Category Archives: Martial arts

DIY Double End Ball for Boxing and Martial Arts

I’ve talked about this thing before, but it’s so cool and practical, I had to bring it up again.  Make one.  Get dirty.

 



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!

Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow: Mettle Maker #256

Inspired by recent discoveries and realizations, and catalyzed by last week’s conversation with Mark Hatmaker, the mettle maker takes a different form for the second week in a row.  Rather than a list of dos and don’ts, prescriptions, and so forth, this week I’m going to simply give you a grab bag of material that I hope you will find inspiring, enlightening, and fun — something that will get you out from behind the laptop and out into the world to breathe, train, live, and find your own innovations and realizations.

Which format do you prefer?  The experimental, or the traditional?

Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow: Mettle Maker #256

Which one of these pictures depicts the tool or behavior most likely to preserve your safety and prevent personal harm? Answer at bottom.

self defense quiz

How many birds can you identify in your neighborhood?  If you don’t know your neighbors, who do you know?

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” ~Matthew 10:29-31



wp-1618398151445.jpg

A recent observation using BirdNET — a free app that lets you record, ID, save and map observations so that you can learn birds and their songs. 

“The monthly attribute associated with the Hourglass is justice…The lower half of the Hourglass mirrors the upper.  Only if we are able to sincerely mirror the Divine Will can we have any hope of bringing justice into the world…Justice is almost always personified as a lovely woman wearing a blindfold and holding a set of scales — blind to her own passions and the winds of fashion and public sentiment, she weighs the facts with maturity and judges fairly.” [from the forthcoming Cabal Fang: Complete Martial Arts Study Course from Querent to Elder, 2nd Edition]

“Do resolutely what is just: defend the poor, the widows, the orphans and the churches.” ~Rule #47 of the Latin Rule (the code of the Knights Templar)

hourglass_tablet_frame

Answer: The oil change.  Breaking down by the side of the road is one of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in, and it’s a hundred times more likely than being attacked.  Service your vehicle and don’t operate it with less than 1/4 tank of gas, just in case you get lost or you get stuck in your vehicle during cold weather.



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!

Fulgurite: Mettle Maker #255

Inspired by recent discoveries and realizations, and catalyzed by this week’s conversation with Mark Hatmaker, this week’s mettle maker is taking an entirely different form.  Rather than a list of dos and don’ts, prescriptions, and so forth, this week I’m going to simply give you a grab bag of material that I hope you will find inspiring, enlightening, and fun — something that will get you out from behind the laptop and out into the world to breathe, train, live, and find your own innovations and realizations.

Regular followers of the mettle maker chime in.  Perhaps you’ll actually prefer this format over the traditional.

Fulgurite: Mettle Maker #255

124711 sets repsful·gur·ite \’ful-g(y)ə-,rit\ n [Latin fulgur] : 1. glass formed by a lightning strike melting sand or other material. 2. a physical representation of a transitory event or experience.

“Art is actually a process rather than an end product…with any luck the process is embedded in the byproduct…it’s a crystallized act of exploration.”  ~Jordan B. Peterson

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance



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!

A Rough ‘n’ Tumble Ramble with Mark Hatmaker: Solo Training, Research Methods, Rituals, and Engagement

It was supreme pleasure and privilege to have enticed the immortal Mark Hatmaker into sitting down for an hour of conversation.  If you know Mark, getting him to stop reading, practicing, training, and exploring is not easy.

We talked about Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts, solo training, our research methods, the power of ritual, and the importance of engagement.  Really fun — perhaps we’ll do another one if I can get him to sit still!

Who is Mark Hatmaker?  He is an author, a martial arts coach, and relentless autodidact who has written dozens of books on martial arts, fitness, and self-defense selling over 175,000 copies.  He has produced over 40 instructional videos and has been described as “a walking encyclopedia of wrestling holds.”  Training with Mark will change your life.

Go getcha some.



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!

A Day in the Life: Mettle Maker #254

Listen to modern culture and the message you get is that we are free to do, wear, say, choose and pursue whatever we want virtually without consequence, that there are infinite viable paths to a life of fulfillment, that all perspectives, philosophies and approaches are equal, and that being care-free is the way to happiness.

But that’s a lie.

Some things work and others don’t.  It turns out that…

and so on. Toward that end, what sort of choices are you making?

What does your typical day look like?

