Run for Your Life: Training Involution #101

Run for Your Life: Training Involution #101

  • Are you paying attention to detail? (1) What was your spouse or significant wearing last time you saw him or her? (2) What is the color, make, model, year and license plate number of his or her vehicle? (3) Get up right now and check: are all your doors and windows locked? Imagine how guilty you'd feel if your spouse or significant other turned up missing and you couldn't help the police with the most basic information. Imagine how you'd feel if someone invaded your home and you didn't have it buttoned up. If you didn't get at least two out of three right, complete 100 Squats and then review your preparedness and prevention drills on pages 224 - 226 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide.
  • Do you know your numbers? If you are going to use Tarot as a psychological and spiritual tool you need to know your number symbolism. What are astrological associations for the numbers 1 through 10? If you can't name at least of 5 of them, do 50 Push-ups and then go study the chart on page 168 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide.
  • Conditioning Run. CR15P Tabata-styled. Run AFAYC for 20 seconds, walk 10 seconds, repeat for 30 rounds. That's 15 mins total.

The Big 100: Training Involution #100


  • 100 strikes/min (heavy bag for speed).  Set timer for 3 rounds of 3:00/1:00.  Strike heavy bag with hands and feet as fast as you can.  Count strikes in the final round.  If you don’t break 300 strikes (100 strikes/min.) try again tomorrow.  Tip: count your strikes in sets of 10.
  • 100 grappling moves.  If you have a partner, pick one grappling move — maybe Single Leg, Ankle Pick, Drop Duck-under, Slip-by to take down, you name it — and do it 50 times each.  If training solo do it 100 times.  Either way, if you aren’t done in under 8 mins., you’re going way too slow.  Try again tomorrow.
  • 100 Calisthenics Half Pyramid.  Squats, Jumping Jacks and Push-ups (beginners do Half Squats and/or Push-ups on knees, advanced folks, do Jump Squats and/or Clap Push-ups).  Climb odd numbers only up to 19 for a total of 100 each (1 of each, then 3 of each, then 5,7,9,11,13,15,17 and 19).  Get it done in under 13 mins or try again tomorrow.
  • Journal review.  Are you keeping up with your training journal?  Are you logging all training sessions?  Making regular diary entries?  Noting your mood and any milestones?  Establishing goals based on your progress?  Spend a 10 minutes reading backwards in your journal.  Are you satisfied with the frequency and quality of your entries?  Are you happy with your progress in all four major dimensions — intellectually, emotionally, martially and spiritually?  Record your thoughts and answers to these questions in your journal!

Full Thrust: Training Involution #99


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Full Thrust: Training Involution #99

This session (excluding the meditation) is only 16 minutes long.  But if you pull out the stops and you do not slack it might take you 2 days to recover.  So warm up fully, listen to your body, pay attention to form and have a care. 

  • 4 mins. of Dumbbell Thrusters.  This one comes by way of  the incredible Dan John.  Set timer for 8 rounds of :20/:10 (Tabata rounds).  Pick up two dumbbells.  Unless you're Captain America, I recommend using dumbbells about 10% of your body weight.  Complete as many Thrusters as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat.
  • 4 mins. of one calisthenic with perfect form.  Pick any calisthenic you want and do it for four minutes.  If you need ideas, I suggest Jumping Jacks or Steam Engines for beginners, Push-ups, Squats or Lunges for intermediates, and Bodybuilders, Burpees or perhaps Sit-put Push-ups for advanced folks.  Need even more ideas?  Download my book The Calisthenics Codex.   Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish.
  • 4 mins of one grappling technique.  I chose a Straight Shot, but you could take an Angle Pick, Duck Under, Arm Drag, doesn't matter.  If you don't have a partner, do them solo, shadow-fighting-style.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish.
  • 4 mins of double-end ball.  Set up your ball and get after it as fast as you can.  If you don't have a double-end ball, make one yourself with these instructions or substitute 4 mins. of shadowboxing with 1 lb. hand weights.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish.
  • Meditation on the nature of Spring.  Modern people get really happy about the arrival of Spring.  But Spring was a mixed bag for  the ancients.  They didn't have year-round access to factory-farmed food.  So although Spring brought them warmth and sunshine, it was a difficult time.  Winter food stores were used up, people were on edge after being cooped up all winter with animals in their midst, and on top of all that they had to find the strength to plant crops -- after which it would be weeks before even early crops like lettuce came in.  Perhaps this is why the darkest holidays, like Passover and Good Friday fall during this season, followed by some of the most bright, like Holi, Holla Mohalla, Ostara and Easter.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Sit in your meditative posture of choice, regulate your breathing, close your eyes and experience Spring for what it truly is for all people, all of nature in all times.

