Category Archives: Martial arts

A Weekend of Making and Doing

I spent the weekend making and doing all sorts of things I’ve been meaning to make and do.

First I made a 30/60/90 triangle out of 2×10 and painted it white. Why? Inclined bench press. I also installed a sump pump under the house, put a coat of paint on my all-wood-DIY can crusher, and for the martial arts club I made and painted a sign and put together a new membership scroll.  Pictures of everything except the sump pump below.

The way I see it, on my death bed I am not going to be lying there wishing I had spent more time watching TV. I am going to be wishing I did more, created more, shared more, gave more, and inspired more.

New roadside sign for the martial arts club.

Here’s the sign installed.

The new membership scroll.

Here’s the detail of the studs that attach the leather cover to the paper roll.  There’s one stud for each of the Five Vital Graces of Cabal Fang.

Closed view of the new membership scroll.

Closeup of the scroll’s knobs.

Close-up of the metal closure of the scroll.

Here’s the add-on I made for my weight bench so that I can do incline bench presses. It’s made from 2×10 stud wood and assembled with 3″ construction screws. The angle is 30 degrees.

My DIY can crusher. This thing works like a charm! It’s actually more of a can folder than a can crusher. Only problem is, it’s 100% wood, which means it needs to get a fresh coat of paint as soon as it starts so wear down.

500 Reps and a Trip to Oz: Training Involution #114

Training Involution #114

This week’s training involution is a two-parter.  Start with the 500-rep All-in Conditioner (video at the bottom of the post) then move on to a Cross of Light exercise.

500 Rep All-In Martial Arts Conditioner

  • Warm-up with 8 minutes of light cardio.  Then, at 50% power, complete 10 to 20 reps of each exercise to make sure you’re fully warmed up and ready to go all out.
  • Perform every exercise with maximum power and precision. Take as few 12-count rest breaks as you must in order to finish — see video below.
  • 100 Paces of Press Walks.  I used two #25 dumbbells but you can substitute a sandbag or another heavy object.
  • 100 max power strikes vs. upright heavy bag.
  • 50 Push-ups.
  • 50 Circles vs. floor heavy bag.
  • 100 mounted strikes vs. floor heavy bag.
  • 50 reverses from bottom position.
  • 50 pop-ups to shin ride position.

A Cross of Light Exercise

When we try to orient ourselves we instinctively think of four directions.

In Cabal Fang we orient ourselves with the Hermetic Quaternary: To Know, To Will, To Dare — To Keep Silent.  But there are tons of other things that map onto this — like the Four Heavenly Creatures, the four classical elements, and rather significantly, the Four Evangelists.  I’m convinced that’s why there are four gospels in the New Testament — because it instinctively makes sense that there should be four different versions of Christ’s story, each one from one of four different angles.

Me in the role of the Scarecrow at the Land of Oz Theme Park in Beech Mountain, NC

What else maps onto the Cross of Light?

The Four Characters from the Wizard of Oz Film

Just the other day I noticed that the four characters in the Wizard of Oz film fit perfectly in place on this diagram.

  • The Cowardly Lion goes in the East — he’s in search of courage or daring.
  • The Tin Woodsman is in the West.  Water made him frozen and silent, and he’s after a heart which equates to the water of tears of joy, sadness, sympathy, etc.).
  • Dorothy belongs in the South because she is human, and her defining characteristic is her will to go home.
  • And lastly, Scarecrow maps to North because he’s searching for knowledge — but his quest doesn’t begin until he’s cut down and he falls to earth.

See what else you can map onto the compass.  Here are some ideas: The Fantastic Four, The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, the Four Horsemen, the four fixed signs of the Zodiac, the four ways of seeing, the Four Alchemical Elements, Plato’s four qualities.  Sketch a cross and start mapping.  Then, when you’re done, perform the Cross of Light ritual from Chapter 17 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide.

 

The HPP OTM Protocol

Here is a photo of my training journal showing the dice for randomizing and the chart I came up with.

We’re testing out HPP OTMs at the club this month.  HPP stands for “Hold/Push/Pull” and  OTM stands for “on the minute.”

