Poll: Which Temple Paint Job is Best?

The Cabal Fang Temple needs a paint job, and we’d like your input.  Please vote in the poll below!

My Perennial Wisdom Lecture

On June 13th, 2018, on behalf of Cabal Fang Temple, I presented a 1 hour talk entitled, “The Perennial Wisdom: Sacred Truths of the Ages.”  The lecture was held at Tuckahoe Public Library in Henrico, VA at 7 PM.

Follow the link below to watch the video in two parts.

Happy Father’s Day Pop

Happy Father’s Day Pop.  I miss you every day.

Robert Mitchell — November 21, 1934 ~ July 8, 2008


Bagged: Weekly Training Involution #110

June’s martial focus is Wrestling and the spiritual focus is the Hourglass.  I hope you’re ready, because I think this week’s involution is going to push you past your perceived limits — inside and out!

Bagged: Training Involution #110

  • Heavy Bag Wrestling Half Pyramid (video below).  Put a heavy bag on your mat (or on a tarp out on the grass if you have no mat).  Get underneath your bag and and complete 1 of each: Shrimp, Buck, Reverse, Circle, and pop up into Shin Ride.  Then do 2 of each, 3 of each, 4, etc. up to 10 of each — that’s a total of 55 each.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to finish as fast as you can.  Finishing this with proper form is admirable.  In under 20 mins is solid, under 15 is good, and anybody who gets it done in under 10 mins is a beast.
  • CR20E — Object Run.  Run for 20 minutes while carrying an object in one hand, such as a water bottle, walking stick, dumbbell, etc.
  • Draw and explore the hourglass.  Sit down with your training journal and a pen.  Draw an hourglass — nothing fancy, just a quick sketch.  Then, as you sit and look at your drawing, list the first ten words that come to mind.  When you’re done, have an honest conversation with yourself regarding the drawing and the words you wrote.  Psychoanalyze yourself.  What did you learn about yourself from this exercise?  What did you learn about the hourglass symbol?  Record everything in your training journal of course.

My 20th Anniversary Journey — O. Henry, the Frontier, and the Land of Oz

Four our 20th Anniversary my wife wanted to go to the Land of Oz.   So I went to Travelocity and the little gnome made us some reservations (I would have preferred a munchkin but I’m not a complainer) and before we could say “Come here Toto!” we were off to see the wizard.

We stopped half way in Greensboro and stayed at the O. Henry Hotel.  Hands down the finest hotel I’ve ever stayed in.  Best service, most beautiful lobby, and best breakfast ever.  When I walked through the lobby at 9 PM that evening (I had to run to the car to get something for my wife), the person behind the counter said, “Good evening Mr. Mitchell — is everything okay?  Can I help you with anything?”  “No thank you,” I said, shocked she knew my name.  Outside I found a white-gloved bellhop humming softly and polishing the brass handrails.  at 9 PM.  The O. Henry is about details.

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The next day we stopped in Boone, NC and visited Hickory Ridge Living History Museum.  It was too early in the season to have any blacksmiths, farmers or craftsmen re-enacting anything, but it was still fun to tour the cabins.  I love frontier stuff.  As many of you know I’m studying Frontier Rough & Tumble Martial Arts under Mark Hatmaker and hope to launch an FRT program perhaps as early as next year.

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Later that day we arrived at our mountain lodge — 4 Seasons Resort in Beech Mountain.  Nothing fancy, but they got the job done.  Clean and comfortable but the A/C was no good (thank heaven it got down to 60 at night and we didn’t spend much time there anyway).

The next day we got the heck out of Kansas entered the Land of Oz.  The story of this place is too complex and interesting for me to do it justice but here’s the nutshell version: The Land of Oz theme park opened in 1970.  But a serious fire and economic crunch of the Energy Crisis put the park out of business in 1980.  After that, vandalism, weather and partial sale of the property took its toll.  But in the late ’90s interest re-surged.  The park, now a quarter of its original size, is now under renovation.  It’s only open on Fridays in the month of June and one Weekend later in the year for Autumn at Oz.

I didn’t have high hopes going in, but they shocked me.  When Dorothy — who to my astonishment sang every bit as well as Judy Garland! — went over the wagon and started singing Over the Rainbow I was misty-eyed and profoundly moved.  And when she went skipping down the yellow brick road and I watched 35 children and adults, including yours truly, go skipping after her, I got chills.   Was the one hour tour worth $25/person?  For a fan of the movie, you darned tootin’.

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My wife and I have had some fun trips in our 20 years of marriage.  But this one was a tie with New Orleans as our most fun trip ever!

Retro Miscellany: Training Involution #109

This is a play on the famous sub shop chain logo. Get it?

I’m celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary, so this week’s T.I. is going to be a call-back to a year ago today.


But first, here’s a medley of miscellany and whatnots.

I just had a birthday.  On the right is a picture of the hilarious t-shirt my wife gave me (right).

We managed to accumulate a busted washing machine, a busted generator, 35 gals of crushed aluminum cans and some scrap steel to recycle — all to benefit the temple.  Can you believe all we got was $20.20?  It looks like they coded everything as misc ferrous scrap.  But you know that generator core had 5 or 10 lbs of copper wire in it, and the washer motor almost as much.  Didn’t think of that until after we left.  Next time I’ll rip out the motors and demand separate weights.  Should’ve gotten $75 at least.

And now for your 12-month-old flashback…

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #60  Training Involution #109

  • Boxing HIIT for Accuracy: Setup a slip ball and a heavy bag so that you can switch between the two.  Set timer for 1:00 rounds and complete 20 of them, alternating between ball and bag.   On the heavy bag rounds, focus on hitting precise targets on the bag.  Put a few “Xs” on the bag with medical tape if your bag doesn’t have dots or targets.  On the slip ball rounds, focus on executing perfect and crisp pops and slips.  Muddy movements are easy for opponents to read!  When done, cool down by walking it off for 3 minutes.
  • Writing exercise.  Get out your training journal and write 100 words minimum about quality.  What does quality mean to you? Have there been times in your life when you have and have not done quality work?  Compare, contrast and explore.

“Lightning hits! Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine “virtue.” But aretê. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason. Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric.” 

~Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The IIFYM Experiment Week 3

After roughly 3 weeks and four weigh-ins, here are my digits and a little graph.  As I said before, it defies logic and science that a human being could add this much muscle and shed this much fat in so short a time.  I can only assume that body fat calipers are really inaccurate and/or that my carb-starved muscles are pumping up, tightening skin, and skewing the fat calipers.

If you want to try the IIFYM thing, check out their website and my first post here.

Date Body Fat % Muscle Weight Fat Weight Total Body Weight
5/10/18 Thu 26% 119.9 42.1 162.0
5/17/18 Thu 23% 123.1 36.4 159.5
5/28/18 Mon 17% 130.7 26.8 157.5
6/3/18 Sun 17% 126.6 25.9 152.5