A Day in the Life: Mettle Maker #254

    • Rise and shine. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
    • wp-1617379958337.jpgDo your Chores.  Get out your sledge, a sandbag (I used #55), a sturdy stand at least waist high (I used on inverted heavy duty trash can), and your dull training weapons.  Set timer for 5 mins.  Do 1 Shovel vs. the sandbag. Put down the sledge, load and unload the sandbag onto the stand, then shoulder it and walk 25 yards.  Put the sand bag down and strike your heavy bag 5 times using fists, feet, or training weapon of choice.  Then do 2 Shovels, 2 Loads, a 25-yard Shoulder Carry, and 10 strikes.  Next round, 3 Shovels, 3 Loads, a 25-yard Shoulder Carry, and 15 strikes.  Switch striking tool as often as you like.  Keep climbing as fast as you can until the timer beeps.  When it does, finish the set you’re on then descend the pyramid back to beginning.  Created using Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble Fitness Dice ©.  Get some.
    • Take your constitutional.  What’s a constitutional? constitutional \’kän(t)-stə-‘t(y)ü-shən-ªl\ n 1. Belonging to, or inherent in, the constitution or structure of one’s body or mind.  a constitutional infirmity, constitutional ardour or dullness 2. For the benefit of one’s constitution or health. a constitutional walk.  Complete this month’s constitutional as follows: Sprints (25), Mtn. Climbers (25 full), Shrimps (25), Back Bridges (50), Ploughs (25), Sit-out Push-ups (25), Squats (100).  If desired, add a heavy bag or other weight to the Back Bridges and cut the reps.  Advanced players sub neck bridges.
    • Cook your supper.  This right here is Curly Dock, a.k.a., Rumex Crispus, which I came across on my property the other day.  In a survival situation, cook young leaves in several changes of water.  In summer the plant dries to a dark brown color and looks scorched, at which time the seed pods can be harvested and ground into a buckwheat-like meal and fried into cakes or boiled into gruel. Note: Curly Dock leaves contain oxalic acid which isn’t good for people who suffer from kidney stones, gout, or related illnesses.
    • emerald tab steele singerSit down with a book. “Read with diligence, and do not rest satisfied with light and superficial common knowledge.”  ~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.  Since our spiritual symbol of the month is the Hourglass, let’s turn to the Emerald Tablet, an obscure but profound ancient writing which speaks to the concepts inherent in the hourglass symbol. Below is an excerpt from The Emerald Table, an article by Robert Steele and Dorothea Waley Singer that appeared in The Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol. 21, Issue 3, 1928.

“The Emerald Table itself is a brief summary of the principles of change in Nature, the foundation of alchemical doctrine, which purports to have been found on a plaque of emerald in the hands of the corpse of Hermes Trismegistus. There are several forms of it in Arabic, and their divergence is wide enough to make it probable that its ultimate origin must be sought, before the Islamic invasion, in Alexandrian philosophy, when Egypt was still Christian, though with a Pagan element. Kircher, a learned Jesuit of the seventeenth century, suggested that it was compounded of extracts from the Poimander and AEsculapius, Jamblichus and Proclus. But the oldest forms of the text we possess are all in Arabic, and Latin versions come early in the history of the transmission of science, one in the tract of Apollonius de principalibus rerum causis, another the central portion of the text here published, still another embedded in the Secretum Secretorum, while other forms are found in various later works. We give an English version, somewhat expanded:

THE EMERALD TABLET

True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true. That which is above is like to that
which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the
miracles of one thing.
And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from this one thing by
a single act of adaptation.
The father thereof is the Sun, the mother the Moon.
The wind carried it in its womb, the earth is the nurse thereof.
It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.
The power thereof is perfect.
If it be cast on to earth, it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle
from the gross.
With great sagacity it doth ascend gently from earth to heaven.
Again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself the force from things superior and
things inferior.
Thus thou wilt possess the glory of the brightness of the whole world, and all obscurity
will fly far from thee.
This thing is the strong fortitude of all strength, for it overcometh every subtle thing and
doth penetrate every solid substance.
Thus was this world created.
Hence will there be marvellous adaptations achieved, of which the manner is this.
For this reason I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three parts of the
wisdom of the whole world.
That which I had to say about the operation of Sol is completed.



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!

Introducing the Petraenigma

Petraenigma \,pe-trə-‘nig-ma\ n [GK pétrā (“rock” or “stone”) + aínigma (“riddle”)] : A stone monument topped with a brass plaque that was erected by the members of Cabal Fang on Palm Sunday 2021.  The stone embodies twelve concealed riddles and answers, all of which are revealed only to elders of Cabal Fang martial arts.


After teasing since last year (see here and here) I’m pleased to announce that the Petraenigma it is 100% complete.

