This week’s T.I. is out a day early so you can, if you desire, complete it on Flag Day. Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14th, 1777.
Flag Day: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #161
- 5 x 10 of Dumbbell Squats and Bench Presses (if you don’t have access to weights, just do 4 x 10 + 1 set to failure of Air Squats and Push-ups). Choose a weight you think will work and get started. If a set is easy, add a little weight on the next one. If you can’t quite get your 10 reps, take a little off the next set so that you get as close to 5 x 10 as you can.
- Heavy bag carry. Pick up a heavy bag and carry it as far as you can without stopping.
- 2-mile flag run. Okay, fine, you don’t have to run with an actual flag. But run with something in your hand, like a water bottle or my personal favorite, a walking stick. It’s a heckuva lot harder than it sounds.
- Flag Meditation. Set a timer for 10 mins. Use the flag as an object of meditation, either visual (q.v. mandala) or verbal (q.v. mantra). If you choose the visual method, meditate on an actual flag or a photo of one; if you choose the latter, use the Pledge of Allegiance. Silently recite it to regulate breath. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America (breathing in) and to the republic for which it stands (holding breath with airway open), one nation, under God, indivisible (breathing out), with liberty and justice for all (hesitating empty with airways open).
Britain, Australia, New Zealand, colloquial. Perhaps a blend of squint + quiz
- [noun] a look.
- [verb] to peer at or eye suspiciously.
But because this month’s external focus is Self-Defense vs. Unarmed, we’re going to add a new definition:
3. a self-defense quiz (contraction of self-defense and quiz)
And since our internal focus is The Candle (meditation) we’re going to add in that element as well.
Squiz: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #160
- The last time you stayed in a hotel, did you request a room between the 2nd and 4th floors? (FYI, fire ladders don’t reach beyond the 4th)
- Do you know your spouse or significant other’s license plate number?
- Do you know the nearest safe harbors to both home and work? (A safe harbor is a location that’s open 24 hours which has some kind of security presence)
- Do you have your attorney’s phone number memorized in case you’re arrested?
- Do you know your state’s laws regarding use of force?†
- Is there at least a quarter of a tank of gas in your vehicle right now?
- Do you have a fully stocked first aid kit in your home that contains a first aid manual?
Expand your definition of meditation beyond sitting on the floor in lotus position reciting a holy mantra. Your mind treats visualization like actual experience with 80% efficiency. Which means that in addition to preserving your spirit, it might preserve you body in a self-defense situation.
- Have you spent at least five minutes this week visualizing what you would do if you were the victim of a violent attack, such as a carjacking, abduction or sexual assault?
- Have you spent at least five minutes this week visualizing what you would do if someone tried to force their way into your home or office?
- Have you spent at least five minutes this week visualizing your own demise? “Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily.” ~Hagakure
That’s 10 questions. How did you score?
10 = A
9 = B
8 = C
7 = D
6 or less = F
† In my home state of Virginia, USA, our laws are basically “stand your ground lite.” In other words, I don’t have to run, but I can use only sufficient force to ensure my safety. Details here.
Exclusive of warm up, transitions and cool down, this T.I. is one hour of action.
Make this your shining hour.
Put out like this is your one shot for an Olympic gold medal or it’s your black belt exam. Put out like Mom and Dad are watching you fight to free nuns and orphan babies from a concentration camp.
All we want is all you’ve got.
One Shining Hour: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #159
- Warm up for at least 8 minutes.
- 10:00 half pyramid of BackNeck Bridge, Prison Push-ups, Ankle Picks and Get-ups. See how high you can climb before the timer beeps (I almost finished my 9th rep of each). Beginners sub Back Bridge for Back Neck Bridge, regular Push-ups for the Prisons, Lunges for the Ankle Picks, etc. as needed. Modify, adapt and overcome.
- 10:00 on the heavy bag. No round breaks and no pussyfooting around. Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to survive this nightmare.
- 10:00 run. See how much ground you can cover before the timer beeps.
- Cool down for 5:00.
- 30 minutes of contemplation, mediation or prayer (your choice).
Yes, I sometimes use homemade dice to create random drills. That right there is nerd fitness.
