Category Archives: Martial arts

Cup of Silence: Mettle Maker #237

Thanks to everyone who participated in Mettlecraft Month 2020.  Recap here.  Boy am I blessed to with a great bunch of crazy friends!

The December focuses for Cabal Fang are Situational Training and the Chalice.

The monthly constitutional will be a pyramid generated randomly at each meeting using PTDICE, and we’ll be performing it at the beginning of each meeting rather than at the end.  Get yourself a set of PTDICE at Mitch’s General Store  and create your constitutionals on the fly, or just pick one of our historical constitutionals from the list and do it it pyramid-style.

Why are we doing this?

  • It’s cold outside and we meet at the park.  Pyramids contain a built-in warm-up.  We can put them at the beginning of each training session to get moving quickly without increasing injury risk.
  • Last month was killer.  Pyramids are less strenuous that the conventional flat-out protocol,  This month we need to dial it back.

Engage

If you’re new in these parts, you should know that people who engage with the content by doing some of the work and/or posting in the comments have been known to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

Cup of Silence: Mettle Maker #237

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes (or skip the warm-up and do the first half of the following pyramid with low intensity).  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 16 minute pyramid.  Set a timer for 8:00.  Complete one of each exercise, then 2 of each, 3, 4, etc. until the timer beeps.  When it does, finish the set, then start counting down. You should finish about the same time the beeper sounds the second time.  Total reps will equal the square of the peak, so if you do 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 you did 25 reps of each exercise, if you peak at 6 it’ll total 36, etc.  This week’s exercises: Zombie Squats, Narrow Push-ups, Bicycles, Get-ups, Lunges, Diamond Push-ups, Back-ups.
  • Situational Drill #9 from the Cabal Fang Study Course.  Do whatever you want to do – work the heavy bag, practice flow drills, submission chains or forms, etc. but with the addition of a distracting element.  Turn on a strobe light.  Crank up the music.  Dump the contents of your gym bag — gloves, mitts, sticks, padded weapons, etc. — on the training surface to make movement difficult.  The chance of you having to defend yourself from friends while in the gym is small.  Think about it.
  • How’s your stealth fitness?  Watch video below.  Don’t assume you have ability to silently escape a dangerous situation, either on foot or crawling.  You’d be surprised how strenuous it is — how much strength and flexibility it takes — to crawl silently.   Set a timer for 3:00 and crawl as quietly as you can.  Don’t wuss out and do it on carpet either.  Go outside and do it on leaves and grass.  Every crunch will make you go more slowly and increase the difficulty.  For extra credit, do another round crawling on your back using feet, shoulders and buttocks.
  • Meditation on the Chalice.  Set a timer for 10:00 and assume your meditation posture of choice.  Regulate your breathing to a slow and steady rhythm, and do not count, fidget, wiggle, or scratch.  I advocate box breathing: about four seconds to fill the lungs, hold with airway open about four seconds, exhale in about four seconds, hesitate with empty lungs and airways open for about four seconds.  Again, do not count.    Visualize a chalice in your mind’s eye, or set up a photo or quick sketch of the symbol if desired.  Step into the idea of the chalice and fully experience it.  Let the experience unfold…let a story play out in which you and the chalice are involved.  If you’re not a meditator, or if you want extra credit, read Sir Galahad by Tennyson.
  • If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen.  Do the work, the external and internal, and write about what you did and thought in your journal.  Introspection, self-examination and measurement are the key to progress.



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!

General Update: Mettlecraft, Vagabond Playlist, Temple Remodel, the Receipt Story, etc.

Lot’s going on in these parts.  Video below.


If you liked this post you’d probably like my e-books.  Click here to download them in any format from Smashwords or purchase them wherever fine e-books are sold!

montage

Rigor Fortis: Mettle Maker #236

The title of this week’s mettle maker is a play on the term  rigor mortis which literally means “stiffness of death” and refers to the tendency of corpses to become rigid for a fixed period of time after death.

Rigor fortis means “stiffness of strength.”  Strength is mostly about suppleness, elasticity, and explosiveness.  But sometimes it also about setting your face like flint.

Third Annual November Mettlecraft Challenge is in full swing.

November is Mettlecraft Month at Cabal Fang.  Click here to participate if you dare!  Here’s what we did in 2018 and 2019.  

Engage!

