Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157

“If you can’t run, you walk.  If you can’t walk, you crawl.  If you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.” ~Firefly

This week’s T.I. is about understanding the power of realizing you are not alone.

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You are going to struggle with this involution. When you do, you’re going to be forced to do two things: modify the exercises and get your head straight. Rest assured that if you were training with the rest of the Cabal Fang crew, none of us would ever let you quit. Imagine you’re there with us, that we’re encouraging you, helping you, making suggestions regarding how to modify exercises, and urging you to dig deep.

Your brothers and sisters in Cabal Fang are right there with you. Now go get it done.

FIREFLY STYLE: CABAL FANG MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING INVOLUTION #157

  • Warm up for a full 8 minutes.

  • 3 sets of HSPUs to failure. If you can’t do HSPUs, do Jackknife Push-ups. If you can’t do them, do Regular Push-ups.

  • 3 sets of Squats. 2 x 5 + 1 set to failure. Pick a weight that works for you (I used 110 lbs).

  • 10 x 10 yards of Heavy Bear Walks. Select two hex dumbbells. Go way lighter than you think you need. I used 10 pounders. Bear Walk with dumbbells in hand for 10 yards. Stop and do 10 Push-ups with a Plank Row between, alternating sides. Repeat 10 more times for a total of 100 yards of Bear Walks, 100 Push-ups and 100 Rows.

  • Unless you are Captain America, you are going to fail at this. When you start failing, imagine all of the other people in Cabal Fang working right there with you. If you gas on the Bear Walks, drop the dumbbells and go on without them. If you gas on the Push-ups or Plank Rows, come up and do them on knees. Switch to lighter dumbbells halfway through if necessary. Make whatever changes you have to make and take as many 12-count breaks as you need. The only rule is don’t give up.

  • Cool down for 3 minutes.

  • Stretch and practice contemplation.

  • Record what you learned in your training journal.

Real Deal Basics: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #156

This week’s T.I. marks the third anniversary of the weekly program — the sixth anniversary counting the original protocol.  Sometimes, when folks go on vacation and such, we re-post previous T.I.s. But mostly you get something fresh every week. 

Being fresh ain’t easy, because martial arts aren’t as much about exploring new territory as they are about knowing the road map of fighting like the back of your hand.  Self-defense requires fight-specific strength and complete, automatic command of the basics.

That’s why we often re-combine essential ingredients to give freshness to the basics — kind of the way Taco Bell creates new products from the same basic meat, cheese, sauce and tortillas.  Those of you have been doing C.F.T.I.s for a few years will recognize some familiar ingredients in #156 for sure.

REAL DEAL BASICS: CABAL FANG MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING INVOLUTION #156

  • Ideally you will have two heavy bags –one hanging/standing and  one for the floor.  Substitute a large gym bag full of gear for the floor bag or make one.

  • Warm up for a full eight minutes by doing multiple mini-sets at 50% effort.

  • Set timer for 5 x 3:00 (beginners 5 x 1:00, intermediate 5 x 2:00).  Rounds go as follows: HB Shrimps, HB Bridges and Reverses, Punches, Kicks, and Clinch Work.  Take as few 12-count breaks as needed to finish standing up.  See video below for details.

  • Perform the Salutations of Sun and Moon per the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  Our internal focus this month is The Luminaries and our external focus is Evasion.  More on evasion next week.


MORE TRUTH: CABAL FANG TRAINING INVOLUTION #155

This week we’re revisiting T.I # 50…

During his fight with Maleficent in her dragon form, Prince Philip loses the Shield of Virtue because that’s what we all do.  We’re human.  We mess up, we make mistakes, we do things that we know are not in keeping with our own moral and ethical codes.  But as long as we hold tight to truth the way that Prince Philip does in the movie, we can slay any dragon and ultimately regain our virtue.  Because making a commitment to speak the truth is more than just a speech modifier.  If you do things you’re ashamed of you’ll have to lie about what you did.  So telling the truth is a behavior modifier too.

Truth may be the highest ideal known to man.  That’s why it figures so prominently in the initiations of Cabal Fang.  Individuals and cultures that do not revere truth may reap short-term rewards of one kind or another but eventually they will completely lose their virtue and have no way to regain it — and some dragon or other will eat them up in their bankruptcy.

