Karate College Recap and Certifications

Sorry folks, I really didn’t take a ton of pictures at Karate College this year.    I wanted to train with sincerity, and I wanted to be fully present.  When you look at the world through a phone screen you don’t really see it.  You see only its doppelganger — its soulless twin.

It was a great weekend.  Not sure you can get 2 1/2 days of quality martial arts instruction anywhere else for just $219.00.  Plan to go next year.  It has been held at Radford University the last weekend of June since 1988.

Hope I see you in 2020.

Snake, Fish, Dog, Owl: Training Involution #163 Live From Karate College

This week I’m broadcasting live from luxurious Tyler Hall dorm at Radford University in where I’m attending the Karate College 2019!  This will be my fourth time — I’m a graduate of ’03, ’05, ’17 and now ’19.

Karate College is a fantastic event.  For about $200 you get 2-and-a-half days of non-stop martial arts training from some of the best instructors out there.    This year’s attendance is the lowest I’ve seen, which is scary.  Come out and train people — you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone!

FYI, Training Involution #163 marks a little bit of a turning point.  From now on the weekly Cabal Fang T.I. is just going to be the T.I.  Why?  Because these T.I.s are also going to do double duty in my Bobcat Martial Arts program.  No big announcement, no drama queen antics.  Just sound martial principles.

If the drills are legit they’re applicable to every martial artist everywhere, not just to those practicing Cabal Fang.

Snake, Fish, Dog, Owl: Training Involution #163

The single most effective martial arts maneuver is running away.  Not literally running, but getting the heck out of Dodge City, evading, hitting the road, saying bye-bye.  A martial artist should be able to move.  And when the situation is over, be able to sit still.

Set timer for 7 x 4:00 mins, no breaks.

  • Rounds 1 & 2: Warm up thoroughly.  Light to moderate activity, low-key calisthenics like Jumping Jacks, Push-ups on knees,  Crunches, maybe some low-intensity  Jumping Rope, etc.
  • Round 3: Slither free like a snake.  Get your floor bag or grappling dummy and start wrestling.¹  Back Bridge it, Neck Bridge it, and Reverse it.  Squeeze, throw, and flip it.  Stand it up on end and practice your Shots against it, etc.  No striking — just wrestling — and no breaks longer than a 12-count.
  • Round 4: Swim away like a fish.  If you have access to a body of water, swim as fast as you can.  If you don’t, get on the floor and do a dry swim.  Alternate between Prison Push-ups, Swimmers, and Flutter Kicks.  When you gas, take 12-count breaks in Elbow Plank position.
  • Round 5: Run away like a dog.  Cover as much distance as you can in 4 minutes.
  • Round 6: Walk it off for 4 minutes.  Get your heartbeat down to normal.
  • Round 7:  Watch like an owl.  Now assume your posture of choice — seiza, lotus, half-lotus, cross-legged, sit in a chair, or have a seat in the grass and lean back against a tree.  Spend 4 minutes just sitting.  Don’t judge, don’t fantasize, don’t evaluate, don’t plan.  Just sit. 

¹ There’s no excuse for a martial artist not having a floor bag.  Buy a used bag on Craigslist for $10 or make one.




New Products in the Mitch’s General Store

Some of you may not know that I have a web store called Mitch’s General Store.  I sell e-books, artwork, PTDICE, and all kinds of stuff.

The newest product line is called Bobcat Martial Arts Dime Magazine.  These are $10 pdf booklets ranging from 15 pages/3,000 words up to 30 page/7,500 words, each containing links to exclusive video content.

Issue #1 is Frontier Fitness Set A.  It contains 5 complete Frontier Fitness drills all named and patterned after famous frontier characters both real and mythical.   Swing a sledge like John Henry! Tamp and swab a cannon like Molly Pitcher! Check for clinkers like Sim Webb! Includes biographical sketch of each character plus details on how each drill is done — with video!  Set A contains Sim Webb, John Henry, Molly Pitcher, Paul Bunyan, and Black Hawk.

Issue #2 is Walking Stick Self-Defense.  I’m one of just a handful of people worldwide who teach the Vigny-Lang method of cane defense.  This 31 page mini-manual of walking stick self-defense — with links to 5 different video lessons included! — contains all of the essential information you need to start learning the most effective and real-world-tested stick defense system ever devised.   Contains the 14 most devastating cane strikes, the 8 essential blocks and ripostes, the 9 must-have moves when stick-wrestling, the 150 Cane Strike Drill, the 10-minute Cane Strike Drill, the Gauntlet Drill, sparring equipment & rules, etc.

