Tag Archives: cabal fang

Grab Bag: A Film Review, Penny Wisdom, WOD etc.

Today’s post is a grab bag of miscellaneous stuff.

A film review.  Last night the wife and I watched Hidden, a truly original horror film with a couple of great twists.  It stars Alexander Skarsgård, Andrea Riseborough (remember her from Birdman?) and Emily Alyn Lind.  This is not a gore-fest or startle-flick.  It’s a film.  You remember films. right?  Those things that have great acting and pacing and an actual story?  Yes this is one of those.  It only got 6.4 stars because horror fans want either SFX extravaganzas or buckets of blood and this film has neither.  If your favorite horror move is Saw 3-D, you’re going to give Hidden  only 6 stars.  On the other hand, if your favorite horror move is Let the Right One In,  you’ll give Hidden 8 stars.  We loved it.

Remember Wes Studi as The Sphinx from the movie Mystery Men? Now that’s what I call penny wisdom.  That’s him right there at the top.

Penny wisdom, as a general rule, is bullshit.  So called because it has been historically dispensed from vending machines for the princely sum of 1¢, penny wisdom isn’t wisdom at all.  It is witty.  Wit, cleverness and quip don’t equal wisdom.  That being said, I’m famous (in my own mind at least) for several bits of penny wisdom that are worth considerably more than a copper coin.

  • “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.” ~Robert Mitchell
  • “Religious dogma, social convention, and philistinism are the hammer, tong, and anvil of mediocrity.” ~Robert Mitchell
  • “The transmutation of the religious into the sacred is the very object of the occult sciences and, especially of initiation.” ~Andre Nataf
  • “The meaning of life is not discovered; it is constructed.” ~Exupery
  • “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~Exupery
  • “Our blight is ideologies – they are the long-expected Antichrist!” ~Jung

Your knife-fighting WOD is as follows.  

Note: I did mine with a knife, but you can sub another weapon if you prefer.

Set a timer to beep every 1:00 min.  Pick up a dull training knife and cycle through the following four times (20 mins total).  First time through, knife in right hand in hammer grip, second time RH icepick grip, then LH hammer, then LH icepick.

  • Gorilla Walking (on knuckles) – 1 round
  • Shrimping – 1 round
  • Knuckle Push-ups – 1 round
  • Knife Shadowboxing – 2 rounds (plenty of kicks, punches, slashes, and stabs with good form and sincerity)

For the duration of the workout, count the number of times the live end of your dummy knife touches your body, the floor, or anything unintended.  At the end of the 20 mins, complete 10 Get-ups for each flub (with dummy knife in hand, of course).








Physical and Spiritual Respiration and Your WOD

In response to a post by my virtual buddy Andrew, I wrote the following comment which I believe is a very important thing to keep in mind, both spiritually and physically.  Or maybe not.  I could be wrong.  Anyway, dig it and let me know what you think.

FYI, when I mention “the prophetess of the 2nd Key” I’m referring to the High Priestess of the Tarot (picture at right).


Robert Mitchell
Dec 04, 2015 @ 10:47:43

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The prophetess of the 2nd Key sits between the pillars of Mercy and Severity, and her wisdom lies in knowing when to be severe and when to be merciful (with oneself and others). This oscillation is like breathing, and breathing is life. Cessation of respiration is death. I advise breathing life and respiration into your “dead” regimen. You might have some 20 min days, some 1 hour days, the occasional 90 minute day, and some days off. And two weeks per year you should do absolutely nothing but eat, sleep, and veg out.

My regimen: Temple rites (LBRP, LUX, and meditation) 7 days/week at dawn. Fall & Winter I train once/day and take off Thurs & Sun. Spring I take off Sun only and work out twice on Sat (one AM and one PM). Ditto for Summer except no Sat doubles. Workouts are about an hour, longer on Fri and Sat, shorter on Weds. Full week off between Christmas and New Years, another full week around July 4th, and sometimes a third week off around Labor Day.

I do not claim to be all-wise, so please take or leave this info. I hope not, but I admit the possibility that I could be completely full of shit. Have a great weekend!


20151204_070312.jpgAnd now for your WOD — a 30 minute, upper-body-crushing, all-out, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout:

  • Set timer for rounds of :30/:10.  Work for the :30 and use the :10 to transition to next exercise and/or rest.
  • For the first 27 rounds, cycle through the following resistance band exercises: Squat/Rev. Flys, Push-ups, Lunges/Press.
  • For the final 18 rounds, max power punches and hand strikes vs. heavy bag.


