Category Archives: Martial arts

Update on Travel and Art: Martial, Musical, and Both Types of Painting

As you guys know, I don’t gather much moss.  This weekend I painted the ceiling of the temple space to look like clouds and trimmed it out with gold molding.

The week prior I went on a little trip, read a few books, learned a new song on the guitar, taught a martial arts seminar, etc. etc.  Video below.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.” ~Ecclesiastes 9:10



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!

Ruffle: Mettle Maker #262

¹ruffle \rəf·əl\  vb 1. to roughen or abrade 2. to stand up (as in feathers or a collar) 3. to flip through as in the pages of a book 4. to fold back and forth in accordion fashion

²ruffle \rəf·əl\  n 1. a state or cause of agitation 2. a commotion or brawl 3. a surface disturbance ie. a ripple  4. a strip of fabric pleated on one edge 5. a low vibrating drumbeat

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Bust of Patrick Henry at Scotchtown

Yesterday was Patrick Henry‘s birthday.  I’m a big fan.  I went to visit his house at Scotchtown last year.  Henry was a contrarian and an expert at ruffling feathers.  In honor of Patrick Henry’s birthday yesterday, allow me to ruffle your feathers with some of my favorite contrarian quotes from history and fiction.

  • “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”  ~Patrick Henry, Patrick Henry, Champion of Liberty
  • “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and generally more useful.” ~Mark Rippetoe
  • “When deep space exploration ramps up, it will be the corporations that name everything, the Microsoft Galaxy, the IBM stellar sphere, Planet Starbucks… “ ~Narrator, Fight Club
  • “We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.  Martha Stewart.” ~Narrator, Fight Club
  • “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
  • “Just because you are a character doesn’t mean that you have character.” ~Winston Wolfe, Pulp Fiction
  • “I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.” ~Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
  • “You don’t win wars with niceness, doctor. You win wars with guts.”  ~Col. Chester Phillips, Captain America: The First Avenger
  • “When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. But lawyers have other strategies including buying a stronger whip, changing riders, declaring that the horse is better, faster and cheaper dead, and finally, harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.”  Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, The Wall Street Journal, 2/18/99

Ruffle: Mettle Maker #262

  • Warm up before you train.  To avoid injuries, warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes before you train. 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.  Here’s a fun MBF warm-up: 8 minutes of low-intensity 4-rep sets of HSPU, Shots, Spike Sprawls, and Shoulder Rolls.
  • Don’t “work out.”  Train.  martial grit_1If you don’t have a plan or you’re just doing something to burn calories, you are “working out.”  Stop.  Think about where you want to go and devise a plan to get there.  What are the fundamental movements, fitness requirements, and success indicators in your martial art or sport endeavor?  What are you doing to tailor your training to suit them?  If you’re stuck, start here
  • Read a book.  Research indicates that reading rewires and strengthens the mind, increases empathy, builds vocabulary, fights cognitive decline, reduces stress, aids sleep, alleviates depression, and lengthens lifespan. Read more here.  I read three in the last two weeks — A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Old Catholic Church, Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies, and Relation of Virginia: A Boy’s Memoir of Life with the Powhatans and the Patawomecks If you want to read a book a week, you’re going to have to put down your cell phone, power off your Switch, and close your laptop.  Get there.
  • Go outside in the rain.
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    A rainy day tire run


    Look, the holes are in bottom of your nose and your skin is uniquely suited prevent absorption of falling water.  I promise that, no matter how stupid you are or how wet you get, you will neither drown nor stay wet forever.  Few things are better for mood and resilience than cultivating the ability take joy in inclement weather.  Get dirty!
  • Practice contemplation — one of the four essential methods of spiritual development. Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open.  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.  Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to 20 minutes.  Eventually you should be able to do this for an hour if so desire.


