Blood Symbols and Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #27

This week’s workout is a three-parter.  You can just watch the video (see below) or if you like words over pictures, here are the details.

Calisthenics.  Complete 3 sets to failure  of Narrow Push-ups and Hindu Squats. We’re not keeping score.  But if we were, you’d get extra points for doing more than 50 of the Push-ups and more 100+ of the Squats.  This segment was created using PTDICE.  Getcha some.

Shadowboxing with 1 pound weights.  Set a timer for 10 minutes — no breaks! — and shadowbox with #1 hand weights or 16 oz boxing gloves.  If you don’t imagine your opponent you’re wasting your time.  Really visualize what you’re striking at!

Meditation on blood.   Violence is a serious matter, and blood is not to be spilled lightly.  How can you call yourself qualified to draw blood in defense of yourself or someone you care about if you haven’t even take the time to understand and appreciate the sacredness of blood and what it symbolizes?  There are four types of blood — the mythological blood of Gods and Goddesses (holy blood), the blood of ancestors and kin (family blood), the blood of friends and heroes (royal and/or cultural blood), and the blood of sacrifice and nourishment (the blood that’s spilled to keep us spiritually and/or physically fed).  Set a timer for 10 minutes, assume the meditation posture of your choice, and spend this time meditating on these four types of blood.  For a deeper experience, meditate on just one of the four types of blood and do this exercise four days running.


Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #26

Pre-dawn Roanoke 581 South Tanglewood

I’m on the road this weekend, in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, so I did this workout and shot this video yesterday [Note: Unlike some folks, I never, ever post any untested workouts or exercises].

I’m in the mountains visiting one of my kids who’s away at school. Which leads me to the internal, spiritual aspect of this week’s workout. 

This is something I try to do every day, with varying levels of success of course, but that I’m keenly aware of today as I have a chance to see someone I no longer get to see every day. 

Remember martial artist friends — surviving another day means nothing if each day has no meaning, no purpose, no significance.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #26:

Jump Rope ConditionerSet a timer to beep at 1:00 min. intervals. Cycle through these 3 exercises 3 times (9 mins total): Jump Rope AFAYC, Bodybuilders AMAYC, and Heavy bag (constant contact). Video below!

Awareness practice.  For the remainder of the day, try being fully present in, and aware of, what’s going on around you. Try to fully taste every flavor, hear every voice and note, smell every perfume, and so on. Sure, this is great self-defense practice. But it’s mainly a way to savor the miracle of your existence — to help you remember that there is sacredness inside every life experience.

Workout of the Week #25 and Indigenous People’s Day

Can't spell it?  Doesn't matter.  Maybe that's another way to disrespect it?  I don't know, but I kind of like it.  Click photo to read the article at NPR.

Can’t spell it? Doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s another way to disrespect it? I don’t know, but I kind of like it. Click photo to read the article at NPR.

Monday is Indigenous People’s Day (a.k.a. Native American Day)!

It used to be fringe idea that Columbus wasn’t really worthy of a holiday.  But over the last ten or twenty years, a slow tide has been steadily rolling in.  Colonialism’s gloss has rubbed away, humanity’s awareness has grown, and in some places we’ve seen the second Monday in October become Indigenous People’s Day.

Yesterday Vermont joined the ever-growing cadre of states and localities ditching Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  Now all we have to do is get the Feds on board and make the switch on a national level.

For some reason there’s a connection between Columbus Day and Italian heritage.  That’s unfortunate because there are so many truly praiseworthy Italian figures — Giordano Bruno, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, TitianPico della MirandolaPetrarchDante Alighieri, and Giovanni Boccaccio come to mind — whom proud Italians could celebrate instead!

Onward now to your Cabal Fang Workout of the Week — WOOTW #25

This month at the Order of Seven Hills our external concentration is Sparring.  And with that in mind, to help build up your lungs in case you have to fight and/or run for your life, I humbly introduce…

Escape Plan Drill: This one’s great to pull off on an outdoor track or a nice path through the woods.  Set a round timer for 1:00 min. rounds with no breaks, or start a simple countdown timer to beep every 60 seconds (personally I’m a fan of the Timex Ironman watch).  First round, shadowbox with as much speed and sincerity as you can muster.  Second round, sprint around the track or down the trail as fast you possibly can — flat out.  Third round, keep going with as much speed as you can muster, either walk, jog, run or (if you’re superhuman) keep on sprinting.  Repeat that set four more times for a total of 15 minutes.  Take as few 12-second breaks as possible to finish standing up.


The Raven, the Niche and the Podcast

No, I’m not a mega-fan of C. S. Lewis and/or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.   I just figured that I wrapped my title around that of a famous book it might catch your eye.  Did it?  Sure it did!

Anyway, I was really flattered to get a request from Vargas over at the Raven Tribe who asked me to appear on his Raven Talk podcast.  You’re always a little nervous when somebody asks you for an interview — are they planning to grill you alive?  Make fun of you?  Are they going to pull a Howard Stern on you?  Ya never know.

But my unfounded worry promptly dissipated once I got on the line with Vargas.  He was a polite and truly interested interviewer who seemed genuinely fascinated by the unusual martial arts niche we’ve carved out with Cabal Fang.  I really had a blast talking with him.

