GOGGLES a poem

GOggles

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

THURIBLE a poem

thurible

Forever knows no chains
There is no crucible
In which to reduce the now
The map is not the terrain
There’s nothing to terrible
As looking past the now
So I chant the old refrains
Ignite the ancient thurible
And take the sacred vow

Seven steps up
Through the garden of roses
Lies the Kingdom
And in its center
The interior castle


“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

Introducing Frontier Martial Arts

This is the logo for my new Frontier Rough & Tumble Club. Currently we meet Sundays at 3 PM.

Mostly I blog about Cabal Fang martial arts.  But starting today I’m going to be more talkative about my other love —  Frontier Rough & Tumble.

Introducing Frontier Rough & Tumble Martial Arts

Frontier Rough & Tumble is a rustic martial art that incorporates the fighting methods, mindset and lifeways of North America, settler and native alike, between the years 1607 (the arrival of settlers in Jamestown) and 1912 (the year the last continental state was admitted to the Unites States, thereby meaning there was no longer a “frontier”).

Frontier Rough & Tumble training Material

Fisticuffs.  The way everyday people struck with their hands before the introduction of the padded boxing glove.  Kicking, especially purring and shinning.  Wrestling, tussling, grappling, clinching and throwing.  Reality-based Bowie knife and Tomahawk training.  Fitness.  Practical exercises that resemble frontier chores, such as swinging hammers, digging, hauling and lifting loads, running, etc. Survival skills, including the settler folkways and indigenous abilities.†

What makes Frontier Rough & Tumble great is…

In the frontier there were no excuses.  Often there were no police to save you, no doctor to patch you up, and no court to arbitrate your disputes if you caused trouble.  Check out the Bobcat Code we use at my club.  

Frontier Rough & Tumble is based on self-reliance.  When Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote his famous essay on the subject he chose to open it with a poem he wrote called “Power” which I’ve shared below.

My Time-Life encyclopedia of the Old West in 26 volumes. You can’t teach Frontier Rough & Tumble without knowing the historical milieu.

If you’re interested in Frontier Rough & Tumble martial arts, as far as I know there are only two instructors — Mark Hatmaker and myself.  Mark the genius behind it.  He got me hooked, and I’m studying from him.  You can too by subscribing to his RAW program.  Or, if you’re in Richmond, VA you can come train with me at Bobcat Martial Arts.

Cast the bantling on the rocks,
Suckle him with the she-wolf’s teat,
Wintered with the hawk and fox,
Power and speed be hands and feet.

[Ralph Waldo Emerson, from “May-Day and Other Pieces”, 1867]

My first Frontier Martial Arts-related book. Click here to download!


† Yes, the Ancient Greeks used calisthenics for war (I know this because I literally wrote the book on calisthenics) as well as a form of stone hand weight to build strength.  And they used a form of boxing glove, as did the Egyptians.    People have, for millennia, mostly understood that (a) linear training works and (b) if you hit hard things with a balled fist your hand will break.  That said, the modern idea of “physical fitness” didn’t exist in the frontier period.  Back then your “workout” was putting food on the table and “boxing” was bareknuckled.  Padded gloves, calisthenics and weights (barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.) weren’t widely used until the late 1800s — at the tail end of the frontier period.

 

 

Squiz: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #160

SQUIZ /skwɪz/
Britain, Australia, New Zealand, colloquial. Perhaps a blend of squint +‎ quiz

  1. [noun] a look.
  2. [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

  1. 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)
  2. Do you know your spouse or significant other’s license plate number?
  3. 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)
  4. Do you have your attorney’s phone number memorized in case you’re arrested?
  5. Do you know your state’s laws regarding use of force?†
  6. Is there at least a quarter of a tank of gas in your vehicle right now?
  7. 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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Schmirthday

Yeah I know, I’m a self-defense expert, and for identity theft reasons know it’s not smart to advertise your birthday to the world. But I’m also a public figure, and my personal cats are not staying in the bag. So don’t be like me — keep your birthday secret.

Anyway, yesterday was my 58th.

My kids all showed their love with cards, calls, texts and kind words. My wife’s baking me pineapple upside down cake on Saturday. My employees gave me a new travel mug. My Facebook exploded with well wishes.

I celebrated by sticking to my training regimen. My party was doing martial arts with the coolest bunch of guys on the planet, and my treat was a 2 oz. bag of roasted peanuts.

That’s what I call a great birthday!

Morning Session (90 mins)

(15:00) Body toughening, makiwara, forging post, shin rolling

(10:00) MBF calisthenics – “martial base fitness” — Chin-ups, Bag Lifts, Reverses, Leg Triangles

(40:00) Weights/Resistance. Box Deadlifts (bar at floor level) #155/5,4,3. Handstand Pushups 4,4,4. Dumbbell Bent Rows #25/10,10,10 (bicep rehab).

(14:18) Run/Jog. #8 weighted vest, #2 ankle weights, #1 hand weights, 1.25 miles.

(10:00) Contemplation

Evening Session (90 mins)

Cabal Fang martial arts:

(5:00) Self-defense Pop Quiz: What’s your wife’s license plate number? What did your kid wear to school this morning? Etc.

(10:00) Forms, warm-up

(15:00) Mirroring drills, sensitivity drills, distance and head level awareness, Shots and Sprawls

(25:00) Bobbing and Slipping, Counters

(25:00) Constitutional. 10-count Bodybuilders (25), Bear Walks (10 x 10 yards), Shuffle Runs (50 x 5 yards — forward/backward alternating), Crunches (100), Diamond Push-ups (25), Split Jump Squats (50), Ab Punches (1 min)

(10:00) Cooldown, Stretching Meditation

Quick shot of the scratch pad where I wrote down the calisthenics that the guys chose for this month’s constitutional

One Shining Hour: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #159

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.

TETRADITE a poem

Tetradite

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