3 sets of 50 meters: Sprints, Lunges (30

3 sets of 50 meters: Sprints, Lunges (300 meters total)
@cabal_fang #WOD

Full Pyramid to 8 of Split Jump Squats,

Full Pyramid to 8 of Split Jump Squats, Steam Engines, Pushups, Helpups
@cabal_fang #WOD

F=MA: The Secret to Success

Trains are hard to stop because they have lots of mass and they go fast. (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

There is a simple lesson that artists of all kinds can learn from Applied Physics. Believe me when I say that, whether you are a writer, a painter, or a martial artist, the equation “F=MA” is directly relevant to you.

For those who don’t remember high school science, “F” is force, and it is equal to “M” (mass) times “A” (acceleration). A bullet is small and light, its devastating force caused by blinding speed.

If you are a martial artist, your mass is largely fixed. In competition there are weight classes. You and the person you are fighting have just about the same mass. The only way you can increase your force is by increasing your speed. Outside the ring, in self-defense, speed is still the answer to the quest for greater force. Nobody wants to put on a fifty extra pounds just to have a force advantage. Bruce Lee is remembered because of his philosophy and because he has ahead of his time, but it was his incredible speed that blew people’s hair back. If you have to slow down so that the best cameras of the day can capture your movements, you are fast. You have FORCE aplenty.

If you are a writer, think of mass as the quality of your work, acceleration is your production, and force as the impact you have on history, readers, movements, and markets. Yes, you can increase quality and have some success. But if you only write one really great book (think Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind) you may not be forgotten, but there’s a chance you’ll be remembered as a one trick pony or a fluke. Greatness, i.e. maximum force, comes with speed. Authors like Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Alexandre Dumas, Michael Moorcock, Charles Dickens, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Kurt Vonnegut produced dozens of excellent books and short stories. No one trick ponies on that list. That’s why I’ve set a goal to release at two books a year until I take my dirt nap (five so far). My plan is to leave behind an impressive body of work numbering over fifty books.

No matter what your field, it is consistent speed that will make you outstanding. People are impressed with savants who can quickly solve complicated math problems in their heads, not with someone who can do so with a pad and pen in fifteen minutes. Anybody can earn a million bucks in a thirty year career. Earn that much in a week and you’re a success guru. And so on.

But be prepared. There is also the formula E = mc2, a.k.a. the Theory of Relativity. What it postulates, in a nutshell, is that the closer you get to the speed of light the more energy is required and the more impossible it gets. In other words, going faster requires exponentially more work. That’s part of why it garners so much wonder, respect, awe, and admiration.

So while you’ll never reach light speed, there is every reason to try.

Getting S*** Done


Today my lovely and supportive wife and I went all over town and took pictures.  Most of them were exercise illustrations for two upcoming books – “The Calisthenics Codex”  and “Cut : How to Lose Weight and Get the Muscle Definition you Always Wanted.” Others, like this graffiti shot, are for the blog. It’s fun to get things done. And to stop for a triple chocolate brownie and a cup of coffee when you’re done.

1.5 hour Hike w/ #25 backpack @cabal_fan

1.5 hour Hike w/ #25 backpack @cabal_fang #WOD

Brass Knuckles, Poor Folks, and Contradictions

NY Metro Police-issue brass knuckles, circa 1864 (courtesy of Hock Hochheim’s blog)

I’ve talked about brass knuckles before, and my fascination with them.  I realize that this is a contradiction, coming from a person who considers himself a very spiritual person, a mystic in fact, and that the mere mention of knuckle dusters confuses and upsets some of you.  Well, it shouldn’t.

Brass knuckles carried by Abraham Lincolns’ bodyguards (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Brass knuckles were far more prevalent and respectable in days gone by.  The knuckles above were issued to NY Police, the ones at the right were carried by Lincoln’s protection detail, and my set (see below) are replicas of ones used to fight Nazis.

They are illegal to carry, so unfortunately I can’t walk around with them in my pocket.  Why are they illegal?  Why have brass knuckles become stigmatized as the weapon of low-lifes and criminals?  How in the world can guns be legal but brass knuckles illegal?  Which is like saying, “You can shoot people but you can’t bash their face in.  And that isn’t nice.”

My brass knuckles (these are a replica of ones used by British Special Forces to smash Nazis in World War II).

My brass knuckles (replica of those used by British Special Forces to smash Nazis in World War II).

I think it might have something to do with the fact that they’re cheap.  As we know, the deck is always stacked against the poor.  In order to get a permit to conceal carry a gun, you have to be able to afford a gun, a gun safety class and the fees.  You can’t have a criminal record, you must be able to read and write well enough to navigate the paperwork and red tape, and you have to get off work to go to before the judge.  Poor folks — who have less money and are disproportionally arrested — are less likely to be able to afford or get approved for concealed carry.

Or maybe knuckles of brass and steel are illegal because they got surpassed in the arms race.  When the cops and the military got better weapons and didn’t need them any longer, it became obvious that we should stigmatize and ban them.  I guess switchblades are the exception — did you know that they are still legal for law enforcement to own and carry?  Why is that do you think?  Because people in uniform are somehow magically more trustworthy than the average citizen?

Yes, I am a spiritual man.  But I also believe in the underdog, detest bullies, and think that all people are equal regardless of race, creed, or income.  But most importantly, I believe that peaceful people, spiritual people, folks who care about nature, the environment, their neighbors, and minding their own business, should not be an endangered species.  That’s why I practice and teach martial arts.

I don’t like guns.  But I do like brass knuckles.

AMRAYC in 9 mins of: 8 Sandbag Presses,

AMRAYC in 9 mins of: 8 Sandbag Presses, 8 Jump Squats, 8 Uneven Pushups, 8 Zombie Squats @cabal_fang #WOD