Category Archives: Martial arts

Switch-up: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #158

Greetings from Clayton, NY! It’s Saturday morning and I’m vacationing with relatives on the beautiful Saint Lawrence River for Memorial Day weekend. Make sure you take a moment to remember our fallen heroes.

This week we’re switching the emphasis around a little bit. We wouldn’t want you folks to get bored now, would we?

Switch-up: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #158

  1. As many kicks as you can in 15:00 — no knees or roundhouse allowed.
  2. As many shadowboxing hand strikes as you can in 8:00 — no knuckle punches allowed.
  3. Half pyramid to 10 of Knee Ride Switches and Smearing Push-ups — see video below.

Coming Soon: Dime Magazine #1

It’s really hard to make money if you’re not selling anything.

Not making money is fine in the case of Cabal FangThat’s the point.  It’s a charity whose only purpose is to provide free support, to anyone who wants to practice martial arts as a form of personal development.

But I got bills to pay and a retirement to fund.  So, in addition to Cabal Fang, I started Bobcat Martial Arts as a for-profit club and opened a shop that really doesn’t sell much in the way of martial arts stuff.

And then it occurred to me: It’s really hard to make money if you’re not selling anything.  What kind of chuckle-head takes three months to figure that out?  Anyway, at least I did.

I’m starting with the “Bobcat Martial Arts Dime Magazine Series.”†  These will be .pdf magazines for download, all priced at ten bucks.  They will contain all kinds of new material, tightly focused on specific subjects, and they’ll include links to unlisted YouTube videos that you can’t access any other way.

Cool, huh?  Stay tuned.


† Those of you who’ve been following this blog since the beginning will immediately see the inspiration for the format and style of this product.  Although I’m no longer active, I have been a zinester since the 80s, on and off.  Zine culture roots are pulp and indie.  And since Bobcat Martial Arts is my vehicle for teaching Frontier Rough & Tumble and walking stick self-defense — both of which reached their pinnacle in the 19th century — a penny dreadful, dime novel kind of vibe just made sense.  Nowadays a dime is ten bucks instead of ten cents, which is also my price point.  And so voilà!

 

Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157

“If you can’t run, you walk.  If you can’t walk, you crawl.  If you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.”

This week’s T.I. is about understanding the power of realizing you are not alone.

Yesterday, when I did this week’s T.I., I thought of the above quote from Firefly, one of my favorite TV shows.  This T.I. was so hard that the only way I could make it through was to think about the fact that if we were training together — me, you, and the rest of the Cabal Fang crew — none of us would ever let anybody quit.

So I imagined you were there with me, that you were there encouraging me, helping me, making suggestions on how to modify exercises,  and asking me to dig deep.

Your brothers and sisters in Cabal Fang are right there with you.  Now go get it done.

Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157

  • Warm up for a full 8 minutes.
  • 3 sets of HSPUs to failure.  If you can’t do HSPUs, do Jackknife Push-ups.  If you can’t do them, do Regular Push-ups.
  • 3 sets of Squats. 2 x 5 + 1 set to failure.  Pick a weight that works for you (I used 110 lbs).
  • 10 x 10 yards of Heavy Bear Walks. Select two hex dumbbells.  Go way lighter than you think you need.  I used 10 pounders.  Bear Walk with dumbbells in hand for 10 yards.  Stop and do 10 Push-ups with a Plank Row between, alternating sides.  Repeat 10 more times for a total of 100 yards of Bear Walks, 100 Push-ups and 100 Rows.
  • Unless you are Captain America, you are going to fail at this.  When you do start failing, imagine me and all of the other people in Cabal Fang working right there with you.  If you gas on the Bear Walks, drop the dumbbells and go on without them.  If you gas on the Push-ups or Plank Rows, come up and do them on knees.  Switch to lighter dumbbells halfway through if necessary.  Make whatever changes you have to make and take as many 12-count breaks as you need.  The only rule is don’t give up.
  • Cool down for 3 minutes.
  • Stretch and practice contemplation.
  • Record what you learned in your training journal.

Real Deal Basics: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #156

This week’s T.I. marks the third anniversary of the weekly program — the sixth anniversary counting the original protocol.  Sometimes, when I go on vacation like last week, I re-post previous T.I.s. But mostly you get something fresh every week. 

Being fresh ain’t easy, because martial arts aren’t as much about exploring new territory as they are about knowing the road map of fighting like the back of your hand.  Self-defense requires fight-specific strength and complete, automatic command of the basics.

That’s why I often re-combine essential ingredients to give freshness to the essentials — kind of the way Taco Bell creates new products from the same basic meat, cheese, sauce and tortillas.  Those of you have been doing C.F.T.I.s for a few years will recognize some familiar ingredients in #156 for sure.