If you’re new in these parts, you should know that people who engage with the content by doing some of the work and/or posting in the comments have been known to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

Rigor Fortis: Mettle Maker #236

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBFIf you really want to crush this month’s mettlecraft challenge, do MBF every day and incorporate at least 2 of its exercises in each session.  Frequent low-intensity work between high-intensity work will shoot you forward like a slingshot.
  • How’s your pain tolerance?  Half fill a large pitcher with water and ice.  Set timer for 3 mins and plunge your open hand and lower arm into it to test your pain tolerance.  Do not squirm, make faces, or utter a sound.  If you can’t go the full 3 mins, practice daily until you can. Note: As shown in Mythbusters episode #142, holding a hand in ice water for ≤ 3 minutes is safe for people with no precluding health issues.
  • palm strike dummyFive rounds of practical, solo grappling action.  You’re doing intense fitness work on account of Mettlecraft Month, so take it down a notch and work the dummy.  If you don’t have a dummy, make one (instructions in my e-book Martial Grit).  Hang up your dummy and set timer for 5 x 3:00 (beginners add breaks if needed). Rounds as follows:  1) Grinding and Gouging 2) Striking 3) Choking, Holding and Locking 4) Throwing 5) Yanking.  See video below for details.
  • weather scoutingHow’s your weather wisdom?  Do you know which tidbits of old-timey weather wisdom are reliable and which are merely myths?  Is a read sky at night really a sailor’s delight?  Do trees really show the undersides of their leaves before a storm?  Click the picture to enlarge and expand this excerpt from Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting For Boys  (7th Edition, 1915).  Which of these are reliable and which are not?  Answers next week.
  • Can you set your face like flint?  Has there been a time when you were beset by accusers, defamers, and smearers, by the cruel and the vindictive?  If not, then you will at some point.  Often this will happen when you are genuinely at fault to some extent.  Blood gets in the water and the sharks descend.  Mistakes are the best teachers and we all make them.  But don’t let yourself be broken by those who heap on a level of derision out of proportion to your error.  Accept your mistake.  Repent, do penance, and take action to correct and prevent a recurrence.  Set your face like flint.  Look them in the eye, not with anger, defensiveness, or denial but with calmness and courage.  Meditate on a time when this happened and evaluate how you’d behave if happened again.  If this has never happened to you, meditate on this and be prepared.  We moderns have lost sight of the important of this type of practice.  The ancients would have called it stoicism, controlling the passions, and so on.
  • If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen.  Do the work, the external and internal, and write about what you did and thought in your journal.  Introspection, self-examination and measurement are the key to progress.



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!

Going Powhatan #2: Bathing Cold

Rountree’s “The Powhatan Indians of Virginia”

The first book I read about the natives of Virginia was Helen C. Rountree’s The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture.   It’s the most referenced book on the subject written to date, and Rountree is the foremost living expert on Virginia’s natives.  You can take issue with some aspect of Rountree’s work if you like, but you cannot sidestep her.  Read and contend with Rountree or you don’t know squat.

And the first thing I learned from Rountree about the Powhatan that deeply impressed me was the bit about the cold baths. According to her historical references, the Powhatan were as clean as people living in huts could be, mainly because each morning they all migrated down to the local water source to bathe – regardless of the weather. She also said that, to harden them to the cold, babies were bathed as well.

Allow me to insert a paragraph break so you can let that sink in a second.

Cold baths are no laughing matter. I had previously done cold baths indoors as part of various training regimens I’ve tried over the years. Let’s just say that the subject comes up in martial arts circles. Armed forces from the Spartains of Ancient Greece to the Seals at Naval Base Coronado attest to the power of cold water to awaken the warrior within. But outdoors? I started this program in an October considerably warmed by climate change. Even so, bathing cold outdoors in the winter seemed a little nutty. And yet there was a resonance I couldn’t deny, a strange synchronicity I couldn’t ignore.

The original Cabal Fang Temple before the new paint job in 2019

In my suburban yard I have a 9’ by 14’ shed that is finished like a tiny house with insulation and heat that we’ve been calling “the temple” since moving to the property 20 years ago. We started calling it “The Cabal Fang Temple” when I founded Cabal Fang martial arts in 2009, a name we borrowed when we founded our the 501 (c)(3) non-profit Cabal Fang Temple, Inc. Cabal Fang is Hermetic martial arts (for more information please visit www.cabalfang.com) and, on the surface of it at least, has very little if anything to do with primitive skills, my love for Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts, or the “Going Powhatan” project at all.  Although, due to lack of money, Cabal Fang has always been taught on the grass at local parks 12 months a year, so there’s that little bit of overlap in terms of “outdoorsiness” I suppose. But there was also a strange coincidence.  At the time I was reading Rountree’s book, I was struggling with what to do about remodeling the temple. The plan was to transform it from a hybrid space into a proper chapel, to make it a purely spiritual building and move my martial arts training to a new building to be constructed elsewhere on the property.

