Category Archives: Martial arts

Unstick Your Kicks with the Décollage

As promised in Saturday’s T.I., here a short video on the décollage.

Think about it.  Whenever you see somebody in sports kick a ball for maximum power, there is either a run-up or a hop.  Want to amp your martial kicking power?  Get unstuck!


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Lift-Off: Martial Arts Training Involution #192

Noah Scalin’s “Vanitas”

When you were a kid in school — or maybe studying mixed media in university — you did collages.

Collage is a French word that means glue or stick down.  A collage is generally done by taking snippets of magazines, posters, newspapers, etc. and pasting them all together to make art.  They’re pretty cool.  One of my favorites is Noah Scalin’s piece called Vanitas (see right).

A décollage I made called “Citizen Number One with a Bullet”

There’s also a lesser known art form called décollage, which is kind of the opposite.  It’s French for un-glue or maybe lift-off.  To illustrate, I made a little décollage of my own (see below right).  Décollage is done by ripping off stuff to reveal other stuff.

In this week’s T.I. we’re not going to do anything that has to do with paper.  But it is striking month at Cabal Fang headquarters.  So we are going to practice our décollage from a striking perspective.  That is, we’re going to practice the décollage from Savate.

If you are totally unfamiliar with the martial arts version of the décollage, follow my YouTube channel — there will be a video on the décollage this coming Wednesday.

Lift-Off: Martial Arts Training Involution #192

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Do the monthly constitutional.  What’s that?  It’s the calisthenics routine we select each month at Cabal Fang.  You can find it by clicking here.
  • 15 minutes of décollage.  Do 10-rep sets of the following combos until the timer beeps.  If you don’t have a partner, just practice them vs. your heavy bag.  Reverse them if you fight southpaw.  (1) Offense only combo: Left Jab, Right Cross, Décollage Left, Right Roundhouse Kick.  (2) Counter combo vs. lead hand Jab-Hook combo: Slip Right, Bob, Décollage Right, Left Roundhouse Kick. (3) Exchange combo: Left Jab, Right Cross,  Left Foot Piston Check (vs. opponent’s Roundhouse), drop step into Left Décollage, Right Roundhouse Kick.
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  In Cabal Fang we use various symbols to access universal truths about ourselves the world we live in.  Pick one of the Cabal Fang’s twelve symbols — Quill, Hourglass, Hand of Mysteries, Bell, Candle, Rose, the Luminaries, Chalice, Book, Cross, Star or Staff.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Visualize the symbol and meditate on it until the timer beeps.  Do not think in words — you want to experience the symbol outside the linguistic/logical spectrum.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Shadowboxing: Three Essentials

Shadowboxing isn’t just moving your body around in some manner that approximates martial arts.  It’s real practice with a real purpose.


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

 

Can Do View: Martial Arts Training Involution #191

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Can-do attitude is one of the key things shared by the two martial arts I teach — Cabal Fang and Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble.

When you need to train a certain skill or body mechanic you don’t make excuses about the weather, your lack of money or equipment, or your limited time.  You don’t whine about your bum knee or any of that.

You find a way to train so as to fill the gap safely and efficiently.  You modify, adapt and overcome.

You get it done.

This isn’t just a material truth for the training hall.  It is also a spiritual truth for the ages, as you are about to see in…

Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble Fitness Dice

Can Do View: Martial Arts Training Involution #191

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 20 mins of practical all-in self-defense and fitness.  2 mins each, twice through of each exercise: Sledgehammer shovels, Jumps (SBJs or Boxes, your choice), Sled Pulls, Shoulder Carries, and Weapon Strikes v. Heavy Bag.  Improvise!  If you don’t have a sled, load up a plastic trash can lid and tie a rope to it.  Shoulder a bag of mulch or a floor bag.  Whatever training weapon you use — stick, rubber/wood training knife, etc. — carry it with you for the whole 20 min. duration (in your hand or belt) to build your command and mastery of the weapon during real life activities.  This involution was created using the green FRT dice in the photo above!
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  The present emerges to us out of the future, which is to say that what you are today is a consequence of the greatest possible future you were capable of admitting yesterday. You cannot achieve the incredible unless you attempt the impossible.  Aim for no less than heaven and maybe you’ll get close.  Have a seat and meditate on that for 10 mins.