Real Deal Basics: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #156

  • Ideally you will have two heavy bags –one hanging/standing and  one for the floor.  Substitute a large gym bag full of gear for the floor bag or make one.
  • Warm up for a full eight minutes by doing multiple mini-sets at 50% effort.
  • Set timer for 5 x 3:00 (beginners 5 x 1:00, intermediate 5 x 2:00).  Rounds go as follows: HB Shrimps, HB Bridges and Reverses, Punches, Kicks, and Clinch Work.  Take as few 12-count breaks as needed to finish standing up.  See video below for details.
  • Perform the Salutations of Sun and Moon per the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  Our internal focus this month is The Luminaries and our external focus is Evasion.  More on evasion next week.

More Truth: Cabal Fang Training Involution #155

As you’re reading this my wife and I are on our annual wedding anniversary getaway.  So I’m going to re-post a slight reworking of T.I. #50 — of one of my favorites from 2 years back.  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Enjoy!

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A couple of years ago I posted a video analysis of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.  One of the things I mentioned was the nature and symbolism of Prince Philip’s Sword of Truth and Shield of Virtue.

During his fight with Maleficent in her dragon form, Prince Philip loses the Shield of Virtue because that’s what we all do.  We’re human.  We mess up, we make mistakes, we do things that we know are not in keeping with our own moral and ethical codes.  But as long as we hold tight to truth the way that Prince Philip does in the movie, we can slay any dragon and ultimately regain our virtue.  Because making a commitment to speak the truth is more than just a speech modifier.  If you do things you’re ashamed of you’ll have to lie about what you did.  So telling the truth is a behavior modifier too.

Truth may be the highest ideal known to man.  That’s why it figures so prominently in the initiations of Cabal Fang.  Individuals and cultures that do not revere truth may reap short-term rewards of one kind or another but eventually they will completely lose their virtue and have no way to regain it — and some dragon or other will eat them up in their bankruptcy.

Hold tight to truth my friends, and aim your compass toward it like it’s true north.  You’ll screw up because we all do.  But at least you’ll be able to get back on course!

More Truth: Cabal Fang Training INvolution #155

  • 10 minutes of slipping and bobbing.  Set a timer for 10 minutes and practice your slips and bobs, preferably with a slip ball.  Beginners use this intro video.  Advanced folks, run this slip ball impairment drill.
  • Heavy bag 4 x 2:oo/:30.  Go after a heavy bag with maximum ill intent, just make sure that between each combination you (a) complete at least 2 slips or bobs, and (b) you circle the bag rather than standing stock-still.  Hit while you move and move while you hit.
  • Meditation on Truth.  Look into your past starting with most recent history and find a time when you were less than truthful.  Now set a timer for 10 minutes and assume your chosen meditative posture.  Untangle that lie through meditation.  Use your imagination to step into the scene.  Relive the incident.  See if you can come to understand why you weren’t truthful, what you should have done, and what you think you might do the next time you’re in a similar situation.  Record your thoughts and realizations in your training journal.

Big News + IMT: Cabal Fang Training Involution #154

Cabal Fang attends Karate College 2019

For the first time ever, CF will be going to Karate College as a group.  Register here, send me an email, and roll with us!  Camp costs $219 and dorm rooms are only about $35/night.  Karate College is the best martial arts camp in the country, and it’s three days of non-stop action!

Cabal Fang Helps Revive Community Park

This is where we train. May not look like much, but it’s been the home of CF for ten years, and we love it.

The defunct civic association that owns the park where we train here at CF HQ is coming back to life and Cabal Fang is going to be a part of the plan.  The first official meeting of the new association will be on May 20th, 2019.  Yours truly will be at that meeting to volunteer for a seat on the board.  For the last ten years we’ve been the only folks who cared enough to haul off trash, cut grass, and deter vandals.  Our energy will continue to flow and evolve in concert with this new initiative.

Planning Begins for Cabal Fang 10th Anniversary Event

Try a 3-mile run with an auto tire sometime — what fun!

October will mark the official 10th Anniversary of Cabal Fang.  If memory serves me, we started meeting in April of 2009.  But the first monthly constitutional we have on record is from October, and you know the rule: “If it ain’t in the training log, it didn’t happen.”  We’re still spit-balling, but the idea that has come up several times in the past is some kind of tire run that will be open to the public.  Watch this space for details.

Now for the T.I.

IMT: Cabal Fang Training Involution #154

IMT stands for “Individual Movement Technique.”  In a nutshell, moving target acquisition takes 3 to 5 seconds.  To avoid getting shot, pop up, sprint as fast as you can for 3 to 5 seconds, then hit the dirt.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  This one comes straight from the mind of Mark HatmakerClick here for instructions.

Here’s a selfie from the knees down after finishing my half-mile Commanche-styled IMT mud run in a pathetic 15:20. A three-legged pregnant yak could’ve done it faster. But it was fun, and at least I wasn’t sitting home eating potato chips.

Happy Easter One and All