Category Archives: Martial arts

Take ‘Em Down and Put ‘Em Up: Martial Arts Training Involution #187

MBF dice (“Martial Base Fitness”)

There are certain martial movements so fundamental that someone who doesn’t drill them, it could be argued, is not a martial artist at all.

I have an entire program called MBF (“Martial Base Fitness”) that’s designed to make sure you have a firm foundation in these essential exercises.  Click here to order your copy for $9.99 — it even comes with some handmade dice to add an element of randomness and fun!

Two of the MBF movements are going to form the “Take ‘Em Down” half of this week’s T.I.  For the second “Put ‘Em Up” half we’re going to be putting up our dukes against a heavy bag.

Take ‘Em Down and Put ‘Em Up: Martial Arts Training Involution #186

  • 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 (never stretch static when cold).
  • Full pyramid to 7 of Shots and Sit-Outs.  Perform 1 Shot and 1 Sit-Out, then 2 of each, 3 of each, etc. up to 7.  Then do 6, 5, 4, etc. down to 1.  That’s 49 Shots and 49 Sit-Outs.  Modify as needed based on experience and fitness.  Beginners, sub Russian Squats if and when you gas on the Shots.  Experts, after every Sit-Out go to plank position and complete a Push-Up, then go straight to the next rep (no resets).  Take as few 12 count breaks as you need in order to finish.  If you don’t know how to do a wrestling Shot or Sit-Out, looks like you need my program!
  • 3 rounds on the heavy bag.  Go all in — punches, crams, braces, palms, kicks, knees, etc.  — and all out for speed and power.  Beginners run 2:00/1:00 rounds, intermediates 3:00/1:00, and experts can skip the round breaks and take three 12-count breaks max.
  • 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.  Why not check one out?

 

Two More Beat the Bodybuilder Challenge!

This past Saturday two more stalwart members of Cabal Fang headquarters completed the 100 Bodybuilder challenge!

Morgan (my daughter – proud papa here) got it done in an impressive 15:59!  Just to put her time in perspective: my initial benchmark about ten years ago was 18:35.  15:59 is no joke!

Jack (Morgan’s fiance by the way) set the new club record at 12:14.  Way to go Jack!

2019 Bodybuilder Challenge Times

Morgan Mitchell 15:59
Mitch Mitchell 13:15
Robert Mitchell 12:47
Jack Bloor 12:14
Mark Hatmaker 10:45 (not a member of the club but he took the challenge anyway).

Feel free to take a whack at it and post your time in the comments!


This is my Top 10 calisthenics ebook — click here to download!

Does this look fun?  Why not read my bestselling calisthenics book, face one of the challenges in it, and get your name in the Calisthenics Codex Hall of Fame?

Cut ‘n’ Run: Martial Arts Training Involution #186

 

On the right is a picture of me doing some shirtless winter-time training. 

Try it sometime.  Who cares what you look like or if it’s a little chilly?  If my shriveled up carcass can do it, you can too.  Get out of your head, shake things up, and start being the person you know you can be.  You’re capable of far more than you think you are! 

This week we’re going to use our imagination to create a 20-minute survival scenario.  Does this look fun?  You bet it does!

Why not come out and train with us at Richmond’s only free, non-profit martial arts club?  Or, if you prefer, arrange some private lessons or arrange to have me run a seminar for you and your martial arts school,   Click here to make that happen.

Cut ‘n’ Run: Training Involution #186

  • Ready your equipment and set the stage.  Pretend you are in the middle of a bad situation — there’s been a riot, there’s a state of civil unrest, etc. and you’re in the middle of a melee.  To set this up you’ll need (1) something you can vault over safely, such as a fence or an 8′ long 2″ x 4″ lashed to a couple of sawhorses, etc. You’ll also need (2)  a blunt training weapon (rubber, wooden, etc.), (3) a heavy bag with chains removed or taped up, (4) a 50 yard distance marked off, and (5) a timer set for 20 minutes.
  • 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 (never stretch static when cold).
  • Start your 20 minute timer.  When it beeps at 20 minutes, this training session is over no matter where you are, so flat out hustle for the duration.  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need in order to get through.
  • Deploy your training weapon and attack as you Split Vault over that fence or rail 50 times.  Pretend you are beset on all sides by assailants and obstacles.  Place off-hand on rail and send the attacking hand and same-side foot over at the same time.  As you get airborne, go belly down and pull the opposite foot and arm over.  Land on the first foot, pivot, and keep running.  Confused?  Watch Allen do a Split Vault at the 2:00 minute mark in the video below.
  • Sheath your weapon and pick up your heavy bag.  Pretend you got clear of the bad guys and now you need to get an injured person to safety.  Complete 10 Shoulder Carries of 50 yards each.  Swap sides as needed.
  • Drop the bag and scramble.  The bad guys are back and now the terrain is harsh! Get on all fours and scramble like a raccoon 5 x 50 yards as fast as you can.
  • Run.  Start running and don’t stop until the timer beeps.  The faster you do the first three segments the longer you’ll have to run.
  • 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.  Why not check one out?

 

100 Bodybuilders: Martial Arts Training Involution #185

November is Mettlecraft Month at Cabal Fang and the time has come to face the 100 Bodybuilder Challenge!  Go get it done.  Post links to photos, blogs and videos in the comments below.

We took a shot at it on 11/26 and we’re going to do it one more time on Tuesday 12/3.  So far the record is held by Mark Hatmaker at 10:43.  Where are you going to come in?