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 Visit to Team Raposa Martial Arts

As my YouTube followers are aware, I recently had a public conversation with Vinny Raposa at Team Raposa Martial Arts in Newark, NJ — see video below.  My wife and I were headed north visit family, so we arranged to stop by Vinny’s place for a visit.  He was kind enough to give us a tour of his huge facility, and to spend a couple of hours training with me.  What a joy it is to share material with someone interested in Western martial arts.  

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Vinny’s CINA logo

Vinny and I have a lot in common!  His facility reminds me of Pine Camp where I used to teach in the early 2000s and he too runs a non-profit.  My Cabal Fang project is strictly martial in focus.  But his CINA (Cultural Integration & Arts Association) non-profit incorporates a variety of cultural programs of benefit to the mind, body and spirit of his students, as well as to the benefit of the community.

Much respect for the work Vinny is doing!

 

 

 

 



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!

Your Alibis: Mettle Maker #261

Not strong in body, mind, or spirit? 

Are you a keyboard warrior, an Apple adventurer, or a Samsung swashbuckler?

Not living out loud? 

Look, this is YOUR LIFE we’re talking about.  This is serious business. 

It’s a CRIME not to be the best you can be! 

So, never mind excuses — what’s your alibi? 

Your Alibis: Mettle Maker #261

  • “What were doing when the accident occurred?”  To avoid injuries, warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes before you train. 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.  Here’s a fun MBF warm-up: 8 minutes of as low-intensity 4-rep sets of HSPU, Shots, Spike Sprawls, and Side Deadfalls.
  • “Can you account for the whereabouts of your muscle mass?”   There’s no alibi for not getting stronger.  Pick up heavy objects on a regular basis and you will get stronger.  In 2020 I added 8.3 pounds of muscle — in just 12 months! — using just 3 lifts and 2 carries.  Here are pics of the 75 lb weights I made for farmer walks, to add to my redneck deadlift machine, etc.  Get there. For more tips on getting strong on a budget, buy my book Martial Grit.  Also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc.
  • “Can anyone corroborate the effectiveness of your technique?”  Do I have distance learning programs?  You bet!  But you can only so far.  Sooner or later you need a partner.  If you want a partner but you don’t have one, open up a new tab in your browser and go put a call-out on Facebook or what-have-you, run a Craigslist ad, or whatever, and get there.  What are you waiting for?
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    Laurel on Cold Mountain

    “When was the last time you had intimate contact with the Earth?”  The evidence is in — contact with the outdoors improves mental and physical health, increases attention span, moderates mood, fights depression, and more.  Does five minutes on lunch break help?  Is it good to park at the back of the lot and increase your walk time from the car into the grocery store?  Yes and yes.  But try getting out there for a few days — with the cell phone off — and you’ll thank me.  Get dirty!

  • “Would you say that you’re on good terms with you-know-who?”  This month’s spiritual symbol is The Staff.  All characters history, myth and fiction who carry a staff — Moses, Aaron, Gandalf, Rafiki, Hermes, and so forth — are intermediaries between the Humanity and the Divine.   Are you carrying the staff?  Are you God’s mouthpiece to the world?  Are you ushering Love, Truth and Justice into the world?  Are you carrying the messages of humanity back to God in prayer?  If not, what are you going to do about 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!

Preaching on Pulp Fiction

Yes, I’m a member of the clergy and yes, my favorite film is Pulp Fiction.  Why?  Well, watch the video and find out.

Last week’s mettle maker was wrapped around the idea of “walking the earth” so if you find my Pulp Fiction video interested you and/or you’re intrigued by the symbolism of “walking the earth” here’s a re-post. 

