Category Archives: Martial arts

SHIFT Newsletter Issue #2

Issue #2 of SHIFT just released this morning.  If you haven’t subscribed you don’t know what you’re missing. Click the pic on the right to subscribe.

SHIFT your outlook.

SHIFT your expectations.

SHIFT your possibilities.

 

 

Amazon Babylon: Martial Arts Training Involution #207

L: The diadem of a famous Amazon from comic books and movies. R: The Star of Ishtar. Coincidence? I think not!

Long before the 2017 movie, Cabal Fang was using an 8-point combat clock called the Star of Ishtar — a universal symbol for the divine feminine associated with the ancient Babylonian goddess Ishtar.  You will note that the star on this fictional Amazon’s diadem is a star of similar design.

Symbols colonize our subconscious minds and permeate the world’s cultures. 

It’s quite possible the artists and costume designers working on the film didn’t consciously change the original 5-pointed star from the comic books to an 8-pointed Star of Ishtar.  They probably did it without even realizing they were doing it.

Stay tuned — The next of SHIFT will contain a video exploring this in more detail.

In the meantime, for this week’s involution we’re going to take our training inspiration from Amazon warriors and ancient symbols…

My forging post.  Note Tarot poster featuring Star of Ishtar

Amazon Babylon: Martial Arts Training Involution #207

  • 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, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 10 minutes of crams.  Get on your forging post, pell or war-post and work your crams.  If you don’t have a post, use your grappling dummy today — and then go put up a post in your gym or back yard tomorrow.
  • Practice the Star of Ishtar drill for 10 minutes.  Don’t know it?  It’s in the Cabal Fang Study Course.
  • 10 minutes of heavy carries.  Want to be Amazon strong?  The ancients had no barbells — they carried loads and lifted stones.   Set a timer for 10 minutes and bear hug or shoulder carry your heavy bag (or appropriate substitute based on your fitness level) until the timer beeps.  Put the weight down and take a break as few times as possible.  Finish the whole 10 minutes without putting it down and you’re either a monster or you picked too light a load.
  • 1 mile run.  The ancient Greeks were big on running.  Cover a mile as fast as you can.
  • Contemplation.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to insure a slow and consistent rhythm that completely fills and empties your lungs without bearing down on your breath.  Eyes open.  Gently allow your mind to empty and calm itself.  Don’t make war with thoughts, just let them pass by, dissipating like ripples on the surface of a pond.    

My new newsletter SHIFT went live April 30th, next issue May 14th.   Sign up now to get tips, fun and inspirational articles, quizzes, meditations, exercises, and more — all 100% free — and guaranteed to shift you in a new whole new gear.

 

 

The Ketchel-Burpee Grinder

This morning at dawn I undertook the challenge of the Ketchel-Burpee Grinder — thanks to the immortal Mark Hatmaker for issuing the challenge!  He did it under 7 minutes.  I finished in 18:35.  What can I say?

Fun facts: I share a birthday with the Royal H. Burpee, the inventor of the exercise that bears his name.  And Hatmaker was actually born on the planet Krypton.

The challenge is a 13-count, reverse half-pyramid (13 of each, 12 of each, 11, 10, etc. down to 1) of a 50 lb rock throw and a Burpee.  In total that’s 91 tosses and 91 Burpees.

The Galahad Maneuver: Martial Arts Training Involution #206

Playing the Cabal Fang home game?  Cool.  This month’s constitutional, martial focus and symbol are on on the left.  Stop shirking and start working. Or enroll in the free home study program.

Are you a Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumbler?  Things are a little less structured for you.  World’s your oyster.  Roll the dice, do the Molly Pitcher, the Sim Webb, etc., or enroll in the program.

Regardless of which camp you’re in you’re going to love my new ebook “Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget)” which releases July 1st.  Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, iTunes or Smashwords — it’s a real winner.  Honed by 30 years teaching martial arts on shoestring budgets in inner city programs and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. The 3 keys to proper mindset. Improve right away using the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Proper use of heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies.  

And now for your weekly T.I.

