Category Archives: Martial arts

Pull and Hit: Martial Arts Training Involution #194

This is the last involution in the striking series for this month.  In the video below you can see my son Robert experimenting with a Rough ‘n’ Tumble, Hatmaker-styled pulling towel for street-ready fighting combos.

Obviously this approach assumes clothing, which means that it wouldn’t work in a shirtless MMA environment.  But in the real world there’s almost always a shirt of some kind, and this time of year there’s often a coat — even better.

By all means at least try putting a towel on your heavy bag.  Mine went on and never came off.

Pull and Hit: Martial Arts Training Involution #194

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 3 x 3:00/1:00 on the heavy bag with the towel.  Experiment with both one and two-handed pulls.  Which do you like best?  Make sure when you give the bag a yank that you pull down as much as you do inward.  You want your opponent to get off balance and, if possible, for his head to come down so you can clobber him with a rabbit punch to the back of the head.
  • 3 x 3:00/1:00 sparring with the pulling technique.  Obviously you never want to strike your training partners with a rabbit punch!  But what you can do is put shirts you don’t care about and practice your quick grabs and yanks.  If you do get your partner’s head down, substitute a hammer strike to the bicep or lats.  Really get after it — this is the great thing about grappling and wrestling: you can go really hard without too much risk of injury.  It’s the striking, and risks of concussion, that present the highest risks.  Play safe, modify, adapt, and overcome.
  • 10 minutes of meditation on why you’re doing martial arts.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Spend the time meditating on your reason for practicing martial arts.  Do not think in words.   Step back.  Imagine that you are watching your martial arts highlight reel playing on television,  It plays backwards from the moment you shut your eyes all the way back to the moment you first started your martial journey.  Experience the mental images without linguistic thinking until the timer beeps.  Pick up your training journal, write down what you saw and learned, and then begin to explore in words why you’re doing martial arts.  The answer may be different than you think!

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Bubble Buster: Martial Arts Training Involution #193

Bubblegum Bubblegum in a dish
How many pieces do you wish?
1,2,3,4,5,6,7
8,9 10 and then 11
Bubblegum Bubblegum in a shoe
How many pieces can you chew?

Do you remember that old jump rope rhyme from when you were a kid?

Well, around these parts we believe jumping rope was great for you back then and that it’s still good for you now.

Are you one of those naysayers who says that jumping rope doesn’t benefit martial artists?  Well, this T.I. is your bubble buster.  Shut your pie hole until you’ve worn out a few ropes.

Bubble Buster: Martial Arts Training Involution #193

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 3 x 3:00/1:00 on the heavy bag.  Do all three rounds with your focus on mobility.  Lots of slips, circling, lumberjack hooks, décollage kicks, etc. Up, down, back, forth, in, out!
  • 15o kicks vs. the heavy bag as fast as you can.  Really get after it, but don’t let your power level get below 75%.  If you cannot get this done in under 5 minutes you should do this drill more often.
  • Jump rope conditioner.  Set a timer for 1:00 rounds, no breaks.  Alternate rounds of jumping rope and Bodybuilders for 10 minutes.  See how many Bodybuilders you can complete (I got 32) and how few jump rope flubs you can make (I made two).
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  In Cabal Fang we use various symbols to access universal truths about ourselves the world we live in.  Pick one of the Cabal Fang’s twelve symbols — Quill, Hourglass, Hand of Mysteries, Bell, Candle, Rose, the Luminaries, Chalice, Book, Cross, Pentangle or Staff.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Visualize the symbol and meditate on it until the timer beeps.  Do not think in words — you want to experience the symbol outside the linguistic/logical spectrum.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Unstick Your Kicks with the Décollage

As promised in Saturday’s T.I., here a short video on the décollage.

Think about it.  Whenever you see somebody in sports kick a ball for maximum power, there is either a run-up or a hop.  Want to amp your martial kicking power?  Get unstuck!


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Lift-Off: Martial Arts Training Involution #192

Noah Scalin’s “Vanitas”

When you were a kid in school — or maybe studying mixed media in university — you did collages.

Collage is a French word that means glue or stick down.  A collage is generally done by taking snippets of magazines, posters, newspapers, etc. and pasting them all together to make art.  They’re pretty cool.  One of my favorites is Noah Scalin’s piece called Vanitas (see right).

A décollage I made called “Citizen Number One with a Bullet”

There’s also a lesser known art form called décollage, which is kind of the opposite.  It’s French for un-glue or maybe lift-off.  To illustrate, I made a little décollage of my own (see below right).  Décollage is done by ripping off stuff to reveal other stuff.