45 RPMs: Training Involution #98


45 RPM: Training Involution #98

  • "RPM" stands for "Reps per Movement."  Do you remember 45 RPM records?  Then you get the pun.  As long as you get your 45 reps, doesn't matter how many sets.  Consider doing the weightlifting and calisthenics sets in half-pyramid format.  In other words, 1 Hang Clean & Press, 1 Squat, 1 Chin-up, then 2 of each, then three, then four, etc. up to 9 of each for a total of 45 reps.
  • 45 reps of each weightlifting exercise: Dumbbell Hang Clean & Press, Back Squats, Chin-ups (weighted if desired).  If you don't have the required equipment, use a sandbag (throw sand, chains or gravel in an old duffle or backpack) and do Sandbag Hang Clean and Press, Sandbag Squats, and Sandbag Curls.  Warm up fully before you begin!
  • 45 reps of each calisthenic: Squats, Diamond Push-ups, Jackknifes, Get-ups, Side Lunges, Wall Touches.
  • 45 Drop Duck-Unders.  If you don't have a partner do them solo (if you have a hanging heavy bag, square off against that).  Video here.
  • 45 Striking Combos for power.  Go after your heavy bag with maximum malice, delivering 45 striking combos -- punches, kicks, elbows, knees, you-name-it (3 strikes per combo minimum).
  • 45 minutes of contemplation.  I'm an advocate of 10 mins of contemplation per day, but the occasional long session of 20 minutes or more can really open doors.  Set a timer, assume your posture of choice, regulate your breathing and allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples in a pond.  Don't feel badly if you can't make the whole 45, just do the best you can.  If your legs cramp up and you have to stop after 30 minutes, pick up the other 15 minutes later that day.

The Climb: Training Involution #97




  • Half Pyramid of Push-ups, Jumping Jacks and Squats (that’s 1 of each, 2 of each, 3, 4, etc.).  Beginners climb to 10 (55 total reps of each exercise), intermediate to 14 (105) , advanced to 17 (153).  Transition to Push-ups on knees or Half-Squats if you have to, just don’t quit.  Remember: this isn’t working out, this is training.
  • Heavy Bag Max Power Shots 5 x 2:00/:30.  Do your shots in combos half-pyramid-styled.  So throw 1 strike, skip a beat, then 2 shots, beat, 3 shots, etc. up to 10 shots.  Then start over until the round ends.  No lollygagging.  
  • Enjoy the view.  Cool down for about 2 mins and then set a timer for 10 mins.  Assume your meditative posture of choice, keeping eyes wide open as you regulate your breathing to your natural, regular rhythm.  Life is a climb and every moment presents its own unique view.  Look at it with your whole being.  Use your visual, symbolic, experiential mind not your linguistic mind.  Don’t let yourself think in words.  Reality is beautiful and everything is sacred.  Just look at it and experience it for 10 minutes.

Grab Bag: Training Involution #96

  • Grab your training dummy, set timer for 15 mins and execute your favorite throw as many times as you can before the timer beeps.  Don't have a training dummy?  Stuff a duffel bag with tightly folded linens.  
  • Grab your heavy bag and complete Wrestling Conditioner #1.
  • Meditate on the Shield of Achilles.  Assume your meditative posture of choice and place the image below at eye height -- either print it out or stand up your phone or tablet (making sure to adjust the sleep settings).  Regulate your breathing and fall into the image with your visual imagination.  Do not think in words -- just experience the picture.  Some people think that Homer's description is of an ancient Greek mandala.  When you're done, think about why Homer describes the other character's shields as being emblazoned with the heads of Gorgon and other monsters, images of panic and terror, and yet gives Greece's most devastating warrior a beautiful one depicting the whole range of human life and experience within nature and culture.


