The Rogers Axiom and Your Workout of the Week

Too exhausted to take my own photo. Courtesy of Wikimedia.

Too exhausted to take my own photo. Courtesy of Wikimedia.

Yesterday morning I slept in.  The night before I forgot to swap out my dress watch for my casual watch, which meant that I didn’t have a wake-up alarm on my wrist.  I also forgot to set up the coffee pot that night.  I just staggered off to bed without my usual prep.

So, instead of getting up at 4:30 and starting my workout by 5:15, I didn’t roll out of bed until 5:30.  I awoke with a headache and a  stiff neck.  My arms and legs felt heavy and my head was foggy.  I made coffee and performed a self-check.

I asked myself,

Over the last 7 days, how many of these have you experienced?

  1. Headaches
  2. PR failures †
  3. Concentration lapses (daydreaming, dropped tasks, missed to-dos)
  4. Diet transgressions

I counted 3 headaches, 2 failures to PR, 4 concentration lapses and 2 diet plan transgressions for a total of 11.   In a typical week that total is somewhere pretty near zero.  The message was clear — I’m over-training and I need a break.  So I didn’t work out this morning and I’m going to take off a few days to rest.

Everybody’s different, so your self-check questions may differ.  Feel free to share them in the comments below if you have other ideas.  Bottom line: you need to be sufficiently in touch with your body-mind-spirit that you can tell when it’s time to rest.  Or, as the the great American sage Kenneth Ray Rogers famously expressed it in what I like to call The Rogers Axiom,

“You gotta know when to fold ’em, know when to hold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”

And now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #45

Perform the above self-check.  Are you over-training?  If not, got get one of the constitutionals off of the Order of Seven Hills website and get it done in less than 20 minutes.  If you are over-training, take a flipping break.  Cabal Fang is full-context martial arts.  You don’t have a title on the line and there’s no Olympic medal in play.  You’re not in a self-defense situation and you’re not fighting for your life.  In fact, if you’re walking around exhausted you’re not in optimal condition to protect yourself or your loved ones.  Rest up.

† “PR” stands for “personal record.”  In a progressive workout plan, such as weights, running, etc., you should be striving to PR every workout.  Either in weight or reps, time or distance, etc.

Cabal Fang Temple is Offical


Just got this yesterday. We’re official!

Yesterday we received the incorporation documents in the mail from the SCC — Cabal Fang Temple, Inc. is a bona fide corporation officially authorized to conduct business in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We’re still not a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation though.  That’s a designation that comes from the IRS and we are still completing the necessary paperwork.  All we have so far is our EIN which is 81-5406720.  

I have been talking about building a proper temple of Cabal Fang for years.  And at various times over those years,  people have given me “the look.”  You know what I mean.  The head tilt.  The half smile.  The “isn’t that nice” look.  Those annoying looks were all my fault, because I didn’t do a good job of making my vision clear, didn’t let my passion shine brightly enough, didn’t demonstrate my determination.

Those days are gone.  From now on we’re going to be clearly demonstrating our vision, passion and determination.

The current tiny Cabal Fang Temple will be replaced by big, beautiful and functional structure.  As soon as we get our 501(c)(3) designation and we can collect tax-deductible donations there’s going to be a fund drive to build or buy a suitable temple space.  See below for a slide show of what we’re trying to do.

And since every temple needs a priest, I’ve been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and I’m attending the Ekklesia Epignostika seminary in pursuit of Holy Orders with apostolic succession.

Look out world, here we come.


This is FICTIONAL. This is what we want to create, not what is. Yet.


This is FICTIONAL. This is what we want to create, not what is. Yet.


Your Selective Attention and Workout of the Week #44

cabalfangskeleton2Why are you reading this?  

Because you’re a friend or relative and you feel obligated?   Because I follow your blog and you follow mine?  Maybe.  But if you are a regular reader, the most likely answer is that you want to learn something that will make you somehow better informed or entertained.   And this is important because it speaks to a fundamental truth about consciousness.

What you see is determined by what you’re aiming at.

You could be reading one of a million blogs, but you aren’t.  Those other blogs are outside the narrow beam of your laser-like consideration.  It’s self-evident.  You’re reading this blog because you want to find something and you suspect that this might be it.

You don’t look at everything and then decide what interests you.  

Remember the famous video where a gorilla runs across the screen and nobody notices?  Have you read that over 280 people who’ve been convicted of crimes based on eyewitness testimony have been exonerated by physical evidence?  It’s called selective attention.  To see how it works, watch the video at the bottom of this post.

That’s why it’s so important to spend some time reflecting on what it is you ought to be looking for — because that’s what you’re going to see.

Over the course of a million years of human evolution we’ve been developing and using some very advanced technology to help shape and direct our knowledge frameworks so that we’ll see the stuff we should be seeing.  That technology is called by various names, such as Philosophy, Religion, Mythology, Folklore and so on.

In the absence of any spiritual technology you might be unsure what are you looking for.  And if that’s true, you’re prone to lack of focus, failure, unhappiness, mistakes, and poor choices.  You’re susceptible to traps, bubbles, misdirections, lies and manipulations.  Your success at living is impinged.

