Perilous: Martial Arts Training Involution #208

Here at Cabal Fang HQ the May ’20 martial focus is Striking and the spiritual symbol is the Chalice.  I’m teaching two martial arts now — Cabal Fang and Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — so I try to make the weekly T.I. applicable to both.  

This week’s T.I. features a modified version of a Bobcat drill named after Black Hawk, and the title ties into a famous lyric poem by Tennyson about the Holy Grail written during the Frontier period — see an excerpt at the bottom.

Like martial arts and fitness?  My new ebook “Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget)” releases July 1st.  Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, iTunes or Smashwords.  Honed by 30 years teaching martial arts in inner city programs and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. 3 keys to proper mindset. Accelerate your training with the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Dozens of drills and exercises using heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies.  

And now for your weekly T.I.

Perilous: Martial arts Training Involution #208

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 16 minutes of martial fitness action.  Set timer for intervals of 4 minutes.  Shadowbox for 4 minutes.  Then run out for 4 minutes, run back — (get back before the timer beeps!), and finish up with 4 minutes of weapon shadowboxing with your training weapon of choice.  How many times did you drop your blunt training weapon or accidentally allow the business end to touch your body?  Do 50 Push-ups for each error.
  • Want more? Do this month’s constitutional — click here.
  • Grail mediation.  Cool down for 3 minutes, then assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to a slow and steady rhythm.  Keep your eyes open as you imagine that the glowing Grail is hovering in the air before you, close enough to touch.  The Grail is the cup Christ used when he instituted the Holy Eucharist, and legend has it that one sip from it confers infinite blessings.  How does it make you that make you feel to be in its presence?  Don’t think about the Grail in words — just allow yourself to experience the image and concept of the Grail emotionally, spiritually and inspirationally. When he timer beeps, record your thoughts and experiences in your training journal.

An Excerpt from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Holy Grail

Then came a year of miracle: O brother,
In our great hall there stood a vacant chair,
Fashion’d by Merlin ere he past away,
And carven with strange figures; and in and out
The figures, like a serpent, ran a scroll
Of letters in a tongue no man could read.
And Merlin call’d it ‘The Siege perilous,’
Perilous for good and ill; ‘for there,’ he said,
‘No man could sit but he should lose himself:’
And once by misadvertence Merlin sat
In his own chair, and so was lost; but he,
Galahad, when he heard of Merlin’s doom,
Cried, ‘If I lose myself, I save myself!’


…When the hermit made an end,
In silver armour suddenly Galahad shone
Before us, and against the chapel door
Laid lance, and enter’d, and we knelt in prayer.
And there the hermit slaked my burning thirst,
And at the sacring of the mass I saw
The holy elements alone; but he:
‘Saw ye no more? I, Galahad, saw the Grail,
The Holy Grail, descend upon the shrine:
I saw the fiery face as of a child
That smote itself into the bread, and went;
And hither am I come; and never yet
Hath what thy sister taught me first to see,
This Holy Thing, fail’d from my side, nor come
Cover’d, but moving with me night and day,
Fainter by day, but always in the night
Blood-red, and sliding down the blacken’d marsh
Blood-red, and on the naked mountain top
Blood-red, and in the sleeping mere below
Blood-red. And in the strength of this I rode,
Shattering all evil customs everywhere,
And past thro’ Pagan realms, and made them mine,
And clash’d with Pagan hordes, and bore them down,
And broke thro’ all, and in the strength of this
Come victor. But my time is hard at hand,
And hence I go; and one will crown me king
Far in the spiritual city; and come thou, too,
For thou shalt see the vision when I go.’

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