 This amazing interpretation of Achilles' shield was done by a high school student based on Homer's description from the Iliad -- click image to read the whole article!

This amazing interpretation of Achilles' shield was done by a high school student based on Homer's description from the Iliad -- click image to read the whole article!

Locus: Training Involution #95

Locus: Training Involution #95

Do not approach this week's assignment intellectually.  Just dive in, participate sincerely and get involved in the experience.

  • The Fool's Journey.  Set timer 15 mins.  Complete the Fool's Journey Form as many times as you can -- without sacrificing power and elegance! -- before the timer beeps.  No experience in Cabal Fang?  Sub a form, drill or combo chain from your martial art/style.
  • Conditioning runCR15A
  • Bear hug carry.  4 x 1:00, 1 x failure.  Throw some weight into a backpack or military duffle or use your heavy bag (strap dumbbells to it if need be).   Start with an easy load.  Hug bag and walk circles inside your training area for 1:00 min.  Rest 1:00 while you add more weight.  Do that 4 times.  On the 5th round carry to failure.
  • Meditation.  After cooling down spend a few minutes looking at the pictures below.  Then set a timer for 10 mins, assume chosen meditation posture, close eyes and regulate breathing.  Allow images from your training session, mixed with recollections of the photos below, to play like a slideshow in your mind's eye.  Use your imagination and do not think in words, only in pictures.  Hopefully you'll see the symbolism that ties all four aspects of this training involution together.  Record thoughts and experiences in your training journal.

The Grind: Training Involution #94

The Grind: Cabal Fang Training Involution #94

  • Push-up Grinder.  After a thorough 8-minute warm-up, complete a full pyramid to 10 of Prison Push-ups, Back-ups, Regular Push-ups, Jump Squats.  Take as many 12-count breaks as you need to finish, and do the Regular Push-ups on your knees if/when you burn out.
  • 1 long round on the heavy bag.  10 minutes for accuracy, no breaks.   If your bag doesn't have targets on it, put some Xs on it with sports tape.  Throw combos at the marks with realistic malice.  Count your misses until times's up and then -- did you see it coming? -- do Push-ups for each miss -- beginners 1, intermediate 2, advanced 3 or more.
  • Jump rope for 15 minutes.  If you aren't good at it don't worry about looking cute.  Doesn't matter if the rope hits your feet a hundred times, just start again when it does and keep getting over the rope for the duration.  Grind it out.
  • Pick one of the internal exercises from the Cabal Fang Study Guide and do it every single day this week no matter what.  Practice contemplation, do one of the Meditations of the Rose,  meditate on one of the Five Vital Graces, complete the Salutations of Sun and Moon, etc.  Just pick one and stick with it all week.


2017 Financial Statements Completed

Here's where we stand after our first official year operating as a federally recognized, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation -- see links below:  

Income Statement

Balance Sheet

The long and the short of it?  The Cabal Fang Temple Fund is up to $,1032.00.  

If we're going to grow the fund large enough to buy a building suitable for indoor classes and formal meetings, we're going to need a wealthy benefactor, a volunteer to help us write grant proposals, or a whole bunch of better ideas for raising money.

But hey -- Rome was not built in a day, and neither will be the new Cabal Fang Temple...

Besides, we like training oustide anyway!


Goosed: Training Involution #93


Are you keeping a training journal?

  • If you ARE NOT keeping a training journal: If you're not keeping a journal, you're not practicing Cabal Fang.  Close your phone or computer right now and go buy yourself a spiral notebook so you can start.  If practical, put on a backpack and run/walk to the store to buy it and run/walk back.  This will give you a connection to your journal by increasing its value and emotional weight.
  • If you ARE keeping  a training journal: Open your journal to the workout you did on this day last year and see if you can best it. If your journal isn't a year old yet, do the one from last year.  We amped it up a little and made it the monthly Cabal Fang Temple constitutional. And our monthly focus is The Quill as well.



