Steam Power: Mettle Maker #235

Third Annual November Mettlecraft Challenge is in full swing.

November is Mettlecraft Month at Cabal Fang.  Click here to participate if you dare!  Here’s what we did in 2018 and 2019.  


If you’re new in these parts, you should know that people who engage with the content by doing some of the work and/or posting in the comments have been known to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

Steam Power: Mettle Maker #235

  • 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 MBFIf 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.
  • Could you climb a rope to save your bacon?  Stuntmen on TV make it look it look easy.  It ain’t. Hang one up and give it a go.  Start by trying to ascend a rope attached to a tree trunk or wall so that you can use your feet to walk up.  When that’s easy, move the rope away from the surface and work on climbing it without feet.
  • 4 rounds of wrestling flow.  You’re doing intense fitness work on account of Mettlecraft Month, so take it down a notch and work the dummy.  If you don’t have a dummy, make one (instructions in my e-book Martial Grit).  Building combos is part of the learning process.  But if you’re stuck try this 8 count sequence.
  • Can you estimate the height of obstacles, trees, etc.?  What if you have to to figure out where a cut tree will fall, or estimate the amount of rope you’ll need to lower down to your friends after ascending an obstacle?  “To find the height of an object, such as a tree (AX), or a house, pace a distance of, say, eight yards away from it, and there at B plant a stick, say, six feet high ; then pace on until you arrive at a point where the top of the stick comes in line C with the top of the tree then the whole distance AC from the foot is to AX, the height of the tree, the same as the distance BC, from the stick, is to the height of the stick; that is if the whole distance AC is thirty-three feet, and the distance BC from the stick is nine (the stick being six feet high), the tree is twenty-two feet high.”  Click the picture to enlarge and expand this excerpt from Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting For Boys  (7th Edition, 1915).  Over 100 years old and still relevant.
  • Use steam power.  Think of yourself like a kettle or, better yet, like a boiler used to power a machine by steam.  The more you yakkety-yak about what you’re going to do, the more steam escapes.  It drains energy from the system.  Shut your yap and act.  Retain the the steam inside and keep the pressure on.  See the video below.
  • 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.

TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

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