How do our OTMs work?  Well,  I have a list of 12 exercises — that are as martial-arts-specific as possible!  — which I have placed on three, four-sided dice (see photo above) so that I can select three of them at random.

The HPP OTM Protocol

  • Select 3 exercises at random — one from the Holding List, one from the Pulling List and one from the Pressing List.
  • Set timer for 1 min intervals.
  • Perform as many reps of Exercise #1 as you can.  At failure, rest until timer beeps, getting in position for the next exercise as you do.
  • Repeat with Exercise #2.  Again, when you reach failure, breathe deeply as you get in position for exercise #3.
  • Repeat with exercise #3.
  • Cycle through two more sets for a total of 9 minutes.
  • Record your max reps of each exercise in your training journal to keep track of PRs.
  • The beauty of this program is that as strength goes up the rest periods go down.  I shrinks to fit!
Holding List Pulling List Pressing List
Heavy Bag Back Bridge Chin-ups Sand Bag Overhead Press
Sand Bag Get-ups Rope Climbs Handstand Push-ups
Heavy Bag Reverses Finger Pull-ups/Hangs Heavy Bag Lifts
Heavy Bag Shrimps Sand Bag Cleans Sand Bag Thrusters

 

 

 

Martial Fitness: Training Involution #113

Today the Cabal Fang Temple is hosting our annual Martial Fitness Seminar.  This week’s T.I. will be two play along.

Martial Fitness: Training Involution #113

  • Review your prevention and mindset.  What are the four things you should do to prevent getting into a physical self-defense situation? (Hint: the acronym is P.A.D.E. ) If prevention doesn’t work, what are the three things you must do if you think something is about to go down? (Hint: P.R.A.).  When things get physical, what are the three things you have to do? (Hint: Y. M. K.).  If you don’t know the answers to these questions, re-read your manual!
  • Can you handle your body weight?   Complete the following constitutional: Zombie Squats (50), Push-ups (50), Get-ups (25), Wrist Waggles (1:30), Mountain Climbers (100), Crunch’n’Punch (50), Splays (25).
  • Can you use a weapon?  News flash: weapons were invented because they’re more effective than bare hands.  Select a dull training weapon such as a stick or wooden knife.  Set up your space with two heavy bags — one hanging and the other vertically on the ground (in a corner or strapped to a post works nicely).  Set timer for 2:00 min rounds and cycle through this twice, a total of 16 mins: Hanging Heavy bag strikes max power, Get-ups (switch weapon hands between each one), Sit-ups w/ max power strikes to floor bag, Combat Sprints w/ air strike (16 mins total).  See video below for excerpts from last year’s seminar.
  • Are you centered?  Cool down and then practice basic contemplation for 10 mins.

 

Happy Independence Day and Why it Matters

Happy July 4th to all my friends in the USA and around the world!

In our busy lives it’s easy to lose sight of America’s greatness and to forget why we shook the world in the first place.

This July 4th let’s remember that the United States of America was the first time since the rise of feudalism that people could own their own land and govern themselves.

That’s a big deal.

Sure, there had long been parliaments and senates and such, but kings, queens, emperors and empresses had really been in charge.  Right up until 1776, the British Crown could force you to board troops, could levy taxes against you without recording your vote, and even put you in irons without a hearing or seize your stuff.  Escheatment still survives to this day, a vestigial organ reminding us that unclaimed property reverts to the ownership of the state because, in the past, everything really belonged to the Crown anyway.

Yes, the United States of America is a really big deal, a remarkable experiment that continues to this day.  There are still plenty of places in the world that are controlled by absolute rulers, sultans, kings, despots, communist parties, and so on.  And while the USA is no utopia, there are reasons why everyone wants to get in.

You’re a grand old flag.  Forever in peace may you wave.

Memorization: How and Why

There is a memorization requirement in the Cabal Fang Hermit Path Distance Learning Program.  People sometimes ask me what it’s for, kind of the way kids ask their teachers why they have to learn about history when they can just google it.  So I made the video below.

By the way, my Patreon supporters got it 30 days ago.  If you’d like access to my stuff when it’s hot off the presses, consider sponsoring me for as little as $1/month.

It’s Time: Training Involution #112

This week’s T.I. is in video format — enjoy.