Walk the Earth: Mettle Maker #260

  • Before you train, 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.  Here’s a fun MBF warm-up: 8 minutes of as low-intensity 4-rep sets of HSPU, Shots, Spike Sprawls, and Side Deadfalls.
  • Farmer walks to the death.  I had been on a weightlifting plateau for a bit.  But when I took the advice of the legendary Dan John and expanded my heavy carries to include farmer walks (I’ve been doing Bearhug Carry for a couple of years — see below) all my numbers starting going up again.  Plateau broken!  Here’s a good Farmer Walk program:  Train every other day.  Start with a light weight.  Walk off 25 yards, rest 1 minute, walk 25 yards, rest 1 minute and then walk as far as you can (“to the death”).  Next session, add 5 lbs to each side.  When you get to a point where you can’t get 3 x 25 yards, de-load 10% and start the progression again.  Pro tip: Bend your knees when you pick up the weights, as if you’re deadlifting.
  • Circumnavigate your opponent’s jab.  Try this jab counterpunch drill on your heavy bag.  Set timer for rounds of 3:00/1:00 and practice your L. Jab counters — just make sure you really imagine that hand coming at you.  Round 1: Slide inside to avoid opponent’s jab as you fire your own jab back at his nose.  Next iteration, Jab twice.  Next iteration after that, Jab thrice.  Then reset to 1 Jab and continue.  Assuming you’re a righty, you should be circling the bag in a clockwise direction.  Round 2: Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), and come back with an Right Hook to the body and a Left Hook to the jaw.  Round 3:  Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), then weave inside and fire a 1-2 to his nose.  If you’re still feeling chipper, switch stance and do all three rounds again with hands reversed.  If none of this makes sense, sounds like you could stand to take one of my classes or sign up for one of my distance learning programs (see below).
  • Go on a wild plant walk.  Why?  So you can impress your friends and wow the ladies with your cool horticultural know-how, of course!  But mainly to build a connection with the world around you, to get out from in front of your laptop screen, and to maybe save yourself in a survival situation.  Get yourself a sturdy blank book (or make one out of paper grocery bags like I did) and start pasting in leaves and adding sketches.  You’ll know hundreds of species before you know it.  Get dirty!
  • Walk the earthThis month’s spiritual symbol is The Staff.  All of the figures from history, myth and fiction who carry a staff — Moses, Aaron from the Bible, Gandalf, Rafiki, Hermes with this caduceus, the Hermit card from your Tarot deck, and so forth — walk the earth with integrity, chastity, poverty and obedience.  Integrity is the condition that manifests when you are unified in your thoughts, desires, actions and beliefs.  Poverty is the state of putting material possessions, money, and worldly things at the bottom of your attention.  Chastity is the healthy ordering of your sexual desires.  Obedience is alignment of one’s entire being with Logos — the Divine Order of the Cosmos — or Christ.  And here’s the incredible thing: if you do those four things, nothing else matters.  Remember in Pulp Fiction when Jules says “I’m going to walk the earth” and Vincent says “you’re going to be a bum”?  Jules has seen and acknowledged a miracle, and he can’t go back.  He has apprehended the ultimate truth, which is simply this.  It doesn’t matter what you do, but rather how you do 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!

Walk the Earth: Mettle Maker #260

No preamble this week kids, let’s dig in.

