Tag Archives: hand of mysteries

Fight Dirty: Mettle Maker #248

Fight Dirty: Mettle Maker #248

  • 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, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Face some foul weather dirty work.  I’m pretty accustomed to training outdoors.  But this week the weather has been so completely icy, frozen and inhospitable that a couple of mornings I just couldn’t train out there.  So every half our or so throughout the day I did 10 each of PUP and SQT.  Be extra scrupulous about form and pace — 2-count descent, 1 count hesitate at the bottom, 2-count press, 1-count hesitate at the top.
  • command master dice20 min. command and mastery knife pyramid drill.  Get a dull training knife and a floor bag or grappling dummy.  Set timer for 1o mins.  Complete 1 of each of the following four exercises (a) 5 attacks to bag from Top Saddle, roll to bottom, 5 attacks from Bottom Scissors, Reverse back to Top Saddle.  Do a Smearing Get-up (don’t forget the push-cut).  (b) Sprawl.  (c) Sit-ups with a double “X” air slash (step over bag, hook rear toes, and fall back into over/under Short Arm Bar position and work from there).  Then do 2 of each, 3, 4, etc. until timer beeps.  Finish that set, then descend.   50 Push-up penalty if the business end of the training weapon touches your body at any point during the drill.  If any of this doesn’t make sense, sounds like you should enroll in one of my distance learning programs — either Cabal Fang or Bobcat Martial Arts.
  • Have you done this month’s constitutional twice this week?  If not, get it done.  If so, reward yourself with something nice, like a long walk, a new book, or a fun fitness tool, etc.
  • Do you know the prevailing wind direction for your home territory?  In my area, the wind most often blows from the south in summer and the north in winter (see wind rose on the right).  Find the regional climate center for your state, do a search, and generate the wind roses for you stomping grounds.  If you know the ICAO code for the airport climate center nearest you, plug it into the URL from at the WRCC and you can get what you need, or if you’re in the SE, just go the the NCCOYou can’t rely on wind direction if you get lost, but you can use it as a backup, for support of a supposition, to determine if there’s a new weather pattern blowing in, etc.
  • Giant hand sculpture outside Squash-a-Penny Junction. It’s not a Hand of Mysteries or even a hamsa, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was?

    Fight as dirty with yourself as you would in self-defense.  Last week your assignment was to put one of the Five Vital Graces (Wonder, Sagacity, Frugality, Indomitability and Fraternity) into action.  This week be extra self-critical.  Keep a notepad or a scrap of paper and a pen in your pocket.  Write down the Five Vital Graces on the paper.  If you catch yourself behaving in a manner inconsistent with one of the five precepts, put an “x” next to it for that day.  Max score for a given day is 5 — one point for each precept you kept.  See if you get better over the course of the week.  “That which is measured improves.”

 



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!

Slip and Fall: Mettle Maker #247

Heads up!  This week’s mettle maker contains a coupon code for a flash sale at Mitch’s General Store so read on.

Slip and Fall: Mettle Maker #247

  • 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, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • slip ball shopEight minutes on your slip ball.  Set a timer for four minutes and get in front of your slip ball.  Put in 4 minutes in your preferred stance and another 4 in reverse stance.  Don’t have a slip ball?  Get a free one, handmade by yours truly, with any purchase of $20 or more at Mitch’s General Store.  Add a slip ball to your cart and use coupon code “21SLIP” at checkout.
  • Hit the dirt and scramble for a loose weapon.  If you are under attack and there’s a scramble over a loose weapon, be prepared to come out on top — without falling on a blade and injuring yourself in the process!  Put on safety goggles and toss a rubber or wood training weapon up in the air about 6′ away.  As soon as it hits the ground, dive forward and gain control of it with your right hand.  Your enemy just missed — attack the imaginary killer two or three times.   Stand up and repeat until timer beeps.  Put in four more rounds, one right and one left with baseball slide and shoulder roll.  That’s 6 minutes of practical self-defense action that’ll force you to practice all weapon grips with both hands while training practical movement.  If you need training on the specifics on grips, pickup and/or movement techniques you’ll have to show up at Cabal Fang or enroll in the Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble program.
  • Learn to tie a trucker’s hitch with a slip knot and two half hitches.  One of the most useful knots of all time, and my personal favorite.  In the pics below I’m using the knot to lash a t-shirt to a backpack.  But you could use this to hold a box onto a flatbed truck or to cinch down a tarp.
  • The Hand of Mysteries. Like the Hamsa, except there’s a fish in the palm instead of an eye. But the fish is the ichthys, which is the vesica piscis, so a fish is an eye. Sort of.

