Category Archives: Mysticism

A Training Montage and an Announcement

If you try to stay in place the world will pass you by.  Like the vine of the grape, we must grow and climb or else we will stagnate and be overgrown.

Things are going to be changing in these parts, so watch this space!



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!

Change the Name of the Weekly Training Involution?

Help me decide.  I’m thinking of changing the name of the weekly “Martial Arts Training Involution” to broaden its appeal and reflect its truer nature as a fourfold supporter of my teaching on martial arts, fitness, primitive skills, and spirituality.

It isn’t just a weekly martial fitness thing anymore. Now each contains a martial drill, a fitness piece, a primitive skills angle, and a spiritual exercise.

If I take “martial” out of the name, will people check it out and perhaps ‘eat off the menu’ so to speak?

Click here or click the picture to vote!

 

Jonah and the COVID-19 Pandemic

It strikes me that the story of Jonah can provide us some direction in how to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  So I made a video.

Why am I wearing a clerical collar?  I’m a deacon in the Old Catholic tradition, currently enrolled in Ekklesia Epignostika Seminary in pursuit of Holy Orders.

Bifax: Martial Arts Training Involution #230

Do some of the work, or at least work out the riddle of how the name of the involution relates to its content, and then post in the comments.  People who engage have been known to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

T.I.s support my martial arts programs — Cabal Fang (non-profit martial arts for personal development) and Bobcat Martial Arts (Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts). 

That’s why they have four primary components:

  • a martial arts technique
  • a fitness component
  • a primitive skills angle
  • a spiritual component

Now let’s stop slacking and start hacking.

Bifax: Martial Arts T.I. #230

  • 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.
  • “Top-n-Bottom” wrestling drill.   10 x 2:00 intervals, no breaks, 1/2 to 2/3 power — just enough force to maintain realism while focusing on smoothness and technique.  Arrange in mis-matched pairs — as much size/weight diff. as possible — smaller partner holding larger in Bottom Scissors.  Smaller person practices chosen bottom submission (Chicken Wing, Leg Triangle, Short Arm Scissors, etc.) for 2 mins  Larger practices the counter.  Switch partners every time the bell rings and repeat.  If you’re working solo on account of COVID, use your grappling dummy.  If you don’t have one, see the instructions for making one for pennies in my e-book Martial Grit available from Smashwords, B&N, or iTunes.
  • Knock out this month’s constitutional. 

    Every constitutional back to 2009 is archived online at https://www.cabalfang.com/monthly-constitutionals

    Sit-out Push-ups (25), Ploughs (25), Pikes (25), Neck Crunches (25 ea. direction), Zombie Squats (50), Bear Walks (100 yards), and Jackknifes (25).  Beginners,  go slow and just try to finish (but listen to your body and don’t overdo it).  Intermediates, aim to finish in less than 20 mins.  Advanced, aim for under 15 mins and, if you succeed, go back and do 20% more (5 more of the 25-rep exercises, 10 more Zombies Squats, and so on).

  • Reverse the rehearsed — destabilize a training session. Train outdoors in the rain or in the cold, at dawn or dusk in the half light.  Train at a different location and/or at a different time.  You’ll be shocked by the severity of disruption.   You’ll be sloppy and unfocused.  Push through and get there.  Do this often.
  • Synch up your inside and your outside.  This month’s symbol is the Luminaries (the two lights that rule the day and night skies — check out the intro here).  One of the many things the Luminaries symbolize is the relationship between your inside and your outside.  Watch the video below and begin to think about paying special attention to what you are doing vs. what you are saying and experiencing — what the Greek fathers of the church would’ve called nepsis or watchfulness.
  • Journal.  Do the work, the external and internal, and about what you did and thought in your journal.  If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen!



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!

SHIFT Issue #10: Snake Eyes, Social Networks, Grackles and Grace

Have you subscribed to my twice-monthly newsletter yet?  If not click here.

IN THIS Month’s ISSUE…

A 1/3 off coupon for Mitch’s General Store, looking at the eyes of a snake, a review of the documentary The Social Dilemma, the call of the humble grackle (and a handy app for identifying it), and why the mat is always lava…

Archived issues are stored here.