Hop over there please, and give it a listen.  Let’s make this his most popular podcast to date so that I’m guaranteed another invitation soon!

Meet me at Zinefest Tomorrow and WOOTW #24

This week the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week is coming out on Friday instead of Saturday because tomorrow I’m tabling at Richmond Zinefest 2016!

If you’ve never attended a Zinefest, you have to experience it  at least once.  It’s hundreds of independent writers, reporters, activists, DIYers and artists selling and trading their homemade wares — pamphlets, books, magazines (a.k.a. “zines”), artwork, you name it.  Unfiltered and unedited by the big-name publishing houses.  Big, Raw.  In your face.

The event is free and open to the public.  Saturday programming is at Richmond Public Library, 101 E Franklin St., Richmond VA from 11 AM to 4 PM.  Please come out, buy some stuff off my table, and shake my hand.

AND BY THE WAY this year, for the very first time, I’ll be distributing the Hermetic Library Zine!  Check this thing out — beautiful, eh?

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Now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.  To wrap up Grappling Month I humbly introduce to you…

  • Grappling Conditioner #4: Complete 50 Get-ups, 50 Bodybuilders, and 250 strikes vs. heavy bag (elbows, knees, hooks, uppercuts and other short range attacks only) – all as fast as you can.  If you finish this entire thing in less than 21:04 you’ve got me beat!

My Vote for President Goes To…

My vote for president goes to the person who, if he or she had been riding in my passenger seat this morning, would have been grinning right along with me as we listened to RATM bang out The Ghost of Tom Joad.

My vote for president goes to the candidate who detests bullies and never bullies others, who only uses violence in defense of life.

My vote goes to the candidate who’s measured and thoughtful, who’s never vengeful and lives by the adage, “Repay kindness with kindness; repay evil with justice.

My vote goes to the nominee who looks at governance by the light of the maxim, “Seek not the paths of the ancients; seek that which the ancients sought.” — who looks forward rather than backward and  who believes in evolution (not just the biological kind, but the political, social, emotional and spiritual kinds too).

My vote goes to the contender who moves gracefully through the world and believes that humanity should learn to do the same — that social problems, environmental issues, conflict and crime are all interrelated — who believes that climate change is the greatest threat humanity faces.

And if my perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot?  My write-in vote will go to the person who gets closest to my ideal.  If that means that a detestable person gets elected, well that just means that America will get what she deserves.

Although I have disagreed with him in the past, in this case I must side with Komgun.  My heart is cultivated in the garden of wind and moon, and I would not vote against my heart even for a bribe of 1,000 gold pieces, even it means drinking a poison cup.




WOOTW #23 — Now with 270% RDA of Vitamin C!

So the other day I’m thinking, “I wonder if I’m getting enough Vitamin C in my diet?”  Don’t ask me why I thought that.  How should I know?  I mean, okay, I barely eat any fruit at all because I’m all lo-carb and what-not, so I  guess I just thought I should check or something.

And I’m looking at food labels and I see that just 3 of these baby peppers I really like have 270% of the RDA of Vitamin C.  Does that make any sense at all?  That’s twice the Vitamin C of an orange — with 10% of the calories and 15% of the cost.

You know what?  Screw oranges.  You are hereby expelled, dismissed, banished.  I grow tired of you.  Leave me!

Anyway, on with Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.

WOOTW #23 — Another Grappling Conditioner and the Hourglass Meditation

  • Another 10-minute  Grappling Conditioner.  Pick out the heaviest medicine ball you have, preferably 10% bodyweight or so.  Set timer for 10 minutes and complete as many  sets as you can before the timer beeps of 8 Walking Lunges per leg (crushing your medicine ball with a good Cross-arm Clinch the whole time), 8 Get-ups (hugging your medicine ball throughout), 8 Medicine Ball Push-ups, and 8 Splay-n-Punch (you can put your medicine ball down for that).
  • The Hourglass Meditation.  This variant of the Middle Pillar Exercise is actually the second half of a longer exercise called the Caduceus Ritual (if you want the rest, pre-order the martial arts book and you’ll be one of the first people to get it).  (1) Start by standing in a relaxed position with with hands out at your sides like the letter “A” and breathe deeply. Imagine that there is energy in the earth beneath your feet, powerful energy being incubated in the earth, in the form of swirling prismatic colors.  Close your eyes and inhale as you imagine the warm, prismatic light entering through your feet and flowing upward through your body.  (2) Slowly bring your palms together as you inhale and draw the earth energy up through your feet. Bring your hands up to prayer position at chest level. Hesitate with lungs full and airways open as you envision the light filling you up.  (3) Begin to exhale. As you do, slowly part your hands and raise them up into a “Y” position.  Conceive of the prismatic light exiting through your arms, head and hands like a shower of multi-colored sparks.  (4) Continue to exhale as the sparks fall all around you.  Slowly return your arms to “A” position. (5) Hesitate with lungs empty and airways open.  Imagine the shower of sparks and energy re-entering the ground where it came from.  (6) Repeat for as long as you like, but 5 or 10 minutes should be enough to leave you feeling relaxed and present.