Tag Archives: emerald tablet

Amonsokwat: Mettle Maker #259

bear capture

“Amonsokwat” — A black bear

The other day I posted about learning the extinct Virginia Algonquian language (a.k.a. “Powhatan”).  As part of this project I’m forcing myself to write in my diary using only Powhatan words, which forces me to learn the language.  I’m a lifelong journaler and a big believer in the transformational power of instrospective writing, especially  with the hand — which is why journaling is the the backbone of the Cabal Fang Hermit Path Distance Learning Program and a part of the Bobcat program also.

Here is an inspirational video about writing with the hand.  If you don’t like it I’ll eat my pretty little flowered bonnet.

Anyway, since I’m journaling and thinking in Powhatan, the word that came to mind when putting together this week’s mettle maker was amonsokwat — a bear.  In short bursts, bears are both strong and fast.  And that’s what this week’s mettle maker is all about.

Amonsokwat: Mettle Maker #259

  • Before you train, warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • wp-1620410763902.jpg

    This month’s constitutional



    Complete this month’s constitutional.  Burpees (25), Jackknifes (25), Knuckle Push-ups (25), Zombie Squats (50), Neck Crunches (100 – 25 @ F,B,L,R), Bear Walks (100 yards), Bicycles (50).
  • Ruck 2 miles — Ranger time.  Put on a backpack of weight appropriate to your fitness level (I used a #25) and cover 2 miles in 30 minutes or less.  In military cadence that’s 140 ‘beats’ per minute (140 steps of 30″ each per minute).  This is standard marching speed for Army Rangers.  Get there.
  • Counterpunching heavy bag practice.  Set timer for rounds of 3:00/1:00 and practice your L. Jab counters — just make sure you really imagine that hand coming at you.  Round 1: Slide inside to avoid opponent’s jab as you fire your own jab back at his nose.  Next iteration, Jab twice.  Next iteration after that, Jab thrice.  Then reset to 1 Jab and continue.  Assuming you’re a righty, you should be circling the bag in a clockwise direction.  Round 2: Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), and come back with an Right Hook to the body and a Left Hook to the jaw.  Round 3:  Slip outside and Jab to “the mark” (solar plexus), then weave inside and fire a 1-2 to his nose.  If you’re still feeling chipper, switch stance and do all three rounds again.  If none of this makes sense, sounds like you could stand to take one of my classes or sign up for one of my distance learning programs.
  • Learn to tie a sheet bend.  Very useful for joining two different sizes/qualities of line.  See photo set below.
  • Stand up straight and speak the truth.  This month’s spiritual symbol is The Staff.  Think about all the figures from history, myth and fiction who carry a staff — Moses, Aaron from the Bible, Gandalf, Rafiki, Hermes with this caduceus, the Hermit card from your Tarot deck, and so forth.  The staff is their proof of office.  Symbolically it is a straight line connecting two points — the divine and the material — just like your spine which connects your brain (the ideal intellectual) to your groin (the real-world instinctual).  The wisdom figure is in communication with both worlds.  He or she understands the grand plan, and speaks its truth in a way that is sacred, but also in a way that inspires and directs without being unnecessarily hurtful.  He or she speaks the sacred words, provides direction, and reveals the truth in a way that makes the world better.  For the month of May, pay special attention to embodying that ideal.  Straighten your spine.  Treat the things you say as sacred.  Find a way to speak the truth in a way that inspires.  Be a communicator between the ideal and the mundane.  That is wisdom.    


TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Gauntlet: Mettle Maker #258

This week I’m throwing down the gauntlet — I’m challenging you to get more done this coming week than I did this past week.  Here’s a top-level rundown of what I’ve done in the last 7 days:

  • Had a public conversation with the Vinny Raposa of Team Raposa Martial Arts in Newark NJ and put it up on YouTube.  We talked about Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble.  Watch it here.
  • Started a new weekly online meeting called Let’s Talk Martial Arts.  Come and join us this Saturday at 2 PM.
  • Started a new weekly online chat for my Independent Catholic Meetup called God and Coffee. Come on by this Sunday a 10:00 AM, we’d love to have you!
  • This Sunday will be my fourth week presenting Holy Communion for my church, Ekklesia Epignostika Church and Seminary.  
  • This has meant that I’ve had to write formal homilies (a.k.a. “sermons” for you protestants out there).  Here’s a link to last week’s: Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 25th 2021
  • I carved, sanded and finished a new fighting cane (it finally broke after 10+ years of use, including hitting heavy bags)
  • Almost finished my altar stone.  There are very specific requirements that have to be met before I request my Bishop bless it for use in my home chapel.
  • I finished work on the revamped Fool’s Journey for the upcoming 2nd edition of Cabal Fang: Complete Study Course from Querent to Elder.  
  • I finally read The Varieties of Religious Experience by Wm. James.  A smash hit, and still relevant after 100+ years.
  • Total training time, fitness and martial arts: 10.25 hours

This is not me bragging — this is me trying to encourage you to put down your cell phone, shut off the TV, and go get things done.  Not in a “chalking up numbers” sort of way, but in a “get engaged in the art of living” sort of way.