 

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Bump and Run: Martial Arts Training Involution #190

It’s been a couple of years since I had a bald head and chin hair.  More importantly, and much more relevant to your martial arts training, it has also been a couple of years since I emphasized the value of the humble slip ball.  Here’s a video about the slip ball from 2017 which also features my previously bald head and hairy chin.

The slip ball is especially important for people who have limited sparring opportunities because it reinforces slipping body mechanics — which are perishable.  Watch the video and then dig into…

Bump and Run: Martial Arts Training Involution #190

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 20 mins on the slip ball.  Remember to keep good striking form as you contract, moving as if there’s an elastic cord connecting your shoulder and the opposite hip.  Punch between slips and slip between punches.  Bunch them together randomly.  Punch,slip-slip, punch-punch, slip-slip-slip, punch, slip, etc. The body mechanics of slipping and punching are the same — except that when you slip your fists stay at your temples.  That way your punches will cover your slips and vice versa.
  • 20 mins of running.  Set a timer for 10 mins and start running.  Maintain an aerobic pace, that is, run such that you can just barely manage to sing a familiar tune.  When your singing starts to become halting, slow to a fast walk and resume when you can sing again.  There’s a reason why armed forces sing and run.  That pace actually does a better job of building aerobic capacity other methods.  When the timer beeps, turn around and head home.
  • 10 minutes of meditation or contemplation.  After you cool down — for about 3 minutes or until your heart rate is below 100 bpm —  have a seat and do 10 minutes of internal work.

 

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Battle Box: Martial Arts Training Involution #189

Wow, my numbers are up almost 40% — over 10,000 views in 2019!  I hope that means you guys think my posts are getting better and more interesting!

But enough about me.  Let’s talk about you.

 

Question: When practicing self-defense against sincere training partners, either empty-handed or armed with training weapons, which do find more troublesome?(A) wide, circular attacks or (B) straight, direct attacks?

And which do you find more intimidating? (A) single attacks in isolation or (B) multiple fast attacks in combinations or chains?

I hope you answered “B” to both of those questions.  There are no unqualified rules in fighting.  But, for the most part, the hardest attacks to defend against are the ones that are fast and straight and delivered in quick combos.  Which means that, by-and-large anyway, that’s how you should be delivering them.

I call this “staying in the battle box.”  The battle box runs from the eyes down to the groin and is the width of the torso.  In today’s T.I. you’re going to practice staying in the box.

Battle Box: Martial Arts Training Involution #189

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 15 min Half Pyramid.  Set a countdown timer for 15 minutes and start with 1 each of Drop Duck-Unders, Narrow Push-ups, Crunches Legs Elevated, and Shoulder Rolls.  Then do 2 of each, 3 of each etc. See how how high you can climb before the timer beeps (I made it to 8).¹
  • 15 mins in the battle box with fists or wooden training weapon.  Set a timer for 3 x 5:00 (no breaks) and focus on form.  Round 1, shadowbox in the box.  Round 2, attack your heavy bag in the box.  Round 3, hit your double-end ball in the box  Tip: To change the angle of attack without putting your arms outside the box, turn your waist, flex your knees (this is especially important when attacking low), and move your whole body left, right, up, down, in and out.
  • 10 minutes of meditation or contemplation.  After you cool down — for about 3 minutes or until your heart rate is below 100 bpm —  have a seat and do 10 minutes of internal work.

¹ For the math nerds: the formula for the total reps in a Half Pyramid, where peak = P is:

Example: If you complete a Half Pyramid to 8 reps you will have executed 36  reps of each exercise because 8² = 64.  64 – 8 = 56.  56 / 2 = 28.  And 28 + 8 = 36.


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Cold Weather Help for the Homeless

With the help of my martial arts club, my family, and my friends (and by raiding my own closets) I was able to gather 3 large bags of blankets, coats, hats, socks, gloves and mittens for the homeless which I dropped off at Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC) this morning.  When it comes to the homeless, CCC is pretty much the only came in town.

I feel so incredibly blessed, it only seems natural to give back.

In what ways are you blessed?  How are you going to give back?

Merry Christmas!