I threw out all my artifacts today
Remnants of the bad ideas and dead end rites
Lithic shards and Plutonic dunites
Forbidden papyrus unearthed along the way
I searched for two pillars, one white, one black
At a confluence of rivers, no going back
I release the curses down to hell
Let them fall with my old relics
With the mad herbs and psychedelics
Tetradite now, all prayers, no spells
I stood between two pillars, one white, one black
At a confluence of rivers, no going back
This singular act of adaptation nigh
True without falsehood, certain as spring
Is to accomplish the miracles of just one thing
To be alive and let my old self die
I stand beyond two pillars, one white, one black
Past a confluence of rivers, no going back
“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.
Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes? Click here to download it here for free!
The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
My stole resting on my home altar
Last night I entered the transitional diaconate, was elevated to deacon, and accepted my deacon stole. I am a transitional deacon because I will be continuing toward ordination in the priesthood¹ rather than remaining a deacon permanently.
The word deacon derives from the Greek diákonos meaning “servant.” When I look at some of the most famous deacons in history its clear I have big shoes to fill. St. Francis of Assisi was a deacon, as was the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen.
But although I don’t feel worthy of this responsibility my heart is still full of joy and gladness because, it seems to me, this feeling of unworthiness only means that I am appropriately humble before Christ through whom all things are possible.
My sincerest thanks and blessings to Brother Leo for standing with me in the ceremony, to Bishop Katia, Bishop Timothy and Father Erik for the trust, education and direction, and to all of the other students in the seminary — without your participation and energy there would be no seminary for us all to benefit from and enjoy. And thanks also to my wife and family for your support and for the sacrifices you’ve made so that I can do this work.
But most of all, thanks to God.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
¹ My seminary is in the Old Catholic line in which priests are permitted to be married.
Nihility, lack of ability, post truth fragility
Thanatophility, intractability, lies and puerility
I won’t be protesting Bilderberg this year
I’m staying home for the season finale and a beer
My old conspiracies gave way way to social media
Men in black have been replaced by deep fake ophidia
I watch steam rising from boiling old avenues
Giving rise to clouds about the azimuth
I search for a torch to drive away this fog
For a light, a lost pyramid or its analog
Maybe there’s a banner of stars temporarily obscured
We could find out there, I can’t be sure
So I ignore the haze and recall the old magic spell
Hand over heart turning my back to this hell
I say the words king and queen forbade
And invoke the oath our ancestors made
Fidem meam obligo vexillo Civitatum Foederatarum Americae et Rei Publicae, cuius vicem gerit, uni nationi, sub Deo, individuae, praebenti libertatem iustitiamque omnibus.
“Hey Mitch, what’s this all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric. Read more here.
“If you can’t run, you walk. If you can’t walk, you crawl. If you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.”
This week’s T.I. is about understanding the power of realizing you are not alone.
Yesterday, when I did this week’s T.I., I thought of the above quote from Firefly, one of my favorite TV shows. This T.I. was so hard that the only way I could make it through was to think about the fact that if we were training together — me, you, and the rest of the Cabal Fang crew — none of us would ever let anybody quit.
So I imagined you were there with me, that you were there encouraging me, helping me, making suggestions on how to modify exercises, and asking me to dig deep.
Your brothers and sisters in Cabal Fang are right there with you. Now go get it done.
Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157
- Warm up for a full 8 minutes.
- 3 sets of HSPUs to failure. If you can’t do HSPUs, do Jackknife Push-ups. If you can’t do them, do Regular Push-ups.
- 3 sets of Squats. 2 x 5 + 1 set to failure. Pick a weight that works for you (I used 110 lbs).
- 10 x 10 yards of Heavy Bear Walks. Select two hex dumbbells. Go way lighter than you think you need. I used 10 pounders. Bear Walk with dumbbells in hand for 10 yards. Stop and do 10 Push-ups with a Plank Row between, alternating sides. Repeat 10 more times for a total of 100 yards of Bear Walks, 100 Push-ups and 100 Rows.
- Unless you are Captain America, you are going to fail at this. When you do start failing, imagine me and all of the other people in Cabal Fang working right there with you. If you gas on the Bear Walks, drop the dumbbells and go on without them. If you gas on the Push-ups or Plank Rows, come up and do them on knees. Switch to lighter dumbbells halfway through if necessary. Make whatever changes you have to make and take as many 12-count breaks as you need. The only rule is don’t give up.
- Cool down for 3 minutes.
- Stretch and practice contemplation.
- Record what you learned in your training journal.
Firefly t-shirt, book and dvd
The Official Firefly Companion
My DIY Browncoat Alliance ammo box
DIY Firefly cargo box (note the cool Chinese “danger!” stickers)