Last week’s T.I. was a double-down. So this week we’re going to take it down a notch — see below.
This month’s internal focus is The Book, a.k.a the Tarot. The Tarot is essentially an encyclopedia of symbolism in the form of a deck of cards, a way to train your mind to see the world in terms of story and symbol. When used as a tool for reflection and psychoanalysis, Tarot is fun and beneficial beyond measure.
Tarot cards are not dangerous and scary unless you use them to tell fortunes. I’m in seminary, and neither of my bishops see the slightest thing wrong with using Tarot cards to gain insight into oneself or as aids to meditation. The finest Tarot book ever written was penned by a devout Catholic. Divination and magic, on the other hand, will get you into hot water. I advise against it.
Here’s an example of how Tarot can work, using songs instead of Tarot cards. On the right is a copy of a CD I made for a coworker back in ’07. Chuck was leaving the company headed for greener pastures, and I said goodbye to him with a CD. I liked it so much I made a copy for myself.
Give it a listen. Pretend it’s a concept album and see if you get the story that’s being told by the various tracks. Here’s the YouTube playlist.
That’s kind of what you do with Tarot cards. You lay out a spread of cards, look at the pretty pictures and amazing symbols, and see if you can follow the story.
HiIt Parade: Cabal Fang Training Involution #151
A parade is a “succession, series, or display of items.” The origin of the word parade is the Latin paro which means to prepare, provide, or resolve.
Let’s do this.
- Warm up thoroughly — that’s 8 minutes minimum.
- Cabal Fang Grappling Conditioner #2. Set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00. For each 3:00, Splay-n-Punch 1-2, Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4, Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4-5-6, etc. up to Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, then start again. If you’re not dawdling you should be able to get at least 5 climbs done during every 3:00 round — that’s 25 Sprawls and 150 punches. For the 1:00 “rests” body-lock a heavy bag and squeeze it as hard as you can. Take as many 12-count breaks as you must in order keep from upchucking. Just breathe. I promise it’ll be over in 12 minutes.
- Scuffling, grappling and wrestling HIIT. Set a timer to beep every 40 seconds. Whenever it beeps take a 10-second break and then start the next exercise. Cycle through the following 6 times for a total of 16 minutes, each as many as you can for 30 seconds: Smearing Push-ups, Cross-arm Clinch Lunges (maximum cutting power!), Leg Triangles and Splay-n-Punch. See video below for details. Look familiar? It should.
- Tell a story. Shuffle your Tarot cards and deal out nine cards, all face up, in a 3 x 3 square. Think of them as panels in a comic book of your life — the top row your past, the middle row your present, the bottom row your future. Come up with a plot that connects the pictures. Spend some time asking yourself questions about the little story you made up. Which episodes from your childhood are brought to mind by the first three cards? Do you know why? Does the story have a good or bad ending? What could you do to change it?
- Record everything you learned in your training journal. If it ain’t in the journal, it didn’t happen.
Below is a video of me illustrating the 8 angles of attack using my custom, handmade Bowie from Meherrin River Forge & Knifeworks. Kenny made me one heck of a devastating tool.
I do a fair amount of live cutting with Bowie and tomahawk. When I’m not doing live cutting I use a 10″ crescent wrench on the heavy bag.
The world is full of people who claim to be proficient with various martial arts weapons — without doing live cuts and/or without using mock weapons of realistic weight. Training with lightweight wooden weapons and never actually hitting or cutting anything isn’t martial arts — it’s martial-themed ballet.
I love to watch Nutcracker fight the Mouse King and I respect the athleticism and artistry. But I don’t expect the dancer who plays Nutcracker could pick up a real sword and fight his way out of the theater if a terrorist attack broke out. You’re welcome Hollywood for the premise of your next blockbuster action movie.
Posted in Martial arts
I’m camping this weekend — heading out tomorrow morning right after I finish leading the free tracking walk I’m doing to promote my Bobcat Martial Arts program — so this week’s T.I. comes out a day early!
As I’ve mentioned many times, I highly recommend doing a double-down day once every four to six weeks or so. Pick a recent training session that didn’t go well. Then double it and try to find a way to modify, adapt, overcome and suffer through it.
If you listen to your body and you know your limits, and if you are cautious enough to do this safely, the benefits are out-of-this-world.
Double Trouble: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #150
I don’t know what you’re going to do, because I don’t know what you selected to double! But here’s what I did. This took almost exactly 2 hours.
1. Forms. I spent a full 10 minutes running through the Star of Ishtar, the Fool’s Journey and the new Six-headed Hydra choke form, plus a quick run through a few of my favorite Korean Karate forms.
