Cord and Rule: Training Involution #118

I’m camping with my son this weekend, so T.I. #118 is posting early this week.  Lots going on around the Cabal Fang Temple these days.  Here’s a quick rundown:

  • We are testing a new Cord and Rule program to track attendance and keep students motivated.  More info below.
  • Started getting my head around this nonprofit thing.  Started reading books, making calls, getting on grant application email lists, got a Linkedin profile, etc.  Time to start attracting high-powered board members and big donors!
  • No more being shy about asking for donations.  All events and services will be on a “please give what you can” basis.  Yes, we’re a non-profit.  But it takes a few hundred dollars a year just to keep up with web-hosting, legal services and basic program materials, and we want to save up money to build a fancy new temple.
  • Another student in the Hermit Path Distance Learning Program faces his Constitutional trial this month.  The program is virtually free (please give what you can) and there’s only one text bookEmail me to get started.
  • As part of my continuing martial arts education I’ll be headed to Tennessee in October to attend a Western Warrior Boot Camp hosted by Mark Hatmaker — two full days boxing, wrestling and hanging out with some of the toughest guys on planet Earth.

Stay tuned!

Cord and Rule: Cabal Fang Training Involution #118

  1. Work your body.  Set timer for 8:00.  Complete as many strikes as you can vs. your heavy bag before the timer beeps.  If you don’t have a heavy bag,  make one; if you don’t have anywhere to hang it indoors, throw a rope over a tree limb or lash it to a tree or post.  When done, shoulder your bag and see how far you can carry it, switching shoulders as needed.
  2. Work your mind. Write down your strike count and the distance carried.  Are you writing down measurable metrics for all training sessions — such as rep counts, time elapsed, distance, etc. — and trying to improve?  If not, you aren’t training, you’re mucking around.  “That which is measured improves.”
  3. Work your spirit.  Set a timer for 10 mins and assume your meditative posture of choice with a chalice (or an image of one from a book) at roughly eye level.  Regulate your breathing as you stare at the chalice.  Allow thoughts, feelings and images to manifest.  What can you learn from the chalice?  As always, record everything in your training log.

Ancient Mesopotamian tablet showing the god Shamash holding the cord and rule.

The Cabal Fang Cord and Rule Concept

As a way to motivate students, add more structure, deepen the mind-body-spirit connection through mettlecraft, and better track attendance, we’re adding a rule to our knotted cord.

Since ancient times the mark of a “ruler” was the holding of a knotted cord and a hashed rod or rule – the cord for measuring long distances, such as in surveying land, laying out a building’s foundation, measuring the speed of a ship in “knots,” etc., and the rule for measuring shorter, more precision distances.

According to ancient myths, deities only bestowed cords and rules upon human leaders who were competent to rule.  A “ruler” should be is a person we can all measure ourselves against — someone we respect, admire, and believe is worthy of being emulated and followed. Our cord and rule will remind us to strive to become people we feel are worthy of respect, admiration and responsibility.

Babylonian goddess, likely Ishtar or Ereshkigal, holding cord and rule

The cord and rule are mentioned in the Old Testament, Ezekiel 40:3: “So He brought me there; and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand; and he was standing in the gateway.”

A blank ruler will be issued to each student at the beginning of the third month of study.  Starting after the first trial, the rule will be stamped with various words and symbols to mark monthly training milestones, to commemorate the completion of trials for rank advancement, etc.

Marking and maintaining the metal rod ties into Mettlecraft — it is a tangible item of “metal” that is marked based on one’s “mettle.” Our cord and rule help us determine how we “measure up” against the people we were when we started.

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