Hold tight to truth my friends, and aim your compass toward it like it’s true north.  You’ll screw up because we all do.  But at least you’ll be able to get back on course!

MORE TRUTH: CABAL FANG TRAINING INVOLUTION #155

  • 10 minutes of slipping and bobbing.  Set a timer for 10 minutes and practice your slips and bobs, preferably with a slip ball.  Beginners use this intro video.  Advanced folks, run this slip ball impairment drill.

  • Heavy bag 4 x 2:oo/:30.  Go after a heavy bag with maximum ill intent, just make sure that between each combination you (a) complete at least 2 slips or bobs, and (b) you circle the bag rather than standing stock-still.  Hit while you move and move while you hit.

  • Meditation on Truth.  Look into your past starting with most recent history and find a time when you were less than truthful.  Now set a timer for 10 minutes and assume your chosen meditative posture.  Untangle that lie through meditation.  Use your imagination to step into the scene.  Relive the incident.  See if you can come to understand why you weren’t truthful, what you should have done, and what you think you might do the next time you’re in a similar situation.  Record your thoughts and realizations in your training journal.

Big News + IMT: Cabal Fang Training Involution #154

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Cabal Fang attends Karate College 2019

For the first time ever, CF will be going to Karate College as a group.  Register here, send me an email, and roll with us!  Camp costs $219 and dorm rooms are only about $35/night.  Karate College is the best martial arts camp in the country, and it's three days of non-stop action!

 Cabal Fang Helps Revive Community Park

The defunct civic association that owns the park where we train here at CF HQ is coming back to life and Cabal Fang is going to be a part of the plan.  The first official meeting of the new association will be on May 20th, 2019.  Yours truly will be at that meeting to volunteer for a seat on the board.  For the last ten years we've been the only folks who cared enough to haul off trash, cut grass, and deter vandals.  Our energy will continue to flow and evolve in concert with this new initiative.

 Planning Begins for Cabal Fang 10th Anniversary Event

October will mark the official 10th Anniversary of Cabal Fang.  If memory serves me, we started meeting in April of 2009.  But the first monthly constitutional we have on record is from October, and you know the rule: "If it ain't in the training log, it didn't happen."  We're still spit-balling, but the idea that has come up several times in the past is some kind of tire run that will be open to the public.  Watch this space for details.

Now for the T.I.

IMT: Cabal Fang Training Involution #154

IMT stands for "Individual Movement Technique."  In a nutshell, moving target acquisition takes 3 to 5 seconds.  To avoid getting shot, pop up, sprint as fast as you can for 3 to 5 seconds, then hit the dirt.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  This one comes straight from the mind of Mark HatmakerClick here for instructions.

Here’s what you look like from the knees after a half-mile IMT mud run.

Here’s what you look like from the knees after a half-mile IMT mud run.

Katabasis: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #153

katabasis /kətă'bəsis/, IPA(key): /kəˈtæbəsɪs/ n. (plural katabases) From Ancient Greek κατάβασις (katábasis), from verb καταβαίνω (katabaínō), from κατά (katá, “downwards”) + βαίνω (baínō, “go”).

1. A journey downwards: a journey downhill, a decrease of winds, a military retreat, a trip to the underworld; a trip from the interior of a country to the coast.

For most of the world, today is a dark day.  For some it is the last dark day before the light returns tomorrow.  For others the darkness won't lift until next weekend.  Today is a good day to think about katabasis -- the idea of what it means to go dark.

Since our focuses this month are Basic Self-Defense and The Book (the Book of Hermes, a.k.a. the Book of Hermes-Thoth, a.k.a. the Tarot) we will explore the concept of katabasis with our bodies and with our meditations rather than with our intellects.

Katabasis: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #153

This week's T.I. is not easy, so buckle up, hold on tight, and don't forget: modify, adapt, overcome.

  • Warm up thoroughly (at least 8:00).

  • Sparring. Spar all-in for 30 minutes.  Adjust round length to suit your fitness level.  If you are going it solo, do Wrestling Conditioner #2 (see below if you don't want to get out the Cabal Fang Study Guide).