The stumbling block was money. I didn’t have the funds to construct a new building. And yet I was feeling the call to move forward in a powerful way. And so, when I read about the Powhatans’ daily bathing in cold streams, I had my answer: suck it up and train outdoors. What was the big deal? That’s how we train in the Cabal Fang club. At the park there’s a picnic shelter for refuge from rain, sleet and snow, and I have covered patio here at the house. The whole problem was in my head. Cabal Fang is always practiced outdoors. Why would Cabal Fang ever need an indoor training space? And why should a Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts instructor and primitive skills expert like me ever whine about the loss of indoor training space? But this is how human beings can be. We fear change, we miss the obvious, and we like our lives soft and cushy.

Powhatan bath

My “Going Powhatan” wash basin

I immediately went out and bought one of those heavy-duty resin storage sheds for a couple of hundred bucks and moved all the martial arts gear out of the temple so I could start the renovation. My next purchase was a one-gallon galvanized pan which I put that on my patio table, and next to it a watering can. Every morning about 6 AM, before I start my martial arts training, I pour a little water into that pan, strip to the waist, and wash up.

Next Time: Training the Hunter


If you liked this post…

There’s a good chance you’d love my e-book The Wildwood Workbook: Nature Appreciation and SurvivalClick here to download it in any format.  35 exercises guaranteed to deepen your relationship with nature and get your heart and mind engaged like never before.  120 pages.

Want to study Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts?  Click here to enroll in the Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts distance learning program for just $19,99/month — all learning materials, testing and certificates included (and a free hat and t-shirt when you sign up too).

Steam Power: Mettle Maker #235

Third Annual November Mettlecraft Challenge is in full swing.

November is Mettlecraft Month at Cabal Fang.  Click here to participate if you dare!  Here’s what we did in 2018 and 2019.  

Engage!

If you’re new in these parts, you should know that people who engage with the content by doing some of the work and/or posting in the comments have been known to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

Steam Power: Mettle Maker #235

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBFIf you really want to crush this month’s mettlecraft challenge, do MBF every day and incorporate at least 2 of its exercises in each session.  Frequent low-intensity work between high-intensity work will shoot you forward like a slingshot.
  • Could you climb a rope to save your bacon?  Stuntmen on TV make it look it look easy.  It ain’t. Hang one up and give it a go.  Start by trying to ascend a rope attached to a tree trunk or wall so that you can use your feet to walk up.  When that’s easy, move the rope away from the surface and work on climbing it without feet.
  • 4 rounds of wrestling flow.  You’re doing intense fitness work on account of Mettlecraft Month, so take it down a notch and work the dummy.  If you don’t have a dummy, make one (instructions in my e-book Martial Grit).  Building combos is part of the learning process.  But if you’re stuck try this 8 count sequence.
  • Can you estimate the height of obstacles, trees, etc.?  What if you have to to figure out where a cut tree will fall, or estimate the amount of rope you’ll need to lower down to your friends after ascending an obstacle?  “To find the height of an object, such as a tree (AX), or a house, pace a distance of, say, eight yards away from it, and there at B plant a stick, say, six feet high ; then pace on until you arrive at a point where the top of the stick comes in line C with the top of the tree then the whole distance AC from the foot is to AX, the height of the tree, the same as the distance BC, from the stick, is to the height of the stick; that is if the whole distance AC is thirty-three feet, and the distance BC from the stick is nine (the stick being six feet high), the tree is twenty-two feet high.”  Click the picture to enlarge and expand this excerpt from Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting For Boys  (7th Edition, 1915).  Over 100 years old and still relevant.
  • Use steam power.  Think of yourself like a kettle or, better yet, like a boiler used to power a machine by steam.  The more you yakkety-yak about what you’re going to do, the more steam escapes.  It drains energy from the system.  Shut your yap and act.  Retain the the steam inside and keep the pressure on.  See the video below.
  • If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen.  Do the work, the external and internal, and write about what you did and thought in your journal.  Introspection, self-examination and measurement are the key to progress.



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!

Steam Power: Silence, Speech, and the Word

Speech has a sacred component, words have power, and into the things we name we breathe steam.  Be careful what you name.

Watch video below for more details.



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!

General Update: Mettlecraft Month, Temple, etc.

