It’s Time: Training Involution #112

This week’s T.I. is in video format — enjoy.

Polls, Goals, and Folderol: Training Involution #111

Take the Poll

We really want to the temple to be attractive to the general public.  So go straight to the bottom of this page and vote in the temple paint job poll.  You made time to take the “Which Jedi are you?” poll on Facebook, right?  So make time for ours, willya?

Set a goal

Stop futzing around — do you want to get somewhere or not?  Get yourself a planner, set some goals, and start making a plan to achieve them.  Need help?  Become a Patreon supporter and you’ll get access to my organizational method — a 20 -minute how-two video, a action plan worksheet, and detailed instructions.  Click here.  Why should you care about my method?  It’s been perfected over 30 years and it’s what’s allowed me to get so much done.  My resume here.

Ditch the folderol

There are only so many hours in the day.  Keep your martial arts training focused.  The Master says, “To find water, dig one well.”

This gets even more important with age.  The older you get, the shorter, more intense, and more focused your training needs to become.  As recovery times slow, trade volume for intensity to maintain performance.  Work harder and rest more.

As the 60+ bike riding phenom Ned Overend says, “Training with an emphasis on high-intensity intervals has been my preferred method of preparing for races throughout my career.  I’ve learned that by reducing volume, I’m more rested for high-intensity sessions, and by being rested I can push myself harder during the intervals.” (read more here)

And with all this in mind…

Training Involution #111

Tune up.  Remember doubling down?  I still recommend that once in a while.  But today, do the opposite.  Instead of doubling a lackluster training session to break through a plateau or stretch a limit, pick something you crushed — something that seemed rather easy — and make it harder by removing the dead wood or increasing the intensity.  Don’t lengthen it, tighten it.  Put it in a pressure cooker.  Example One: Let’s say this month’s constitutional is easy for you.  Try this — drop the two easiest exercises and see if you can cut your time by at least 33%.  Example Two: Let’s say you did Wrestling Conditioner #4 and just wasn’t that hard.  Try adding a #10 weighted vest.

Poll: Which Temple Paint Job is Best?

Update 7/2/18:  A Teaching Moment Regarding Sacred Symbolism  

I decided the cathedral front was a horrible idea.  What would it mean symbolically for the temple to have a fake front?  Wow.  Catastrophically bad idea, right?  So let’s talk about symbolism…

Andrew posted what he thinks are the best symbolic colors for the temple in the comments section below which I will summarize now and add some additional correspondences.  He suggests red walls, yellow trim around the windows, blue trim around the doors, and purple eaves or overhangs.

  • Red symbolizes the planet Mars (named after the god of war), strength, Geburah, and the number 5 — as in the Five Vital Graces of Cabal Fang.  Also red is a warning that dangerous things are inside.  It screams to wake up and pay attention.
  • The yellow trim around the windows symbolizes the solar light that emerges from within.  Enlightenment is sought, and realizations are apprehended, inside these walls and its light shines outward.
  • The blue trim around the door suggests that one must enter forthrightly being mindful of justice and mercy — blue is the color of Chesed, associated with the planet Jupiter.
  • And the purple eaves or overhangs suggest that psychic gifts of the higher mind overshadow all of the work that goes on within.  Purple is the color of nobility, of carrying oneself in a manner others can look up to.  Purple is the color of Yesod, and suggests therefore that we should be good communicators between the higher realms of the ideal and physical practical realm.
  • We aren’t redoing the inside at this time, but Andrew mentions that, although black and white checkerboard is the obvious flooring choice, geometric patterns can interfere with natural movement.  The last thing you’d want in a temple of martial arts would be something that encourages movement to a grid instead of movement to the situation.

Symbolism matters.  Even when people don’t intellectually know the planetary and Qabalistic associations they still react to colors viscerally.  There is a subconscious effect.  Don’t believe me?  What would it mean if we painted the temple red, white and blue?  What if we painted it all grey?  All black?  Catch my drift?

Based on the above, I’d like to do an artists rendering.  But right now I have to go out to the Temple and train.  More to come…

Update 6/24/18:  A Cathedral Front?  A friend of mine has some very insightful thoughts about which colors would be perfect for the temple, and he’ll be posting in the comments soon.  In addition, I came up with this completely insane idea: what if, instead of just a coat of paint, we added a false front and a cupola to the temple and made it look like a mini-cathedral?  It would one heck of a project, but the temple would be beautiful.  And beautiful things are inspiring.

So I did this little before and after sketch.  What do you think?

