Category Archives: Mysticism

Pop In: Martial Arts Training Involution #170

This is a chalice. The Chalice is the spiritual symbol of the month at Cabal Fang.

To summarize good self-defense I’ve started using this new catchphrase:

If you see it, flee it — but if you can’t get out, you gotta get in.

To learn more about how to implement this strategy, see Cabal Fang: Complete Study Guide from Querent to Elder or the forthcoming Bobcat Martial Arts
Dime Novel #6: Scuffling – Frontier Rough & Tumble Scrapping
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I started off years go advocating this strategy.  Then a couple of years ago I started worrying that maybe it wasn’t good advice all the time, like with knives for instance.  Not any more.  I have zero doubts.  The more I trained, investigated and tested, the more clear it became that you should always run if you can — but if you cannot run you must take the fight to to the assailant.

Two respected instructors I trained with recently both corroborated this basic approach —  John Phipps (Krav Maga) and Jim Marx (LEO and WWII combatives).

You need all the weapons you can get when you’re in close.  In addition to uppercuts, hooks, elbows, and shoulder checks, you should also have good poppers.

Toward that end I humbly present…

Pop In: Martial Arts Training Involution #170

  • Martial Fitness.  Set a timer for 10 mins and complete as many sets as you can of 4 Chin-ups, 4 Kansas Burpees, 4 Back Bridges, and 4 Bear Walks (10′ diam circles).  Beginners use a light bag for the KBs and no bag for the BBs.  Intermediate, use a 65+ lb heavy bag for both KBs and BBs.  Advanced, same as Intermediate except add weight to the CUs.
  • Popper pyramids.  3 sets of each side of Shoulder pops and Elbow pops, each set in pyramid format: 1,2,3,4,3,2,1.  See video below.  To build up speed, do this pyramid a couple of times a week for a few weeks, then be sure to add them into your heavy bag work and to your sparring repertoire.
  • Meditation.  Meditation tools generally fall into one of three primary categories: visual aids (mandalas), words (mantras), and body movements (mudras).   The spiritual symbol of the month at Cabal Fang is the Chalice — try imagining it as a kind of visual aid.  Set a timer for 10 mins and assume your meditation posture of choice.  Visualize a chalice in your mind’s eye.  Don’t think in words — just visualize the chalice and breathe in a regular rhythm.  Quiet your monkey brain — allow the Chalice to chase away negative thoughts, obsessions, and so on.
  • Journal.  And, as always, record your performance, thoughts and realizations in your training log or journal.

 


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Sack Cracker: Martial Arts Training Involution #167

If you enjoyed this week’s involution there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy The Hourglass Way: Transform in 12 Weeks with Cabal Fang.  This short, laser-focused workbook could change your life.  CLICK THE PIC to download the e-Booklet!

For unrelenting misery there’s nothing quite like the sensation of being squeezed — by problems (social, work, health, financial, etc.), by a training partner (wrestling practice anyone?) or by a real threat.  I speak from experience.  I have, at one time or another, been squished, crushed, and wrung out by everything listed above.

When life — or your training partner or assailant — puts the squeeze on you, you need to squeeze right back.

This week’s involution will (a) help you start developing your crushing power by making you crack a sack, and (b) get you motivated to solve and overcome any social, work, health or financial problems you may be facing by pushing you to get your crack out of the sack.

Sack Cracker: Martial Arts Training Involution #167

As always, warm up full before you begin.