  • Constitutional.  Jump Squats (100), Lunges (100), Crunches (100), Bear Walk (100 yds), Get-ups (25), Mountain Climbers (100), Sprints (50 x 12').

  • Meditation.  Lay out the spread of cards below, print out the picture, or set up your tablet/laptop.  Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Look at the pictures.  What story does this little "chapter" of the Tarot "book" relate?  Don't think in words -- look at the pictures as if they are selected photos from a children's book.  What are the intervening pictures that complete the story?  What comes after?

  • Record what you learned in your training journal.  If it ain't in the journal it didn't happen.

Wrestling Conditioner #2: Set timer for 10 mins. Top Saddle a.k.a Mount your heavy bag and strike it 10 times as hard as you can. Drop, lock, and roll so that bag is on top of you. Knee boost or Reverse the bag as hard as you can back to Top Saddle.  Strike 10 times as hard as you can. Drop, lock, and roll so that bag is on top of you. Bridge the bag and roll it off to regain Top Saddle.  Repeat until timer beeps.

Pay Attention: Training Involution #152

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Why do you suppose it is that almost every religious symbol since the Egyptians screams out, "Pay attention!"?  A Celtic cross is basically a giant set of cross-hairs.  The Dharma wheel is a perfect target.  And the symbol of the Jains is literally a big hand saying, "Stop! Look at this target thingy right here!"

When you are giving something your full attention, time stands still.  When you are playing the guitar, making love, or getting hit in the face in a sparring match, you are essentially in touch with the eternal -- from the Latin aeternus , meaning atemporal.  In other words, outside the bonds of time.

Get this through your head right now.

  • Paying attention is the secret sauce that makes your martial arts burger tasty and delicious.

  • Paying attention is the splashy color that makes your oil painting fry people's brains out when they look at it.

  • Paying attention is the magic mojo that makes your lover want to hold your hand until the sun becomes a black hole.

  • Not paying attention is what makes you step on snakes and tumble down slippery slopes and fall on punji stakes and suffer a short a miserable life.

Pay Attention: Training Involution #152

This week do whatever you want -- as long as you do it with your whole heart, your whole mind, and your whole attention

It doesn't matter what you do as much as how you do it. 

This is why we journal in Cabal Fang -- to focus and refocus our attention -- and this is why journaling makes you powerful.  Do something with full attention and then write it down.

That is all.

HIIT Parade: Training Involution #151

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Last week's T.I. was a double-down.  So this week we're going to take it down a notch -- see below.

This month's internal focus is The Book, a.k.a the Tarot.  The Tarot is essentially an encyclopedia of symbolism in the form of a deck of cards, a way to train your mind to see the world in terms of story and symbol.  When used as a tool for reflection and psychoanalysis, Tarot is fun and beneficial beyond measure.

Tarot cards are not dangerous and scary unless you use them to tell fortunes.  The finest Tarot book ever written was penned by a devout Catholic.  Divination and magic, on the other hand, will get you into hot water. — we advise against it.

HiIt Parade: Cabal Fang Training Involution #151

A parade is a "succession, series, or display of items.” like a spread of cards for example. The origin of the word parade is the Latin paro which means to prepare, provide, or resolve. 

Let's do this.

  • Warm up thoroughly -- that's 8 minutes minimum.

  • Cabal Fang Grappling Conditioner #2. Set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00.  For each 3:00, Splay-n-Punch 1-2, Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4, Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4-5-6, etc. up to Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, then start again.  If you're not dawdling you should be able to get at least 5 climbs done during every 3:00 round -- that's 25 Sprawls and 150 punches.  For the 1:00 "rests" body-lock a heavy bag and squeeze it as hard as you can.  Take as many 12-count breaks as you must in order keep from upchucking.  Just breathe.  I promise it'll be over in 12 minutes.

  • Scuffling, grappling and wrestling HIIT. Set a timer to beep every 40 seconds. Whenever it beeps take a 10-second break and then start the next exercise. Cycle through the following 6 times for a total of 16 minutes, each as many as you can for 30 seconds: Smearing Push-ups, Cross-arm Clinch Lunges (maximum cutting power!), Leg Triangles and Splay-n-Punch. See video below for details.