Original post from 6/20/18

The Cabal Fang Temple needs a paint job, and we’d like your input.  Please vote in the poll below!

My Perennial Wisdom Lecture

On June 13th, 2018, on behalf of Cabal Fang Temple, I presented a 1 hour talk entitled, “The Perennial Wisdom: Sacred Truths of the Ages.”  The lecture was held at Tuckahoe Public Library in Henrico, VA at 7 PM.

Follow the link below to watch the video in two parts.

Happy Father’s Day Pop

Happy Father’s Day Pop.  I miss you every day.

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


Bagged: Weekly Training Involution #110

June’s martial focus is Wrestling and the spiritual focus is the Hourglass.  I hope you’re ready, because I think this week’s involution is going to push you past your perceived limits — inside and out!

Bagged: Training Involution #110

  • Heavy Bag Wrestling Half Pyramid (video below).  Put a heavy bag on your mat (or on a tarp out on the grass if you have no mat).  Get underneath your bag and and complete 1 of each: Shrimp, Buck, Reverse, Circle, and pop up into Shin Ride.  Then do 2 of each, 3 of each, 4, etc. up to 10 of each — that’s a total of 55 each.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to finish as fast as you can.  Finishing this with proper form is admirable.  In under 20 mins is solid, under 15 is good, and anybody who gets it done in under 10 mins is a beast.
  • CR20E — Object Run.  Run for 20 minutes while carrying an object in one hand, such as a water bottle, walking stick, dumbbell, etc.
  • Draw and explore the hourglass.  Sit down with your training journal and a pen.  Draw an hourglass — nothing fancy, just a quick sketch.  Then, as you sit and look at your drawing, list the first ten words that come to mind.  When you’re done, have an honest conversation with yourself regarding the drawing and the words you wrote.  Psychoanalyze yourself.  What did you learn about yourself from this exercise?  What did you learn about the hourglass symbol?  Record everything in your training journal of course.

My 20th Anniversary Journey — O. Henry, the Frontier, and the Land of Oz

Four our 20th Anniversary my wife wanted to go to the Land of Oz.   So I went to Travelocity and the little gnome made us some reservations (I would have preferred a munchkin but I’m not a complainer) and before we could say “Come here Toto!” we were off to see the wizard.

We stopped half way in Greensboro and stayed at the O. Henry Hotel.  Hands down the finest hotel I’ve ever stayed in.  Best service, most beautiful lobby, and best breakfast ever.  When I walked through the lobby at 9 PM that evening (I had to run to the car to get something for my wife), the person behind the counter said, “Good evening Mr. Mitchell — is everything okay?  Can I help you with anything?”  “No thank you,” I said, shocked she knew my name.  Outside I found a white-gloved bellhop humming softly and polishing the brass handrails.  at 9 PM.  The O. Henry is about details.

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The next day we stopped in Boone, NC and visited Hickory Ridge Living History Museum.  It was too early in the season to have any blacksmiths, farmers or craftsmen re-enacting anything, but it was still fun to tour the cabins.  I love frontier stuff.  As many of you know I’m studying Frontier Rough & Tumble Martial Arts under Mark Hatmaker and hope to launch an FRT program perhaps as early as next year.

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Later that day we arrived at our mountain lodge — 4 Seasons Resort in Beech Mountain.  Nothing fancy, but they got the job done.  Clean and comfortable but the A/C was no good (thank heaven it got down to 60 at night and we didn’t spend much time there anyway).

The next day we got the heck out of Kansas entered the Land of Oz.  The story of this place is too complex and interesting for me to do it justice but here’s the nutshell version: The Land of Oz theme park opened in 1970.  But a serious fire and economic crunch of the Energy Crisis put the park out of business in 1980.  After that, vandalism, weather and partial sale of the property took its toll.  But in the late ’90s interest re-surged.  The park, now a quarter of its original size, is now under renovation.  It’s only open on Fridays in the month of June and one Weekend later in the year for Autumn at Oz.

I didn’t have high hopes going in, but they shocked me.  When Dorothy — who to my astonishment sang every bit as well as Judy Garland! — went over the wagon and started singing Over the Rainbow I was misty-eyed and profoundly moved.  And when she went skipping down the yellow brick road and I watched 35 children and adults, including yours truly, go skipping after her, I got chills.   Was the one hour tour worth $25/person?  For a fan of the movie, you darned tootin’.

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My wife and I have had some fun trips in our 20 years of marriage.  But this one was a tie with New Orleans as our most fun trip ever!