    Don’t fall from grace — fall into one of the Five Vital Graces.  This month’s spiritual symbol is the Hand of Mysteries, and each one of its fingers equates to one of the Five Vital Graces: Wonder, Sagacity, Frugality, Indomitability and Fraternity.  This week, put one or more Vital Graces into action in the real world.  Need examples?  You could travel to a new place and experience its majesty (Wonder), install a security or smoke alarm (Sagacity), sock away some money in savings (Frugality), do something that you’ve been putting off due to fear or dread (Indomitability), or help out a friend in need (Fraternity/Sorority).

 



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!

Handprints: Mettle Maker #246

This month’s martial focus is Evasion, and the spiritual focus is the Hand of Mysteries (see right).  These will the thematic elements around which the weekly Mettle Makers will revolve this month.

Heads up!  This week’s mettle maker contains a coupon code for a flash sale at Mitch’s General Store so read on.

Handprints: Mettle Maker #246

  • 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, light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Do the February constitutional. Calisthenics are the most efficient fitness investment when you factor in equipment cost, space, time investment, injury risk, and functional strength.  Do this month’s constitutional: 25 BRPs, 100 WTCs. 50 ZSQs, 25 CNPs, 100 JJKs, 25 GUPs, and 25 PUPs.
  • Put your hands on your floor bag and on the ground and make tracks.  Get out your floor bag or grappling dummy and set timer for 10 minutes.  Complete 6 Wrestling Shots away from your floor bag,  Bear Walk back, and then pick up the bag and squeeze it as hard as you can using a Gable grip.  When you gas out on the squeeze, put down the bag and repeat.  Cycle through this as many times as you can in 10 minutes.  If you aren’t breathing hard when you get done, you are either a very fit person or you paced yourself.  Created using Scufflin’ Dice ©   — available at Mitch’s General Store.  Use coupon code FEBFLASH at checkout to get any set of dice for 50% off.
  • Look for some handprints in the snow — some critter handprints that is.  As I mentioned last week, the snow makes animal tracks incredibly easy to spot and follow, and it’s so much fun. Last week we tracked a raccoon.  This week watch this video and go look at a rabbit and a squirrel to see if we can determine which way they’re jumping.
  • Speak to the hand.  The Hand of Mysteries that is.  Watch this cool video about this remarkable symbol.

 



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!

Throwing Hands: Martial Arts Training Involution #175

Giant hand sculpture outside Squash-a-Penny

Since I’m camping this weekend, this week’s T.I. comes out a day early.  It flows out of last week’s theme about dogs and ties into the monthly internal focus at Cabal Fang which is the Hand of Mysteries.  The details following are an excerpt from a forthcoming module of my Frontier Rough & Tumble martial arts program. on animal teachers.

Throwing Hands: Martial Arts Training Involution #175

  • No talking, groaning,  grunting or complaining for the duration of the training session.  Let your hands do the talking.
  • Put your hands on the enemy.  Complete 100 Duck-Unders with the best form you can manage.  If you don’t have a partner, just do them shadow-style.  This is not a lunge.  Keep your spine perpendicular to the ground, head up, and pull hard on the rear hand.  Check your form here.
  • Throw some hands.  Heavy bag form drill.  Set a round timer for 3 rounds of 3:00/1:00.  Get after that bag with perfect form — practice your falling step, make sure your hips are fully involved, strike using the “right” part of your hands (based on your personal thoughts and/or martial style) and so on.  Count the strikes that you think are are not up to your usual snuff.  When all three rounds are over, do that number of Push-ups and write it down in your training journal.  Come back in a few days and beat your number.
  • Speak to the hand.  Not literally, figuratively.  Are you at least as evolved as a cave painter was 15,000 years ago?  Set a timer for  15 minutes and think about it.  What are your goals and aspirations?  What do you feel about  so strongly that would brave a dark cave with only a torch just to paint it on a wall?  Have you put in place an organizational method that insures you are setting goals and aiming at them?  Do you keep a journal?
  • Journal.  And, as always, record your performance, thoughts and realizations in your training journal when you’re done.

Of Hounds and Hands

The words hound and hand likely have the same origin in the Proto-Germanic word handuz.  What does handuz mean?  Well, as with most of these proto-lingual words, which are mostly interpolations and guesses, linguists aren’t exactly sure.  The best guess is to reach for” or possibly “to obtain.”  I’d add “to grasp” to that list. 

Think about it.  That’s what hands and dogs do, right?  Grab and hold?  I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that both seem awfully close to the word “hunt” which means to grab a-hold of something to eat.  Makes sense, doesn’t it, when you consider that hunting dogs are very important whenever and wherever you have to hunt in order to get fed?

Now let’s look at it another way.  One of the oldest symbols known to mankind is the hand outline.  It is very common, found across the globe in cave art created by prehistoric hunters.

Look at the example on the right from the Cave of Hands in Argentina.  These hands were made using a form of prehistoric air-brushing.  The painters placed their hands on the cave walls and used hollow bones to blow colored liquids onto the surface so that a negative would be left when the hand was removed.   

