Tag Archives: involution

TCB: Martial Arts Training Involution #197

TCB means “Takin’ Care of Business,” which is also the title of a great song by Bachman Turner Overdrive about how working hard at what you love isn’t work at all, whereas punching a clock doing something you hate is a “slaving job to get your pay.”

My redneck Bench Press set-up.

Sprinkled throughout this post are some shots of me lifting homemade weights at 6:30 AM in the crappy lean-to I put out behind my tool shed.  It was 30° F.

And yet it was a blast.   Because if you love what you’re doing it ain’t work.  It’s art.

If you love your art you will do whatever it takes to make it, including fashion your own weights from auto tires, decking boards, tarps, and old metal pipes.  And you will do it with joy and a sense of pride.  This whole set-up cost me just a little over $100.00.

This is my yoke for safely doing Back Squats solo.

I used to hate the thought of lifting weights.  But when I tried it and found out how much stronger it made me, and how more effective as a martial artist, I was hooked.   Now I love it.

Sometimes I do not want to do certain things.  For example, Bear Walks, Shots and Sprawls really suck.  But they make my art — my martial art — “prettier” if that makes sense.

I hope it does.  Because if you don’t find a way to love and appreciate the things you need to do in support of your martial arts, you’re training is going to be either laborious or lopsided.

TCB: Martial Arts Training Involution #197

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) something aerobic, like jogging of jumping rope (b) some light calisthenics like Half Squats, Push-ups on knees, Touching toes, Arm Swings etc. and (c) shadowboxing or light heavy bag work.
  • 3 x 8 Grappling drill.  Complete 3 sets of 8 reps each of Throws (I picked Seoi Nage), Clinch Maneuvers (I did Cross-arm Clinch Rear Lunges), and Bear Walks (15′).  Use a grappling dummy, floor bag, or weighted duffel bag for the Throws and Clinches.  Your final count should be 24 Throws, 24 Clinches, and 24 Bear Walks (300′ or 100 yards), all in about 10 minutes.
  • 11 minutes on the heavy bag — all-in for power.  Break it up into round lengths appropriate to your fitness level.  Beginners: 4 x 2:00/1:00, intermediates: 3 x 3:00/1:00, advanced: 2 x 5:00/1:00.  Go at your bag with the intent to do as much damage as you possibly can.  Punch it.  Kick it.  Body lock it and squeeze as hard as you can.  Don’t hang on it — but do practice clinching, stepping into cross-buttocks position, etc.
  • 10+ minutes of sacred reading.  Pick a book that’s good for your spiritual development and spend some time reading.  Doesn’t have to be overtly religious, like the Holy Bible or the Tao Te Ching — it can be something that promotes mindfulness, wisdom, or philosophy.  Read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Occidental Mythology, Modern Man in Search of a Soul or whatever you like.  Meditation, contemplation, prayer and spiritual reading are the four cornerstones of the spiritual life and none should be neglected.


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Warrior Rising: Martial Arts Training Involution #196

Tough constitutional this month.¹  Most take a little over 20 mins to start but get knocked down to ~15 by the end of the month.  This one took 30+ the first time and still hasn’t been done in under 20 yet.

The fifth exercise is generating questions so here’s the low-down.  Whether you’re in Japan or Joliet  there’s only so many ways for a warrior to kneel and stand while maintaining a stable base for fight or flightThe Japanese Get-up is the traditional method I learned doing Japanese and Korean martial arts, and it’s pretty universal.

Which means it also applies to Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble.  Can’t you you imagine a mixed bag of strangers, natives, farmers and trappers perhaps, kneeling around a trading blanket?  If you were in that circle, wouldn’t you’d want to appear as non-aggressive as possible while also maintaining your ability to fight or flee at any moment?  Sure you would.  There’s a video below.

Warrior Rising: Martial Arts Training Involution #196

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) something aerobic, like jogging of jumping rope (b) some light calisthenics like Half Squats, Push-ups on knees, Touching toes, Arm Swings etc. and (c) shadowboxing or light heavy bag work.
  • Heavy bag ziggurat for power.  In architecture, a ziggurat is a stepped pyramid in the ancient Mesopotamian style.  In training terms, a ziggurat is what I call a stepped pyramid for time instead of for reps using 30 second (:30) increments.  Set timer to beep every :30.  Strike heavy bag with full power for one :30 interval then then rest for :30.  Then strike for two intervals (1:00) then rest for :30.  Then do three (1:30/:30), four (2:00/:30) and finally five intervals (2:30/:30) and go back down again.  That will be a total of = 16.5 minutes of oxygen sucking goodness.
  • Complete the February constitutional.  Beginners take care — this one’s real peach.  If you can only do half, that’s fine.  Carve away it and maybe you get through all of it by the end of the month.
  • 10 minutes of eyes open contemplation.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Remain completely motionless.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch and do not think in words.  Simply sit and experience reality in stillness.  