Go check it out — who knows, you might see something you like!



Folderol and Frippery: Cabal Fang Training Involution #162

A snail gets attacked and beaten up by two turtles. The police come.  They ask the snail what happened. The snail says, “I don’t know — it all happened so fast!”

My grandsons gave me some cool origami for my birthday.  They made what they made because I wowed them with snail jokes (I got a million of them), they love my cool watch, and I guess they always see me in collared shirts.  Great gifts from two amazing boys.

Origami is folded paper, which got me thinking about folderol, which is different but sounds similar.  Folderol is frippery, wish-wash, claptrap, and other unimportant stuff.  Origami gifts from my grandsons are treasures — they are not piffle, twaddle, or gimcrackery.  Still though, got me thinking.

So I re-evaluated my activities and made some changes.  You should do this too from time to time.

Folderol and Frippery: Cabal Fang Training Involution #162

Cabal Fang Vital Grace #3 is Frugality  — “to be efficient in the use of time, effort and resources.”  Take today off from training and spend an hour evaluating your use of time and resources.    What you can do to trim, slice or eliminate waste of all kinds and get more frugal?  For some examples, here’s what I got rid of and or adjusted this week.  

  • Fearless Fridays.  Made a pact with a friend of mine as follows: every Friday we email each other a report of what we’ve done to advance our projects for the current week and we ruthlessly evaluate one-another — no quarter taken or given.
  • Adjusted training time.  15 minutes less time on fitness and 15 minutes more on technique.  I’m training 80 minutes a day on average (including days off — 100 minutes if you don’t).  Too much wear and tear on my body at this age.
  • Focused training time.  Freezing my Korean Karate training. Current forms twice a week to maintain existing foundation in basics only.  No new forms or techniques.  99% focus on Cabal Fang and Frontier Rough & Tumble.
  • Very little free stuff.  Can’t hope to make any money teaching martial arts in my retirement if I keep making making YouTube videos that give away all my secrets.  Only occasional tidbits and teasers going forward.  More effort on interesting books and sale-able products.
  • Efficiency in fundraising.  One more giant load to the recycling center to benefit the Cabal Fang Temple, then I’m done.  Takes hours to crush cans, organize, bag, and haul, and we only get $100/load.  The county can have it going forward.  Writing books and increasing donations is a better use of my time.
  • Gave up shopping for a new vehicle.  I not Miss America and heaven knows I’m not pretty enough to need a fancy car to wave from.  My ugly truck runs fine.  I can rent a car for a couple of trips a year and not take on a $500/month car payment.

Flag Day: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #161

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).  

Martial Arts Weapons: Loose Grips Sink Ships

This is me holding a screwdriver. This is what a martial artist’s hand looks like when it is holding a tool in a workmanlike fashion. Note callouses and white-knuckled grip with thumb fully wrapped.

Reading a popular martial arts magazine yesterday I came across an article about two lifetime achievement award winners. They are both martial arts legends.

I cringed.

Look at the way they are holding their weapons in the photos below. Is this how martial arts masters hold weapons which are about to be used to cut, smash, choke, etc.?

It’s just a magazine photo,” you may object. “They’re not actually demonstrating how to fight with the weapon!” To which I reply, “Does a firearm instructor wave guns around in a careless manner? Or does he treat all guns as if loaded and deadly?”

These loose grips (a) show a lack of respect for the weapon and (b) will not retain a weapon under stress. This is not how weapons are held in life or death situations by people who have any idea what they are doing.

At Bobcat Martial Arts, I teach my students to treat every Bowie knife, tomahawk and walking stick with respect and to grip it with sincerity and intent at all times. This is basic martial arts.

I would expect better than this from a student after just 90 days.

GOGGLES a poem


I remember what you wore
When we met on Jersey’s shore
A simple flirtation
I had no expectations
And then that encounter in Majorca
And in again in Cuyahoga
The last time it stuck

No idea what we were doing
No thought to our undoing
Random coagulation
Without formulation
A thing of beauty even so
Had everything, everywhere to go
We’d never get unstuck

Got up this morning
Shoulda known there’d be no warning
Sick of the avatars
Tired of cords and cables
You took off your love goggles
Walked off without a blip
And now we’re unplugged

“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