#Mettlecraft

 

 

\Met”tle*craft\, n.  mettle [E. metal, used in a tropical sense in allusion to the temper of the metal of a sword blade; substance or quality of temperament; spirit, esp. as regards honor, courage, fortitude, ardor, etc.; See {Metal}.] + -craft [AS. cr[ae]ft strength, skill, art, cunning; akin to OS., G., Sw., & Dan. kraft strength, D. kracht, Icel. kraptr; perh. originally, a drawing together, stretching, from the root of E. cramp.] 1. The art, skill and cultivation of physical endurance, unflagging determination and resolute strength of mind, body and spirit.

I made up this word to describe one of the primary goals of the martial art of Cabal Fang.  And, as my son recently pointed out to me, Cabal Fang isn’t as much as martial art as it is a way of being in the world, a way of making order out of chaos in tune with the logos.

Because, when it comes down to it, there’s really only one question with which everyone must grapple.  And that question is,

“How am I supposed to live in the world?”

And given that the world is always throwing things at you — trials, tribulations and tragedies of all descriptions — you had damn well better be unified in your mind, body and spirit or it’s going to be rough going.

There’s a lot of talk these days about being awakened, plenty of talk about “consciousness-raising,” and every time you turn around there’s a new awareness ribbon or colored rubber wristband intended to raise awareness of some problem, disease, or disaster.

Nothing’s wrong with any of that.  But until somebody does something about it, it’s all just pointing and talking.  Consciousness-raising doesn’t occur until someone looks inward and says, “I need to take action to stop this,” or “It’s my responsibility to fight that.”

Mettlecraft is the way we in Cabal Fang raise our consciousness and increase our awareness.  We look inward, analyze the state of our mind-body-spirit connection and take responsibility for how we live in the world.  

That way we create fewer problems for other people to point at, and we’re strong enough to help take responsibility for helping to solve the ones that loom.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #57

  • Ground-fighting Circuit.  Set a timer to beep ever 1:00 minute.  Put a heavy bag on the floor and do as many as you can in 1 minute of Prison Push-ups, Jackknifes and Side Lunges.  Then, for the fourth circuit, mount up your heavy bag and hit it as hard as you can 10 times.  Body lock it and roll to bottom position.  Hit it from the bottom 10 times.  Then bridge or roll the bag back into top position.  Keep doing that for the entire minute.  Repeat those four circuits 3 times for a total of 12 minutes.  Take as few 12-second breaks as you must.  Push as hard as you can and you’ll be drenched.
  • Untying knots. After you’ve walked off the circuit, cooled down, and your heart rate is back to normal, assume your usual meditative posture.  Regulate your breathing.  Close your eyes and begin searching your past for a time when you pointed out a problem but proposed no solution.  Look for things that you blamed on others but were actually your fault.  When was the last time you shirked a responsibility, left a mess for someone else to clean up, sat back and waited to see if someone else would fix a problem so you wouldn’t have to?  Find an incident and tease it apart.  Why did you do that?   How are you going to avoid repeating that behavior?

 

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2 responses to “#Mettlecraft

  1. James A. Williams

    Very nice post . . . after reading Forrest Morgan’s “Living the Martial Way” some years ago, I thought it would great if there were an English word that captured the rich meaning of the Japanese term “kokoro” . . . and I think “mettlecraft” does the job!

    • Robert Mitchell

      What a wonderful compliment — thanks so much! Morgan’s book is one of my favorites. In particular I really like his contrast of “face” which is all pride and ego, vs. honor, which he defines as “fulfilling obligations without regard for one’s personal needs.”

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