¹ If you’re new around here, a constitutional is a set of 7 calisthenics.  In Cabal Fang we create a new constitutional at the beginning of each month and work it twice a week with the goal of getting it done in under 20 minutes.


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Crop Circles: Martial Arts Training Involution #195

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This training involution is called “Crop Circles” because (a) you go in circles and (b) it contains exercises that can are based on real chores one might do on a farm growing crops.

Real-world fitness is built in to Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble martial arts and is central to Cabal Fang as well.

This particular involution was created using Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble Dice © available here.

Crop Circles: Martial Arts Training Involution #195

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) something aerobic, like jogging of jumping rope (b) some light calisthenics like Half Squats, Push-ups on knees, Touching toes, Arm Swings etc. and (c) shadowboxing or light heavy bag work.
  • A Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble pyramid.  Get yourself a weight — a sandbag, large bucket full of rocks, or even a dumbbell if that’s all you have.  Suggested weights beg/sm #40, int/med #60, adv/lg #80.  Set up a bench, shelf, truck bed, etc. to load onto.  Beg/sm 3′ high, int/med 4′, adv/lg 5′.  Mark off an 8′ – 10′  diameter  circle.  Cabal Fang folks, and others who fight unarmed, go empty-handed.  FRT folks, stick a sheathed tomahawk in your belt.  Others who train armed, select your dull weapon of choice.  Pick up the weight in one hand and Suitcase Carry it around the circle once.  Then pick it up and load it onto your bench/shelf, release, then pick it up and put it back on the ground.  Deploy your weapon and pursue an imaginary enemy around the circle one time with maximum malice.  Next, with weapon in hand, complete one shoulder roll.  Then walk 2 circles, load your weight 2 times, pursue the enemy around the circle 2 times and do 2 shoulder rolls.  Then 3 of each, 4 of each, and 5 of each, then go back down to 1 of each.  Take as few 12-second breaks as needed to finish.  Your goal should be to complete this in 20 minutes or less.
  • 10 minutes of eyes open contemplation.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Remain completely motionless.  Do not fidget, wiggle or scratch and do not think in words.  Simply sit and experience reality in stillness.  

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Pull and Hit: Martial Arts Training Involution #194

This is the last involution in the striking series for this month.  In the video below you can see my son Robert experimenting with a Rough ‘n’ Tumble, Hatmaker-styled pulling towel for street-ready fighting combos.

Obviously this approach assumes clothing, which means that it wouldn’t work in a shirtless MMA environment.  But in the real world there’s almost always a shirt of some kind, and this time of year there’s often a coat — even better.

By all means at least try putting a towel on your heavy bag.  Mine went on and never came off.

Pull and Hit: Martial Arts Training Involution #194

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 3 x 3:00/1:00 on the heavy bag with the towel.  Experiment with both one and two-handed pulls.  Which do you like best?  Make sure when you give the bag a yank that you pull down as much as you do inward.  You want your opponent to get off balance and, if possible, for his head to come down so you can clobber him with a rabbit punch to the back of the head.
  • 3 x 3:00/1:00 sparring with the pulling technique.  Obviously you never want to strike your training partners with a rabbit punch!  But what you can do is put shirts you don’t care about and practice your quick grabs and yanks.  If you do get your partner’s head down, substitute a hammer strike to the bicep or lats.  Really get after it — this is the great thing about grappling and wrestling: you can go really hard without too much risk of injury.  It’s the striking, and risks of concussion, that present the highest risks.  Play safe, modify, adapt, and overcome.
  • 10 minutes of meditation on why you’re doing martial arts.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Spend the time meditating on your reason for practicing martial arts.  Do not think in words.   Step back.  Imagine that you are watching your martial arts highlight reel playing on television,  It plays backwards from the moment you shut your eyes all the way back to the moment you first started your martial journey.  Experience the mental images without linguistic thinking until the timer beeps.  Pick up your training journal, write down what you saw and learned, and then begin to explore in words why you’re doing martial arts.  The answer may be different than you think!

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Bubble Buster: Martial Arts Training Involution #193

Bubblegum Bubblegum in a dish
How many pieces do you wish?
1,2,3,4,5,6,7
8,9 10 and then 11
Bubblegum Bubblegum in a shoe
How many pieces can you chew?

Do you remember that old jump rope rhyme from when you were a kid?

Well, around these parts we believe jumping rope was great for you back then and that it’s still good for you now.

Are you one of those naysayers who says that jumping rope doesn’t benefit martial artists?  Well, this T.I. is your bubble buster.  Shut your pie hole until you’ve worn out a few ropes.