CRUNCH! CRASH! BANG! Training Involution #92


  • Crunch through a hike.  Cover two miles with a weighted pack (#20, #40 or #60 by size/ability).  Finish up with 100 Squats before you drop the pack.
  • Crash into some combos.  7 x 2:00/1:00. Start each combo with a hard lead palm, a hard falling jab, or a forearm cram.  Finish each one with some kind of crash — a shoulder-slam, body lock, bear hug, bulldog,  single or double-leg take-down, etc.  If you have a partner, take turns exchanging combos.  No partner?  Use a heavy bag.  No heavy bag?  Shadowbox.  If working solo, spend your 1:00 breaks doing as many Sit-out Push-ups as you can, taking as few 12-count breaks as you need to survive.
  • Bang out a conditioning run.  CR10F Prisoner-style (hands behind your head).
  • Slice through your week.   While cooling down, think of a fumble you made in the last week, something you were involved in that went down awkwardly, inelegantly or uncomfortably.   How could you have been more elegant?  Then assume meditation posture, close eyes and regulate breathing and visualize the coming week.  See yourself acting with grace and fluidity, slicing through your week like a hawk through the air.  Don’t fantasize!  Imagine real situations on the actual horizon and really consider how you will need to behave in order to cut through your week.  When you’re done, record your thoughts and inspirations in your training journal and make notes on your To-Do list so you don’t forget.

Choke, Don't Choke: Training Involution #91

Choke, Don't Choke: Training Involution #91

  • Choke. Put an old shirt or jacket on a sturdy wooden coat hanger and practice your basic chokes, like Old #7, Brace Choke, X Choke, Double Lapel Choke, etc.  If you feel creative, make a head-and-neck dummy (video below) and practice more complex chokes, like the Loop Choke, Squeeze Choke,  Paper-cutter, Jersey Choke, Guillotine Lapel Choke, and so on.  If you have a partner, put on a paintin' shirt and go to town -- but be careful and tap early.
  • Don't Choke.  Warm-up for 8 minutes.  Then select a sandbag (#20, #40 or #60) and set timer for 10 minutes.  Complete as many sets as you can of 7 SBGs (Sand Bag Get-ups), 7 SBLs (Sand Bag Lunges) and 14 SBPs (Sand Bag Presses).  This is for strength in the scuffle and the sand bag is your enemy.  So don't "workout" -- train.
  • 20-Minute Constitutional Run (Power).  Set a timer for 8:30.  Head out until the timer beeps, then head back.  Get home before it beeps again.  When it does, walk it off for 3 minutes and you're done in 20.  A Constitutional Run means Constitutional Trial rules apply -- take as few 12-count walking breaks as you need to finish.  Running for power means you run as fast as you can without pacing yourself.  FYI, there are three more types of Constitutional Run in the pipeline -- watch for a blog post on Wednesday that will explain the protocol.

Smear Campaign: Training Involution #90

The third Vital Grace of Cabal Fang is Frugality.  Barachiel's First Lighting is Keep Only What is Valuable.  The average violent encounter lasts under 2 minutes.  The max round length in combat sports is 5 minutes.  Therefore:

  1. Map your fitness training against martial landmarks.
  2. Train to be a wildcat, a honey badger, a total Tasmanian devil.
  3. Select and/or modify exercises so that your fitness mimics martial movements whenever possible.
  4. Keep your fitness training short, focused and close to max output.

With that in mind...

Training Involution #90

  • 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: Smearing Push-ups, Cross-arm Clinch Lunges (maximum cutting power!), Leg Triangles and Splay-n-Punch.    See video below for details.
  • Training journal review.  Sit down with your training journal and do a review.  Is your fitness training martial focused?  I'm no better than you are -- I found some holes.  Let's go plug them together, shall we?  Adjust your training regimen as needed.
  • If you do not keep a training journal you are not training.  Take a 100 Jump Squat penalty.  Immediately purchase a spiral notebook and begin logging your training sessions!