In last week’s mettle maker I suggested that the things that you think make you unique — your likes and dislikes, your favorite food, favorite movies, etc. — might actually be the things that prove you’re just like everyone else.  What might make you truly unique?

More on this topic in the mettle maker below.

Gauntlet: Mettle Maker #258

  • Before you train, warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Do some practical command and mastery with your chosen weapon.  16 min. pyramid of Air Strikes (10), Crawls (5 yards), Sprints ( 5 yards out/back = 1), and Russian Squats (2).  Start an 8:00 timer.  Do 10 Air Strikes, Crawl 5 yards, Sprint 5 yards out/back, and do 2 Russian Squats — striking the air with your blunt training weapon the entire time.  Then do 20 Air Strikes, Crawl 10 yards, Sprint 10 yards out/back, and do 4 Russian Squats.  Keep climbing until the timer beeps, then climb down.
  • Pick up something heavy.  Try a Cross-walk — a Shoulder Carry and a Farmer’s Walk at the same time.  I used a 65# Sandbag for the shoulder carry and I put #60 on my Farmer Carry rig.  Walk as far as you can, rest a minute, and then do it again switching sides.  I love this combo for practical strength.
  • Read an old book.  When was the last time you read a book at all, much less an old book?  Here’s a challenge: pick up a book that’s at least 100 years old and give it a go.  Reading Wm. James has been a real eye-opener.  This man knew more about human nature — and offers more practical advice — than many so-called modern experts.
  • Think about who and what you are.  Yesterday is gone and future is unwritten.  Neither is real.  Therefore the only thing you could possibly be is what you are doing right now.  Think about it.  No, really.  Actually think about it.  Set a time for 10 minutes or so.  Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch.  Think in a focused way about the fact that you are only what you are doing right now.  This is a form of meditation.  Get there.    


TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Let’s Talk Martial Arts!

Always wanted to ask me questions about Cabal Fang, Bobcat Martial arts, Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble, etc.?  Join me this Sat. 5/1/21 at 2 PM EST for a zoom call — ask me anything!

Click here to join:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83282137038

 



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Eighth Anniversary: Mettle Maker #257

Can you believe it?  Today is the 8th anniversary of the weekly mettle maker — time flies when you’re having fun!

Over the years the frequency has changed, the name has changed, and the format has changed.  Which format do you like?  Did you prefer the experimental formats of last week and week before?  Do you like the format below?  Or is one of the old styles more to your liking?  Please post in the comments and let me know.  

The goal of these mettle makers is to inspire you to take charge of your life — your education, your strength and fitness, your attitude, and your relationship with God.  Whatever you do, don’t live your life in service of fashion, entertainment, food, comfort, or anything like that. 

The things that you think make you unique — your likes and dislikes, your favorite food, favorite movies, etc. — might actually be the things that prove you’re just like everyone else.  What might make you truly unique?

Think about it.

Eighth Anniversary: Mettle Maker #257

  • Loosen up your shackles. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • wp-1619107852901.jpg

