Category Archives: Uncategorized

‘An Inconvenient Truth 2′ Arrives In 2017

People seem awfully entrenched in their relative points of view. So, although I remain cautiously hopeful, I really doubt that climate deniers will pay $12 for a ticket and then sit through something that their preferred news outlets and blogs are already telling them is a total fabrication. But a guy can hope, right?

DPNews

When An Inconvenient Truth came out, there was plenty of reason to be worried about where the climate was heading. Part of Al Gore‘s deeply concerning presentation about where the Earth was going to be in the next few decades included an apocalyptic end game, one that seemed impossible but, in Gore’s direct and informed way of speaking, also felt plausible in a strange way.

Of course now, with a climate change denier heading up President-Elect Trump’s EPA and a former Exxon honcho looking at the Secretary of State position, Gore’s nightmare seems infinitely more likely and maybe even a little kind. So, as was learned over this past weekend, it’s a perfect time for An Inconvenient Truth 2 to be hitting theaters, even after the similarly provocative, Leonardo DiCaprio-fronted Before the Flood. The surprise sequel was announced to be likely hitting theaters sometime in 2017 and…

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The Five Goals of Training and WOOTW #15

Never walk up to a heavy bag and just start walloping it, or just start randomly throwing punches at the air, slinging dumbbells, or aimlessly jogging. Why waste valuable training time when you can train with a purpose?
In Cabal Fang there are 5 Training Goals, and they are Speed, Power, Endurance, Accuracy and Form. Before you start your workout, decide what you’re going to try and improve — then tailor the workout to drive improvement in that direction!

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week

Kicks in all 5 Ways (warm up thoroughly before you begin!)

SPEED: Set timer for 30 secs. Roundhouse kick  heavy bag as many times as you can in 30 secs. Rest 30 secs and repeat. If you don’t beat your kick count the second round, do 25 Push-ups. Remember that count and carry that number through the rest of this workout. 

POWER: Turn off timer. Whatever your kick count was last round, do that many kicks as hard as you can, with maximum malice. Take your time but don’t lollygag. Rest 30 secs and do it again. If you or any training partners think your power was less the second round,  do 25 Push-ups. 

ENDURANCE: Are you kidding? This whole workout in total is ENDURANCE practice! 

ACCURACY: Mark a spot on the bag no bigger than 2″. Kick to your count. Do 5 Push-ups per miss. Rest 1 minute and repeat. You guessed it — beat your score the second round or do an additional 25 Push-ups. 

FORM: With one hand on a sturdy object, complete your kick count very slowly and with perfect form. Rest 1 minute and repeat. If your or any of your training partners thinks your form was lower on the second set, do 25 Push-ups. 

Knife Defense Video and WOOTW #11

Tuesday night was knife defense.  The 90-minute workout included improvised weapons and simple situational drills.  Here’s a short video of the highlights — including the last couple of exercises from the fitness portion.

Here’s a video from a few years back, probably the best and most realistic, intense knife defense work you’ll see.

And now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week — Grappling Conditioner #3:

Set countdown timer for 10:00 mins and complete as many sets as you can before the timer beeps of 5 Bag Lifts, 10 mounted strikes, and 5 Splay ‘n’ Punch.

A Cold, Cold Moon and WOOTW #10

Before the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week, a little tidbit.

Seeing a TV news report about last Thursday’s daring Antarctic rescue of two sick researchers from Amundsen-Scott Station re-awakened my fascination with the South Pole.  A coworker of mine some years ago had some amazing stories that I’ve never forgotten about working at McMurdo Station.  But McMurdo is at a much lower altitude than Amundsen, and not at the geographic pole.  Can you imagine a place where the temperature dips to -100º F and it’s day for half the year and night the other half — with 11 weeks of continuous, pitch black darkness?

Here’s an amazing video of an entire 14-day moon cycle as filmed at Amundsen Scott by Robert Schwarz (by the way, all of his videos are top notch– so sit down with your favorite beverage and enjoy them all).

Now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week:

  1. Start a repeating countdown timer for 10:00.  This workout is made up of three 10-minute sections.  Get the workout straight in your head so you can transition smoothly without having to reset/restart your timer.
  2. 10-minute Half Pyramid (created using PTDICE).  Complete 1 Prison Push-up, 1 Crunch, 1  Mountain Climber, and 1 Flutter Kick.  Then do 2 of each, 3 of each, 4 of each, etc.  See how high you can climb before the timer beeps (I almost finished set #9 but not quite).
  3. Pick Two Kicks.  Pick two kicks (I chose Stamping Kick and Roundhouse) and see how many you can get done before the 10:00 is up.  Put them in combinations, double up, experiment, have fun, and see how many total kicks you can get done before the timer beeps (I only got 170).  Walk it off slowly and cool down for 3 minutes, then move on to the meditation part below for 7 minutes.
  4. Meditation on Failure.  Spend 7 minutes imagining — or if you prefer, recalling — all of the unpleasant, annoying, disastrous, infuriating and catastrophic crap you can think of.  Really put yourself into those memories or imaginations.  Try to remain calm, not just in mind and spirit, but in body.  Keep both heart and breathing rate normal for the duration.  A master of the martial arts remains true in the face of all unpleasantness, up to and including even certain death.  A friend of mine says that martial artists need to prepare for failure and disappointment, and I agree.  We stack up so many layers of positive thinking, practice, preparedness and prevention that we can find it hard to keep it together when failure and disappointment come along.  What happens when you fail to be decisive in an emergency? When, despite all your dedicated practice, you allow some loser to intimidate you?  When your lover says “no” to your advances?  What if he or she breaks up with you and you didn’t see it coming?   How do you react when the artwork you spent a year working on turns out to be a piece of junk?  Do you beat yourself up, drink yourself to sleep, cry, throw things, lose your temper, act like an ass?  Things don’t always go your way.  Sometimes that’s because you screwed up.  Sometimes it’s because things happen that are outside your control.  Doesn’t matter.  Get ready for that shit.  

Dispelling Bad Magic, The New Temple, etc.

The other day somebody asked me some questions about Cabal Fang, and those questions made it pretty clear that this somebody really didn’t understand who we are and what we’re trying to do with the martial art of Cabal Fang.

Time to cast Dispel Magic on any bad vibes that might be out there and clarify our position!

What is Cabal Fang?

The first and oldest Eastern temple martial art in the world may be Shaolin Kung Fu, but the first and oldest Western Temple martial art is Cabal Fang, an initiatory martial art based on Western martial culture, Hermetic concepts, and the wonders of the Western Mysteries.

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So that you can see our vision, we’ve created a pamphlet that illustrates what we hope to create – as if the new temple was already here (click to view).

Our primary goal is to develop and nurture physically fit and spiritually fulfilled men and women capable of making the world a better place for themselves and all living things.

Our tools in this quest are the lessons we learn from realistic practice of the fighting arts and the sincere pursuit of the ageless, Hermetic wisdom of the Western Mystery Tradition.

The Cabal Fang Temple

We have a little temple (see below) but our dream is to construct a new temple, or to buy and convert an existing property to our purpose. Toward that end, we will be forming a non-profit corporation and filing 501©(3) paperwork in the near future.

So that you can see our vision, we’ve created a pamphlet that illustrates what we hope to create – as if the new temple was already complete (click to view).  If you look at the “as if” pamphlet you’ll notice that it says I’m an interfaith minister.  I ain’t, at least not yet, but I’m working on it.

To see pics of our existing temple and read more, click here.  And to support our temple-building efforts, pre-order your copy of the Cabal Fang book today!

The Cabal Fang Temple in the morning fog.

The existing Cabal Fang Temple in the morning fog.

My NASA Pictures and Cabal Fang WOOTW #6

If you’re here for the Workout of the Week (WOOTW), just scroll to the bottom.  But if you want some really cool rocket porn, stick around!  While we are on vacation the wife and I stopped to visit the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor’s Center.  Here are a few shots.  I highly recommend the visit if you’re ever in the vicinity.   How cool is it to see Little Joe — the rocket that was used to test the Mercury mission capsule back in 1959-60?

Here’s a photo set and a map to the facility.  There’s tons to do and see, way more rockets than pictured here, actual satellites and demos and such, an observation deck, and you can even time your visit to coincide with an actual rocket launch! Entry is free and the gift shop is deluxe (bring money my nerds, bring money).

And now for your Cabal Fang workout of the week — WOOTW #6 to be precise.

Set timer for 8:00.  Complete as may sets as you can before the timer beeps of (8) Medicine Ball Push-ups, (8) Med. Ball Jackknifes, and (8) Med. Ball Jump Squats (I made 7 sets, see if you can make 8).  For the next 8:00 cycle, shadowbox with 1 lb. hand weights.

Two Very Different Mitchell Authors

So I’m in Atlanta on business and after dinner I’m walking down Peachtree Road. What do I see?

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Margaret Mitchell house. Very cool. Gone with the Wind was my mother’s favorite book.

As an author myself, that’s my goal: I want to write at least one book that’s somebody’s favorite book. Marge hit that mark. Let’s see if I can.

My next book (which is almost done, and when it is, my “whoop” will be heard in Tibet) is already sitting at #3 in the martial arts eBook category and it hasn’t even released yet.  Maybe it’ll be the book that gets me to that goal. Preorder it here.  Release date Sept. 1st.