  • Crack yourself a sack.  Get a floor bag (a heavy bag with chains taped).  Make one if necessary.  Set timer for 10 mins.  Scissor lock the bag from the bottom and squeeze as hard as you can.  Straighten your trunk while you hit the top of his “head” with hammer fists.  When your legs gas, swap top/bottom foot position and repeat three more times.  Roll to top position and straddle the bag.  Complete a Smearing Push-up and a Horizontal Bag Lift (my version of Hatmaker’s KSB).  Repeat three more times.  When you finish the last lift, lay a Scarf Hold on the bag, squeeze as hard as you can, and then switch grips and hips four times.  Drop the bag, go back to scissors, and repeat until the timer beeps.  Video below.
  • Get your crack out of the sack.  Run 1 mile as fast as you can.
  • Sack up and crack right back.  Whatever pressures are putting the squeeze on you —  social, work, health, financial, etc. — there is always something you can do.  Restriction breeds creativity, not freedom.  Get paper and pen and set a timer for three minutes.  Don’t analyze and think deeply — you’ll do that later — just throw out ideas!  Write down as many things as you can that might help your situation.  When the timer beeps, calmly review and analyze the list.  Pick the three best ideas.  Put them on your to-do list, set completion dates on your calendar, and son.  Taking action — any kind of action — is better than laying there and letting life, your opponent, or your assailant, crush the life out of you.

If you liked this blog post you’d probably dig some of my books and training products. For Frontier Rough & Tumble martial arts products visit Mitch’s General Store.   My books are available wherever e-books are sold but you can get them in any format at Smashwords.

Repeat Offender: Martial Arts Training Involution #166

About 75% of criminals have been incarcerated multiple times, and most experts estimate that the average criminal commits approximately 10 crimes per year for which they are not apprehended.  

If you are assaulted it will likely be at the hands of an experienced repeat offender.  And since you’re a nice guy,  and you never hit first, you’re likely to be punched, struck, stabbed or shot before you even start defending yourself.

Proposition A: We must practice fighting while hurt.

We are habitual, repeat offenders too.  We do all kinds of things we know we shouldn’t do.  We skip training sessions, eat crap food, say stupid things, screw up at the office, drink too much, yell at the dog, etc. etc.

Proposition B: We must work on ourselves.

Repeat Offender: Martial Arts Training Involution #166

Complete Wrestling Conditioner #2 while impaired.  Tuck one arm into your belt, tie a bandanna over one eye, put a pointy rock in one shoe, put on a brace that makes it impossible to bend one knee, or spread the contents of your gym bag across the training area and wrestle on that.  It’s amazing how annoying it is to work on the mat with a stick under your knee or a rubber gun in the small of your back.  You can find instructions for Wrestling Conditioner #2 in Cabal Fang: Complete Study Guide from Querent to Elder or here.

Self-evaluate.  What are you doing to get better in mind, body and spirit?  What’s your plan?  Is it working?  If you don’t have a plan, or if the current one isn’t working, try The Hourglass Way — available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, and everywhere e-books are sold.

Douthat Adventures

CCC patch

Went on a little getaway this weekend.  Headed up to Douthat State Park with the family.  It’s the only park in Virginia (at least that I’ve found) where you can have fun camping in the middle of the summer.  It’s easy to beat the heat up there.  The park’s campling area is one of the highest in the state and there’s a sandy beach on the lake for swimming.

This park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and it hasn’t changed much in the last eighty plus years.  The quality of the construction is such that many of the cabins and stone buildings are virtually unchanged and still in use.

Here’s a little handout concerning how Douthat State Park was built

I’ve waxed poetic about the CCC before.  Let me just say that I’ve heard a ton of talk about UBI — both for and against — but I haven’t heard a single word about any kind of work relief program.  And I sure haven’t heard a word about bringing back the CCC.

Personally, I think UBI and free college tuition are both hard sells when we have a national debt of $16 trillion.  But a program like the CCC — which is basically a work relief program that also provides vocational training — seems like something we could all vote for.

Anyway, here’s a little video about the trip.

Hugh Thompson Jr. : Training Involution #165

This week’s T.I. is in video format.  Dig it.

A Fisher of Men

Robert Mitchell — November 21, 1934 ~ July 8, 2008

Today is the 11th anniversary of my father’s passing. Pop was a pretty incredible person.  No, he was not a great businessman, scientist, inventor, writer, statesman or orator.  He wasn’t remarkably successful by any conventional measurement.