WOD: Stick Fighting Fitness, Command, & Mastery

Today’s WOD addresses every aspect of using your stick as a weapon.  It combines fitness, mobility, and technique, including familiarity with and control of your weapon, and it can be done by martial artists of any stripe using a stick of any type or description.  If you practice Arnis/Escrima/Kali, cane, jo, bo, umbrella, quarterstaff, Jogo do Pau, la Canne, hanbo, baton/billy club/ASP, doesn’t matter.

Video below.  For those of you who prefer words, see the recap at the bottom of the post.

Stick Fighting Fitness, Command, & Mastery Drill

Set timer to beep every 2:00 mins.  You are going to alternate 2:00 calisthenics rounds and 2:00 striking practice rounds.  Go this twice — that’s 16 total rounds for a total of 32:00 mins.  The first time through, concentrate on circular strikes; second time through, concentrate on linear strikes.  If your weapon can be used with one hand, make sure you alternate between right and left hand.

  1. Squats – as many as you can in 2 mins with stick held out in front, “zombie-style” with elbows locked
  2. Strikes for 2:00
  3. Get-ups — as many as you can in 2:00 mins
  4. Strikes for 2:00
  5. Jackknifes — as many as you can in 2:00 mins
  6. Strikes for 2:00
  7. Knuckle Push-ups — as many as you can in 2:00 mins
  8. Strikes for 2:00
  9. Repeat once more for a total of 16 x 2:00 = 32:00 mins


The Hermetic Formula (and a WOD)

Hermes Trismegistus (courtesy of Wikipedia)

What is Hermeticism, and why should we care?

Hermeticism is a spiritual philosophy that claims to be the perennial philosophy, the Ageless and Primordial Wisdom.  Based on an ancient document known as The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, whose most enduring quote is the famous, “As above, so below,” Hermeticism forms the backbone of Western esoteric thought.

The historical influence of Hermeticism cannot be overstated.  There was a time when the world’s greatest thinkers were Hermeticists — Pythagoras, Isaac Newton, Carl Jung, Giordano Bruno, Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Dion Fortune, Franz Bardon, John Dee, William Butler Yeats, and many more.  And when you consider that Freemasonry is essentially a Hermetic organization,  and that 14 U.S. Presidents, plus Franklin, Mozart, Twain, and Churchill were all masons, you can see that Hermeticism is one of the most important spiritual philosophies in history.

Mainly though, we should care about Hermeticism because it the Unified Field Theory of spirituality.  Its formula for success in all things is,

“To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent”

and it equates to the four ways of seeing, which are,

Mystic, Gnostic, Magical, and Scientific.

The individual who has achieved, reconciled and sublimated all four ways of seeing has attained the Holy Grail, the Philospher’s Stone, the coveted AZOTH.

In other words, Hermeticism is the original human potentiality movement.  If you are interested in learning more, consider becoming a hermit brother or sister of Cabal Fang — the world’s only Hermetic martial art — by joining our distance learning program.



An without further ado, here is your WOD:

  • Dumbbells (2 sets of 15 + 1 set to failure of Lat Raises, Kung Fu Curls, Ripcords, Hindu Squats)
  • Grappling Conditioner #3 (3 x 5:00/1:00. For each 5:00 portion, squeeze medicine ball with max power Rear Naked Choke grip and while completing 30 Rear Lungnes, 30 Knees, and Squats until round ends. Rest 1:00 and repeat, changing grips with each exercise)

Mystic Nutrition Facts (and your WOD)


This is my lunch for today. Grilled chicken breast, soy sauce, radishes, carrots, raisins, and a sesame bar.  What’s it packed in?  I bought one of those bistro boxes from Starbucks and I’ve been re-using the container for months.

A while back I posted a little mindfulness exercise that, for reasons unfathomable, hasn’t been all that popular.  Maybe if I rapped it, people would grasp it?  Momma didn’t raise to quitter, so here it is again, finger on the transmitter…

Mindfulness Lunch Exercise

Devote a full ten minutes to making your lunch.  Take your time.  Relax and focus.  Make your lunch as beautiful, nutritious and delicious as you can.  Really put some thought and effort into it.  If you work outside the home, do your prep the night before or in the morning before you leave, and take your meal to work with you.