    MBF dice available at http://www.mitch.store

    Seize hold of your fitness.  If you do MBF every day (or close to it) you can afford to dial back the intensity as compared to training martial fitness once or twice-per-week.  If you’re not using the MBF program several times a week, you have to a little harder.  Try a 15-minute half-pyramid of Rope Climbs, Sit-outs, Bag Lifts, and Leg Triangles.  Do 1 of each, then 2 of each, then 3, 4, etc. until the timer beeps.    
  • Break free of the ordinary.  Go for a P.O.W. run.  Interlace your fingers behind your head and run 1 mile as fast as you can.  This arm position (a) makes it impossible to fully fill your lungs and (b) wrecks pelvic rotation, eliminates arm lift energy, and removes your arms’ ability to counterbalance the legs.  1 mile will feel like 3.
  • Tackle the tough questions.  Take the self-defense quiz below and see how you do.
  • Liberate your taste buds with some maple seeds.  Maple seeds are an edible, high protein food — great for a fun snack or as a survival food.  Catch some maple keys or “helicopters” before they get too dry.  Split the casing at the spine to liberate a smallish green seed (technically a fruit I think).  Eat them raw or toast them at 350F for 10 minutes as a snack, salad addition, topping for cereal or granola, etc.  When toasted they remind me of a cross between a sunflower seed and a soybean (complete with the bitter finish of the latter).  Pics below.  Charge up your batteries.  Assume posture of choice and regulate breathing to a slow and steady rhythm. Keep your eyes open and fixed.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch. Allow your thoughts to dissipate like ripples on a pond and your mind to approach a state of calm and relaxed awareness.  Do not think at all, but especially not in words — do not evaluate, judge, make lists, fixate on emotions, let your mind wander, or any of that.  Just breathe and be.  This is called “contemplation” and practicing it regularly is associated with improved emotional resilience, increased patience reserves, and more.  Add prayer and it works even better.   

Self-Defense Quiz 

Question

Column 1              

Column 2

1. Can you safely change a flat tire on your car?

 

Yes

No

 

2. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  How many friends do you have in your circle who have been involved in violent altercations?

 

None

1 or more

3. Do you wear earbuds or headphones in public places – while shopping, running, walking, at the gym, etc.? 

Yes

No

4. How do you pass the time while waiting – in a supermarket line, in a waiting room for a doctor’s appointment, etc.

 

People watching, chatting w/ a friend, flipping through a magazine

 

Watching videos, engrossed in your phone, reading a book

5. Can you picture at least two exits from your place of employment – one front and one rear?

No

Yes

6. When you park, do you pull in or back in?

Pull in

Back in

7. By what criteria do you choose your seat in a restaurant?

Noise, view of entrance, proximity to exit

 

Proximity to kitchen, décor, comfort of seating, or at random

8. When was the last time you had the oil changed in your car?

More than 6 months ago

Less than 6 months ago

9. What’s the last thing you do before you leave on a trip?

Go the bathroom

Inform 2 or more people where you’re going and when to expect you home

10. How many of the following do you have in your pockets or purse right now?  Lighter, flashlight, knife, $20 cash

2 or less

3 or 4

11. How much gas in your car’s gas tank right now?

More than a 1/4 tank

1/4 tank or less

12. How many of these do you have in your car right now? Blanket, stocking cap, water, snacks, lighter, tow rope or chain, first aid kit

4 or less

5 or more

13. How much food do you have in your home pantry (dry goods, such as rice, cereal,

<1 month

1 month or more

Answers:  Preferred answers to questions 1, 2, 4, 7, and 11 are in Column A.  The rest are in Column B.  

 



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow: Mettle Maker #256

Inspired by recent discoveries and realizations, and catalyzed by last week’s conversation with Mark Hatmaker, the mettle maker takes a different form for the second week in a row.  Rather than a list of dos and don’ts, prescriptions, and so forth, this week I’m going to simply give you a grab bag of material that I hope you will find inspiring, enlightening, and fun — something that will get you out from behind the laptop and out into the world to breathe, train, live, and find your own innovations and realizations.

Which format do you prefer?  The experimental, or the traditional?

Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow: Mettle Maker #256

Which one of these pictures depicts the tool or behavior most likely to preserve your safety and prevent personal harm? Answer at bottom.

self defense quiz

How many birds can you identify in your neighborhood?  If you don’t know your neighbors, who do you know?

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” ~Matthew 10:29-31



wp-1618398151445.jpg

A recent observation using BirdNET — a free app that lets you record, ID, save and map observations so that you can learn birds and their songs. 

“The monthly attribute associated with the Hourglass is justice…The lower half of the Hourglass mirrors the upper.  Only if we are able to sincerely mirror the Divine Will can we have any hope of bringing justice into the world…Justice is almost always personified as a lovely woman wearing a blindfold and holding a set of scales — blind to her own passions and the winds of fashion and public sentiment, she weighs the facts with maturity and judges fairly.” [from the forthcoming Cabal Fang: Complete Martial Arts Study Course from Querent to Elder, 2nd Edition]

“Do resolutely what is just: defend the poor, the widows, the orphans and the churches.” ~Rule #47 of the Latin Rule (the code of the Knights Templar)

hourglass_tablet_frame

Answer: The oil change.  Breaking down by the side of the road is one of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in, and it’s a hundred times more likely than being attacked.  Service your vehicle and don’t operate it with less than 1/4 tank of gas, just in case you get lost or you get stuck in your vehicle during cold weather.



