Category Archives: Martial arts

Keepsies: Mettle Maker #250

Robert Mitchell (my pop) — November 21, 1934 ~ July 8, 2008

When I was a kid we played marbles.  My pop showed me.  Playing marbles was on the long list of games he had mastered, right along with croquet, dominoes, and checkers.  I never saw him lose at any of those.

When you play marbles you must decide if you are playing for fun or if you are playing for “keepsies.”  When you play for keepsies, you get to keep the other guy’s marbles.  This is the origin of the expressions “playing for keeps” and “for all the marbles.”

Real life is always keepsies.  Get this through your head and say it with me.

Real life is always keepsies.

This is true with regard to your philosophical life, your emotional life, your physical life and your spiritual life.  Thoughts, desires, actions and beliefs have extremely important consequences.

Face reality because life is for keepsies.

This month’s martial focus is Grappling (stand-up wrestling or “clinch work” in the common parlance) and our spiritual symbol is The Bell (contemplation).  All of this month’s mettle makers will revolve around these two themes.

Keepsies: Mettle Maker #250

  • 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.
  • Train for keeps.  Complete this month’s constitutional which is all about directly relevant martial fitness.  Get out a heavy bag, grappling dummy, or just a big gym bag full of towels, mitts and gloves and get through this: 25 Seio Nage (put a shirt or sash on your bag or dummy as needed), 100 yards of Bear Walks, 25 Scarf Hold Switches, 25 Bag Lifts (regular or Kansas-style, your choice), 25 Shots, 25 Sprawl ‘n’ Punch, and 1 HB Squeeze to failure.  If you finish in under 15 minutes, go back and do 20% more of each exercises 1 – 6.  If any of these exercises are unclear, sounds like you need to take one of my classes or buy my Scufflin’ Dice program.
  • Move for keeps.  Run 1 mile like somebody’s chasing you.
  • Forage for keeps.  If you want to forge your mettle, don’t shy away from reality — confront it head on.  Get up tomorrow morning, walk out your front door, and give yourself 20 minutes to find breakfast.  You don’t have to actually eat it if you don’t want to, but say to yourself, “If I don’t find something to eat this morning I’m going to skip breakfast.”  I did this on Monday and the best I could do in 20 minutes was some wild onions, some inner pine bark and some pine needles for tea.  Slim pickings in my suburban neighborhood because many of the spring plants haven’t shot up yet — see the video below that I made last March.  A few calories and some electrolytes could make the difference between life and death in a survival situation.  Get dirty!
  • Contemplate for keeps.  There is a common misconception that contemplation is about shutting out the world or “navel gazing.” What we call contemplation is very similar to zazen, the meditation method taught in Zen Buddhism and is closely related to the Christian “prayer of quiet.”   Call it whatever you want as long as you do it.  Set timer for 10 minutes (beginners 5 minutes, advanced folks up to an hour).   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. 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 perceive reality.  Click the picture above for more pointers.  Stay with regular contemplation practice and you will begin to “break through” and experience true, inner quiet (the presence of God, theoria, satori, “silent illumination,” etc.).



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!

Life Line: Mettle Maker #249

No preamble this week — straight to the work.

Life Line: Mettle Maker #249

  • 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.
  • lightning bolt movementCome in under the line. Set timer for 10 minutes and string up a line about jaw height –– hand wraps, jump ropes or Karate belts will do.  Visualize opponent’s head sitting on the line as you move forward and backward up the line, practicing lightning bolt movement and throwing combos from alternating sides of the line.  Start with a jab-cross combo, then move to jab-cross-uppercut, jab-cross-hook, etc.  No idea what any of this means?  Links to home training options below.
  • Go for red line.  As a training session finisher, complete one 50 yard heavy carry (BHC, FC, SC, etc.) at 2/3 of your PR.  Walk it off for 2 mins.  Then push up the weight to PR and walk to failure.  If 2 sets aren’t enough, you aren’t doing it right (I picked BHC and did a #105 and then finished with #140 for 50 yards).
  • master mindGo offline.  When was the last time you put your phone on do not disturb, closed your laptop, shut off your tablet, and spent some time completely disconnected from glowing screens?  Do it.  A whole weekend would be great, but do the best you can.  What do you do with the time?  Cook a new recipe, read a book, play Master Mind (my favorite game) with your partner, or go outside and get dirty.
  • Fall in line.  Last week we kept a notepad handy and gave ourselves demerits for behaving in a manner inconsistent with our precepts (the Five Vital Graces).  That’s top-down pressure, and it works.  But this week, try using bottom-up pressure instead (see video below).  Align yourself with goodness, truth and light like a string on a violin vibrating in accord with the others, or a compass needle lining up with the earth’s magnetic field.  Try to sense when you are “out of line.”  Common symptoms of imbalance are tension, worry, nail-biting, talking to yourself, cursing, impatience, anger, loss of focus, forgetfulness, drumming, and tapping your feet.  When you manifest a symptom, slow down and search yourself for the underlying cause.  Heed the answer, address it sensibly, relax, and move forward.