When it comes time to eat, give your lunch your undivided attention. Do not eat while reading, surfing the web, or anything like that.  Just sit and eat the food. Think only about the food — about how pretty it is, how nice it tastes, how good for you it is, how wonderfully it is going to fuel your activities, what a blessing it is, and so forth.  Fully chew and taste every bite.

It just may be the best meal you’ve had in six months.

Listen guys!

Food is more than nutrients, and nutrition is a holistic and mystical experience that is still not fully understood. As Michael Pollan famously noted, we have identified 15 carotenes in the carrot, but carotene pills do not replicate the health benefits of munching on actual carrots.  “We still don’t know what is going on in the soul of a carrot,” he said.  “It’s a wilderness in that carrot!”

Choose healthy foods, then experience them fully when you eat them.

Lunch Ideas

  • Sesame bars — These little devils are the business.  Just under 60 calories per tiny bar, and with tons of fiber, these are a great addition to your lunch in the off-season.*  I got mine at the Asian market — 16 little thumb-sized bars for $2.49.  Sure, they have a tiny bit of sugar.  But they are minimally processed and make a perfect little healthy, mini-dessert to your lunch.
  • Buy single-serving bags of nuts and dried fruit.  I know, they cost more by volume and packaging hurts the environment.  But wasted food is also bad for my budget and for the environment, and over-eating is bad for my waistline.
  • Save those sauce packets.  I rarely eat fast food, but when I do I save the extra stuff that isn’t objectionable — taco sauce, soy sauce, salad dressing, mayo, etc. as long as it’s low in sugar.  Watch out for stuff like honey mustard that’s straight sugar and soybean oil.  Save extra fortune cookies and use them to zip up lunches on workout days when you can easily burn off the extra sugar.
  • Cook once, eat five times.  Make a main dish and pick off it for the rest of the week.  Make a few chicken breasts or cook a big steak.  Slice it on a diagonal and you’re good to go.
  • Veggie trays.  They’re not just for parties you know.  Get one from the grocery store, put it in the fridge, and you won’t have any excuse for not eating your daily vegetables.
  • Check out my recipes.  I’ve posted a fair number of them on this blog.

And now for your Cabal Fang WOD.

  • Calisthenics.  As many sets as you can in 10 mins of 10 each Diamond Push-ups, Steam Engines, Hop/Clap Push-ups, Split Squats.
  • Kicks.  5 x 2:00/1:00.  Kick combos for 2:00.  For the 1:00, full power kicks vs. heavy bag.  Count number of full power shots during the first round and try to exceed that count in your final round.


* I generally eat a paleolithic diet.  During Fall and Winter I’m a little more relaxed and I let myself have a daily serving of whole grains and relax a little about trace sugars and such.  During Spring and Summer, when I’m trying to get cut, I get super strict.  I remove all grains and all fruit along with as many carbs as possible.

A Real Ball-breaker of a Boxing WOD

Box_glovesWhy do I do this stuff to myself?  Why do you follow this blog?  These are the unanswerable questions…

A Real Ball-Breaker of a Boxing WOD

Set timer for 10 x 2:00/1:00.  Work your double-end ball ( Shadowbox if you don’t have one) for 2:00, going fast but with good form — full extension, plenty of pops, rolls, bobs, and weaves, etc.  For the 1:00, complete as many Sandbag Squat Presses as you can using a bag at least 25% of your body weight (I used #44 which is about 30% of mine).  Repeat 9 more times for a total of 10 rounds/30 minutes.  Take as few 12 second breaks as possible to finish standing up.

If you try this, please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Did You Know…? (And a WOD)

First your Cabal Fang Workout of the Day, and then a little bout of “Did you know?”

The theme of today’s WOD is is grappling, a.k.a. the clinch, a.k.a. stand-up wrestling, and the workout itself is a puke-inducing two-parter as follows:

  1. Choose a sandbag of appropriate weight (I used at #20)  and set timer for 10 mins.  Complete as may sets as possible of 8 each: Hop Push-ups (alternating hands on sandbag, on knees if you must), Flutter Kicks (while holding sandbag up with elbows locked), and Split Squats (sandbag on shoulder).  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to finish.
  2. Grappling Conditioner #2.  Set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00 and square up against your heavy bag.  For the 3:00, splay, punch x2, splay, punch x4, splay, punch x6, etc. up to splay, punch x10.  Start over and repeat as many sets as you can until 3:00 is up.  For the 1:00 so-called “break,” grab heavy bag with a palm-to-palm grip and squeeze with all your might, making sure you are applying sword-bone forearm pressure (if you are a visual learner, video below).  Repeat twice more for a total of 3 rounds, 12 mins total. Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to avoid throwing up.