What is it?  Well, it’s a riddle in stone.  Athanor Spider and I tossed around ideas for five years or so but didn’t get serious until August of 2020.  Construction was soon done, but it took quite a while to get the brass plaque complete.

I know what you’re thinking — if the riddles and their solutions are only supposed to be available to elders, what’s up with Athanor Spider being involved in its production?   Two comments on that score.  First, he’s been eligible to be advanced to elder for several years — he just keeps putting off the final test.  Second, I made sure he doesn’t have all the riddles and answers.  I embedded a few that even he doesn’t know.

Look at the pictures.  Try to identify twelve riddles.  And if you find them, see if you can decipher their answers.  If you can’t, perhaps you’d like to enroll in the Cabal Fang Hermit Path Distance Learning Program.  When you get to be an elder, all you have to do is come to Virginia and look in the Elder’s Book of Secrets which is in the Chest of Mysteries.

Nothing to it.



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!

To Become an Everlasting Door

Last week’s mettle maker was called Threshold, Door and Gate: Mettle Maker #253.  There was a great deal more beneath the surface that I didn’t include in that post.  For those interested in a six-minute video covering that missing detail, see below.



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!

Threshold, Door and Gate: Mettle Maker #253

Threshold, Door and Gate: Mettle Maker #253

    • Stand at the threshold.  Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
    • Open the door.  If you haven’t done this month’s constitutional, get there (see video below).  If  you have, then do this little wrestling conditioner pyramid for variety.  Get out your floor bag and set a timer for 6:00.  Start off with the bag on top of you.  Do 1 Reverse to Top Saddle, 1 Pass to Cross Body (with good form),  and 1 Clock (mat is lava!).  Step over bag and fall back into a Short Arm Bar.  Then to 2 of each and 1 Short Arm Bar, 3 of each and 1 Short Arm Bar, etc.  When the timer beeps, finish the set you’re on and then descend in reps back down to 1 of each.
    • Make your passage. Half mile Balboa run.  Throw a variety of punches non-stop as you run.   Finish faster than 6:29 and you’ve got me beat.
    • scoutingClear the bar.  Can you pass the original 1908 Scout’s Test?  Do you know the composition of the flag and how to fly it? Can you tie the following knots: reef, sheet bend, clove hitch, bowline, fisherman’s,  and sheepshank?  Do you know elementary first aid?  Do you know semaphore or Morse code for every letter of the alphabet?  Can you follow a track half a mile in 25 minutes?  Cover a mile in 12 minutes?   Lay and light a wood fire in the open using no more than 2 matches, and then cook a quarter pound of meat and 2 potatoes with no utensils?  Have at least sixpence in a savings bank (that’s about $10 in today’s money)?  Do you know the sixteen points of the compass?  If not, in a survival situation you’re less capable than an 11-year-old from 1908.
    • Become the gate.  The word “contemplation” has “temple” as it’s root word.  A temple is a space set aside for divinity to enter.  Practice your contemplation so that you can be the gate through which the divine enters the world.   Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm.  Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples on a pond and your mind to approach a state of calm and relaxed awareness.  Do not think at all, but especially not in words — do not evaluate, judge, make lists, fixate on emotions, let your mind wander, or any of that.  Just breathe and be.”Lift up your heads, O ye gates,
      Yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors,
      That the King of Glory may come in.
      Who then is the King of Glory?
      The Lord of Hosts; He is the King of Glory.”
      ~Psalm 24



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!

The Essential Warrior Path: Monks, Knights, Jedis, Braves and Adepts

I was reading History and Doctrine of the Rose-Croix by Paul Sédir and I had a realization.   Paul Sédir, by the way, is a pen name.  He was born Yvon Le Loup on January 2, 1871 in Dinan and died on February 3, 1926 in Paris.  He was an esotericist and mystic, author of numerous works on esotericism and Christian mysticism.   This particular book on the Rose-Croix is an exhaustive,  condensed version of virtually everything ever written on the subject of the Rosicrucianism since they leapt onto the scene in the early 1600s.  Anyway, at the end of the book Sédir lists the “Secret Signs of the Adept” as follows:

The Secret Signs of the Adept

1. A Rose-Croix is patient
2. Good
3. He doesn’t know envy
4. He doesn’t hurry
5. He isn’t vain
6. He isn’t untidy
7. He isn’t ambitious
8. He isn’t irritable
9. He doesn’t think ill of others
10. He loves justice
11. He loves truth
12. He knows how to be silent
13. He believes what he knows
14. His hope is steadfast
15. He has no cravings
16. He remains a member of the society forever

And as I read these I thought, “With a few exceptions, this sounds like a list of warrior attributes.” And then I thought, “What are the core warrior attributes?  And how would I arrive at them?”