  • Mettlecraft month is halfway through — not too late to join in!  Click here for details.
  • Temple remodel is moving forward.  This weekend I started working on the altar, took down the old tapestries, etc.
  • Powhatan language study is progressing.  I’ve moved beyond just numbers and vocabulary and started memorizing verb conjugations.

Watch video below for more details.



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!

Cross and Bush: Mettle Maker #234

Third Annual November Mettlecraft Challenge is in full swing.

November is Mettlecraft Month at Cabal Fang.  Click here to participate if you dare!  Here’s what we did in 2018 and 2019.  

Engage!

If you’re new in these parts, you should know that people who engage with the content by doing some of the work and/or posting in the comments have been known to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

Cross and Bush: Mettle Maker #234

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBFIf you really want to crush this month’s mettlecraft challenge, do MBF every day and incorporate at least 2 of its exercises in each session.  Frequent low-intensity work between high-intensity work will shoot you forward like a slingshot.
  • 4 minutes of jump and roll.  Get on the grass or on the mats and set a timer for 4 minutes.  Complete a Standing Broad Jump (a.k.a. “a big bunny hop”).  Flex knees on landing, absorb shock, and shoulder roll from left palm to right rear hip.  Turn around repeat, only this time roll from right palm to left rear hip.  If that’s easy, jog into your SBJs.  For extra credit do this drill in the rain and mud wearing street clothes like I did.  Real life doesn’t wait for ideal conditions to confront you with survival challenges.
  • 4 minutes of weapon training on your heavy bag.  Get yourself an 12″ – 20″ length of galvanized pipe, put on some safety glasses, and set a timer for 4 minutes.  Hit the bag with max power but be conscious of your form.  Make sure you strike like cavalry rather than cannon, that you draw the weapon at the end of each strike, and that you and avoid fantasy combos (like 2 to 8).  If none of that makes sense, you might need to take a class.
  • Is this fall berry edible?  In a survival situation it’s a good idea to know your berries.  This is the berry of Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus ), one of the most invasive species in the U.S., and its berries are not edible.  All parts of this plant are toxic.  If you find it in your yard, dig it up and burn it.
  • The power of four.  One of the reasons that the cross is such a powerful symbol is that it holds ever-unfolding esoteric secrets.  Like a compass, it reminds you to orient your thoughts (forehead), desires (heart), actions (right shoulder, sword hand) and beliefs (left shoulder, shield arm).  It reminds you that there are four ways of knowing: propositional knowing (mind, forehead), perspectival knowing (heart), participatory knowing (right shoulder) and procedural knowing.  The cross cries out that there are infinite ways to approach solutions, problems, and questions — but they can all be laid out in four major categories.  Watch the video below and apply it in your everyday life — you’ll be glad you did.
  • If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen.  Do the work, the external and internal, and write about what you did and thought in your journal.  Introspection, self-examination and measurement are the key to progress.



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!

Going Powhatan #1: Speaking Powhatan

strachey powhatan

Some of Strachey’s Powhatan words in his actual hand

According to the National Museum of the American Indian, over 500 native languages were spoken in North America prior to European contact.  Of those 500 languages, the Catalog of Endangered Languages reports that only 150 are still spoken today.  There were thousands of tribes as well, of which only about 600 remain. 

 

strachey powhatan

The number of tribes the diversity of languages bears out what we find in historical accounts and archaeological finds, which is that 

the native tribes of North America were insular, territorial and, for want of a better word, grumpy.  Ritual violence, intertribal warfare, conflict, dispute and bloodshed were a part of daily life.  In addition to their words, they did a fair amount of their talking with weaponry.

Just because they didn’t shy away from a fight doesn’t mean their languages weren’t rich, beautiful and complex.  I know this because, as part of this project, I decided I should learn how to speak Powhatan.  But I soon found out that Powhatan was one of first indigenous languages to go extinct.  Powhatan, or Virginia Algonquian, hasn’t been spoken since the 1790s.  Fortunately though, Willam Strachey, an English writer who made it to to Virginia after being stranded in Bermuda by the shipwreck of the Sea Venture, wrote extensively on the language and culture of the Virginia’s natives.¹   We have his word lists, as well as John Smith’s.  And thanks to linguists like Frank Siebert and Blair Rudes, who have poured over the work of Stachey and Smith and put together partial reconstructions, we have at least the skeleton of Virginia Algonquian.

As soon as you jump in four things jump right back at you.  First, Powhatan has provided American English with more loan words than any other indigenous tongue.  Raccoon, opossum, tomahawk, hominy, terrapin, hickory, chum, moccasin and persimmon all come from Powhatan, and that’s just the short list.²

Second, it’s an agglutinating language.  Word order isn’t all that important because you just keep adding prefixes, suffixes and circumfixes onto the root word until you get the meaning you want. A properly conjugated verb is a sentence unto itself. 

