L: The diadem of a famous Amazon from comic books and movies. R: The Star of Ishtar. Coincidence? I think not!
Long before the 2017 movie, Cabal Fang was using an 8-point combat clock called the Star of Ishtar — a universal symbol for the divine feminine associated with the ancient Babylonian goddess Ishtar. You will note that the star on this fictional Amazon’s diadem is a star of similar design.
Symbols colonize our subconscious minds and permeate the world’s cultures.
It’s quite possible the artists and costume designers working on the film didn’t consciously change the original 5-pointed star from the comic books to an 8-pointed Star of Ishtar. They probably did it without even realizing they were doing it.
Stay tuned — The next of SHIFT will contain a video exploring this in more detail.
In the meantime, for this week’s involution we’re going to take our training inspiration from Amazon warriors and ancient symbols…
My forging post. Note Tarot poster featuring Star of Ishtar
Amazon Babylon: Martial Arts Training Involution #207
- Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
- 10 minutes of crams. Get on your forging post, pell or war-post and work your crams. If you don’t have a post, use your grappling dummy today — and then go put up a post in your gym or back yard tomorrow.
- Practice the Star of Ishtar drill for 10 minutes. Don’t know it? It’s in the Cabal Fang Study Course.
- 10 minutes of heavy carries. Want to be Amazon strong? The ancients had no barbells — they carried loads and lifted stones. Set a timer for 10 minutes and bear hug or shoulder carry your heavy bag (or appropriate substitute based on your fitness level) until the timer beeps. Put the weight down and take a break as few times as possible. Finish the whole 10 minutes without putting it down and you’re either a monster or you picked too light a load.
- 1 mile run. The ancient Greeks were big on running. Cover a mile as fast as you can.
- Contemplation. Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes. Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to insure a slow and consistent rhythm that completely fills and empties your lungs without bearing down on your breath. Eyes open. Gently allow your mind to empty and calm itself. Don’t make war with thoughts, just let them pass by, dissipating like ripples on the surface of a pond.
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I like to scrawl stuff on chalk boards. It’s a teacher-coachy-thing.
No sparring allowed during the pandemic kids. You’re going to have to stay fighting fit via the solo training route. How? By doing stuff that’s as close to real fighting as possible of course!
Keep it real, keep it relevant, and keep it rigorous. REAL means you’re doing stuff that’s as close as possible to what real people do in real life. RELEVANT means that it relates to what you want to get better at. And RIGOROUS means that you are paying attention to doing the work properly in terms of technique and intensity.
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The following involution was created using the Scufflin’ Dice program available in my web shop. Go get yourself some for just $9.99.
Sprawl ‘n’ Crawl: Martial Arts Training Involution #204
* Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
* 15 minutes of floor bag work. Get out your floor bag (a heavy bag with the chains taped up) and set a countdown timer for 15 minutes.
- Sprawls. Lay floor bag on side and Sprawl with forearms to the bag 4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
- Bear Walks: Approx 25′, 4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
- Shots: Stand the bag on end, back up a couple of steps, and shoot in on the bag for a takedown. 4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
- Bag Lifts. Get the bag from the floor to your shoulder any way you like. 4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
- Bear Hug the bag: Stand up and squeeze with it with max power cutting bone pressure of the forearm until you gas out.
- Repeat until the timer rings.
* Contemplation. Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes. Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to insure a slow and consistent rhythm that completely fills and empties your lungs without bearing down on your breath. Eyes open. Gently allow your mind to empty and calm itself. Don’t make war with thoughts, just let them pass by, dissipating like ripples on the surface of a pond.
On April 30th my new newsletter SHIFT goes live. This is where everything I do will come together — my fitness work, my primitive skills and martial arts material, my management, coaching and financial advice, and of course my spiritual teaching. Sign up now to get tips, fun and inspirational articles, quizzes, meditations, exercises, and more — all 100% free — and guaranteed to shift you in a new whole new gear.
If you enjoyed this week’s involution there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy The Hourglass Way: Transform in 12 Weeks with Cabal Fang. This short, laser-focused workbook could change your life. CLICK THE PIC to download the e-Booklet!
For unrelenting misery there’s nothing quite like the sensation of being squeezed — by problems (social, work, health, financial, etc.), by a training partner (wrestling practice anyone?) or by a real threat. I speak from experience. I have, at one time or another, been squished, crushed, and wrung out by everything listed above.
When life — or your training partner or assailant — puts the squeeze on you, you need to squeeze right back.
This week’s involution will (a) help you start developing your crushing power by making you crack a sack, and (b) get you motivated to solve and overcome any social, work, health or financial problems you may be facing by pushing you to get your crack out of the sack.
Sack Cracker: Martial Arts Training Involution #167
As always, warm up full before you begin.
- Crack yourself a sack. Get a floor bag (a heavy bag with chains taped). Make one if necessary. Set timer for 10 mins. Scissor lock the bag from the bottom and squeeze as hard as you can. Straighten your trunk while you hit the top of his “head” with hammer fists. When your legs gas, swap top/bottom foot position and repeat three more times. Roll to top position and straddle the bag. Complete a Smearing Push-up and a Horizontal Bag Lift (my version of Hatmaker’s KSB). Repeat three more times. When you finish the last lift, lay a Scarf Hold on the bag, squeeze as hard as you can, and then switch grips and hips four times. Drop the bag, go back to scissors, and repeat until the timer beeps. Video below.
- Get your crack out of the sack. Run 1 mile as fast as you can.
- Sack up and crack right back. Whatever pressures are putting the squeeze on you — social, work, health, financial, etc. — there is always something you can do. Restriction breeds creativity, not freedom. Get paper and pen and set a timer for three minutes. Don’t analyze and think deeply — you’ll do that later — just throw out ideas! Write down as many things as you can that might help your situation. When the timer beeps, calmly review and analyze the list. Pick the three best ideas. Put them on your to-do list, set completion dates on your calendar, and son. Taking action — any kind of action — is better than laying there and letting life, your opponent, or your assailant, crush the life out of you.
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