  • Tell a story. Shuffle your Tarot cards and deal out nine cards, all face up, in a 3 x 3 square.  Think of them as panels in a comic book of your life -- the top row your past, the middle row your present, the bottom row your future.  Come up with a plot that connects the pictures.  Spend some time asking yourself questions about the little story you made up.  Which episodes from your childhood are brought to mind by the first three cards?  Do you know why?  Does the story have a good or bad ending?  What could you do to change it?

  • Record everything you learned in your training journal.  If it ain't in the journal, it didn't happen.

New Month, New Constitutional, New Focuses, New Dispatch

This month’s focuses are Basic Self-Defense and The Book. Our new constitutional:

Jump Squats (100)
Lunges (100)
Crunches (100)
Bear Walk (100 yds)
Get-ups (25)
Mountain Cimbers (100)
Sprints (50 x 12')

There’s so much going on around here we can’t even see straight. As you can see by the picture on the right, we now have a new monthly constitutional and two new focuses.

In addition to that, thanks to our new newsletter editor James A. Williams, a big ol’ honkin’ Cabal Fang State of the Art Dispatch just got mailchimped out into the web-o-sphere this afternoon. It’s our biggest and most jam-packed issue ever. If you aren’t subscribed to the CFSOTAD, follow this link to read it online.

Ex Gladio Scientia!

Double Trouble: Cabal Fang Training Involution #150

We highly recommend doing a double-down day once every four to six weeks or so.  Pick a recent training session that didn't go well.  Then double it and try to find a way to modify, adapt, overcome and suffer through it.

If you listen to your body and you know your limits, and if you are cautious enough to do this safely, the benefits are out-of-this-world.

Double Trouble: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #150

We don't know what you're going to do, because we don't know what you will select to double!  But here's what Elder Mitch did.

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1. Forms.  I spent a full 10 minutes running through the Star of Ishtar, the Fool's Journey and the new Six-headed Hydra choke form, plus a quick run through a few of my favorite Korean Karate forms.

2. Double weights. Tuesday's session was weak sauce, so I just about doubled the reps.

  • T-handle Dead Lifts.  #70 @ 2 x 10  as warm-up.  #140 @ 4 x 5 + 1 set to failure (I made 5).  Here's a beast showing how it's done.

  • HSPUs.  2 x 10 Jackknife Push-ups to warm up, then 5 sets to failure.  I got 4, 3, 3, 2, 2.

  • Sandbag Shoulder Carry. #95  @ 4 x 50 yards+ 1 set to failure.  50, 50, 50, 50, 24.  Still cruddy, but getting stronger.

3. Ground Fighting Conditioner #1 -- twice.  The conditioner so nice you ought to do it twice.  Details here.

4. Weighted Shadowboxing. 10 mins with #2 weights on ankles and #2 dumbbells in hands.  Count your strikes (10-count combos makes it easy to keep track).  I made 520 strikes.

5. Stretching Meditation. Nice relaxing stretch, full 20 minutes, with total focus and body awareness -- no linguistic thinking or daydreaming.

Slug Fest: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #149

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According to the very nice county police officer who gave us a heads up Thursday night,  there's a chance we're going to be run out of the civic association park where we've trained since '09.  We're okay for now, but "No Trespassing" signs are likely going up soon.

Running is almost always the right answer in a self-defense situation.  But not this time.

Next week we'll be asking for a zoning variance at the monthly county board of supervisors meeting.  And I'll also be asking about the future of the park -- about the county's commitment to its upkeep, and so on.  Meetings are video taped and saved on the county website, so video to come.

Slug Fest: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #149

  • 9 mins of slugging.  Warm up thoroughly (at least 8 mins).  Set timer for 1:00 min intervals.  Bang the heavy bag for 1 min as fast and as hard as you can.  Then shadowbox as fast as you can for 1 min.  Then, based on your fitness level, hold a Handstand, Push-up Plank or Elbow Plank for 1 min.  Repeat twice more for a total of 9 mins.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you must in order to finish.