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Fulgurite: Mettle Maker #255

Inspired by recent discoveries and realizations, and catalyzed by this week’s conversation with Mark Hatmaker, this week’s mettle maker is taking an entirely different form.  Rather than a list of dos and don’ts, prescriptions, and so forth, this week I’m going to simply give you a grab bag of material that I hope you will find inspiring, enlightening, and fun — something that will get you out from behind the laptop and out into the world to breathe, train, live, and find your own innovations and realizations.

Regular followers of the mettle maker chime in.  Perhaps you’ll actually prefer this format over the traditional.

Fulgurite: Mettle Maker #255

124711 sets repsful·gur·ite \’ful-g(y)ə-,rit\ n [Latin fulgur] : 1. glass formed by a lightning strike melting sand or other material. 2. a physical representation of a transitory event or experience.

“Art is actually a process rather than an end product…with any luck the process is embedded in the byproduct…it’s a crystallized act of exploration.”  ~Jordan B. Peterson

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

A Day in the Life: Mettle Maker #254

Listen to modern culture and the message you get is that we are free to do, wear, say, choose and pursue whatever we want virtually without consequence, that there are infinite viable paths to a life of fulfillment, that all perspectives, philosophies and approaches are equal, and that being care-free is the way to happiness.

But that’s a lie.

Some things work and others don’t.  It turns out that…

and so on. Toward that end, what sort of choices are you making?

What does your typical day look like?

A Day in the Life: Mettle Maker #254

    • Rise and shine. Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope or footwork (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
    • wp-1617379958337.jpgDo your Chores.  Get out your sledge, a sandbag (I used #55), a sturdy stand at least waist high (I used on inverted heavy duty trash can), and your dull training weapons.  Set timer for 5 mins.  Do 1 Shovel vs. the sandbag. Put down the sledge, load and unload the sandbag onto the stand, then shoulder it and walk 25 yards.  Put the sand bag down and strike your heavy bag 5 times using fists, feet, or training weapon of choice.  Then do 2 Shovels, 2 Loads, a 25-yard Shoulder Carry, and 10 strikes.  Next round, 3 Shovels, 3 Loads, a 25-yard Shoulder Carry, and 15 strikes.  Switch striking tool as often as you like.  Keep climbing as fast as you can until the timer beeps.  When it does, finish the set you’re on then descend the pyramid back to beginning.  Created using Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble Fitness Dice ©.  Get some.
    • Take your constitutional.  What’s a constitutional? constitutional \’kän(t)-stə-‘t(y)ü-shən-ªl\ n 1. Belonging to, or inherent in, the constitution or structure of one’s body or mind.  a constitutional infirmity, constitutional ardour or dullness 2. For the benefit of one’s constitution or health. a constitutional walk.  Complete this month’s constitutional as follows: Sprints (25), Mtn. Climbers (25 full), Shrimps (25), Back Bridges (50), Ploughs (25), Sit-out Push-ups (25), Squats (100).  If desired, add a heavy bag or other weight to the Back Bridges and cut the reps.  Advanced players sub neck bridges.
    • Cook your supper.  This right here is Curly Dock, a.k.a., Rumex Crispus, which I came across on my property the other day.  In a survival situation, cook young leaves in several changes of water.  In summer the plant dries to a dark brown color and looks scorched, at which time the seed pods can be harvested and ground into a buckwheat-like meal and fried into cakes or boiled into gruel. Note: Curly Dock leaves contain oxalic acid which isn’t good for people who suffer from kidney stones, gout, or related illnesses.
    • emerald tab steele singerSit down with a book. “Read with diligence, and do not rest satisfied with light and superficial common knowledge.”  ~Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.  Since our spiritual symbol of the month is the Hourglass, let’s turn to the Emerald Tablet, an obscure but profound ancient writing which speaks to the concepts inherent in the hourglass symbol. Below is an excerpt from The Emerald Table, an article by Robert Steele and Dorothea Waley Singer that appeared in The Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol. 21, Issue 3, 1928.