Now for a  little “Did you know?”  Did you know…

  • That I’ve been maintaining a Productivity Log since January of 2012 that contains all my workouts and various other personal activities, and that it’s a treasure trove of workout ideas and inspiration?
  • That I have six books to my credit — two non-fiction martial arts books, one non-fiction fitness book, and three supernatural romance novels (which are currently on pre-order as a bundle)?
  • That I designed some one-of-a-kind fitness dice and wrote a whole heap of personal improvement pamphlets that are available over at PTDICE.com — and that I include a free t-shirt with every order?
  • That in 2009 I founded a really cool martial art called Cabal Fang?
  • That there’s a Temple of Cabal Fang that contains, among other things, a library of over 100 esoteric books, most of which are cataloged here?



Temple Plaque Carving

As part of my renewed and continuing effort to beautify the Cabal Fang Temple, yesterday I completed a wooden plaque for the door.

I started by gluing some wood scraps together.  I purposely used different types and thicknesses of wood to give the work more dimension and a sense of age.  Then I did a freehand sketch of the Cabal Fang Emblem and carved it out.

I then painted the entire board gray, let it dry,  sanded it down, painted it black, sanded it down again, and gave it a coat of wood stain and polyurethane.  I’m really pleased with the final effect.

My Tajine Recipe, More Temple Pics, and your WOD

The Cabal Fang Temple in the morning fog.

The sun rises behind The Cabal Fang Temple in the morning fog.

Every since I read the book Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine De Saint-Exupery I’ve had a fascination with North Africa and its flavors.  I experimented with Moroccan cooking and spiced coffees for months, and then I kind of got out of it.  Then last night, out of the blue, I started craving all those crazy spices.  So I made this — my first Tajine.

wpid-20151103_195341.jpgMitch’s Quick ‘n’ Dirty Tajine*

  • 1 lb. Free Range Ground Beef
  • 2 sweet potatoes boiled and cubed
  • 1 cups of cooked fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 snack-sized box of raisins
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt or to taste
  • optional: a dash of Cobra Spice Mix

Brown beef and drain while  your peeled and cubed  sweet potatoes are boiling and your brown rice is cooking.  When done, add all of it the pot.  Throw in peas, raisins, tomatoes and spices.  Put a lid on it and let it bubble on very low heat until heated through.  Like most stews, it’s much better on the second day after the spices settle in and permeate the ingredients.  This is two servings for me, which means it’s actually four servings.

And now for your Cabal Fang WOD.

  • Dumbbells: 6 x 12 of Two-handed Bench Presses, Curl-ups, and Goblet Squats (should take about 20 minutes).
  • Standing Contemplation: Set timer to beep every minute and change stances when it does.  Do Horse stance (thighs parallel to floor), Left Front (left thigh parallel to floor), Right Front (right thigh parallel to floor), Left Back, Right Back, Left Crane, Right Crane, and Horse once more.  Total 8 minutes.


* I know, Tajine is supposed to be ladled over couscous.  But I don’t eat white carbs, and very rarely even brown rice or wheat bread.  So I subbed brown rice and threw it all together in the same pot.

A Filthy Little Workout

Calis Codex cover final for web

If you like this workout, you might like my eBook “The Calisthenics Codex.” Click this pick to check it out.

Yesterday I was so busy talking about the new three book bundle I have out on preorder right now that I forgot to share the Cabal Fang Workout of the Day.  So, without further delay, here it is…

  • Dumbbells. 5 x 12 of Military Press, Rear Lunges, 2-Handed Tricep Ext., Ripcords.  Rest 30 secs between sets (this should take 15 – 20 minutes).
  • Rest 1 minute.
  • Deck of Cards Original Combo. Remove Jokers, shuffle deck, and place face down on floor.  Flip top card.  Black = Push-ups, red = Squats.   Hold last position while flipping next card — deep squat or one-handed plank.  Aces = 10, face cards = 12.  Finish the whole deck and it’s 200 Push-ups and 200 Squats.  Finish it faster than 20:50 and you have me beat.