Need some last minute prep work to get ready for next Tuesday night?  Video below!

100 Bodybuilders: Training Involution #185

  • Warm-up thoroughly.  Jog, jump rope, lightly shadowbox, etc. for a total of at least 8 minutes.
  • Complete 100 Bodybuilders. My method is to set a 1 minute interval timer and complete about 7 reps “OTM” which stands for “on the minute.”  That gives me about 20 seconds of rest between each set of 7.  My son Robert prefers to do them “Cabal Fang Trial Style” — he does as many reps as he can until he gasses, takes a 12-count break, and repeats until he gets his 100.  See technique video below.
  • 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.  Why not check one out?

 

100 Bodybuilder Challenge

Me and the boy last night

UPDATE — 11/27/111:37 AM EST

Mark Hatmaker just posted in his Vale Alliance private FB group that — despite still rehabbing after knee surgery! — he just crushed the challenge in 10:43.  What can I say?  The man is a beast.


ORIGINAL POST 11/27/19 7:;30 AM EST

Last night we crushed the 100 Bodybuilder challenge!  I got them done in 13:15 and my son Robert finished in a blistering 12:47.

I set the original benchmark at 18:35 years ago.  Then my son carved off a minute or so, and I took off a minute, and we’ve batted it back and forth ever since.  Robert had the previous record at just over 15 minutes.

My 100 Bodybuilder time 11/27/19

Robert’s 100 Bodybuilder time 11/27/19

But last night was the first time we ever did it together.  The competition, camaraderie, and perfect weather just came together to create one of those moments.  I still can’t believe we shaved almost 3 minutes off our record times!

It’s going to be really hard to beat that 12:47.  Why don’t you go take a whack at it?  

In fact, next week on Tuesday night at Cabal Fang, my daughter Morgan and her fiance Jack are going to take the challenge.  I can’t wait to see what kind of time they put up!

How do you do a 10-count Bodybuilder?  It’s basically a Burpee with a Jumping Jack at the beginning, a foot maneuver in the middle, and no jump at the end:

  • Jumping Jack (1,2)
  • Squat down (3)
  • Shoot feet back to Plank (4)
  • Spread feet wide apart (5)
  • Bring feet back together (6)
  • Push-up (7,8)
  • Pop feet back to Squat position (9)
  • Stand up (10)

Navy Seal Mark Divine says that we are capable of 10 times more than we think we are, and he’s very clear that he’s not spouting hyperbole or metaphor.  I agree with him.  

Post your times in the comments!

Also, I put out two videos a week — martial arts videos on Wednesdays (see below) and religious videos on Sundays.

Undeceived: Martial Arts Training Involution #184

It is Mettlecraft Month at Cabal Fang!  This year’s goal of 100 Bodybuilders in under 20 minutes.  Play the home game and do it with us!  Post links to photoes, blogs and videos in the comments below.  We’re taking our shot as a club on Tues., 11/26.  That’s why every November T.I. contains Bodybuilders — to help you establish a base camp from which to make your assault on 100.

And now for this week’s T.I.!


Pick a name: the dreaded false dichotomy, the dualistic fallacy, black-and-white thinking, or the false choice.  By any name it is a dangerous adversary.  Examples?  Here you go.

I stand by my previous position on firm weapon grip.  I was right about that as far as it goes. Behind the scenes however, I got married to hammer grip.  Fencer’s grip, it seemed to me, was just too loose.

And then I tore the sub-sheath of my ECU wrist tendon, and learned from the immortal Mark Hatmaker that stabbing in hammer grip can tweak your wrist.  This is why swordsmen hold swords in the fencer’s grip — thumb along the spine of the weapon.  This only reveals itself fully when stabbing full force against a heavy bag, pell, or war post.  Light bulbs went off.

Fencer’s grip

Hammer grip

You don’t choose a grip the way you choose a spouse.  You tuck the thumb when swinging/slashing and switch to fencer’s grip when poking/stabbing.  It’s so painfully obvious that it’s embarrassing to admit that it took ten years to figure it out.

This will happen in life all the time.  Decisions will look like either/or choices when they are not.

Master your life in the same way that you master your weapons of choice.

Step back.  Question the questions. Switch, flex, move, breathe, adapt.

Do not be deceived.

Undeceived: Training Involution #184

  • Warm-up thoroughly.  Jog, jump rope, lightly shadowbox, etc. for a total of at least 8 minutes.
  • Blend in 25 Bodybuilders per day between now and next Tuesday’s challenge of 100. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking you must get all 25 in a row.  The idea is to establish a soreness-free baseline.  So, if you split them up two or even three ways — let’s say 10 in the morning, 10 around lunch, and 10 more at night, or maybe 12 early and 12 later — you will likely get even better results because you’ll be able to do more total reps.  Do as many as you like as often as you want, like maybe 4 every hour, as long as you’re not sore.  I repeat: the only rule is that you get a minimum of 25 without next day soreness.
  • Blend in meditation and/or contemplation.  Instead of doing one long sit each day — you are doing your internal work every day, right? — spread it out.  Do 10 minutes twice a day, 8 minutes three times a day, 2 minutes every waking hour, or if you’re feeling particularly motivated, pray continually.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books.  Why not check one out?

 

Scarf Hold Escape

DID YOU KNOW…

that I started making two videos a week? Martial arts on Wednesdays, religion and/or philosophy on Sundays. Go get some.