“The Emerald Table itself is a brief summary of the principles of change in Nature, the foundation of alchemical doctrine, which purports to have been found on a plaque of emerald in the hands of the corpse of Hermes Trismegistus. There are several forms of it in Arabic, and their divergence is wide enough to make it probable that its ultimate origin must be sought, before the Islamic invasion, in Alexandrian philosophy, when Egypt was still Christian, though with a Pagan element. Kircher, a learned Jesuit of the seventeenth century, suggested that it was compounded of extracts from the Poimander and AEsculapius, Jamblichus and Proclus. But the oldest forms of the text we possess are all in Arabic, and Latin versions come early in the history of the transmission of science, one in the tract of Apollonius de principalibus rerum causis, another the central portion of the text here published, still another embedded in the Secretum Secretorum, while other forms are found in various later works. We give an English version, somewhat expanded:

THE EMERALD TABLET

True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true. That which is above is like to that
which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the
miracles of one thing.
And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from this one thing by
a single act of adaptation.
The father thereof is the Sun, the mother the Moon.
The wind carried it in its womb, the earth is the nurse thereof.
It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.
The power thereof is perfect.
If it be cast on to earth, it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle
from the gross.
With great sagacity it doth ascend gently from earth to heaven.
Again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself the force from things superior and
things inferior.
Thus thou wilt possess the glory of the brightness of the whole world, and all obscurity
will fly far from thee.
This thing is the strong fortitude of all strength, for it overcometh every subtle thing and
doth penetrate every solid substance.
Thus was this world created.
Hence will there be marvellous adaptations achieved, of which the manner is this.
For this reason I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three parts of the
wisdom of the whole world.
That which I had to say about the operation of Sol is completed.



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Get Real: Training Involution 106

Late to the party?  This month’s focuses are Wrestling and The Hourglass.

Get Real: Training Involution #106

  • Wrestling Conditioner #4.  Set timer for 10 mins.  Shin Ride your heavy bag and strike x10, mount and strike x10, roll to bottom position and up-strike x10, then bridge, knee boost, or hip escape from under the bag, and repeat as many times as you can before the timer beeps.  Strike full power and take as few 12-count breaks as possible in order to finish.
  • Jump rope for 10 mins, as fast as you are able.  Take as few 12-count breaks as possible in order to finish.
  • Have you memorized the Emerald Tablet yet?  Yes?  Good job!  No?  This is Cabal Fang, it’s only 250 words, and its required.  “Chop-chop — I’m waiting,” I say.  “But why?” you reply.  Because The Emerald Tablet is a 1,000+ year-old piece of wisdom literature that describes “reality” as a conversation between consciousnesses — and so does this 20-minute TED talk by Donald Hoffman, which tackles the idea that consciousness is prime, not matter.

Thanks, Funds, Cheers, Pics and Training Involution #105

Regular followers know that my son and I did the Rugged Maniac on May 5th and collected money for the Cabal Fang Temple Fund.  Here are some pics from the event.

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Thanks to everyone for buying t-shirts, contributing to my Patreon account, sponsoring the Rugged Maniac event, sharing links, commenting on my posts, liking my videos and generally being supportive.  Every little bit helps.

Basically everything goes into the Temple Fund so that we can save up enough money to buy a building.  We really want some permanent digs so that Cabal Fang can expand its seminar and class offerings and endure into perpetuity.¹  

Thanks to you, the Cabal Fang Temple Fund stands at a whopping $1,333.78.

Here’s a screen shot of the new bank account I set up for the temple fund — we’ve got thirteen hundred bucks — woot-woot!

But enough about boring financial stuff — time for the T.I. of the week!

One Trick Pony: Training Involution #105

Our focuses this month are Wrestling and The Hourglass.

  • Bad Karma calisthenics session.  Set timer for 12 minutes.  Finish as many sets as you can in 12 minutes of 8 each: Back Neck Bridges, Get-ups, Squats, and Sit-out Push-ups (a.k.a. “Barrel Roll Push-ups”).  Like this workout?  You’ll love my book The Calisthenics Codex (5 stars on Goodreads and in the Top 10 calisthenics books at Barnes & Noble).
  • One trick pony a weak spot.  What’s the weakest part of your Wrestling game?  Is your Sit-out washed up?  Is your Shrimp dead in the water?  Is your scrambling game hard-boiled, or is it not what it’s cracked up to be?  Whatever your weakest move is, set a timer for 10 to 20 minutes and do nothing but that one move for the entire duration.  Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
  • Start memorizing the Emerald Tablet.  The Emerald Tablet just may be the world’s first piece of interfaith literature — revered by the wise and educated of every nation across the ancient world from its first appearance in 8th century Persia to the desk of Isaac Newton all the way down to today.  Do yourself a favor and memorize it (it’s required of all Cabal Fang distance learning students by the way).  Full text below.  If you memorize this bit of wisdom literature I promise you that it will pay dividends as long as you live.