A Power Greater than Will: Training Involution #89

Cabal Fang Training Involution #89: A Power Greater than Will

1. Deck of Cards. Take this quiz and add up all your "No" answers: Have you trained at least twice in the last 7 days? Do you keep a training journal per the instructions in the Cabal Fang Study Guide? Do you set training goals and track your progress toward them using measurable data points such as weight lifted, strikes/minute, distance, time, heart rate, etc.? Do you train using periodicity and/or training cycles? Got your score from 0 to 4? Good. Warm up for 8 minutes, then consult the chart below to get your workout. Shuffle a deck of cards, take off the number of cards as indicated (if any), and place them face down on the floor. Turn a card and complete the number of reps indicated. 1 rep for each pip 1 through 10. Face cards = 10 and Aces = 15. That's 100 reps per suit, 400 reps per deck.

Number of "No" answers Deck Size Exercises
0 Pull out 26 cards (1/2 deck) ♠ = Push-ups, ♣ = Sit-ups, ♥ = Squats and ♦ = Jumping Jacks
1 Pull out 13 cards (3/4 deck) ♠ = Push-ups, ♣ = Sit-ups, ♥ = Squats and ♦ = Jumping Jacks
2 Pull out 13 cards ♠ = Push-ups, ♣ = Sit-ups, ♥ = Squats and ♦ = Jumping Jacks
3 Whole deck ♠ = Push-ups ♣ = Sit-ups, Red cards = Squats
4 Whole deck Black cards = Push-ups, Red cards = Squats


2. Watch the video below and meditate. What is the bad habit you can't lick, the behavior you can't get rid of, the endeavor that keeps vexing you? Set a timer for 8 minutes, assume your meditative posture of choice, regulate your breathing, and narrow your eyes to slits. Spend 8 minutes earnestly searching for the "counter-balance" or "light" I mentioned in the video (I'm using a veiled reference to force you to watch the video!).  What is it? When the timer beeps, record your thoughts in your training journal. What are you going to do to make sure that you put more focus on the counterbalance you found? What's your plan?

Training Involution #88: Doubling Down

Cabal Fang Training Involution #88: Doubling Down

  • Pick a lackluster training session and double it.  Flip through your training journal if you have to and find one that disappointed you.  Let's say you tried Self Destruct Sequence and you couldn't quite finish.  Go do it twice.  Maybe you tried to run your first 5K and you had to walk half of it.  Well, go finish a 10K.
  • The goal of this exercise is to remind yourself that you are capable of at least twice as much as you think.  This is about mettlecraftendurance and form -- not speed, power, accuracy or mobility -- so take as many short breaks (a slow 12-count or 7 fast breaths) as you need.  Just finish.
  • Get your head right.  Re-read Chapter 30: Mettlecraft in the Cabal Fang Study Guide before you begin.
  • Start with the premise that this is going to be fun.  Don't push yourself, just turn on your adventure circuits and start exploring your limits.  Don't try to cram ten pounds of shit into a 5 pound sack.   Create a vacuum and flow into it like water.
  • When the fun starts to fade, find your joy.  Recite the Emerald Tablet, your favorite piece of scripture or poem, sing a song, give thanks to a higher power for your health, your strength, for the scenery, etc. etc.  When your head starts to crack only spirit can stitch it up.
  • When you start to get gassed modify your exercises.  When Push-ups start killing, begin doing them on knees.  If it's a run and your knees start complaining, slow to a jog or take short walking breaks.  Don't quit -- adapt!
  • Maintain focus on form and breath.  Most injuries occur when form falters, either out of lack of focus (mental failure) or out of exhaustion (physical failure).  Breathe as deeply and fully as you can, through your nose if possible, and try to perceive the oxygen flowing into your bloodstream with full awareness.  The more tired you get, the more you need to focus on form and breathing.
  • Listen to your body as you search for your limits.  By all means quit if you're injured.  But, that said, you'll never live up to your full potential if you can't tell the difference between discomfort, pain and injury pain -- between mental failure and a physical failure.  This involution is an adventure.  Go find the line.

Introducing Training Involutions

\In`vo*lu”tion\, n. [L. involutio: cf. F. involution.
See {Involve}.] 1. The act of involving or infolding.  2. The state of being entangled or involved; complication; entanglement.