In this week’s T.I. we’re not going to do anything that has to do with paper.  But it is striking month at Cabal Fang headquarters.  So we are going to practice our décollage from a striking perspective.  That is, we’re going to practice the décollage from Savate.

If you are totally unfamiliar with the martial arts version of the décollage, follow my YouTube channel — there will be a video on the décollage this coming Wednesday.

Lift-Off: Martial Arts Training Involution #192

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Do the monthly constitutional.  What’s that?  It’s the calisthenics routine we select each month at Cabal Fang.  You can find it by clicking here.
  • 15 minutes of décollage.  Do 10-rep sets of the following combos until the timer beeps.  If you don’t have a partner, just practice them vs. your heavy bag.  Reverse them if you fight southpaw.  (1) Offense only combo: Left Jab, Right Cross, Décollage Left, Right Roundhouse Kick.  (2) Counter combo vs. lead hand Jab-Hook combo: Slip Right, Bob, Décollage Right, Left Roundhouse Kick. (3) Exchange combo: Left Jab, Right Cross,  Left Foot Piston Check (vs. opponent’s Roundhouse), drop step into Left Décollage, Right Roundhouse Kick.
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  In Cabal Fang we use various symbols to access universal truths about ourselves the world we live in.  Pick one of the Cabal Fang’s twelve symbols — Quill, Hourglass, Hand of Mysteries, Bell, Candle, Rose, the Luminaries, Chalice, Book, Cross, Star or Staff.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Visualize the symbol and meditate on it until the timer beeps.  Do not think in words — you want to experience the symbol outside the linguistic/logical spectrum.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Shadowboxing: Three Essentials

Shadowboxing isn’t just moving your body around in some manner that approximates martial arts.  It’s real practice with a real purpose.


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

 

Can Do View: Martial Arts Training Involution #191

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Can-do attitude is one of the key things shared by the two martial arts I teach — Cabal Fang and Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble.

When you need to train a certain skill or body mechanic you don’t make excuses about the weather, your lack of money or equipment, or your limited time.  You don’t whine about your bum knee or any of that.

You find a way to train so as to fill the gap safely and efficiently.  You modify, adapt and overcome.

You get it done.

This isn’t just a material truth for the training hall.  It is also a spiritual truth for the ages, as you are about to see in…

Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble Fitness Dice

Can Do View: Martial Arts Training Involution #191

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 20 mins of practical all-in self-defense and fitness.  2 mins each, twice through of each exercise: Sledgehammer shovels, Jumps (SBJs or Boxes, your choice), Sled Pulls, Shoulder Carries, and Weapon Strikes v. Heavy Bag.  Improvise!  If you don’t have a sled, load up a plastic trash can lid and tie a rope to it.  Shoulder a bag of mulch or a floor bag.  Whatever training weapon you use — stick, rubber/wood training knife, etc. — carry it with you for the whole 20 min. duration (in your hand or belt) to build your command and mastery of the weapon during real life activities.  This involution was created using the green FRT dice in the photo above!
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  The present emerges to us out of the future, which is to say that what you are today is a consequence of the greatest possible future you were capable of admitting yesterday. You cannot achieve the incredible unless you attempt the impossible.  Aim for no less than heaven and maybe you’ll get close.  Have a seat and meditate on that for 10 mins.

 

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Bump and Run: Martial Arts Training Involution #190

It’s been a couple of years since I had a bald head and chin hair.  More importantly, and much more relevant to your martial arts training, it has also been a couple of years since I emphasized the value of the humble slip ball.  Here’s a video about the slip ball from 2017 which also features my previously bald head and hairy chin.

The slip ball is especially important for people who have limited sparring opportunities because it reinforces slipping body mechanics — which are perishable.  Watch the video and then dig into…

Bump and Run: Martial Arts Training Involution #190

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 20 mins on the slip ball.  Remember to keep good striking form as you contract, moving as if there’s an elastic cord connecting your shoulder and the opposite hip.  Punch between slips and slip between punches.  Bunch them together randomly.  Punch,slip-slip, punch-punch, slip-slip-slip, punch, slip, etc. The body mechanics of slipping and punching are the same — except that when you slip your fists stay at your temples.  That way your punches will cover your slips and vice versa.
  • 20 mins of running.  Set a timer for 10 mins and start running.  Maintain an aerobic pace, that is, run such that you can just barely manage to sing a familiar tune.  When your singing starts to become halting, slow to a fast walk and resume when you can sing again.  There’s a reason why armed forces sing and run.  That pace actually does a better job of building aerobic capacity other methods.  When the timer beeps, turn around and head home.
  • 10 minutes of meditation or contemplation.  After you cool down — for about 3 minutes or until your heart rate is below 100 bpm —  have a seat and do 10 minutes of internal work.

 

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?