Bubble Buster: Martial Arts Training Involution #193

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 3 x 3:00/1:00 on the heavy bag.  Do all three rounds with your focus on mobility.  Lots of slips, circling, lumberjack hooks, décollage kicks, etc. Up, down, back, forth, in, out!
  • 15o kicks vs. the heavy bag as fast as you can.  Really get after it, but don’t let your power level get below 75%.  If you cannot get this done in under 5 minutes you should do this drill more often.
  • Jump rope conditioner.  Set a timer for 1:00 rounds, no breaks.  Alternate rounds of jumping rope and Bodybuilders for 10 minutes.  See how many Bodybuilders you can complete (I got 32) and how few jump rope flubs you can make (I made two).
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  In Cabal Fang we use various symbols to access universal truths about ourselves the world we live in.  Pick one of the Cabal Fang’s twelve symbols — Quill, Hourglass, Hand of Mysteries, Bell, Candle, Rose, the Luminaries, Chalice, Book, Cross, Pentangle or Staff.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Visualize the symbol and meditate on it until the timer beeps.  Do not think in words — you want to experience the symbol outside the linguistic/logical spectrum.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Lift-Off: Martial Arts Training Involution #192

Noah Scalin’s “Vanitas”

When you were a kid in school — or maybe studying mixed media in university — you did collages.

Collage is a French word that means glue or stick down.  A collage is generally done by taking snippets of magazines, posters, newspapers, etc. and pasting them all together to make art.  They’re pretty cool.  One of my favorites is Noah Scalin’s piece called Vanitas (see right).

A décollage I made called “Citizen Number One with a Bullet”

There’s also a lesser known art form called décollage, which is kind of the opposite.  It’s French for un-glue or maybe lift-off.  To illustrate, I made a little décollage of my own (see below right).  Décollage is done by ripping off stuff to reveal other stuff.

In this week’s T.I. we’re not going to do anything that has to do with paper.  But it is striking month at Cabal Fang headquarters.  So we are going to practice our décollage from a striking perspective.  That is, we’re going to practice the décollage from Savate.

If you are totally unfamiliar with the martial arts version of the décollage, follow my YouTube channel — there will be a video on the décollage this coming Wednesday.

Lift-Off: Martial Arts Training Involution #192

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Do the monthly constitutional.  What’s that?  It’s the calisthenics routine we select each month at Cabal Fang.  You can find it by clicking here.
  • 15 minutes of décollage.  Do 10-rep sets of the following combos until the timer beeps.  If you don’t have a partner, just practice them vs. your heavy bag.  Reverse them if you fight southpaw.  (1) Offense only combo: Left Jab, Right Cross, Décollage Left, Right Roundhouse Kick.  (2) Counter combo vs. lead hand Jab-Hook combo: Slip Right, Bob, Décollage Right, Left Roundhouse Kick. (3) Exchange combo: Left Jab, Right Cross,  Left Foot Piston Check (vs. opponent’s Roundhouse), drop step into Left Décollage, Right Roundhouse Kick.
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  In Cabal Fang we use various symbols to access universal truths about ourselves the world we live in.  Pick one of the Cabal Fang’s twelve symbols — Quill, Hourglass, Hand of Mysteries, Bell, Candle, Rose, the Luminaries, Chalice, Book, Cross, Star or Staff.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, have a seat in your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Visualize the symbol and meditate on it until the timer beeps.  Do not think in words — you want to experience the symbol outside the linguistic/logical spectrum.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Can Do View: Martial Arts Training Involution #191

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Can-do attitude is one of the key things shared by the two martial arts I teach — Cabal Fang and Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble.

When you need to train a certain skill or body mechanic you don’t make excuses about the weather, your lack of money or equipment, or your limited time.  You don’t whine about your bum knee or any of that.

You find a way to train so as to fill the gap safely and efficiently.  You modify, adapt and overcome.

You get it done.

This isn’t just a material truth for the training hall.  It is also a spiritual truth for the ages, as you are about to see in…

Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble Fitness Dice

Can Do View: Martial Arts Training Involution #191

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 20 mins of practical all-in self-defense and fitness.  2 mins each, twice through of each exercise: Sledgehammer shovels, Jumps (SBJs or Boxes, your choice), Sled Pulls, Shoulder Carries, and Weapon Strikes v. Heavy Bag.  Improvise!  If you don’t have a sled, load up a plastic trash can lid and tie a rope to it.  Shoulder a bag of mulch or a floor bag.  Whatever training weapon you use — stick, rubber/wood training knife, etc. — carry it with you for the whole 20 min. duration (in your hand or belt) to build your command and mastery of the weapon during real life activities.  This involution was created using the green FRT dice in the photo above!
  • 10 minutes of meditation.  The present emerges to us out of the future, which is to say that what you are today is a consequence of the greatest possible future you were capable of admitting yesterday. You cannot achieve the incredible unless you attempt the impossible.  Aim for no less than heaven and maybe you’ll get close.  Have a seat and meditate on that for 10 mins.

 

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?