The Galahad Maneuver: Martial arts Training Involution #206

  • 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, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Martial Arts Mix and Match.  4 rounds of action (beginner/intermediate 2:00 each, advanced 3:00) for a total of 8 to 12 minutes.  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need.  Do one round each of Lunges, Clocks, Low Crawl, Sled Pulls/Yanks.  Video below.
  • Not enough exercise for you?  Do this month’s constitutional.  See photo above or click here.
  • Practice the Galahad Maneuver.   Pick something you know that’s not good for you and make a substitution — a food or beverage, a form of entertainment, or even a person who’s a negative influence.  Just 5 minutes of serious thought will reveal a list of stuff you know you shouldn’t be eating, watching, doing or associating with.  Start with one of the easy ones and substitute a better choice.  This is the trail-head that leads to the mountaintop of sacrifice.  Keep going and perhaps one day you’ll come to see the world the way that Sir Galahad saw it when he said, “If I lose myself I save myself.”  Remember, Galahad was the only Knight of the Round Table who saw the Grail. You are not your tastes, your needs, your wants, your favorites, or hobbies, or any of that.  You are something much more than that.  But you have to strip some things away to begin to see it.  By the way, this drill is associated with the Chalice symbol and it first appeared in The Hourglass Way: Transform in 12 Weeks with Cabal Fang which contains about 11 more exercises that are equally powerful.

Martial Fitness Mix ‘n’ Match Video

The Wednesday martial arts video is up!



On April 30th my new newsletter SHIFT goes live.   This is where everything I do will come together — my fitness work, my primitive skills and martial arts material, my management, coaching and financial advice, and of course my spiritual teaching.  Sign up now to get tips, fun and inspirational articles, quizzes, meditations, exercises, and more — all 100% free — and guaranteed to shift you in a new whole new gear.

Confronting Reality: Hunting, Meditation, and the Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist

My Sunday video is up — in which I explore the commonalities between some vary disparate activities…

Movie Time: Martial Arts Training Involution #205

Lots going on in these parts!  On April 30th my new newsletter SHIFT goes live.   This is where all my ideas unite — fitness,  primitive skills, martial arts, personal development, and spirituality.  Sign up now to get fun and inspirational tips, articles, meditations, exercises, and more — all free — and guaranteed to shift you in a new whole new gear.

And on July first my new ebook “Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget)” will be released.  Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, iTunes or Smashwords — it’s a real winner.  Honed by 30 years teaching martial arts on shoestring budgets in inner city programs and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. The 3 keys to proper mindset. Improve right away using the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Proper use of heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies.  

So much for the commercials — on with the movie.

Movie Time: Martial arts Training Involution #205

Simeon T. “Sim” Webb — Casey Jones’ famous fireman after whom the Sim Webb fitness drill is named (thanks to findagrave.com)

This training involution plays out like an old western movie.  Imagine you are a mild-mannered fireman on a coal-fired locomotive.  The train is robbed by bandits who capture you and take you for ransom, planning to sell you back to the railroad at the next town.  What they don’t know is that the railroad is about to go under, and there will be no ransom paid.  You must make your escape!  You manage to flee in the middle of the night, evading all but one of the bandits, but your hands are bound.  As dawn is breaking you free your hands just in time for the climactic fight scene in which you defeat the bandit.  The credits roll as you stride into a deserted town ready to make a new start.

 

  • 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, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Sim Webb fitness drill Simulate a few minutes in the life of a locomotive fireman — named after Simeon T. “Sim” Webb — Casey Jones’ famous fireman and survivor of the wreck of the Cannonball Express.  Get a sledgehammer and complete this twice through: rake the coal to the box (20 Paddles w/ sledge), check the box (2o Sprawls), check the pipes (5 x 50 yd sprints w/ sledge), shovel the coal (20 Shovels with sledge), check the fire (20 Squats).  See if you can beat my time of 10:21.  If you want more drill like this, click here.
  • 1/2 mile P.O.W. Run.  Run 1/2 mile with your fingertips touching your ears or with fingers interlaced behind your neck (my time was 5:57).
  • Constant contact drill.  Square off with your heavy bag and get after it as fast as you can with meaningful contact.  See how long you can go without gassing out.  If you do this immediately after the run and you make it past 2 minutes you’re doing fine.
  • Walking contemplation.  Walking at a leisurely pace, regulate your breathing to insure a slow and consistent rhythm that completely fills and empties your lungs without holding your breath.  Gently allow your mind to empty and calm itself.  Don’t make war with your thoughts — just quiet your internal dialogue, stop thinking in words, and let yourself slide into relaxed awareness.  Just be.  Simply exist and move and breathe for about 10 minutes.