Why?  Because we are martial artists.  We are not “working out” — we are training.  “Working out” means going down to the local fitness center to get your sweat on, maybe get on a treadmill or a bike, perhaps lift some weights.  There’s nothing wrong with that of course.  Workouts are good for you inside and out.

But this is Cabal Fang.  We are not here to work out, we are here to train.  To prepare.  To defend. To build our mind-body-spirit triangles into indomitable pyramids.  Above all, to be involved.  The term “training involution” implies that you are involved.

But there’s also a metaphysical meaning of the word “involution” which is the opposite of evolution.  Evolution is the growth phase.  Involution is the looking inward phase.  A caterpillar must enter its cocoon (involve) before it can exit as a butterfly (evolve).

You can work out while listening to your iPod — but you cannot train.


They are designed for martial artists looking for an extra-challenging weekly exercise session — especially for those practicing Cabal Fang who are looking to supplement their twice-weekly meetings and constitutionals.  But anyone can use them, even if only for inspiration.  See your doctor before beginning a new fitness regimen and listen to your body.  I will not accept responsibility if you try to blame me for injury or death resulting from any exercise routine on this website.


Each week I generally include three things — a fitness component, a martial component and a spiritual component.  But that doesn’t mean I always will.    Sometimes I will have activities that overlap and/or stretch boundaries and definitions.


Whenever you want.  But since they can be pretty intense, I suggest inserting them in your exercise scheme at a point that allows you adequate recovery time before your next session based on your fitness level.


Because you want to pursue the Great Work, of course.  And to do that you have to get involved with yourself and the world around you.




¹ Webster’s 1913 Dictionary

Workout of the Week #87


Dogs can be very dangerous --here are some statistics from DOGSBITE.ORG:

  • Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States.
  • 65% of the 392 dog bite deaths from 2005 – 2016 were attributed to Pit bulls.
  • In 2015, more than 28,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.
  • Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2016, costing more than $600 million.

With all of this in mind, here are some self-defense recommendations with regard to dogs.

Prevent and Prepare

  1. Carry a weapon and practice using it. I walk/run/hike with either a tactical pen or a walking stick. I train regularly with both, hitting actual objects to maintain command and mastery of my weapons.
  2. Pocket your cell phone and don’t wear ear buds. Use your full attention and all senses to monitor your surroundings.
  3. Treat all dogs over 30 lbs like loaded guns.  
  4. Don’t trust dogs on leashes. Owners often cannot control their own dogs. Large dogs often yank leashes from their owner's hands and bite.
  5. Maintain distance. Skirt all unfamiliar dogs by at least 30 feet.  If a dog enters your space, ready your weapon and be prepared to take action at first contact.  Assume all dogs are going to bite you.
  6. Disregard social conventions. If an unleashed dog over 30 lbs approaches you and you feel threatened, move away, present your weapon and loudly inform the owner that if the animal comes any closer you will kill it.  Owners usually grab their dogs and put them on leashes when you do this.
  7. Assume that any dog coming toward you is a threat. If shelter is nearby — a car, house, shed, high fence, etc. — get there.  But walk, don’t run.  And don’t turn your back.

If you are attacked

  1. If caught in the open, ready your weapon. Raise your free arm and shield your face and throat by grabbing the cloth of the opposite shoulder.
  2. Turn your body at right angles to protect your groin. Do not run.Stand your ground and very slowly advance toward the animal. Imagine and visualize you are going to kill it — that you are going to rip it limb from limb like a stuffed animal — even if you are unarmed.  Your body language will reflect your mindset.  Note that this advancing and visualization piece is at odds with expert advice. But we have deterred large digs using this method, and we think it works.  Consider all information and make your own evaluation.
  3. If the dog attacks you, do not pull away.  That will only injure you more and, even if you get free, you’ll just get another bite.  Let it stay latched on while you strike at it repeatedly, yelling with each blow, until it lets go and runs.
  4. A strong dog can easily drag you off your feet.  If that happens, assume safety position.  Get on your hands and knees with your forehead on the ground, interlace fingers behind your head, pull your elbows in, and tuck into the tightest ball you can until the dog leaves or help arrives.