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!

Two New Products in My Shop

 

Two new products added to Mitch’s General Store — check them out!

 



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!

Fight Dirty: Mettle Maker #248

Fight Dirty: Mettle Maker #248

  • 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, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Face some foul weather dirty work.  I’m pretty accustomed to training outdoors.  But this week the weather has been so completely icy, frozen and inhospitable that a couple of mornings I just couldn’t train out there.  So every half our or so throughout the day I did 10 each of PUP and SQT.  Be extra scrupulous about form and pace — 2-count descent, 1 count hesitate at the bottom, 2-count press, 1-count hesitate at the top.
  • command master dice20 min. command and mastery knife pyramid drill.  Get a dull training knife and a floor bag or grappling dummy.  Set timer for 1o mins.  Complete 1 of each of the following four exercises (a) 5 attacks to bag from Top Saddle, roll to bottom, 5 attacks from Bottom Scissors, Reverse back to Top Saddle.  Do a Smearing Get-up (don’t forget the push-cut).  (b) Sprawl.  (c) Sit-ups with a double “X” air slash (step over bag, hook rear toes, and fall back into over/under Short Arm Bar position and work from there).  Then do 2 of each, 3, 4, etc. until timer beeps.  Finish that set, then descend.   50 Push-up penalty if the business end of the training weapon touches your body at any point during the drill.  If any of this doesn’t make sense, sounds like you should enroll in one of my distance learning programs — either Cabal Fang or Bobcat Martial Arts.
  • Have you done this month’s constitutional twice this week?  If not, get it done.  If so, reward yourself with something nice, like a long walk, a new book, or a fun fitness tool, etc.
  • Do you know the prevailing wind direction for your home territory?  In my area, the wind most often blows from the south in summer and the north in winter (see wind rose on the right).  Find the regional climate center for your state, do a search, and generate the wind roses for you stomping grounds.  If you know the ICAO code for the airport climate center nearest you, plug it into the URL from at the WRCC and you can get what you need, or if you’re in the SE, just go the the NCCOYou can’t rely on wind direction if you get lost, but you can use it as a backup, for support of a supposition, to determine if there’s a new weather pattern blowing in, etc.
  • Giant hand sculpture outside Squash-a-Penny Junction. It’s not a Hand of Mysteries or even a hamsa, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was?

    Fight as dirty with yourself as you would in self-defense.  Last week your assignment was to put one of the Five Vital Graces (Wonder, Sagacity, Frugality, Indomitability and Fraternity) into action.  This week be extra self-critical.  Keep a notepad or a scrap of paper and a pen in your pocket.  Write down the Five Vital Graces on the paper.  If you catch yourself behaving in a manner inconsistent with one of the five precepts, put an “x” next to it for that day.  Max score for a given day is 5 — one point for each precept you kept.  See if you get better over the course of the week.  “That which is measured improves.”

 



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!

Slip and Fall: Mettle Maker #247

Heads up!  This week’s mettle maker contains a coupon code for a flash sale at Mitch’s General Store so read on.

Slip and Fall: Mettle Maker #247

  • 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, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • slip ball shopEight minutes on your slip ball.  Set a timer for four minutes and get in front of your slip ball.  Put in 4 minutes in your preferred stance and another 4 in reverse stance.  Don’t have a slip ball?  Get a free one, handmade by yours truly, with any purchase of $20 or more at Mitch’s General Store.  Add a slip ball to your cart and use coupon code “21SLIP” at checkout.
  • Hit the dirt and scramble for a loose weapon.  If you are under attack and there’s a scramble over a loose weapon, be prepared to come out on top — without falling on a blade and injuring yourself in the process!  Put on safety goggles and toss a rubber or wood training weapon up in the air about 6′ away.  As soon as it hits the ground, dive forward and gain control of it with your right hand.  Your enemy just missed — attack the imaginary killer two or three times.   Stand up and repeat until timer beeps.  Put in four more rounds, one right and one left with baseball slide and shoulder roll.  That’s 6 minutes of practical self-defense action that’ll force you to practice all weapon grips with both hands while training practical movement.  If you need training on the specifics on grips, pickup and/or movement techniques you’ll have to show up at Cabal Fang or enroll in the Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble program.
  • Learn to tie a trucker’s hitch with a slip knot and two half hitches.  One of the most useful knots of all time, and my personal favorite.  In the pics below I’m using the knot to lash a t-shirt to a backpack.  But you could use this to hold a box onto a flatbed truck or to cinch down a tarp.
  • The Hand of Mysteries. Like the Hamsa, except there’s a fish in the palm instead of an eye. But the fish is the ichthys, which is the vesica piscis, so a fish is an eye. Sort of.

    Don’t fall from grace — fall into one of the Five Vital Graces.  This month’s spiritual symbol is the Hand of Mysteries, and each one of its fingers equates to one of the Five Vital Graces: Wonder, Sagacity, Frugality, Indomitability and Fraternity.  This week, put one or more Vital Graces into action in the real world.  Need examples?  You could travel to a new place and experience its majesty (Wonder), install a security or smoke alarm (Sagacity), sock away some money in savings (Frugality), do something that you’ve been putting off due to fear or dread (Indomitability), or help out a friend in need (Fraternity/Sorority).