Watcfulness: Overcoming Illusion

In spiritual circles there’s much ado about overcoming illusion.

In Hinduism and Buddhism, Maya is illusion and ignorance.  Like dirt being removed from an object to reveal its true nature, dispelling illusion reveals truth.

In Zen, the confrontation with reality known as kenshō is the goal you cannot reach by striving.  As Brad Warner would say, to get started you should first “Sit down and shut up.

In Christianity, nepsis (watchfulness) and diakrisis (discernment) cleanse the nous (the ‘true I’) and dispel illusion, allowing entrance to the Kingdom of God.

Luke 17:20-21 (King James Version).

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


Buy my e-books in any format to suit your device at Smashwords!

Leaping Lava: Martial Arts Training Involution #229

Yo!  Weekly T.I.s support my martial arts programs — Cabal Fang (non-profit martial arts for personal development) and Bobcat Martial Arts (Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts).

Do at some of the work and post in the comments.  People who engage have been to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store

Now let’s stop talking and start chalking.

Leaping Lava: Martial Arts T.I. #229

  • 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.
  • Mat is Lava drill.   3 rounds x 2:00/1:00 of “mat is lava” — see video below.  Start on knees or in quarter position and practice getting the hard parts of your body on the soft parts of your partner — but be nice!  If you don’t have a partner use a grappling dummy or a floor bag.  For instructions on how to make them, download my e-book Martial Grit from Smashwords, B&N, or iTunes.
  • 9 minutes of real-life action.  Find a section of fence near a dead tree, or set up a couple of sawhorses and a 2×4 near one (never needlessly harm a live tree).  Take your axe and your weapon of choice, gloves and goggles.  If you’re working in a gym, stack up plyo-boxes and sub tire and sledge, dull training weapon and heavy bag.  Set timer for 1:30 intervals.  Vault over the obstacle for 1:3o, then axe the tree for 1:30, then attack with your weapon for 1:30.  Run through twice for a total of 9 mins, no breaks.  Beginners, work on accuracy, form and grace and leave tools at stations.  Advanced folks, take a dull weapon with you on the vaults, attack as you clear the obstacle, and use a live weapon on the tree.  Note: The essence of an axe is accuracy.  Even if you are subbing a sledge and a tire, aim to hit a literal pinpoint.  If this looks fun, create more sessions in a similar vein using Frontier  Rough ‘n’ Tumble Fitness Dice © available here.
  • Walk and listen.  Go for a walk and listen.  Do you know the bird calls in your neck of the woods?  Being in tune with your plant and animal neighbors has a transformational affect on you inside and out.  Don’t know where to start?  Use the Cornell Ornithology Lab’s BirdNET app to record and identify bird calls.  Here’s my most recent observation — a  Common Grackle. 
  • The Luminaries.  This month’s symbol is the Luminaries — the two lights that rule the day and night skies (if you missed last week, check out the intro here).  Our monthly symbols always have a spiritual bent, but there is also direct, physical applicability.  Do you live and work by the sun and moon?  Or do you stay up all night and sleep all day?  For the rest of the month, try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (± 20 minutes), making sure you get 7 – 8 hours of sleep.  You won’t believe how much more happy, healthy and productive you become.
  • Journal.  Meditate on these ideas and exercises and then write about what you did and thought in your journal.  If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen!



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is a martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. If 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) — is more to your liking, check out Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts, my for-profit martial art project. Click either photo to get started today!

The Social Dilemma: Mark, 1 Enoch, Angels and Demons

I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix and it reminded be of what the Gospel of Mark has to say about the way humanity interacts with technology and about what 1 Enoch has to say about the way demons work in the world.  So I made a video — see below.

It is important to remember that the Word of God isn’t either literally true or metaphorically true or philosophically or in way narrowly true.  The Word of God is true intellectually, emotionally, morally and spiritually — in all ways, at all times, for all people — without conflict.  If you sense conflict in the  truth of the Word, the conflict is within you, not within God or His message.


