Category Archives: Martial arts

The Nine Lives of the Bobcat!

The Nine Lives of the Bobcat is jam-packed the essential self-defense and prevention advice — and drills! — you need to avoid trouble and stay safe.  Contains 9 prevention skills, the 3 warning signs everyone should heed, 4 de-escalation tricks, 6 mindset drills, 3 ways to regain control when things start to get pear-shaped, 4 ways to leave breadcrumbs if you’re about to be abducted, and more! 17 pages, 3,500 words.


Hatmaker’s Readiness Test #1 — Part 1

Click here to see Mark’s entire post

Author, martial arts coach, sailor, adventurer and man-about-town Mark Hatmaker recently posted The Self-Resilient Readiness Test Part 1.  and it’s outstanding.

By the way, Mark is my coach.  Yes, I’m a “martial arts master” (whatever the hell that is).  Yes, I’ve studied under masters and grandmasters galore since starting martial arts in ’86.  But Hatmaker is my coach.  Mark’s the guy who, in 2003, helped me understand the meaning of the word fitness.  He’s the the guy who showed me the terrifying beauty of wrestling.  He’s the guy who pulls me toward excellence from in front by demonstrating, every day, what hard work looks like.  He sets the benchmarks.  He’s the guy.

Anyway, the “questions” on Mark’s test are designed to spur you toward assessing your readiness inside and out.  I love this test so much (despite the really clunky name — sorry Mark but what a mouthful!) that I’m going to start blogging, and maybe videoing, my “answers.”

His genius scoring method really kicks you off the couch.  You get zero points for not facing the challenge, 1/2 a point for failing and 1 full point for successful completion.   As Mark says,

“If you do not perform any tests or skip a test, even if you know in your heart of hearts you could do it—give yourself a big fat zero, because maybe, just maybe, that “prepared mind” assumes something that the body can’t really deliver.”

Ouch.  When I read that, well, I didn’t have any choice to but to press on.

So without further ado, here are my scores on two of the tests.  Because some of them require special locations and/or planning — like #1: Swim a half mile — I’m doing them in no particular order.

My unprepared breath hold was 1:03

#9: One minute unprepared breath hold.  I got 1 point for a hold of 1:03.  Surprisingly hard.  I actually practice breath holding on a regular basis (I’m good for 1:40 or so), but I never practice unprepared.  Going forward I will though.
#13: One minute shower on full cold.  I got 1 point.  Awhile back I spent about six months showering cold exclusively.  This was like falling off a log.
Total Score so far: 2 points

Wanna play along?  Post your scores in the comments!

DID YOU KNOW…that I have an awesome shop where you can buy all kinds of cool stuff, like martial arts training materials, bespoke books, artwork, and so on?  Check it out!

Repeat Offender: Martial Arts Training Involution #166

About 75% of criminals have been incarcerated multiple times, and most experts estimate that the average criminal commits approximately 10 crimes per year for which they are not apprehended.  

If you are assaulted it will likely be at the hands of an experienced repeat offender.  And since you’re a nice guy,  and you never hit first, you’re likely to be punched, struck, stabbed or shot before you even start defending yourself.

Proposition A: We must practice fighting while hurt.

We are habitual, repeat offenders too.  We do all kinds of things we know we shouldn’t do.  We skip training sessions, eat crap food, say stupid things, screw up at the office, drink too much, yell at the dog, etc. etc.

Proposition B: We must work on ourselves.

Repeat Offender: Martial Arts Training Involution #166

Complete Wrestling Conditioner #2 while impaired.  Tuck one arm into your belt, tie a bandanna over one eye, put a pointy rock in one shoe, put on a brace that makes it impossible to bend one knee, or spread the contents of your gym bag across the training area and wrestle on that.  It’s amazing how annoying it is to work on the mat with a stick under your knee or a rubber gun in the small of your back.  You can find instructions for Wrestling Conditioner #2 in Cabal Fang: Complete Study Guide from Querent to Elder or here.

Self-evaluate.  What are you doing to get better in mind, body and spirit?  What’s your plan?  Is it working?  If you don’t have a plan, or if the current one isn’t working, try The Hourglass Way — available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, and everywhere e-books are sold.

My New E-book Available Now

It’s so fresh that it isn’t up yet on iTunes or B&N, but you can get it at Smashwords — just click here.

This workbook is short and laser-focused on realizing your mind-body-spirit potential — so start your transformation today!

Douthat Adventures

CCC patch

Went on a little getaway this weekend.  Headed up to Douthat State Park with the family.  It’s the only park in Virginia (at least that I’ve found) where you can have fun camping in the middle of the summer.  It’s easy to beat the heat up there.  The park’s campling area is one of the highest in the state and there’s a sandy beach on the lake for swimming.

This park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and it hasn’t changed much in the last eighty plus years.  The quality of the construction is such that many of the cabins and stone buildings are virtually unchanged and still in use.

Here’s a little handout concerning how Douthat State Park was built

I’ve waxed poetic about the CCC before.  Let me just say that I’ve heard a ton of talk about UBI — both for and against — but I haven’t heard a single word about any kind of work relief program.  And I sure haven’t heard a word about bringing back the CCC.

Personally, I think UBI and free college tuition are both hard sells when we have a national debt of $16 trillion.  But a program like the CCC — which is basically a work relief program that also provides vocational training — seems like something we could all vote for.

Anyway, here’s a little video about the trip.

Hugh Thompson Jr. : Training Involution #165

This week’s T.I. is in video format.  Dig it.

A Fisher of Men

Robert Mitchell — November 21, 1934 ~ July 8, 2008

Today is the 11th anniversary of my father’s passing. Pop was a pretty incredible person.  No, he was not a great businessman, scientist, inventor, writer, statesman or orator.  He wasn’t remarkably successful by any conventional measurement.

What made him incredible was that he spent the last decade or so of his life walking with Christ despite serious trials.  The more money the world took from him, the less materialistic he became.  As his health got worse, he only became more patient and at peace.  The more loved ones who were taken away, the more he loved those who remained.  The more the world conspired to try and make him bitter, the more he smiled.

And the closer death came the less he feared.

Pop’s pocket Bible — a special edition with instructions for bringing people to faith (a reference to Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

As a young man Pop considered entering the clergy but decided against it.  His reason was the same he gave for not taking promotions at work and for not pursuing a career in law enforcement after his service in the Military Police.  He didn’t want to be the kind of person who told other people what to do or how to behave.  And he didn’t want to give anybody the impression that he thought he was better than anybody else.

The irony is that his humility made him the ideal clerical candidate, yet I’m the one I’m in seminary.  And my humility is far from legendary.  When I was a young man, my mom always said that my lack of humility would be my downfall if I didn’t overcome it. 

And so, on this anniversary of Pop’s passing, I sit and appreciate Mom’s warning and Pop’s example.  I admire my father’s humility and strength and try to emulate them as best I can.

And I pray that someday I will be a good fisher of men.