Category Archives: Martial arts

Free Martial Arts Training at Home (and WOOTW #76)

A couple of my friends after a successful trial for rank advancement. Start training in Cabal Fang too. What are you waiting for?

The Hermit Path Distance Learning Program is what we call our Cabal Fang Martial Arts home study course.  It’s absolutely free because we are a genuine, truly-and-for-real, non-profit educational corporation.

Sign up today and you’ll get a free download coupon for the 300+ page Cabal Fang Study Course.  All you have to do is complete the exercises and workouts, keep a training journal, and submit scans of your journals each month.

Remember those ads they used to run in comic books back in the 70s? We are NOT like them. Photo courtesy of Mr. Dan Kelly and his super cool website

Cabal Fang is a mind-body-spirit martial art.  Our emphasis is on getting fighting fit, learning how to fight, and getting your head together.

No, you can’t learn to fight by studying solo.  But there are two other dimensions that you can definitely pursue at home — fitness and spirit.

Weightlifters know that if they pick up heavy objects that are hard to lift, they’ll get stronger.  Cabal Fang is not easy.  Nothing that makes you stronger is ever going to be.  But trust me — you can do this.

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang “No Excuses” Workout of the Week #76

  • Eye-patched.  Prepare to fight with a handicap if necessary.  Tie a bandanna or tenugui around your head such that one eye is covered.  Set a timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00 and get after that bag with maximum damage in mind — punches and kicks.  Really try to beat the stuffing out of it.  Caution: Depth perception is difficult with one eye covered — don’t get hurt.  Don’t have a bag?  Make one.  Nowhere to hang it?  Lash it to a tree.  No excuses!
  • Calisthenics pyramid.  Full pyramid to 7 of Hop Push-ups, Pikes, Finger-tip Push-ups, and Jumping Jacks (that’ll be 49 of each exercise total).  If/when you gas on the Push-ups, drop to knees.  Can’t do do Hop Push-ups with a hop at the top?  Do them regular. Can’t do Finger-tip Push-ups?  Do them on knuckles instead.  No excuses — only substitutions or step-downs.
  • Searching for excuses.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Assume your meditative posture of choice, close your eyes, and regulate your breathing.  Imagine that your life is a video recording.  In your mind’s eye, start it playing backwards from right now.  Watch the video playing backwards, noting as you go the things that you’ve been making excuses about.  When the timer beeps, get out your training journal and write down the things that you’re going to do, say, correct, overcome, etc. by throwing your excuses into the negative behavior dustbin.

I created the pyramid workout using PTDICE — a set of 9 dice which I designed and marketed a couple of years ago. I have a few sets left. If you want one, send me an email at and I’ll sell you a set for $15.00.

Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.



Where Lurks the Next Mass Shooter (and WOOTW #75)

I shouted out,
“Who killed the Kennedys?”
When after all
It was you and me
(Who who, who who)

~The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil”

In January of this year I had an awakening of sorts during which I realized that there might be a reason why I didn’t have a book on the New York Times Bestseller List, why my martial art wasn’t more popular, and generally why I wasn’t smashing goals left and right.

Why?  Because I need to write better books, I need to perfect my martial art and I generally need to work harder.  99 times out of 100, lack of success has to do with you — not someone else.  And guess what happened when I realized this?

Blog traffic increased.  My creativity and courageousness soared and things that had previously seemed like work felt like recreation.  I finally founded my non-profit.  I started hitting goals I hadn’t previously dreamed I could hit.  I know it makes no sense at all, but taking full personal responsibility for success or failure is actually liberating, and restriction — not freedom! — encourages creativity.  

And so, in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, here is a video that I could not have made last year because (a) I wasn’t self-critical enough to have the insight, and (b) even if I had the insight I wouldn’t have had the courage to speak my mind on such a controversial subject.

Let me know what you think.


And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #75

  • Inside/Outside Heavy Bag Drill.  Set a timer for 8 minutes.  Imagine that your heavy bag is a person — really imagine it! — or else this drill is worthless.  Throw combos of 2, 3 or 4 shots against the bag.  As you do, imagine what your opponent would be likely to throw back.  Get your head off center line while you strike by using slips/shoulder pops simultaneous to your strikes.  Move while you hit, hit while you move!
  • The “888” Workout.  Set a timer for 8 minutes.  Complete as many sets as you can in 8 minutes of 8 Prison Push-ups and 8 Jump Squats.
  • 8-count Self-Improvement Drill.  Sit down with your training journal and a pen and set a timer for 3 minutes.  Start the timer.  Before it beeps, write down 8 things you could do that would make you a better person and/or would make your life better.  Restriction — not freedom! — encourages creativity.  Thanks to the time limit you’ll be blurting things out on the paper that have been hiding in your subconscious.  Give your 8 ideas consideration and move them to your To-Do List as you see fit.
Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.


Intent is the Secret Sauce

\In*tent”\, a. [L. intentus, p. p. of intendere. See
{Intend}, and cf. {Intense}.]

1. Closely directed; strictly attentive; bent; — said of the
mind, thoughts, etc.; as, a mind intent on self-improvement.

2. Having the mind closely directed to or bent on an object;
sedulous; eager in pursuit of an object; — formerly with
to, but now with on; as, intent on business or pleasure.
“Intent on mischief.” –Milton.

Watch this video.  In it you will notice that when people attack they have the intent to poke the other person in the torso with the wooden training weapon.   And since the defending person  fears the discomfort, this practice is real.

Intent is the secret sauce.

This is true in martial arts and in life.  Whatever it is that you’re doing, you need to have the intent to get it done.  In other words, you may laugh and joke all you like, but do not play.

If somebody is accused of murder, the prosecution must prove intent.  Did the accused have a plan?  Did he or she lay in wait?  At any point was there hesitation?  Did he or she ignore one or more opportunities to turn away from the act?