In search of direction, better spiritual technology, or an improved knowledge framework?

There is a couple of hundred pages of that embedded in Cabal Fang martial arts.  Get the new Cabal Fang book on iTunes, for your Nook at Barnes & Noble, or order a paper copy from Createspace or Amazon.

And now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.

Workout of the Week #44: 6-Round All-in Conditioner

Set timer for 6 rounds of 3:00 minutes each, no breaks, and complete them as follows:

  1. Military Presses.  Pick a weight you can manage — keep in mind you’re likely to be doing 50+ reps! — and complete as many as you can until the timer beeps.  Straight bar, dumbbells, doesn’t matter.  If you don’t have any weights at home, substitute a sandbag, two 1-gallon water jugs, etc.  No excuses.
  2. Striking.  Hit the heavy bag with as much intensity as you can until the timer beeps.  No heavy bag?  Shadowbox instead.
  3. Bag Lifts.  Squat down and body-lock a heavy bag with a good Gable grip.  Stand up and heave bag to shoulder.  Chump it over to the other shoulder, and re-position your grip.  Squat and place the bag on the floor (do not drop).  Do this as many times as you can before the timer beeps.  No heavybag?  Fill a duffle bag with folded sheets.  If you run out of gas, just stand straight and squeeze that body-lock with all your might.
  4. Splays.  Get down and back up as many times as you can before the timer beeps.
  5. Shrimps.  Choose a medicine ball you can handle.  Hug it to your chest and complete as many perfect and powerful shrimping maneuvers as you can before the bell rings.  No medecine ball?  Use a gallon of water, a backpack of books, etc.
  6. Neck Bridges.  Start with a backward neck bridge.  Hold it until you can’t hold it any more, then switch to a front neck bridge.  No rest, just switch back and forth as little as possible.

If you’re not wringing wet with sweat when this one’s done, I’ll eat my hat.

We Need to Talk


I have in the past engaged in the sort of fiddlesticks I disavow today. Nobody’s perfect. I’d like to think that the current me wouldn’t get sucked into something like the pink headband controversy.

We need to talk.

It’s obvious that extreme ideologies are dangerous when we’re witnessing an evil deed in the name of an ideology.  But the danger of ideology is very hard to see and acknowledge in ourselves.

So, no kidding.  We actually need to talk.

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  And when all you have is an ideology, everybody looks like an enemy.

top5We are not enemies. We are just people with different political views. And those views are not logical or intellectual. They seem to be innate.  If you don’t believe me, read about Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica has, among other things, taken a “bag data” approach to the Big 5 Personality Traits. They’ve used social media and other data to identify you on the Big 5 spectrum,  and they’ve used that data to help their clients influence the Brexit vote and win the White House.  Cambridge Analytica knows things about you that you don’t know about yourself.

Like, for example, that if you are extremely organized and have low disgust sensitivity, you’re susceptible to anti-immigration arguments.  And what this means is that the chance of you changing your politics is about equivalent to you changing your hygiene habits.  

So if nobody’s really going to change much, the only answer is compromise. If you want to foster peace, you must talk honestly, without sarcasm, spite and anger.  So when you are out on social media, posting and sharing hyperbolically negative things about people and views you don’t like, you aren’t helping.  Punctuating differences only creates more discord.

Imagine that your wife has a lower disgust sensitivity than you do, and she hates the way you leave the kitchen a mess.  Your wife yelling at you that you are a pig doesn’t make you want to clean up.  In fact, if she keeps yelling at you, eventually you’re going to decide she’s a bitch and you guys are going to end up divorced.  But if your wife gives you a kiss and says “thanks!” every time you wash a dish, you might want to do it again even better.  You could care less about how the kitchen looks.  But you might want to compromise to make your wife happy, for the good of the household, the relationship and the family.

So please, let’s start talking about the stuff we can agree upon and not the stuff that divides us.  

And let’s consider the possibility that boycotting, protesting, burning, yelling, smearing and throwing stones — virtual, verbal and actual — only results in more of the same.

The Hourglass and Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #43

cabalfangskeleton2In Cabal Fang the hourglass symbolizes our foundations in Hermetic concepts.  What’s Hermeticism?

Well, if you made a list of the most influential spiritual traditions in human history, Hermeticism has to be in the top 25.   It ushered in the Renaissance and was instrumental in the formation of the scientific method.  Some notable Hermeticists are Isaac Newton, Robert Fludd, Francis Bacon, Giordano Bruno, A. E. Watie (father of modern Tarot), W. B. Yeats, John Dee and a writer you may of heard of by the name of Shakespeare.

Emerald Hourglass2The most influential  and widely known Hermetic writing is the Emerald Tablet (see below).  In Cabal Fang we make a point of memorizing it.  It’s only 14 stanzas, so the good news is that, if you approach it like a memory game, you can start with one stanza and add another one every other day and get it memorized in a month.  Or you can do what I did years ago — make a recording of yourself reading it and play it on repeat while driving the car.

Once memorized, recite the Emerald Tablet once per day on an ongoing basis.