What made him incredible was that he spent the last decade or so of his life walking with Christ despite serious trials.  The more money the world took from him, the less materialistic he became.  As his health got worse, he only became more patient and at peace.  The more loved ones who were taken away, the more he loved those who remained.  The more the world conspired to try and make him bitter, the more he smiled.

And the closer death came the less he feared.

Pop’s pocket Bible — a special edition with instructions for bringing people to faith (a reference to Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

As a young man Pop considered entering the clergy but decided against it.  His reason was the same he gave for not taking promotions at work and for not pursuing a career in law enforcement after his service in the Military Police.  He didn’t want to be the kind of person who told other people what to do or how to behave.  And he didn’t want to give anybody the impression that he thought he was better than anybody else.

The irony is that his humility made him the ideal clerical candidate, yet I’m the one I’m in seminary.  And my humility is far from legendary.  When I was a young man, my mom always said that my lack of humility would be my downfall if I didn’t overcome it. 

And so, on this anniversary of Pop’s passing, I sit and appreciate Mom’s warning and Pop’s example.  I admire my father’s humility and strength and try to emulate them as best I can.

And I pray that someday I will be a good fisher of men.

Sacred Words: Training Involution #164

Egyptian god Thoth

Should anyone other than a politically correct dweeb, a prime-time-ready talking head, garden-variety prude, holier-than-thou twit, or virtue-signalling chuckle-head want to clean up their potty mouth?

Sure.  Because speech is sacred.

Our greatest myths and holy books embody this truth.  According to the Egyptians,

“Thoth is the mediator through whom the world is brought into manifestation. He is the Tongue of Rā, the Herald of the Will of Rā,  and the Lord of Sacred Speech.”¹

God separates light from darkness — Sistine Chapel

In Genesis 1 of the Holy Bible, God speaks the universe into being.  He says, “Let there be light: and there was light.”  Later in John 1, when speaking of Christ, we hear,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

The ancients revered the ability to recite poetry and holy words.  They embodied the idea of sacred speech.   Modern people have mostly surrendered in the battle against profane, rude and crude speech.  And few are able to recite any beautiful words even if they wanted to.

When I was a kid, we had to memorize poems, speeches and scripture.  Why?  So that we could have command of the words on a fundamental level.

Sacred Words: Training Involution #164

Restriction breeds creativity, not freedom (for more on this topic watch this video).   Let’s put some restrictions on ourselves and see if it drives our creativity.

  • Warm up thoroughly, at least 8 minutes.
  • Hobble yourself.  Take a scrap of rope, an old Karate belt, Yoga strap, etc. and hobble yourself such that your ankles cannot get more than a shoulder’s width apart.²
  • Complete a gauntlet.  Set a timer for 8 x 2:00.  You may do this with hand strikes only or with a practice weapon, your choice (I used my walking stick).  Complete this twice:  (1) Strikes vs. Heavy Bag (2) Get-ups (3) Sit-ups with two heavy bag strikes at top of each (4)  Strikes vs. air while doing Prisoner Get-ups. ³
  • Cool down for  3 minutes and then hit the showers.
  • Hold your tongue.  Refrain from swearing for one week and see how you feel about it.  For extra credit, memorize some pretty words, some poetry, a piece of scripture, etc.  Write it down on a scrap of paper, put it in your pocket, and study it every hour or so for a couple of days until you own it.  Another way to do it is to make a voice recording on your phone and play it over and over until you can recite along with it.  This is good for your brain and for your soul.

¹ Mead, G. R. S, Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 1, [The Thesophical Publishing Society, London 1906]

² I do several of these sorts of training exercises every month for self-defense practice — hobbled, one hand tucked into my belt, one eye patched, a rock in my shoe, etc.

³  Prisoner Get-up: Drop to left knee, drop right knee to get on both knees, rise up to right knee only, then stand up.  Next time drop right knee first.  Alternate sides.