  • Ask Archangel Barachiel for intercession.  Light a white candle and/or burn some incense as an offering to Archangel Barachiel, our guardian angel, and spend a few minutes in silent reflection.  Request he lend his wisdom, guardianship, guidance, care, visitation, and defense to Cabal Fang as we struggle to keep our space.

 

Enduro: Cabal Fang Training Involution #148

In Cabal Fang we generally train for max output over a limited time.  Cabal Fang is a self-defense martial art.  Self-defense situations don't usually last for more than a minute or so.

But we also want Cabal Fang to be applicable in every day life.  Only cops, medics and soldiers will likely use their martial arts skills more than once or twice in a lifetime.  But if Cabal Fang makes you healthy and strong inside and out, you can apply that in a million different ways, all day every day.  And every day life sometimes will require you to work until you can work no more.

So once in a while we should shake things up and train for distance instead of speed -- for length of time instead of for output across a span of time.

Enduro: Cabal Fang Training Involution #148

  • 9 rounds of emergency action.  Only 8 breaks of 12 secs each, one break between each of the 9 rounds. Each round you'll go until you gas, take a 12 sec. break, then proceed to the next exercise: HBSC (Heavy Bag Shoulder Carry), Up Strikes, Bear Walks, HBSC, Mounted Strikes, Bear Walks, HBSC, Low Kicks, Bear Walks. No pacing or lollygagging on the strikes, but travel at a relaxed pace for the HBSCs and Bear Walks.  8 breaks only.  My time was a fairly pathetic 20:39. Post yours in the comments.  See video below.

  • Internal work for time. Assume your posture of choice and set a countdown timer for one hour.  Practice your choice of contemplation, meditation or prayer as long as you are able -- until your mind or body fails you -- or until the timer beeps, whichever comes first.  I made my hour.  Did you?

  • If it's not in your training journal it didn't happen.  Record all times and all self-realizations in your training journal.

Boy's Twelve: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #146

Apparently boys were pretty fit back in '45.

Check out this little fitness drill called the "Army's Daily Dozen" from the Boy's Fun Book of Things to Make an Do (Grosset & Dunlap, New York 1945) pages 142-143.  It's not as hard as Self-Destruct Sequence or anything, but it's no walk in the park either!

No rep counts or time guidelines are provided except for two exercises -- Burpees (40 minimum!) and the Banks Twists (30 minimum!).  For our purposes I have guesstimated what seem like reasonable numbers.

Now go see if you're as fit as little boys used to be back in the day.

Boy's Twelve: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #146

If you get this done in under 25:56 you got me beat.

  1. 40 Burpees (no hop, no Push-up)

  2. 25 High Jumpers (a.k.a Standing Broad Jump)

  3. 25 Squat Benders (Squat, then touch toes)

  4. 25 Rowing Exercise (a.k.a. Jackknifes)

  5. 25 Sit-ups with Plough (dead stop after each Plough)

  6. 25 Push-ups (narrow)

  7. 30 Banks Twists (a.k.a. Windshield Wipers, over-back = 1)

  8. 25 Side Benders (look at the drawing and good luck!)

  9. 25 8-Count Push-ups (Burpee with 2 Push-ups and no hop)

  10. 25 Squat Jumps (Split Jump Squats w/ hands on head)

  11. Stationary Run (100 taps of each foot)

  12. 25 Trunk Twisters (Windmills, elbow to knee, 25/side)

Escape Plan Revisited: Cabal Fang Training Involution #145

"Escape Plan Drill" a.k.a. "EPD" has been a fitness standard in Cabal Fang Martial Arts for many years, even before making its first appearance in a T.I. almost exactly four years ago.

If you haven't done it yet, you're in for a treat.

EPD is A+ because it shrinks to fit.  You can use whatever calisthenics you like based on your needs and/or fitness level.  And, since it's an "as-many-as-you-can" type of drill, its difficulty increases with the fitness of the user.

This week's variant uses martial-specific calisthenics.  Dig it.

