Eline Powell as Olive Oatman

Olive Oatman (L) and actress Eline Powell (R)

I was doing some research for my Frontier Rough & Tumble Martial Arts program and came across the story of Olive Oatman. I was immediately struck by the fact the Olive looks a lot like actress Eline Powell of the TV show Siren. Olive Oatman’s story would make a great movie, and it would fun to see Eline Powell in the role.

Olive’s family was massacred by a native American tribe (probably the Yavapai) in 1851. She and her sister were abducted, enslaved, and subsequently traded to the Mojave. Sorting out the truth from the facts is difficult. But one thing is relatively clear. The tattoos on Olive’s chin are of a type used by native tribes to identify themselves to ancestors in the afterlife. It’s fair to assume that at some point she was assimilated. There are conflicting accounts of her liberation story. Some sources say she left behind two sons and that she was less than thrilled to be back among whites. There are a lot of unasnwered questions regarding the intrepid Ms. Oatman.

Olive Oatman, courtesy of Wikipedia

But if you look at her picture several things leap out at you straight away. She was beautiful, healthy and fit, and she looked out of her eyes with complete calm and focus. This is not a woman who betrays what she is thinking about. Nor does she look like she scares easy.

There’s so much more to her story than what you can get from the Wikipedia article, but you can start there. For additional reading, I recommend the section on her in The Old West: The Women. It has a great deal more detail.

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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.

The Nine Lives of the Bobcat!

The Nine Lives of the Bobcat is jam-packed the essential self-defense and prevention advice — and drills! — you need to avoid trouble and stay safe.  Contains 9 prevention skills, the 3 warning signs everyone should heed, 4 de-escalation tricks, 6 mindset drills, 3 ways to regain control when things start to get pear-shaped, 4 ways to leave breadcrumbs if you’re about to be abducted, and more! 17 pages, 3,500 words.


Hatmaker’s Readiness Test #1 — Part 1

Click here to see Mark’s entire post

Author, martial arts coach, sailor, adventurer and man-about-town Mark Hatmaker recently posted The Self-Resilient Readiness Test Part 1.  and it’s outstanding.

By the way, Mark is my coach.  Yes, I’m a “martial arts master” (whatever the hell that is).  Yes, I’ve studied under masters and grandmasters galore since starting martial arts in ’86.  But Hatmaker is my coach.  Mark’s the guy who, in 2003, helped me understand the meaning of the word fitness.  He’s the the guy who showed me the terrifying beauty of wrestling.  He’s the guy who pulls me toward excellence from in front by demonstrating, every day, what hard work looks like.  He sets the benchmarks.  He’s the guy.

Anyway, the “questions” on Mark’s test are designed to spur you toward assessing your readiness inside and out.  I love this test so much (despite the really clunky name — sorry Mark but what a mouthful!) that I’m going to start blogging, and maybe videoing, my “answers.”

His genius scoring method really kicks you off the couch.  You get zero points for not facing the challenge, 1/2 a point for failing and 1 full point for successful completion.   As Mark says,

“If you do not perform any tests or skip a test, even if you know in your heart of hearts you could do it—give yourself a big fat zero, because maybe, just maybe, that “prepared mind” assumes something that the body can’t really deliver.”

Ouch.  When I read that, well, I didn’t have any choice to but to press on.

So without further ado, here are my scores on two of the tests.  Because some of them require special locations and/or planning — like #1: Swim a half mile — I’m doing them in no particular order.

My unprepared breath hold was 1:03

#9: One minute unprepared breath hold.  I got 1 point for a hold of 1:03.  Surprisingly hard.  I actually practice breath holding on a regular basis (I’m good for 1:40 or so), but I never practice unprepared.  Going forward I will though.
#13: One minute shower on full cold.  I got 1 point.  Awhile back I spent about six months showering cold exclusively.  This was like falling off a log.
Total Score so far: 2 points

Wanna play along?  Post your scores in the comments!

DID YOU KNOW…that I have an awesome shop where you can buy all kinds of cool stuff, like martial arts training materials, bespoke books, artwork, and so on?  Check it out!

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.

My New E-book Available Now

It’s so fresh that it isn’t up yet on iTunes or B&N, but you can get it at Smashwords — just click here.

This workbook is short and laser-focused on realizing your mind-body-spirit potential — so start your transformation today!



Slap tail beavers plunkin’ in the pond water
Duffers under cover snacking on coon fodder
Kids on bikes runnin’ circles ’round the lake
Are rangers checking billets?  Oh make no mistake

Free as a bird
Bury me with my boots on
Can’t polish a turd
But I can can sure get my swoop on

Carcajou, skunk bear, badger, teddy rat
Ain’t got nothin’ on me so don’t forget
Filly ran off now I’m pinin’ for a Donna
Eyes skinned bald and I’m checkin’ out the fauna

Free as a bird
Bury me with my boots on
Can’t polish a turd
But I can sure get my swoop on

Engrams, orgone, Radithor and more
Nothin’ ever works and I’m feeling mighty sore
Dead as a hammer and I’m numb as a stone
Get up and go done got up and gone

Free as a bird
Bury me with my boots on
Can’t polish a turd
But I can sure get my swoop on

“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