Walk the Earth: Mettle Maker #260

  • Before you train, 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.  Here’s a fun MBF warm-up: 8 minutes of as low-intensity 4-rep sets of HSPU, Shots, Spike Sprawls, and Side Deadfalls.
  • Farmer walks to the death.  I had been on a weightlifting plateau for a bit.  But when I took the advice of the legendary Dan John and expanded my heavy carries to include farmer walks (I’ve been doing Bearhug Carry for a couple of years — see below) all my numbers starting going up again.  Plateau broken!  Here’s a good Farmer Walk program:  Train every other day.  Start with a light weight.  Walk off 25 yards, rest 1 minute, walk 25 yards, rest 1 minute and then walk as far as you can (“to the death”).  Next session, add 5 lbs to each side.  When you get to a point where you can’t get 3 x 25 yards, de-load 10% and start the progression again.  Pro tip: Bend your knees when you pick up the weights, as if you’re deadlifting.
  • Circumnavigate your opponent’s jab.  Try this jab counterpunch drill on your heavy bag.  Set timer for rounds of 3:00/1:00 and practice your L. Jab counters — just make sure you really imagine that hand coming at you.  Round 1: Slide inside to avoid opponent’s jab as you fire your own jab back at his nose.  Next iteration, Jab twice.  Next iteration after that, Jab thrice.  Then reset to 1 Jab and continue.  Assuming you’re a righty, you should be circling the bag in a clockwise direction.  Round 2: Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), and come back with an Right Hook to the body and a Left Hook to the jaw.  Round 3:  Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), then weave inside and fire a 1-2 to his nose.  If you’re still feeling chipper, switch stance and do all three rounds again with hands reversed.  If none of this makes sense, sounds like you could stand to take one of my classes or sign up for one of my distance learning programs (see below).
  • Go on a wild plant walk.  Why?  So you can impress your friends and wow the ladies with your cool horticultural know-how, of course!  But mainly to build a connection with the world around you, to get out from in front of your laptop screen, and to maybe save yourself in a survival situation.  Get yourself a sturdy blank book (or make one out of paper grocery bags like I did) and start pasting in leaves and adding sketches.  You’ll know hundreds of species before you know it.  Get dirty!
  • Walk the earthThis month’s spiritual symbol is The Staff.  All of the figures from history, myth and fiction who carry a staff — Moses, Aaron from the Bible, Gandalf, Rafiki, Hermes with this caduceus, the Hermit card from your Tarot deck, and so forth — walk the earth with integrity, chastity, poverty and obedience.  Integrity is the condition that manifests when you are unified in your thoughts, desires, actions and beliefs.  Poverty is the state of putting material possessions, money, and worldly things at the bottom of your attention.  Chastity is the healthy ordering of your sexual desires.  Obedience is alignment of one’s entire being with Logos — the Divine Order of the Cosmos — or Christ.  And here’s the incredible thing: if you do those four things, nothing else matters.  Remember in Pulp Fiction when Jules says “I’m going to walk the earth” and Vincent says “you’re going to be a bum”?  Jules has seen and acknowledged a miracle, and he can’t go back.  He has apprehended the ultimate truth, which is simply this.  It doesn’t matter what you do, but rather how you do 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!

Bear Creek Lake Adventure May 7-9, 2021


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).

Amonsokwat: Mettle Maker #259

bear capture

“Amonsokwat” — A black bear

The other day I posted about learning the extinct Virginia Algonquian language (a.k.a. “Powhatan”).  As part of this project I’m forcing myself to write in my diary using only Powhatan words, which forces me to learn the language.  I’m a lifelong journaler and a big believer in the transformational power of instrospective writing, especially  with the hand — which is why journaling is the the backbone of the Cabal Fang Hermit Path Distance Learning Program and a part of the Bobcat program also.

Here is an inspirational video about writing with the hand.  If you don’t like it I’ll eat my pretty little flowered bonnet.

Anyway, since I’m journaling and thinking in Powhatan, the word that came to mind when putting together this week’s mettle maker was amonsokwat — a bear.  In short bursts, bears are both strong and fast.  And that’s what this week’s mettle maker is all about.

Amonsokwat: Mettle Maker #259

  • Before you train, 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.
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    This month’s constitutional