Escape Plan Revisited: Cabal Fang Training Involution #145

  • Escape Plan Drill. Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Sprint for 1:00, Shadowbox or hit Heavy Bag for 1:00 then complete as many calisthenics reps as you can for 1:00. Repeat 4 more times for a total of 15 mins, taking as few 12-count breaks as you must in order to finish.  Your 5 calisthenics are: Sit-outs, Shots, Sprawls, Bear Walks, and Back Bridge.  On the Back Bridges, hold or pop reps based on fitness level.  This version of EPD could be called "Humility Sandwich." Try a bite and tell me if I'm wrong about the recipe.

  • Hagakure Meditation.   Escape is not always possible, certainly not in the end.  After cooling down, set countdown timer for 10 mins., then read the paragraph below and meditate as directed.  Seppuku is of course an ancient form of ritual suicide, so this is not to be read literally.  Read metaphorically it contains a wise but very hard teaching.  We are going to die, perhaps even by having to lay down our lives for what we value most highly.  We modern people struggle with these old, hard lessons.  But some things are worth the struggle.

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NEXT WEEK...

Are you more fit than a 12-year-old boy circa 1945?  Find out next week in Boy's Twelve: Training Involution #146!

BAGGAGE: CABAL FANG MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING INVOLUTION #144

Baggage: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #144

Fill a large gym bag with whatever you can find.  Use folded sheets and misc. athletic equipment for weight.  Then add in some of the detritus of your pathetic existence -- junk food  wrappers, tasteless magazines, empty beer cans, old video games, and bits of shameful clutter from your attic or garage.  And finally,  throw in a handful of promises you've broken or things you've said to friends and loved ones in anger. Take this part seriously.

  • Complete 100 Bag Lifts as fast as you can.  Beginners do them Cabal Fang-style, advanced, Kansas-style.

  • Complete 50 sieo nage as fast as you can.

  • Pick up the bag and cover 1-mile run as fast as you can.  Run, jog, walk, doesn't matter as long as you finish.

  • Make sure you warm up thoroughly before you begin and keep your heart rate within safe limits.  This one's a real humdinger.  If it doesn't trigger your vomit response, either your bag is too light or you aren't trying hard enough.

  • Cool down, then wrap up with the Cross of Light ritual and 10 minutes of contemplation.  The Cross of Light ritual is so packed with meaning that describing it fills a whole chapter in the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  Re-read as needed.

  • Record your time and what you learned in your training journal, then  share the less personal bits with the Cabal Fang Facebook group.

See video below if you need more detail.


 

A Farrago of Deracination: Training Involution #143

A Farrago of Deracination: Training Involution #143

A few days ago we announced that this week’s T.I. would be a brobdingnagian farrago of deracination.  Why ‘d we do that?  To get your attention of course!

  • “Brobdingnagian” means “huge.”  Brobingnag is the place where giants live in Gulliver’s Travels.

  • A “farrago” is an assortment, like a hodgepodge.

  • And “deracination” is a delightful mouthful that means “pulling up at the roots.”

Catch our drift?

A FARRAGO OF DERACINATION: TRAINING INVOLUTION #143

  • Write your own obituary.  Not some stupid joke thing, but a real obituary.  If it takes you less than fifteen minutes you didn’t sweat it enough.  Read example below.  You are going to die.  What do you want people to say about you when the day comes?

  • Take your shirt off and train.  Gents, go outside and take off your shirt.  Ladies, go as skimpy as you can — staying within safety and legal limits of course.  If you have not done this month’s constitutional twice, do it once now.  If you have, complete Escape Plan Drill (instructions to both below).  This has a profound effect on your mind, body and spirit.

  • What’s the point?  Life is not about what you look like, or your toys, or your image, or any of that.  Get beyond your skin, go past your comfort zone, embrace your impermanence — and go live the life you should be living.

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Escape Plan Drill

Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Sprint for 1:00, then Shadowbox for 1:00 then pick a calisthenic and do as many reps as you can for 1:00.  Repeat 4 more times for a total of 15 mins, picking a new calisthenic each cycle.  Record total distance covered and total calisthenics reps in your training journal and beat it next time.