If somebody has the intent to harm you, you better have the intent to get home safely.

Learn this in martial arts class and then manifest it in your personal life, at your job and at home.  Have the intent to get a promotion at work and you might get one.  Have the intent to hit a financial goal — like saving up the money for a new kitchen, getting your car note paid off early, etc. — and you might get there.

But if you just play at it?  Success is unlikely.

Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.


All Things are Possible

We don’t really know what the upper limits of human potential are.  Has there ever been a person who applied themselves fully?  We know what it looks like when a person makes a concerted effort.  These are the people in the history books and the heroes we hold dear.  Now try to imagine what 100% of personal potential might look like.

What could humanity do and achieve if everyone on the planet applied realized his/her full potential?  What would that look like?  Maybe that’s what the metaphor of heaven is meant to convey, yes?

What are you aspiring to?  Have you given up on something?  Something big, something small?  Why?

There’s more to you than you ever imagined.

Look, it’s a small thing, but maybe you’ll find it inspirational.  This morning I bridged a 60 lb. heavy bag for the first time — and I did it for 3 sets of 5 reps each (video below).

Yes, I know there are tens of thousands of folks in gyms worldwide who can bridge a heavy bag. But when I started pursuing this goal five months ago, a 15 lb sandbag felt heavy. Goes to show that if you apply yourself with intensity, you can make amazing progress at anything — inside the gym and out — even if you’re middle-aged.

Now it’s time to hit the next goal: the 75 lb. bag.  And also I have to raise the money to build a temple, and I have to save the world too.  So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get crackin’.


Hermes’ Winged Helm and Workout of the Week #74

This week I’m going to hook you up with a little knowledge lecture about Hermeticism.  Why?  Two reasons:

  1. Because Hermeticism is the backbone of the spirituality of Cabal Fang,
  2. And people often ask what the hell Hermeticism has to do with martial arts (like Fernan Vargas did on the Raven Talk podcast).

Here’s the video — hope you find it fun and enjoyable.

And now for Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #74

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #74

  • Slip ball.  Get in front of your slip ball for 10 minutes.  If you are serious about boxing or kickboxing you should be doing this twice a week until the end of time.  Pursue slip ball with enough sincerity to be sweaty when you’re done.  Don’t know how to use a slip ball?  Watch this.  Don’t have a slip ball?  Put anything on the end of a string and hang it up, or make a proper one by drilling a hole in a tennis ball and running some para-cord through it.
  • Power kick pyramids vs. heavy bag.  Set timer for 10 minutes.  Throw a Side Kick pyramid to 4 with left leg forward, switch stance, and do another with right leg forward.  Switch stance.  Throw a Roundhouse/Switch Kick pyramid with left leg forward, switch, and then throw another with right leg forward.  Repeat until the timer beeps.  Kick as hard and fast as you can for max power.  Each pyramid = 1 kick, then 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 with only a short beat between groupings.  See if you can get through 12 pyramids — the whole thing 3 times — before the timer beeps (that would be 192 kicks).
  • Caduceus meditation.  Symbols effect your mind in ways that words and sounds cannot.  One of the best ways to use and interact with symbols is to sketch them in your own hand.  Draw a caduceus on a  piece of paper.  Then prop it up such that it’s at eye level when you’re in your chosen meditative posture.  Narrow your eyes to slits, regulate your breathing, and meditate on the drawing for about 10 minutes.  Record your thoughts and impressions in your training journal.

A caduceus (courtesy of Wikimedia)

Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.


Drawing Instead of Rolling and WOOTW #73

A few weeks ago I promised to explain the new element I added to my workout system — the little wooden paint stirrers you see on the right.

The basic idea is that the workout regimens of martial artists, who need to be ready for anything, should include an element of randomness.

I used to introduce randomness by rolling dice of various kinds, and I still do use them for inspiration.  But the problem with dice is that they’re a little too random.

Let’s say you workout six days a week and every day you roll a six-sided dice to determine your workout.   Your chance of rolling a 6 once/week = 6 x 1/6 or 100%.  That’s what’s called “odds on.”  But what happens is that you’ll roll 6 twice in one week with surprising regularity, and you’ll skip a week rather often too.   Every dice roll is completely independent of the last.

But if you write numbers on six paint stirrers and pull one out of cup each day — and you don’t put it back the cup is empty — you know you will get a 6 once per week.  And only once.  That’s why I went with the new method.

Now I have 12 sticks in a cup, each one with a different focus written on it.  Depending on how much time I have on a given day, I pull a stick or two from the cup and get to work.  And since I leave sticks out until the cup is empty, I get the randomness  I need while making it impossible to go more than six to twelve days without working on each one of the twelve items.

Why not try making your own?

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Martial Arts Workout of the Week #73

  • One-Armed Bandit.  Defend against an imaginary bandit using just one hand!  Set a timer for 2 rounds of 5:00/1:00.  Tie a rope around your waist or put on a karate belt and tuck your left wrist under it — or just grab your belt with your left hand.  Go at your heavy bag with self-defense level aggression using just your right hand until the timer beeps.  Switch hands for the second round.  Don’t forget to modify your shell and use defensive maneuvers like bobs, slips, pops and rolls between groups of shots.  “But I don’t have a heavy bag,” you say?  Make one or shadowbox — no excuses.
  • Describe your moral compass.  Get out your training log or journal and describe in 100 words or less your moral compass.  What is “north” — your primary orientation and the positive morality you are heading toward?  What lies to the “south” — the thing you’re heading away from?  What are the secondary and tertiary moral issues to the “east” and “west?” 
Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.




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“If I could have only one book for guiding me along my own martial arts path, this would be it, hands down.”

~5-Star Amazon Reviewer


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