DID YOU KNOW...that this book is going to be used a textbook in my new Bobcat Martial Arts program? Bobcat Martial Arts incorporates Mark Hatmaker’s Frontier Rough & Tumble martial arts coursework as well as primitive skills and nature observation. And I’ll be offering Vigny-Lang method walking stick self-defense classes too.
The Demon Plankton possesses Spongebob Squarepants — a common cartoon trope
Betrayed by a loved one? Had a friend turn out to be a stranger? Regretted something you did and wondered why you did it? Faced down an addiction? Clawed your way out of a bad relationship?
Then you know that demons are “real.” No, they can’t pass the Amazing Randy sniff test. But if you conceive of them as harmful patterns of behavior that repeat across time, they are 100% real.
Belphegor a.k.a. Ba’al Peor from Numbers 25:1–15
Demons don’t take over the way Plankton takes the controls from Spongebob. You have to “invite them in.” In the movies, you must buy the cursed book, say the forbidden words, or move into the evil house. In real life you have to try that cocaine, visit that strip club, or gamble with your rent money. That’s how the “demon” gets a foothold and you introduce the possibility of ending up addicted, sexually obsessed, or homeless.
Maybe believing that “demons” can “possess you” if you “let them in” is a useful fiction that prevents negative behavior patterns — you know, kind of like other useful fictions, such as “porcupines can shoot their quills” and “all guns are loaded.” Behaving as if porcupines can shoot their quills and treating all guns as if loaded effectively help prevent pain and suffering.
But surely demons don’t have agency. Or do they? Does the rabies virus have agency? Viruses aren’t conscious. And yet rabies makes the infected want to bite, which is the primary means of transmission. Sure seems like rabies has agency. Mammon, demon of riches, seems to manifest whenever people obsess about wealth. Is the demon Mammon a conscious entity repeatedly leading people astray?
I don’t know what demons are, nor do I understand their agency. All I know is that they are “real” enough to be harmful and scary. And real enough to be exorcised.
Demon Slayer: Training Involution #141
What does it take to kill a demon? Cold? Fire? Enchanted weapons? Exorcism?
Freeze. For a 200 count (about 3 minutes), hold a pose taking as few 12-count breaks as you must. Beginners, hold a Horse Stance. Intermediate, Plank. Advanced, dead-arm hangs from a Pull-up bar or Crow-stands.
Burn. Complete 200 reps of an exercise. Beginners, Bicycles or Crunches. Intermediate, Push-ups on knees or Steam Engines. Advanced, Down-ups or Kettlebell Swings.
Slice. Complete 200 strikes per hand with your practice weapon of choice. Tactical pen or kubotan keychain, walking stick or cane, rattan stick, wooden knife, tomahawk, nunchaku or what-have-you.
Exorcise. Set timer for 15 minutes. Assume meditative posture of choice. Whisper a 10-to-14-word prayer — aloud as you inhale, silently as you hesitate with lungs full, again aloud as you exhale, and once more silently as you hesitate with lungs empty. Repeat until timer beeps — roughly 200 recitations. This will force you into box breathing and facilitate a deeply meditative state. Your prayer can be religious or secular, general or specific. Even atheists can pray — pray to Light or Truth. “O Light, drive away all darkness and show me the way I pray thee.” I used the Prayer of the Heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
I was meeting with the other members of the Cabal Fang Temple’s board of directors the other night, and the past suddenly rushed in on me. I remembered what it was like, way back in 1986, when I first stepped into a martial arts studio: I was 80 lbs overweight, had never done much of anything athletic, and I had the work ethic of a wet square of toilet paper. Training two hours per week was almost too much for me back then. But I didn’t quit.
So what I’m saying is, don’t think you have to be perfect. Just do your best, maintain incremental improvement, and don’t quit. If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up so much that you give up — just keep going and do better next time.
Full disclosure: In last week’s T.I. I said, “If you’re not doing two constitutionals per week you’re not doing Cabal Fang — the world’s only martial art with a minimum fitness requirement.” And yet last weekend I got sick and ended up only doing one constitutional this week — and I’m the chucklehead who founded this crazy martial art.
Lapses and Slips: Training Involution #140
This month’s focus is Self-Defense vs. Weapons. What if you get cut? Can you move with one limb incapacitated? If you have to use a weapon to defend yourself, can you move around and fight without dropping it?
10 minutes on a slip ball. If you’re bored, try the drill outlined in the video below.
Armed self-defense gauntlet. Set a timer for 2:00 rounds and pick up a wooden practice weapon — stick, knife, doesn’t matter. Complete a round each of of strikes vs. Heavy bag, Get-ups, Sit-ups w/ Strike, Sprints w/ strike, and then do it again (16 mins total). Drop your weapon penalty = 50 Push-ups.
Get it? “Lapses and slips”? The training session has slips and “lapses “– an obsolete word for intervals and the origin of the word “laps.”
Have you done two constitutionals this week? If not, here you go.
I made this short video back in December and forgot to release it! So here you go.
I didn’t talk about it in the video, but those of you are into Hermetic philosophy and/or alchemy will probably notice something very esoteric in this, which is the union of opposites.
As is attributed to the legendary alchemist Mary the Jewess, “Join the male and the female, and you will find what is sought.” I will explain no more, so as not to rob you of this realization. Meditate on this and you will see.
This month’s Cabal Fang focuses are Self-Defense vs. Weapons — with a touch of offense as well — and “The Quill” (journaling). Try to make some kind of journal entry every single day this month, even if it’s only one sentence.
Journals and Logs: Training Involution #139
Complete this month’s log constitutional. No partner? No log? No problem! Use a dumbbell instead of a log (I chose a #30). Do not put the dumbbell down unless you’re doing an exercise that requires you to do so. Rack the dumbbell two-handed and perform Log Press (25 full), Log Squats (25), Log Hops (25 full ), Log Sit-Ups (25), Log Lunges (50), Log A-Lifts (25) and Log Curb Touches (100). See video below.
Choose your weapon and start attacking. Choose the blunt weapon of your choice — wooden knife, walking stick, tactical pen, whatever you prefer — and set a timer for 10 mins. See how many attacks you can launch before the timer beeps. Switch hands every hundred strikes or so. I chose walking stick and completed 920 strikes.