There are 8 warrior types I know something about, so I decided to analyze their codes, rules, tenets, maxims, and rituals and put them into a database.  From that database I distilled 12 attributes which I expressed as maxims — pithy sayings based on actual expressions of the precepts of the various traditions.  See video for details.

For even more details — all of my notes, much of which didn’t make it into the video! — are available to my Patreon subscribers for as little as $1/month pledge.

Without further ado, here are the 12 maxims.

The 12 Essential Warrior Maxims

  1. Self-control: Be relaxed and tranquil even unto death’s door. (Shaolin)
  2. Courage: Every day consider yourself as dead. (Samurai)
  3. Detachment: Do not display anger or other emotions — be free of passions, yet full of love. (Stoic)
  4. Justice: Everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against injustice and evil. (Knights Templar)
  5. Prowess: Aspire to the height of grace and skill in action, voice and demeanor. (Powhatan)
  6. Education: Read with diligence, and do not rest satisfied with light and superficial common knowledge. (Stoic)
  7. Fraternity: Remain faithful to your friends. (Hwarang)
  8. Indomitability: As the pine scorns frost and snow, stand tall and persevere despite negativity, obstacles, and repeated failures. (Hwarang)
  9. Integrity: Thinking, speaking and doing are the same action. (Samurai)
  10. Renunciation: Give no thought to what you will wear, what you will eat, or where you will sleep. (Shaolin)
  11. Sacred Speech: Every idle word contains a sin; speak therefore little, and then only in truth, care, and simplicity. (Knights Templar)
  12. Stoicism: Never cry out in pain. (Powhatan)



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!

Recant: Mettle Maker #252

RECANT: from Latin recantare, present active infinitive of recanto (“to sing back, reecho, sing again, repeat in singing, recant, recall, revoke, charm back or away”), from re- (“back”) + canto (“to chant, to sing”)

The first fitness post I made on this blog, the pre-cursor of the current “mettle maker” format, went as follows:

Solo Martial Arts Workout 11/13/12:

1/2 pyramid up to 10 reps: Lunge, Jackknife, Jump Squat, Pike (Total of 55 each, 20 minutes).  500 kicks in combos of 2, 3, or 4 (20 minutes).  Stretching (10 minutes).  Contemplation/Meditation (10 minutes).  Total time 1 hour

I often cringe when I re-read old posts.  I look at this one and I think (a) How does it take more than 10 mins to do those calisthenics? (b) Why would anybody want to do 500 kicks in one go? (c) There’s no definitive evidence that stretching is beneficial to a healthy, uninjured person. (d) What was I thinking?

I feel the same way when I read many of my other old posts about politics, corporate America, religion, and so on.  But I refuse to take them down because they’re real.  I said those things.  I will not to try to sanitize my past.  No backsies around here, only keepsies.

Because, despite all my errors, misconceptions, and embarrassing moments, there is a unified refrain: the pursuit of excellence, sense-making, goodness and indomitable spirit.  If I hide my errors I also hide my improvements.  And thus I fail to let the power of the Divine Logos, to which I owe all that I am such as I am, to shine forth from my face.

So I recant in the literal sense of the word.  I sing back, I sing again, I sing forever.  I confess and reveal my sins and thus proclaim the Eternal Truth that reveals itself whenever and wherever its pursuit is dauntless.

recant: Mettle Maker #252

This week we recant and rehab the first training session on this blog.

  • Reheat. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Repeat.  1/2 pyramid up to 10 reps (55 total) as fast as you can: Lunges, Jackknifes, Jump Squat, Pikes.  This should take about 10 minutes, not 20.
  • Recycle.  Instead of 500 kicks in combos of 2, 3 or 4 in 20 minutes, do 25o vs. air or 150 vs. the heavy bag in combos of 2, 3 or 4.
  • Rerun.  Are you prepared to run to escape or get help in the event of an emergency?  Cover 2 miles as fast as you can.
  • Reflect.   Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to calm and your body to relax.  Now review the biggest mistakes and sins of your life — the things that most fill you with the most shame and horror.  Now think about all of the beloved people you have known who were taken from this world before their time.  Ask yourself, “Why is it that God has permitted me to live?  What is my purpose?  How am I going to make amends for my mistakes and denounce my sins — not in my words but in my actions?” There is a word for this: repentance.  Dedicate yourself to this and it will change your life.  By the way, this is a condensed version of the second exercise in the first week of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.


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!