Third Annual November Mettlecraft Challenge is in full swing.
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Cross and Bush: Mettle Maker #234
- 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. If you really want to crush this month’s mettlecraft challenge, do MBF every day and incorporate at least 2 of its exercises in each session. Frequent low-intensity work between high-intensity work will shoot you forward like a slingshot.
- 4 minutes of jump and roll. Get on the grass or on the mats and set a timer for 4 minutes. Complete a Standing Broad Jump (a.k.a. “a big bunny hop”). Flex knees on landing, absorb shock, and shoulder roll from left palm to right rear hip. Turn around repeat, only this time roll from right palm to left rear hip. If that’s easy, jog into your SBJs. For extra credit do this drill in the rain and mud wearing street clothes like I did. Real life doesn’t wait for ideal conditions to confront you with survival challenges.
- 4 minutes of weapon training on your heavy bag. Get yourself an 12″ – 20″ length of galvanized pipe, put on some safety glasses, and set a timer for 4 minutes. Hit the bag with max power but be conscious of your form. Make sure you strike like cavalry rather than cannon, that you draw the weapon at the end of each strike, and that you and avoid fantasy combos (like 2 to 8). If none of that makes sense, you might need to take a class.
- Is this fall berry edible? In a survival situation it’s a good idea to know your berries. This is the berry of Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus ), one of the most invasive species in the U.S., and its berries are not edible. All parts of this plant are toxic. If you find it in your yard, dig it up and burn it.
- The power of four. One of the reasons that the cross is such a powerful symbol is that it holds ever-unfolding esoteric secrets. Like a compass, it reminds you to orient your thoughts (forehead), desires (heart), actions (right shoulder, sword hand) and beliefs (left shoulder, shield arm). It reminds you that there are four ways of knowing: propositional knowing (mind, forehead), perspectival knowing (heart), participatory knowing (right shoulder) and procedural knowing. The cross cries out that there are infinite ways to approach solutions, problems, and questions — but they can all be laid out in four major categories. Watch the video below and apply it in your everyday life — you’ll be glad you did.
- If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen. Do the work, the external and internal, and write about what you did and thought in your journal. Introspection, self-examination and measurement are the key to progress.
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