Feb 2019 Constitutional

Squats (100)
Push-ups (50)
Crunch’n’Punch (25/person or if solo, 50 Sit-ups with a Jab/Cross at the top)
Steam Engines (25/side)
Lunges (100)
Sprints (25 out/back)
Wall Touches (100)

Obituaries — Richmond Times Dispatch, 30 Sept. 2049

MITCHELL JR., ROBERT E. (“MITCH”) aged 88, of HENRICO, passed away on Tuesday Sept. 28, 2049 at his residence.  He is survived by his wife of 50 years Karen; son Robert; three daughters, Tiffany, Amber and Morgan; five grandchildren, Kota, Shunta, Audrey, Ryder and Jack Jr.; and four great-grandchildren, Zeke, Ken, Aiko, and Mary.  After thirty years in Credit and Accounting Management, Mitch retired, entered seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Old Catholic line.  Re-inventing himself as Father Mitch, he operated St. Barachiel’s, a local community chapel and civic center, for over 25 years.  A world-renowned martial arts master and author, he was the founder of Bobcat Martial Arts, a frontier-styled martial arts club, as well as Cabal Fang Martial Arts, a non-profit martial arts organization with branches on three continents.  He wrote over 50 books on a wide variety of topics, both fiction and non-fiction.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Barachiel Chapel where services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2nd at 2:00 PM, Bishop Alan Smithee presiding.

GROUNDHOG DAY 2015 & 2019: TRAINING INVOLUTION #142

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We won’t be selecting the February focuses until later this morning, so for now, let’s just just honor the holiday’s eponymous film by repeating the Training Involution  from this week way back in 2015.

GROUNDHOG DAY 2015 & 2019: TRAINING INVOLUTION #142

  • GROUND-FIGHTING CONDITIONER #1 (10 MINS, see below)

  • JUMP ROPE (10 mins w/ 1 lb. wrist weights, AFAYC)

  • CONTEMPLATION — 10 MINS

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GROUND-FIGHTING CONDITIONER #1

Set timer for two minutes and take as few few 12 second breaks as possible:

  1. Circle the bag for 2 mins: Forearms on bag and toes on floor are only points of contact. Circle the bag using only legs and feet, alternating directions, until the timer beeps.

  2. Mount the bag for 2 mins: Strike 10 times as hard as you can. Body lock the bag, barrel-roll, regain mount, and repeat until the timer beeps.

  3. Roll the bag for 2 mins: Lay on your back with heavy-bag perpendicularly on top of your body. Roll it up and down across torso, pushing and pulling like a rolling pin. From time to time, press up the bag and let it drop on your torso to maintain your tolerance for the stresses of wrestling. Continue for entire round.

  4. Defend the bag for 2 mins: Lay on your back with back on top of you longways. Push up the bag w/ left hand and strike it five times with the right, then switch and strike with the left hand. Repeat for two minutes.

  5. Side Mount the bag for 2 mins: Scissor legs each direction 3 times, then scramble over bag with forearms and toes only. Repeat. When the timer beeps, you’re done.

DEMON SLAYER: TRAINING INVOLUTION #141

Belphegor a.k.a. Ba’al Peor from Numbers 25:1–15

Belphegor a.k.a. Ba’al Peor from Numbers 25:1–15

Betrayed by a loved one?  Had a friend turn out to be a stranger?  Regretted something you did and wondered why you did it?  Faced down an addiction?  Clawed your way out of bad relationship?

Then you know that demons are “real.”  No, they can’t pass the Amazing Randy sniff test.  But if you conceive of them as harmful patterns of behavior that repeat across time, they are 100% real.

Demons don’t just take you over at random. You have to “invite them in.”  In the movies, you must buy the cursed book, say the forbidden words, or move into the evil house.  In real life you have to try that cocaine, visit that strip club, or gamble with your rent money.   That’s how the “demon” gets a foothold and you introduce the posibility of ending up addicted, sexually obsessed, or homeless.

Maybe believing that “demons” can “possess you” if you “let them in” is a useful fiction that prevents negative behavior patterns — you know, kind of like other useful fictions, such as “porcupines can shoot their quills” and “all guns are loaded.”  Behaving as if porcupines can shoot their quills and treating all guns as if loaded effectively help prevent pain and suffering.