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus

True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true. That which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of one thing. 

And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from this one thing by a single act of adaptation. 

The father thereof is the Sun, its mother the Moon.

The wind carried it in its womb, the earth is the nurse thereof.

It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.

The power thereof is perfect.

If it be cast on to earth, it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle from the gross.

With great sagacity it doth ascend gently from earth to heaven.

Again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself the force from things superior and things inferior.

Thus thou wilt possess the glory of the brightness of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly far from thee.

This thing is the strong fortitude of all strength, for it overcometh every subtle thing and doth penetrate every solid substance.

Thus was this world created. Hence will there be marvelous adaptations achieved, of which the manner is this.

For this reason I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.

That which I had to say about the operation of Sol is completed.

(Steele and Singer translation, 1927)


¹ Full disclosure: I don’t take a salary from Cabal Fang Temple, Inc. and I rarely pay myself back for the stuff I buy for the organization.  And since I never have enough deductions to itemize my taxes, I never get the charitable deduction either.  That needs to change though, so  going forward I’m going to start categorizing those expenses as loans so that when and if Cabal Fang Temple Inc. starts bringing in any money I can repay myself.  Patreon support goes go into my pocket of course, but it never offsets what I spend on Cabal Fang.  

Take One of Each: Workout of the Week #71

Foreground: Craft sticks (1 qt. paint stirrers) with workouts on written them to be pulled at random from a cup. Background: Linear progression training program.

The Cabal Fang Workout of the Week is a three-parter that starts with an analysis of your workout plan.

If you’re training in Cabal Fang you are already keeping a training log or journal.  But if that’s all your doing, and you have no firm workout schedule, you’re missing out on big gains in skills and fitness.

Here are some questions to ask yourself today:

  • Do you have a written workout/training schedule?
  • Is it structured such that it incorporates linear progression and or periodicity?
  • Does it have a cyclic structure, a.k.a. an “off season?”
  • Does in include an element of randomness, or at least some room to pick what you feel like doing from time to time?
  • Does it contain at least one rest day per week?
  • How about at least two yearly breaks of one week each during which you do not exercise at all?
  • Does it include a plan for when you miss a workout due to illness, work-life-family needs and the generally unexpected?
  • Do you have an Burnout Self-Check protocol?
  • Do you make frequent small adjustments and course corrections based on results or lack thereof?

My martial arts oriented workout plan looks like this:

  • Sunday: Rest Day
  • Mon – Sat: Body toughening (15 mins) and temple rites (meditation, contemplation and prayer).
  • M: Weights, run or bike (Run Fall/Win, Bike in Spr/Sum — always high intensity 10 – 20 mins), solo martial arts practice (2 sections of 10 – 15 mins each chosen at random — see photo above)
  • T: Solo martial arts practice (early AM), martial arts group training (PM, 90 mins)
  • W: Weights, solo martial arts, hike (#40 pack, 1 hour)
  • Th: Run or bike, solo martial arts (early AM), martial arts group training (PM, 90 mins)
  • F: Weights, solo martial arts, hike

Almost every aspect of the above training as a linear progression element to insure consistent improvement over time.  If you’d like to check it out in detail, click here to view the Google Sheet.  You’ll find every workout I’ve done since 2012 (I’ve been logging all my workouts for over 10 years, I just don’t have them all online).

Interested in those little paddles with the random martial arts workouts on them?  Next week I’ll explain why I’m using them instead of dice these and I’ll give you some helpful hings for designing your own.

And now for the actual workout part of the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #71

  • Pick one calisthenics exercise and complete as many as you can before the timer beeps.  Beginners set your timer for 5 to 10 minutes, intermediate 10 – 15 minutes, advanced players for 15 or 20 minutes. Pick any exercise you want.  I generally prefer whole-body ones for this (Bodybuilders, Splays a.k.a. Down-ups, Jumping Jacks, Burpees a.k.a. Squat Thrusts, etc.) but there’s something to be said for Push-ups and Squats too.
  • Meditation of One.  This month at the club our spiritual focus is the Emerald Tablet.  Start my memorizing the second line of the Emerald Tablet: “That which is below is like that which is above, and that which is above is like that which is below to accomplish the miracles of one thing.”  Now dim the lights, be seated in your favorite meditative posture and set a timer for 10 minutes.  Relax, close your eyes and and silently recite the line in your head over and over until the timer beeps.  Record in your training journal any thoughts, feelings, impressions and mental images that appear in your mind’s eye.
Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.