner in Cloak & Dagger might well find their movements sluggish or clumsy but, even after a year of practice, enormous progress can be made in the fields of guile and cunning.
We’ll be meeting in the same place as usual, and I’d like to ask all participants to leave their cars parked a little way down the road. The dress-code remains the same as last year: dark green or brown cotton or hemp, with leather shoes of your own choice. If you’ve got blonde or otherwise light coloured hair, it might be a good idea to bring a headwrap or hood to stay hidden in the shadows. As usual, I will be supplying all fighting equipment – for safety precautions I’d like to ask participants to not bring their own.
The usual 3 hour schedule will be used this year. A half hour of training and warm-ups, followed by an hour of new skill acquisition and then two full scenario sessions to put those new skills to use! I’ve spent the break compiling a whole range of new situations and there’ll be plenty of opportunity for role-playing, if anyone has the urge! Get your email suggestions and course bookings in early because, as always, places will go fast!
Rachel Leissbecker is a Cloak & Dagger Coach and descendant of Rogue Priest Jacobi Leissbecker. She trains and coaches the art of subterfuge and stealth for educational and recreational purposes only. Due to the nature of the fighting style we ask that participants be at least 18 years of age and due respect be given to all present.