But surely demons don’t have agency.  Or do they?  Does the rabies virus have agency?  Viruses aren’t conscious.  And yet rabies makes the infected want to bite, which is the primary means of transmission.  Sure seems like rabies has agency.  Mammon, demon of riches, seems to manifest whenever people obsess about wealth.  Is the demon Mammon a conscious entity repeatedly leading people astray?

Do demons have agency? Are they “real?” Real enough to be exorcised.

DEMON SLAYER: TRAINING INVOLUTION #141

What does it take to kill a demon?  Cold?  Fire?  Enchanted weapons? Exorcism?

  • Freeze.  For a 200 count (about 3 minutes), hold a pose taking as few 12-count breaks as you must. Beginners, hold a Horse Stance.  Intermediate, Plank.  Advanced, dead-arm hangs from a Pull-up bar or Crow-stands.

  • Burn. Complete 200 reps of an exercise.  Beginners, Bicycles or Crunches.  Intermediate, Push-ups on knees or Steam Engines.  Advanced,  Down-ups or Kettlebell Swings.

  • Slice.  Complete 200 strikes per hand with your practice weapon of choice.  Tactical pen or kubotan keychain, walking stick or cane, rattan stick, wooden knife, tomahawk, nunchaku or what-have-you.

  • Exorcise.  Set timer for 15 minutes.  Assume meditative posture of choice.  Whisper a 10-to-14-word prayer — aloud as you inhale, silently as you hesitate with lungs full, again aloud as you exhale, and once more silently as you hesitate with lungs empty.  Repeat until timer beeps — roughly 200 recitations.  This will force you into box breathing and facilitate a deeply meditative state.  Your prayer can be religious or secular, general or specific.  Even atheists can pray — pray to Light or Truth.  “O Light, drive away all darkness and show me the way I pray thee.” Christians can use the Prayer of the Heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Jewish persons can use the Shema Yisrael, "Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One."

Lapses and Slips: Training Involution #140

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Around here the focus is on excellence. But what are supposed to do when you can’t seem to get your act together?

Don’t think you have to be perfect.  Just do your best, maintain incremental improvement, and don’t quit.  If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up so much that you give up — just keep going and do better next time.

Lapses and Slips: Training Involution #140

This month’s focus is Self-Defense vs. Weapons. What if you get cut? Can you move with one limb incapacitated?  If you have to use a weapon to defend yourself, can you move around and fight without dropping it?

  • 10 minutes on a slip ball.  If you’re bored, try the drill outlined in the video below.

  • Armed self-defense gauntlet.  Set a timer for 2:00 rounds and pick up a wooden practice weapon — stick, knife, doesn’t matter.  Complete a round each of of strikes vs. Heavy bag, Get-ups, Sit-ups w/ Strike, Sprints w/ strike, and then do it again (16 mins total).  Drop your weapon penalty = 50 Push-ups.

  • Get it?  “Lapses and slips”?  The training sessions has slips and “lapses “– an obsolete word for intervals and the origin of the word “laps.”

  • Have you done two constitutionals this week?  If not, here you go.

  • Record everything in your training journal.

JOURNALS AND LOGS: TRAINING INVOLUTION #139

This month’s Cabal Fang focuses are Self-Defense vs. Weapons — with a touch of offense as well — and “The Quill” (journaling).  Try to make some kind of journal entry every single day this month, even if it’s only one sentence.

JOURNALS AND LOGS: TRAINING INVOLUTION #139

  • Complete this month’s log constitutional.  No partner? No log?  No problem!  Use a dumbbell instead of a log (I chose a #30).  Do not put the dumbbell down unless you’re doing an exercise that requires you to do so.   Rack the dumbbell two-handed and perform Log Press (25 full), Log Squats (25), Log Hops (25 full ), Log Sit-Ups (25), Log Lunges (50), Log A-Lifts (25) and Log Curb Touches (100).  See video below.

  • Choose your weapon and start attacking.  Choose the blunt weapon of your choice — wooden knife, walking stick, tactical pen, whatever you prefer — and set  a timer for 10 mins.  See how many attacks you can launch before the timer beeps.  Switch hands every hundred strikes or so.  I chose walking stick and completed 920 strikes.

  • Star of Ishtar form 25 times.  If you don’t know the form get the Cabal Fang Study Course and read up.