Third, it’s an action language.  Verbs are conjugated based on whether they are transitive or intransitive and nouns are declined based on if they are proximate (nearby) or obviative (over there).  This is a language designed to tell you what’s moving, what’s not moving, and who’s doing what to who.

And fourth, it’s hard to learn.  The two biggest snares are that it has very little in common with English and there’s nobody to practice conversation with.  But hopefully that conversation problem will dissipate.  There are people trying to bring the language back.  The Patawomeck tribe up in Stafford, Virginia are teaching language classes using the materials Blair Rudes prepared for the movie The New World, and the Eastern Woodlands Revitalization Project is also spearheading an effort.³

For the time being though, I’m on my own.


¹ Strachey, William. 1610-1612. The Historie of Travaile Into Virginia Britannia Ed. Richard Henry Major. London: Hakluyt Society, 1849.

² Siebert, Frank. 1975. “Resurrecting Virginia Algonquian from the dead: The reconstituted and historical phonology of Powhatan,” Studies in Southeastern Indian Languages. Ed. James Crawford. Athens: University of Georgia Press, pp. 285–453.

³ Rudes, Blair. 2006. “Giving Voice to Powhatan’s People: The Creation of Virginia Algonquian Dialog for ‘The New World’” Paper written for Coastal Carolina Indian Center.

Next Time: Bathing Cold


If you liked this post…

There’s a good chance you’d love my e-book The Wildwood Workbook: Nature Appreciation and SurvivalClick here to download it in any format.  35 exercises guaranteed to deepen your relationship with nature and get your heart and mind engaged like never before.  120 pages.

Want to study Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts?  Click here to enroll in the Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts distance learning program for just $19,99/month — all learning materials, testing and certificates included (and a free hat and t-shirt when you sign up too).

Dragon Weir: Mettle Maker #233

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Sorry I’m late posting the weekly Mettle Maker.

I was camping this weekend at Holliday Lake State Park.  This little mini-adventure made me late with the mettle maker, but it also helped me come up with the theme.  You should know that each and every mettle maker is made up of actual drills and exercises I’ve personally done in the preceding week.  I never ask you to do anything I haven’t done myself.

Third Annual November Mettlecraft Challenge is in full swing.

November is Mettlecraft Month at Cabal Fang.  Click here to participate if you dare!  Here’s what we did in 2018 and 2019.  

Engage!

If you’re new in these parts, you should know that people who engage with the content by doing some of the work and/or posting in the comments have been known to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

Dragon Weir: Mettle Maker #233

A weir is a low dam built across a stream or river in to raise the water level and create a body of water.  It manages the flow.

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 12 minutes of “Very Bad Karma” plus 8 minutes of kicks.  Even if you’re not going to participate in Mettlecraft Month 2020 you gotta do this thing at least once.  Click here for details.
  • Work your flow.  If you’re participating in Mettlecraft Month 2020 it’s important to make sure your training volume and intensity don’t rage out of control.  Exclusive of your mettlecraft training, work in the 50 – 70% range.  I’m doing lots of flow drills, slip ball, shadowboxing, MBF, and so forth.
  • Hold your position for 3 minutes.   Another way to moderate your training this month — which is all about pushing the reps and the intensity — is to work on exercises that don’t involve any reps at all: pose-based fitness.  Crow sits, Planks, Handstands, Wall Sits, etc.  Set a timer for 3 minutes.  Pick two or more poses and start your timer.  Hold the first pose until failure, then move to the next, cycling through (or back and forth) until the timer beeps.
  • What tree is this?  In a survival situation it’s a good idea to know your trees so that you can be sure to use woods suitable to your purpose.  This is Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua).  In my opinion it’s perfect for nothing but passable for most anything.  Some folks make bark baskets from them but I never tried.
  • Face the dragon.  Mettlecraft Month is about building your indomitability so that, like a mythic knight, you can be courageous and indomitable in facing the dragon.  The thing is, before you can face the dragons of the world you need to face the dragons within.  How many times in the last week have you made excuses for not doing better — not just in fitness, but at work and at home, in your relationships?  The scariest dragons are in you —  lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride, and so on — and they are breeding in the caves of your subconscious.  Fail to run them to ground every day at your peril.
  • If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen.  Do the work, the external and internal, and write about what you did and thought in your journal.


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!