2. Double weights. Tuesday’s session was weak sauce, so I just about doubled the reps.
- T-handle Dead Lifts. #70 @ 2 x 10 as warm-up. #140 @ 4 x 5 + 1 set to failure (I made 5). Here’s a beast showing how it’s done.
- HSPUs. 2 x 10 Jackknife Push-ups to warm up, then 5 sets to failure. I got 4, 3, 3, 2, 2.
- Sandbag Shoulder Carry. #95 @ 4 x 50 yards+ 1 set to failure. 50, 50, 50, 50, 24. Still cruddy, but getting stronger.
3. Ground Fighting Conditioner #1 — twice. The conditioner so nice you ought to do it twice. Details here.
4. Weighted Shadowboxing. 10 mins with #2 weights on ankles and #2 dumbbells in hands. Count your strikes (10-count combos makes it easy to keep track). I made 520 strikes.
5. Stretching Meditation. Nice relaxing stretch, full 20 minutes, with total focus and body awareness — no linguistic thinking or daydreaming.
Last night we appeared before the Henrico County Board of Supervisors. Afterward we had a pleasant meeting with Deputy County Manager Tony McDowell. Click this link or the picture below for the video which is archived on the county website.
The short of it is that it we will be alright using the picnic shelter and grounds at West End Manor Civic Association (“WEMCA”) for the time being, although I was advised to get a permission letter from the association if possible. I also have Community Policing Officer Butler’s approval and his business card, as well as Mr. McDowell’s, in case police officers show up who don’t know us.
It looks like Brookland District Supervisor Daniel J. Schmitt will be organizing a community meeting on or about April 22nd at which neighborhood revitalization efforts will be discussed. I will definitely be attending that meeting.
I am actively seeking a seat on the WEMCA board so I — and by extension Cabal Fang Temple Inc. — can be involved in the process of making the community in which it resides a better place.
More to come!
According to the very nice county police officer who gave me a heads up Thursday night, there’s a chance we’re going to be run out of the civic association park where we’ve trained since ’09. We’re okay for now, but “No Trespassing” signs are likely going up soon.
Running is almost always the right answer in a self-defense situation. But not this time.
Next week I’ll be asking for a zoning variance at the monthly county board of supervisors meeting. And I’ll also be asking about the future of the park — about the county’s commitment to its upkeep, and so on. Meetings are video taped and saved on the county website, so video to come.
Slug Fest: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #149
- 9 mins of slugging. Warm up thoroughly (at least 8 mins). Set timer for 1:00 min intervals. Bang the heavy bag for 1 min as fast and as hard as you can. Then shadowbox as fast as you can for 1 min. Then, based on your fitness level, hold a Handstand, Push-up Plank or Elbow Plank for 1 min. Repeat twice more for a total of 9 mins. Take as few 12-count breaks as you must in order to finish.
- Ask Archangel Barachiel for intercession. Light a white candle and/or burn some incense as an offering to Archangel Barachiel, our guardian angel, and spend a few minutes in silent reflection. Request he lend his wisdom, guardianship, guidance, care, visitation, and defense to Cabal Fang as we struggle to keep our space.
In Cabal Fang we generally train for max output over a limited time. Cabal Fang is a self-defense martial art. Self-defense situations don’t usually last for more than a minute or so.
But we also want Cabal Fang to be applicable in every day life. Only cops, medics and soldiers will likely use their martial arts skills more than once or twice in a lifetime. But if Cabal Fang makes you healthy and strong inside and out, you can apply that in a million different ways, all day every day. And every day life sometimes will require you to work until you can work no more.
So once in a while we should shake things up and train for distance instead of speed — for length of time instead of for output across a span of time.
Enduro: Cabal Fang Training Involution #148
- 9 rounds of emergency action. Only 8 breaks of 12 secs each, one break between each of the 9 rounds. Each round you’ll go until you gas, take a 12 sec. break, then proceed to the next exercise: HBSC (Heavy Bag Shoulder Carry), Up Strikes, Bear Walks, HBSC, Mounted Strikes, Bear Walks, HBSC, Low Kicks, Bear Walks. No pacing or lollygagging on the strikes, but travel at a relaxed pace for the HBSCs and Bear Walks. 8 breaks only. My time was a fairly pathetic 20:39. Post yours in the comments. See video below.
- Internal work for time. Assume your posture of choice and set a countdown timer for one hour. Practice your choice of contemplation, meditation or prayer as long as you are able — until your mind or body fails you — or until the timer beeps, whichever comes first. I made my hour. Did you?
- If it’s not in your training journal it didn’t happen. Record all times and all self-realizations in your training journal.