 



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!

God and Coffee

god coffee

Would you like to get together, share some fellowship, and chat about God, religion, or whatever the spirit moves you to discuss?  All faith perspectives welcome — especially curious atheists!  Join us online this Sunday at 9:30 am EST.

God and Coffee — Online Chat

Sunday, Feb 14, 2021, 9:30 AM

Online event
,

1 Members Attending

Get your coffee, tea or hot cocoa, and let’s get together online and have a chat about whatever you like — progress on New Year’s resolutions, life in the COVID age, faith questions, doctrine questions, whatever you like!

Check out this Meetup →


THREE WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH MY WORK.  St. Barachiel’s of Richmond is my Christian group.  Join us online or in person in Richmond, VA.  TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is 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). just $19.99/month.  

Dissecting “Wisdom of Tarot” by Paul Foster Case

Paul Foster Case’s Wisdom of Tarot was required reading for a class in my seminary.  Rather than writing a paper, I was allowed to engage the material by making a video.  If such things interest you, enjoy.


THREE WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH MY WORK.  St. Barachiel’s of Richmond is my Christian group.  Join us online or in person in Richmond, VA.  TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is 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). just $19.99/month.  

Handprints: Mettle Maker #246

This month’s martial focus is Evasion, and the spiritual focus is the Hand of Mysteries (see right).  These will the thematic elements around which the weekly Mettle Makers will revolve this month.

Heads up!  This week’s mettle maker contains a coupon code for a flash sale at Mitch’s General Store so read on.

Handprints: Mettle Maker #246

  • 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, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Do the February constitutional. Calisthenics are the most efficient fitness investment when you factor in equipment cost, space, time investment, injury risk, and functional strength.  Do this month’s constitutional: 25 BRPs, 100 WTCs. 50 ZSQs, 25 CNPs, 100 JJKs, 25 GUPs, and 25 PUPs.
  • Put your hands on your floor bag and on the ground and make tracks.  Get out your floor bag or grappling dummy and set timer for 10 minutes.  Complete 6 Wrestling Shots away from your floor bag,  Bear Walk back, and then pick up the bag and squeeze it as hard as you can using a Gable grip.  When you gas out on the squeeze, put down the bag and repeat.  Cycle through this as many times as you can in 10 minutes.  If you aren’t breathing hard when you get done, you are either a very fit person or you paced yourself.  Created using Scufflin’ Dice ©   — available at Mitch’s General Store.  Use coupon code FEBFLASH at checkout to get any set of dice for 50% off.
  • Look for some handprints in the snow — some critter handprints that is.  As I mentioned last week, the snow makes animal tracks incredibly easy to spot and follow, and it’s so much fun. Last week we tracked a raccoon.  This week watch this video and go look at a rabbit and a squirrel to see if we can determine which way they’re jumping.
  • Speak to the hand.  The Hand of Mysteries that is.  Watch this cool video about this remarkable symbol.

 



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!

Dr. Matt Rossano, William James, and Fear as Fulcrum

A couple weeks back I had a great talk with Dr. Matt Jr. Rossano, the world’s foremost expert on the evolution of religion and author of Supernatural Selection: How Religion Evolved.   He seems pretty modest, so he’d probably refute that statement.

It wasn’t an interview or anything, just a conversation.  I just had a list of follow-up questions after I tangled with his book, and he was gracious enough to give me an hour of his time.  He’s a teacher, and it shows in how he frames his thoughts and ideas.  If you ask me, he could be as popular as Bret Weinstein or Jordan B. Peterson if he wanted to, but I don’t think he does.  And why would he?  But I did ask if he was open to having some public discussions with other people whom I think could benefit from his ideas — like Paul VanderKlay and John Vervaeke — and he said he was.

Now all I have to do is get in front of them and convince them to do it.  If you know Paul or John, please tell them I want to have public discussions with involving them and Matt Rossano.  Matt’s theories mainly support, but sometimes undermine, their various positions and I think all would be made stronger by the engagement.

Anyway, I’ve started to distill some of Matt’s ideas and put them to work in my mission, which is to save the world by making stronger, happier, healthier people through martial arts and religion.  So here’s a video I made about fear.


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!

Grandpa Lyne Part 2

A fellow named John Cummings commented on my post Grandpa Lyne and Me Sharing a Love for Canes and requested to see the newspaper clippings regarding my Grandad Lyne’s job as caretaker of the  old 7 Pines battlefield (there’s a shot of Grandpa Lyne there on the left).

Grandpa Lyne is somewhat famous for his hand-made canes and, coincidentally, I’m something of a cane fighterClick here to get my cane defense course at Mitch’s General Store.

Anyway, without further preamble, here you go John — articles below!  Unfortunately my mother didn’t record the publication dates or save the mastheads.

seven 7 pines lyne

7 pines lyne seven


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!