 

Grace: Martial Arts Training Involution #228

These are the Wrestling Dice (TM) that I used to create one of the drills in this week’s T.I. Get yours http://www.mitch.store

If you’re new in these parts, these weekly T.I.s support my martial arts programs — Cabal Fang (non-profit martial arts for personal development) and Bobcat Martial Arts (Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts).

Every month we pick a new martial focus and a new spiritual symbol (there are 12 of each) and that’s what these T.I.’s revolve around.  October ’20’s martial focus is wrestling, spiritual symbol is the Luminaries, and the monthly constitutional is as follows (previous months can be found here).

October 2020 Constitutional

Sit-out Push-ups (25)
Ploughs (25)
Pikes (25)
Neck Crunches (25 ea. direction)
Zombie Squats (50)
Bear Walks (100 yards)
Jackknifes (25)

Do all or part of the T.I. and post in the comments.  People who engage have been to get discount coupons for books and merch from Mitch’s General Store.  Now on with the show…

Grace: Martial Arts T.I. #228

  • 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.
  • 50 Sit-outs. If you know how to do both long and short Sit-outs, great — you’re intermediate or advanced.  Do 25 of each AFAYC.  If you’re a beginner, watch the video below and do 50 Short Sit-outs slowly and carefully.  Beginners remember — slow is smooth and smooth is fast, so start slow and and speed up only as you get smoother.
  • 9 minutes on the floor bag.  Put a floor bag in the middle of your training space and set timer for 1 minute intervals.  Lock bag in Bottom Scissors AHAYC for 1 minute.  Then get into Side Control with the “head” of the bag on your right.  Hands out to the side — the floor is lava! — insert your L knee into opponents imaginary “guard” to take Top Saddle.  Then extract R foot with good form and go t0 Side Control with head of bag on your left.  Go back and forth for one minute. For the next minute, pop into Shin Ride, punch-punch, switch to other shin (or into Hamburger Ride) punch-punch, and repeat until timer beeps.  Keep going until you’ve done 3 sets of each.  If you liked this drill, get yourself some wrestling dice like the ones in the picture and create thousands more just like it on the fly.
  • Practice moving through the world gracefully.   Embrace the idea of “grace” at its most philosophic and esoteric level, aiming for grace in thoughts, desires, actions and beliefs.  Strive for physical grace both on and off the mat, when performing martial techniques, putting away groceries, or walking the dog.  Be graceful in your thoughts, thinking through things with care rather than like a bull in a china shop.  Be graceful in your emotions, not giving yourself over to every craving and desire.  And be graceful in your spirit, recognizing that none of us is perfect and that patience, forgiveness and love are almost always the answer.  After all, it is only by the grace of God that we are here at all.  Moving through the world gracefully should be central to martial arts.  If it ain’t, you’re probably doing something wrong.
  • The Luminaries.  This ancient symbol, like all the best ones, amounts to more than the some of its parts.  It reminds us that there are two primary lights — lights which can be understood intellectually, emotionally, scientifically, and mystically — and we get out of synch with them at our peril.  Intellectually there are two sides to every argument, and you must engage the other side with sincerity.  Emotionally we must remember that we are possessed of both a conscious and a subconscious, each illuminating the light and dark sides of ourselves.  Scientifically we cannot behave as if we are machines immune to the phases of nature.  Do you sleep all day, stay up all night, ignore your body’s needs for adequate sleep, sun on your skin, and so forth?  Do you even know what the current moon phase is?  Finally, and most importantly, we must see the luminaries mystically.   There are two lights — God, who lights up Heaven, and you, who light up the World.  You must be as much like God as you can, following His example and lighting up the World with all your might.
  • Journal.  Meditate on these ideas and exercises and then write about what you did and thought in your journal.  If it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen!



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is a martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. If 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) — is more to your liking, check out Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts, my for-profit martial art project. Click either photo to get started today!

Video: Understanding the Fall

A new kind of video today guys — hope you like it!


DID YOU KNOW…?

I am an author, a martial artist and a seminarian enrolled in Ekklesia Epignostika Seminary in pursuit of Holy Orders.  Thanks for watching!