Why?  Because (a) Everyone I know who has memorized the Emerald Tablet reports that deep insights appear after a few months of regular recitation, and that deeper realizations continue to unfold over time.  And (b) It explains, in poetic terms, how the universe works.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #43

  • Hourglass image meditation.  Draw a simple hourglass on paper.  Prop the image up so you can look at it while you meditate for 10 minutes.  Record your experiences in your training log or journal.
  • 10-Count Bodybuilders EMOM (“Every Minute on the Minute”).  Set timer to beep every 60 seconds.  Every time it beeps complete your target of 10-Count Bodybuilders.  Beginners 2 to 3, Intermediate 4-5, Advanced 6+.  Rest until timer beeps.  Complete 15 rounds.


The Emerald Table of Hermes Trismegistus

  1. True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true.
  2. That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of one thing.
  3. And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from this one thing by a single act of adaptation.
  4. The father thereof is the sun, the mother the moon; the wind carried it in its womb; the earth is the nurse thereof.
  5. It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.
  6. The power thereof is perfect.
  7. If it be cast on to earth it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle from the gross.
  8. With great sagacity it doth ascend gently from earth to heaven; again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself the force from things superior and things inferior.
  9. Thus thou wilt possess the glory of the brightness of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly far from thee.
  10. This thing is the strong fortitude of all strength, for it overcometh every subtle thing and doth penetrate every solid substance.
  11. Thus was this world created.
  12. Hence there will be marvelous adaptations achieved, of which the manner is this.
  13. For this reason I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three parts of the wisdom of the world.
  14. That which I had to say about the operation of sol is completed.

Going Mobile with Workout of the Week #42

Go outside and move around.  You'll feel better.

Go outside and move around. You’ll feel better.

Whether you’re out in the woods or in the city, whether or not you’re an air-conditioned gypsy, you need to make the world your home (as Pete Townsend would say).

In other words, you ought to be strong and fit enough to get your butt out of the recliner, throw some water and food into your go-bag, and get the heck out of Dodge.

What happens if your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere?  What happens if there’s a fire, flood or natural disaster?  What if you get attacked on your way to safety?

This weeks’ workout will help you get in shape for that.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #42: Escape Plan Drill #2†

This one’s great on an outdoor fitness track.  Get your trusty backpack and put some weight in it (water bottles work great). Beginners put 5% body weight, intermediate 10%, advanced 20% or more.

  • Walk for 15 minutes to warm up.
  • Set timer for 15 rounds of 1 minute as follows below.  Go as fast as you can on those Sprint/Jog/Walk rounds and this workout will “shrink to fit” your fitness level.
  • Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to finish standing up.
  1. Squats
  2. Shadowbox
  3. Sprint/Jog/Walk
  4. Push-ups
  5. Shadowbox
  6. Sprint/Jog/Walk
  7. Lunges
  8. Shadowbox
  9. Sprint/Jog/Walk
  10. Front Plank
  11. Shadowbox
  12. Sprint/Jog/Walk
  13. Russian Squats
  14. Shadowbox
  15. Sprint/Jog/Walk
  • Walk another 15 minutes to finish off.

This will take you 45 minutes, during which time you will most likely cover somewhere north of 2.5 miles.  When you’re done you’ll have a feel for the fitness level required to get from point A to point B in a survival scenario.

†What’s Escape Plan Drill #1?  Check it out HERE.


Jordan Peterson Talks Martial Arts and the Workout of the Week

“The path to enlightenment and wisdom is seldom trod upon because if it was all a matter of following your bliss and doing what made you happy then everyone in the world would be a paragon of wisdom.  But it’s not that at all.  It’s a matter of facing what you least want to face.”

In the video below, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson discusses the Jungian concept of confronting the shadow — facing the scary facts about ourselves — and relates it to the martial arts.

FYI, Dr. Peterson is a popular but controversial clinical psychologist whose programs and treatments have helped thousands of people.  But his opposition to  certain modern ideas, like alternative personal pronouns and trigger warnings, is attracting a fair amount of vitriol.

The most compelling part of his argument against trigger warnings relates to the martial arts, which is that the way to treat a person with a phobia, PTSD or some other mental condition is through exposure therapy, not through avoidance.  How Jungian, eh?

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #41

  • Striking and Evasion Endurance Heavy Bag Drill.  Set a timer for 2 rounds of 5:00/1:00.  Lace up.  Start the timer and throw combos.  Every combo must be followed by a bob, slip, weave or pop.  Count the number of times you aren’t happy with the quality of your evasion.  Do better on your second round or complete 1 Bodybuilder per unsatisfactory maneuver.
  • Meditation on the Luminaries.  Find an image of the Luminaries — the sun and moon in one disc — or draw a simple version yourself (see below).  Set it up so that it’s at eye level when you’re in your chosen meditative posture.  Regulate your breathing and stare at the image.  Allow yourself to fully experience the symbolism of the Luminaries.  What does it say to you?


[Note: If you struggle with this, and you receive no insights, comment below and I’ll try to give you a nudge in the right direction without spoiling your realization.]