Enduro: Cabal Fang Martial Arts 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.

Weapon Command, Mastery and Retention in Martial Arts

If weapons are a part of your martial art your regime must incorporate command, mastery and retention exercises with realistically weighted training weapons.

Once your retention and command of the weapon are sufficient to insure safety, regular sessions with live weapons are essential.

In short, you need to be out there hacking stuff to bits, not pretending to hack stuff to bits.

Here’s a short video on command, mastery and retention for beginners. I made this for my Bobcat Martial Arts program where I teach Frontier Rough and Tumble, which includes Bowie and tomahawk, but it’s useful regardless of what weapon you use.

If you are training only with lightweight weapons and/or not actually hitting things you are doing interpretive dance, not martial arts.

Dog Star: C.F. Martial Arts Training Involution #147

This month’s T.I. is a direct-to-video release.  Dig in.

Happy Birthday Mickey Spillane (b. March 9, 1918 – d. July 17, 2006)

I used to send Mickey Spillane a birthday card every year.  I never expected an answer.  Imagine my surprise back in ’03 when out of the blue there was a letter in my mailbox.  If you want to read it, there it is at the bottom of this post.

He was 85 years old at the time, getting ready to embark on a book tour, and he took the time to sit down at the typewriter and reply to my card.

They just don’t make guys like that anymore.

If you’ve never read a Spillane book, I recommend you start with Vengeance is Mine! and if you like that one, read One Lonely Night.   For those who don’t even know who he was, Spillane wrote hard-boiled pulp fiction novels and comic books, including a stint writing Captain America for Marvel.  His claim to fame was the fictional detective Mike Hammer.  He had a colorful life.  He had been a lifeguard, a circus performer, and a fighter pilot in WWII before becoming a writer.  At the height of his popularity he made a series of hilarious beer commercials.  His quotes are legendary.

  • “Inspiration is an empty bank account.”
  • “I’m a commercial writer, not an author.  Margaret Mitchell was an author. She wrote one book.”
  • “I don’t give a damn about reviews. What I like to read are royalty checks.”
  • “I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.”

Just starting out as a writer, he was an inspiration.  I don’t know how many of you have been following this blog since I started it back in 2008.  But back then it was called 808 Hackard Buidling because that’s the fictional address of Spillane’s famous detective.  Plenty has changed.  Blog has a new name and a custom url.  Focus has shifted from fiction to non-fiction.  But what hasn’t changed is my blue-collar approach to this craft.  

You show up every day, you punch the clock, and you put in an honest day’s work.  And while you’re on the clock, you don’t stand around smoking cigarettes or hang out by the water cooler waiting for somebody to tell you what to do next.  You get your butt in gear.  And above all, you never act like you think your crap don’t stink.

Spillane was a hack writer.  He was not politically correct.  He wrote violent books.  But he was authentic.  He was honest.  He respected his fans.  And he didn’t take himself too seriously.  And from him I learned three very important things.

Number one, put the reader first.  Number two, write like it’s your job.  Number three, tell it like you see it.

I write at 500 words a day whether I want to or not.  Otherwise I’m a lazy bastard and I can’t look at myself.

Thanks Mickey.  Happy Birthday, wherever you are.


My New Knife (and other stuff)

Yesterday I received my custom-made knife from Kenny Hermsen.  Kenny owns and operates Meherrin River Forge & Knifeworks in South Hill, VA.

For under $200 I received a locally made knife, manufactured to my specifications by a true artisan.  It also came with a lovely letter sealed with wax, which appeals to my old-fashioned sensibilities more than Kenny could possibly have known.  As it turns out, Kenny and I have a little bit in common.

This big, elegant, razor sharp beauty is a rugged, period-influenced Bowie with a blade just shy of 10″ — and she is now my silent training partner.  As many of you already know, in addition to my non-profit Cabal Fang Martial Arts program, I am now also operating Bobcat Martial Arts, a Frontier Rough & Tumble martial arts and Walking Stick self-defense school.

So the knife Kenny made for me is fixin’ to get put through her paces real soon.  And based on the feel of her, she’s going to make short work of whatever she comes up against.

If you have need of a blade, large or small, send Kenny a message through his Facebook page.

You’ll be glad you did.

Two Ways to Support My Mission

If you want the free content ya gotta put up with the occasional commercial. Don’t complain — I don’t run nearly as many as broadcast TV or cable news networks do!

If you like what I do, you might like some of the stuff I’m selling over at Mitch’s General Store. I’m selling a grab-bag of stuff — some of my paintings, one-on-one training sessions, seminars, all kinds of stuff. Check it out.

Or, if you want the extra special patron-only content, support me on Patreon and get immediate access — plus all kinds of perks!

Sales pitch is over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program already in progress…

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.

>>Video at bottom if you prefer visuals.<<

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)

Here’s the spread from the book which is in the public domain. Click link to view the whole thing, it’s actually really cool.