And now...

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #87


* 40 x 20 HIIT — see video below.  Set timer for rounds of :20/:10 or just set a timer to 30-second intervals and rest for a 10 count whenever it beeps.  For the first 20 rounds, cycle through Leopard Walks, Shrimps, Tiger Push-ups, Scorpions and Bear Walks (4 cycles through those 5 exercises = 20 rounds).  For the next 20 rounds, go at your heavy bag with full power — as if your life depends on it!

* Tarot Meditation.  Set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes, stand up The Moon card from your Tarot deck at eye level and spend the time stepping into the card.  As you regulate your breathing and stare at the card, allow the image transition in your imagination from artwork to photograph and from photograph into a movie.  Allow your experience to unfold in your mind’s eye.  If you don’t have a tarot deck buy one here. Or just print out the photo at right and use that.

Workout of the Week #86


This one should help you burn off some of those holiday treats.

  • One nasty, 10-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).  Set a timer for 20 second intervals.  Complete 6 runs through the following 5 intervals: Jump Squats, Twisters, Get-ups, Clap Push-ups, and Rest. 6 sets of 5 = 30 intervals (10 minutes).
  • Grappling Conditioner #3.  I know we just did this one back in WOOTW #82, but it came up in my rotation yesterday so I did it again.  Set a countdown timer for 10:00 mins and complete as many sets as you can before the timer beeps of 5 Bag Lifts, 10 mounted strikes, and 5 Splay ‘n’ Punch.  Here’s a video.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish.  Then, after you cool down…
  • Eat or drink something and experience it fully.  Doesn’t matter much what you do, just do it with complete care and attention to detail. Make your lunch and eat it.  Make tea and drink it.  You can even cut a piece of bread, pour a glass of wine, and try to experience “at-one-ment” while you consume them.

Cane Seminar Huge Success!

The la Canne Vigny walking stick self-defense seminar was a huge success this past Saturday -- thanks mainly to the organization and sales skills of Morgan Mitchell!  The weather was sunny and beautiful, just a little chilly, and everybody learned a ton.

Some memorable words overheard during the 90-minute session:

  • "What's the secret sauce in the martial arts?  Intent!"
  • "Oops."  And then...
  • "Thanks for the reminder Tucker.  Let's all put on goggles before we go any further."
  • "I think my arm is falling off."
  • "Is this a wedding reception or martial arts seminar?"
  • "I think I need to start working out more often."
  • "How do you make your arm do that?"
  • "Hit it like Serena Williams!"
  • "I'll take those gloves now."

Here are some great photos taken by Leo (thanks Leo!) and a short video clip of the physical training portion of the seminar at the bottom (we call it "command and mastery" of the weapon).



Workout of the Week #85


  • Bear-hug Walks for grappling strength.  Set a timer for 3 rounds of 1:30/1:00.  Pick up a heavy bag or sand bag, secure it in a bear-hug body lock with a good wrestling grip and pace back and forth until the 1:30 is over.  Rest 1 min. and repeat twice more. Use the heaviest bag you can safely manage.  If the first round is too easy, add some weight — I strapped dumbbells to my heavy bag to get there.
  • Calisthenics pyramid.  Complete a full pyramid to 7 (1 rep of each exercise, 2 of each, 3, 4, etc. up to 7 reps, then back down to 1 of each — 49 reps in total) of the following: Handstand Push-ups, Get-ups and  Split Jump Squats (x2).  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish.  If you can’t do Handstand Push-ups, do Jackknife Push-ups (basically get into Downward Dog and do Push-ups to your upper forehead).
  • Meditation on the eye.  Sketch or print an eye symbol — an Eye of Horus, an Eye of Providence, an ichthys symbol, a Hand of Mysteries, a Hamsa, etc.  Set up the sketch or image at eye level and settle into your favorite meditative posture. Regulate your breathing, narrow your eyes, and spend 10 minutes meditating on the eye. What is the eye saying to you? What do you think is the central truth of the symbol? Record the results in your training log or journal