    Complete this month’s constitutional.  Burpees (25), Jackknifes (25), Knuckle Push-ups (25), Zombie Squats (50), Neck Crunches (100 – 25 @ F,B,L,R), Bear Walks (100 yards), Bicycles (50).
  • Ruck 2 miles — Ranger time.  Put on a backpack of weight appropriate to your fitness level (I used a #25) and cover 2 miles in 30 minutes or less.  In military cadence that’s 140 ‘beats’ per minute (140 steps of 30″ each per minute).  This is standard marching speed for Army Rangers.  Get there.
  • Counterpunching heavy bag practice.  Set timer for rounds of 3:00/1:00 and practice your L. Jab counters — just make sure you really imagine that hand coming at you.  Round 1: Slide inside to avoid opponent’s jab as you fire your own jab back at his nose.  Next iteration, Jab twice.  Next iteration after that, Jab thrice.  Then reset to 1 Jab and continue.  Assuming you’re a righty, you should be circling the bag in a clockwise direction.  Round 2: Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), and come back with an Right Hook to the body and a Left Hook to the jaw.  Round 3:  Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), then weave inside and fire a 1-2 to his nose.  If you’re still feeling chipper, switch stance and do all three rounds again.  If none of this makes sense, sounds like you could stand to take one of my classes or sign up for one of my distance learning programs.
  • Learn to tie a sheet bend.  Very useful for joining two different sizes/qualities of line.  See photo set below.
  • Stand up straight and speak the truth.  This month’s spiritual symbol is The Staff.  Think about all the figures from history, myth and fiction who carry a staff — Moses, Aaron from the Bible, Gandalf, Rafiki, Hermes with this caduceus, the Hermit card from your Tarot deck, and so forth.  The staff is their proof of office.  Symbolically it is a straight line connecting two points — the divine and the material — just like your spine which connects your brain (the ideal intellectual) to your groin (the real-world instinctual).  The wisdom figure is in communication with both worlds.  He or she understands the grand plan, and speaks its truth in a way that is sacred, but also in a way that inspires and directs without being unnecessarily hurtful.  He or she speaks the sacred words, provides direction, and reveals the truth in a way that makes the world better.  For the month of May, pay special attention to embodying that ideal.  Straighten your spine.  Treat the things you say as sacred.  Find a way to speak the truth in a way that inspires.  Be a communicator between the ideal and the mundane.  That is wisdom.    


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 #5: Virginia Algonquian Autodidacticism

Been a while since I posted on the “Going Powhatan” subject, so I figured I’d drop a post so you don’t get the idea I’ve stopped working.

As for learning the Virginia Algonquian language  — a.k.a. “Powhatan” — it’s been rough sledding.  Mighty hard to learn a language all by your lonesome! One of the things I started doing several months ago, to teach myself the numbers, was to start counting in Powhatan during training sessions.  I journal most days and I always record the temperature.  So I started writing the temp in Powhatan also.

Then about a month ago I read this post by the immortal Mark Hatmaker concerning autodidacticism and it really set me afire.  Notice the line I put in bold:

Schliemann (Heinrich Schliemann, the German merchant who found the lost city of Troy) was an untutored auto-didact, not merely in archeology, but also in foreign languages. Despite having never attended a single foreign language class or having access to a “self-teaching” Rosetta Stone course he mastered a dozen languages.

Here’s historian Will Durant on Schliemann.

“In his travels as a merchant he had made it a practice to learn the language of each country he traded with, and to write in that language the current pages of his diary.  By this method he learned English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Polish, and Arabic. Now he went to Greece, studied the language as a living speech, and was soon able to read both ancient and modern Greek as fluently as German.” Will Durant, The Life of Greece, pp. 24-25

I realized that I was on the right track, but not aggressive enough.  Around the same time I read Mark’s article, I watched an interview of Benny Lewis in which he advocated the “sink or swim” outlook even if you’re learning solo.  He basically said, to paraphrase, ‘don’t try to speak perfectly, just force yourself to say things in the language as best you can.’

This is the language equivalent of making a rough pencil sketch on the canvas before starting your painting, or a rough draft of an article before you send it off to the editor.  It’ll get perfected later.  Just get the words out now!

So I started  writing in my journal as best I could using the Powhatan words I knew — even if I had no idea how to properly conjugate or decline a given word.  Basically my journal notes started looking like “Powhatan haiku.”  Here’s my journal entry from 4/25/21:

4/25/21 — parenskapooeksu (50), kemiw (“it is raining”) – wekontamook (rejoice!)