The Latin aspiro means “a puff of air.”  An aspiration is an expulsion of air following a choke.  But an aspiration is also a hope, dream or goal which one seeks to obtain, grasp or take hold of — something you hope a favorable wind will blow upon.  Is there a connection here?

So you see, the cave painting above literally screams aspiration.   There is even a target on the far left toward which everything in the entire painting is headed, as if toward some grand intersection.

The artists could have held an animal carcass or bone against the wall and created a negative in the same way the hands were created.  Or the hands could have been sketched to match the style of the animals.  But neither is the case.  The animals and geometric shapes are sketched and the hands are traced with realism.  So why is one sketched and the other rendered using the prehistoric equivalent of a photocopy?

Because the animals are symbolic.  They are the dream, the aspiration, the hope.  But the hands are real.

The animals in the painting are virtually identical.   Because you see, it doesn’t matter what the specific animal is.   Each animal in the picture is at once any animal and every animal.

The painting proclaims that if the human mind can conceive it and believe it, the human hand can achieve it.


DID YOU KNOW…that I have an awesome shop where you can buy all kinds of cool stuff, like martial arts training materials, bespoke books, artwork, and so on?  Check it out!

The Fiery Fish: Training Involution #122

The Hand of Mysteries. Like the Hamsa, except there’s a fish in the palm instead of an eye. But the fish is the ichthys, which is the vesica piscis, so a fish is an eye. Sort of.

Here at Cabal Fang HQ this month’s internal focus is the Hand of Mysteries and our martial focus is a two-fer — Counter-punching & Sparring.

The fiery fish that’s in the middle of the Hand of Mysteries symbolizes our ability to thrive in chaos, to adapt and overcome.

What’s with the symbols, and what good are they?  Well, symbols speak to our subconscious minds in ways that mere words cannot.  They are experienced and understood viscerally and visually.

With that in mind, and without further ado, I’m pleased to offer you…

The Fiery Fish: Training Involution #122

  1. Add a handicap.  Slip on a weighted vest, put one arm in a sling, wear an eye-patch, practice in the rain, train on uneven ground, etc. Use your common sense –don’t do anything ridiculous or unsafe! — just disrupt your usual body mechanics and/or routine.
  2. Complete this months’s Constitutional, “Escape Plan Drill.”   Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Sprint for 1:00, then Shadowbox or hit the Heavy Bag for 1:00 then pick a calisthenic and do as many reps as you can for 1:00. Repeat 4 more times for a total of 15 mins, picking a new calisthenic each round.  If you did this last week you should have written down your total laps/sprints your number of calisthenics reps.  See if you can best it despite your impairment.
  3. Now, despite your handicap, get through Wrestling Conditioner #1.  Set timer for 2 minute intervals and complete 2 minutes of each for a total of 10 minutes: 1. Circle the bag (forearms on bag and toes on floor, circle the bag using only legs and feet, alternating directions), 2. Mount and strike the bag (strike 10 times as hard as you can, body lock the bag, barrel-roll, regain mount, and repeat until the timer beeps).  3. Rolling pin the bag (Lie on your back with heavy-bag perpendicularly on top of your body and roll it up and down across torso, pushing and pulling like a rolling pin; press up the bag and let it drop on your torso to maintain your tolerance for the stresses of wrestling if you’re able),  4. Defend the bag (Lie on your back with bag on top of you longways. Push up the bag w/ left hand and strike it five times with the right, then switch and strike with the left hand, repeat) 5. Side Mount and Scissor (Scissor legs each direction 3 times, then scramble over bag with forearms and toes only, repeat).
  4. Watch the video below, then mediate on the Hand of Mysteries.  Don’t forget to write about what you learn in your training journal!

WOOTW #12

Update 7/18/19:  My club still uses the flag but we’re now called Cabal Fang Temple, and we’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational charity.  Visit our website or purchase our 12-week personal growth program at Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, or wherever fine e-books are sold.

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Original post:

The Hand of Mysteries

The Cabal Fang workout of the week is this month’s Constitutional at the Order of Seven Hills. See if you can get this done in under 18 minutes:

  • 100 Jump Squats
  • 25 Sprints (out and back to point 6 – 8 meters/yards away counts as 1)
  • 25 Help-ups*
  • 1 minute Front Plank
  • 25 Dive Bomber Push-ups
  • 100 Wall Touches
  • 25 Pikes

I’m so convinced you’ll love this workout that, if you do this work out and post in the comments below a link to a video of you doing so, I’ll send you a coupon for a free download of the Calisthenics Codex and put you down for a free download of the next martial arts book just as soon as it hits the street!

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* Clasp opposite hands with your partner in bro-handshake grip. Partner A squats and Partner B helps him/her up with a forceful bicep curl. Switch roles and repeat. That’s one rep. Switch hands half way through.