Lord paswappu, nenenohtawaw (The Lord is here, I understand him)

sissip awassew necehcak (bird, it flies, my soul)

I’m pretty sure there are at least a half dozen errors in there.  But I’m still doing a better job of speaking Powhatan than I was six months ago, right?  It’s like the bartender says at closing time: “I don’t know where you’re going but you can’t stay here.”

Stagnation is no option.  Onward and upward!


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).

Gauntlet: Mettle Maker #258

This week I’m throwing down the gauntlet — I’m challenging you to get more done this coming week than I did this past week.  Here’s a top-level rundown of what I’ve done in the last 7 days:

  • Had a public conversation with the Vinny Raposa of Team Raposa Martial Arts in Newark NJ and put it up on YouTube.  We talked about Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble.  Watch it here.
  • Started a new weekly online meeting called Let’s Talk Martial Arts.  Come and join us this Saturday at 2 PM.
  • Started a new weekly online chat for my Independent Catholic Meetup called God and Coffee. Come on by this Sunday a 10:00 AM, we’d love to have you!
  • This Sunday will be my fourth week presenting Holy Communion for my church, Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary.  
  • This has meant that I’ve had to write formal homilies (a.k.a. “sermons” for you protestants out there).  Here’s a link to last week’s: Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 25th 2021
  • I carved, sanded and finished a new fighting cane (it finally broke after 10+ years of use, including hitting heavy bags)
  • Almost finished my altar stone.  There are very specific requirements that have to be met before I request my Bishop bless it for use in my home chapel.
  • I finished work on the revamped Fool’s Journey for the upcoming 2nd edition of Cabal Fang: Complete Study Course from Querent to Elder.  
  • I finally read The Varieties of Religious Experience by Wm. James.  A smash hit, and still relevant after 100+ years.
  • Total training time, fitness and martial arts: 10.25 hours

This is not me bragging — this is me trying to encourage you to put down your cell phone, shut off the TV, and go get things done.  Not in a “chalking up numbers” sort of way, but in a “get engaged in the art of living” sort of way.

In last week’s mettle maker I suggested that the things that you think make you unique — your likes and dislikes, your favorite food, favorite movies, etc. — might actually be the things that prove you’re just like everyone else.  What might make you truly unique?

More on this topic in the mettle maker below.

Gauntlet: Mettle Maker #258

  • Before you train, 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.
  • Do some practical command and mastery with your chosen weapon.  16 min. pyramid of Air Strikes (10), Crawls (5 yards), Sprints ( 5 yards out/back = 1), and Russian Squats (2).  Start an 8:00 timer.  Do 10 Air Strikes, Crawl 5 yards, Sprint 5 yards out/back, and do 2 Russian Squats — striking the air with your blunt training weapon the entire time.  Then do 20 Air Strikes, Crawl 10 yards, Sprint 10 yards out/back, and do 4 Russian Squats.  Keep climbing until the timer beeps, then climb down.
  • Pick up something heavy.  Try a Cross-walk — a Shoulder Carry and a Farmer’s Walk at the same time.  I used a 65# Sandbag for the shoulder carry and I put #60 on my Farmer Carry rig.  Walk as far as you can, rest a minute, and then do it again switching sides.  I love this combo for practical strength.
  • Read an old book.  When was the last time you read a book at all, much less an old book?  Here’s a challenge: pick up a book that’s at least 100 years old and give it a go.  Reading Wm. James has been a real eye-opener.  This man knew more about human nature — and offers more practical advice — than many so-called modern experts.
  • Think about who and what you are.  Yesterday is gone and future is unwritten.  Neither is real.  Therefore the only thing you could possibly be is what you are doing right now.  Think about it.  No, really.  Actually think about it.  Set a time for 10 minutes or so.  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.  Think in a focused way about the fact that you are only what you are doing right now.  This is a form of meditation.  Get there.    


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