Tag Archives: involution

Stick and Move: Training Involution #123

Stick and Move: Training Involution #123

A competent fighter moves while hitting and hits while moving.  These drills should help with that.

(A) Set your timer for 3 rounds of 3:00 mins each.

  • Round 1 — 3 minute Constant Action Drill.  Shadowbox — with constant action! — until the timer beeps.  Plenty of slips, pops, bobs and weaves please.  And as Mark Hatmaker would say, “no lollygagging.”
  • Round 2 — 3 minute Lightning Bolt Drill.  Assume your fighting stance.  Punching all the while, surge backward at a 45° angle toward rear foot. Then surge 90° back in line with the lead foot.  Repeat to the extent of your training space.  Your path will resemble a lightning bolt.  Now surge forward, away from your rear foot, at a 45° angle, followed by a 90° surge back to center line.  Move like a fencer and never stop punching!  See video below.
  • Round 3 — Double-end Ball.  Get right on top of your double-end ball, so close that it will hit you in the face when it comes back, and fight with it for 3 minutes.  Hit while you dodge, dodge while you hit!  Don’t have a double-end ball?  Make one for less than $5.

(B) Complete a 1/2 mile Balboa Run.  I know, a half mile doesn’t seem like much.  But trust me, if you do it “Balboa-style” — arms punching the whole time — and you go as fast as you can, it’ll feel like a half marathon.  Still too easy?  Add a weighted vest (I used a #5 and that was plenty) or carry hand weights.

(C) Meditation.  After a thorough cool-down, set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes, assume your meditative posture of choice, and regulate your breathing.  Then pick one of the seven symbols in the Hand of Mysteries — the key, the lantern, the sun, the star, the crown, the moon, or the fiery fish —  and meditate on it’s meaning.  When done, as always, record your performance and your realizations in your training journal.

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!

Listen to the Hand: Training Involution #121

The Hand of Mysteries — original art by Cabal Fang Distance Learning student Arman Achuthan (copyright 2018 by Cabal Fang Temple Inc., all rights reserved)

At Cabal Fang Temple this month’s internal focus is the Hand of Mysteries.   Our external focus is being split between Counterpunching and Sparring.  With that in mind, I humbly submit for your approval…

Listen to the Hand: Cabal Fang Training Involution #121

  • Warm up thoroughly for a minimum of 8 mins.  Typically I will complete 25 Jumping Jacks, 25 Windmills, 25 Push-ups on knees, and 25 Half Squats.  Then I’ll jump rope or just bounce on toes for 2 – 3 mins, followed by Shadowboxing at 2/3 speed for another 2 – 3 mins.  And lastly I’ll run through my forms with full visualization and intent.
  • Backfist Half Pyramids (video below).  Throw a lead hand backfist vs. air. Then throw a mid-high double — don’t stop or stick between them, just a partial recoil.  Then throw a mid-high-mid triple, a mid-high-mid-high quadruple, etc.  Keep going up to 10.  Change stance and do it with the other hand.  Repeat as many times as you can for the duration.  Beginners 3 minutes, intermediate 6 minutes, advanced 10+ minutes.  Note: Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Do this drill 3x/week for a month and see what happens!
  • Escape Plan Drill.  An outdoor track is ideal for this drill, but sprints indoors are good also.  Set timer for 1:00 intervals.  Sprint for 1:00, then Shadowbox (3+ count combos only) for 1:00 then pick a calisthenic and do as many reps as you can for 1:00.  Repeat 5 more times for a total of 15 mins, picking a new calisthenic each round.  Record your numbers — total laps/sprints, number of combos, and calisthenics reps — and try to best it next week.
  • Hand of Mysteries Quiz and Meditation.  Look at the picture above (thanks Arman for creating the artwork and for you okay to use it).  Do you know which of the Five Vital Graces of Cabal Fang are associated with which symbol? Do you know which symbol equates to which finger?  If not, re-read Chapter 10 in the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  Then sketch your own version of the Hand, assume your meditative posture of choice,  prop your picture at eye level, and meditate on the image for 10 mins.

The Black Rose: Weekly Martial Arts Training Involution #120

People who attempt easy things are almost always successful.  People who try very difficult things fail often.  This is why it’s so easy to bash preachers,   politicians, and policemen for being insufficient, hypocritical, or downright failures.

The bar is so high nobody can hit it.

Cabal Fang is the hardest martial art on the planet.  There’s a lot to learn, the requirements are steep, and the fitness demands are high.  Even I suck at Cabal Fang — and I’m the guy who gave birth to it.  So what.

Let’s go do something hard.  We’ll suck, but at least we’ll get stronger.

The Black Rose: Training Involution #120

  • Sharpshooting (video below). 10 x 1:00/:30 as fast as you can.  If you don’t have a sharpshooter ball, click here to learn how to make one.  Or put a small “X” in medical tape on a regular double end ball.
  • Kicks.  Set a timer for 7:00.  Pick the two kicks in your repertoire at which you most stink.  Do as many as you can before the timer beeps.  I picked Flying Side Kick and Jump Front Snap Kick and I did 35 of each for a total of 70.  Practical kicks for self-defense?  Nope.  But I figure if my Flying Side Kick is good, my regular Side Kick will be amazing.
  • Bear Walks.  Set timer for 7:00.  Bear Walk until the timer beeps.
  • Conditioning Run.   CR2S.
  • Black rose banishing meditation.  Cool down thoroughly after your run.  Then set timer for 10:00.  Assume meditative posture of choice, close eyes, and regulate breathing.  Imagine a black rose.  This black rose is your fear of trying hard things, your fear of failure, or perhaps even your fear of success.  Visualize the petals falling off the rose as it slowly dies, and as it does, allow your fears to die along with it.
  • Write it down.  As always, record all of our activities and realizations in your training journal.

If you just said “I can’t do this!” then I say baloney.  You can do five times more than you think you can.  Just modify or substitute exercises to allow for your fitness level and/or special needs, take as many 12-count breaks as you need, and keep your heart rate under your max safe rate (220 minus your age = theoretical max). 

You can do this.

If you liked this training involution you’d love the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  Download it here.

The Rose: Training Involution #119

Archangel Barachiel (art by yours truly).  His primary symbols are the rose and the lightning bolt.

The following is an excerpt from Cabal Fang: Complete Study Course from Querent to Elder.  If you like this, you’ll love the book.

Barachiel, Guardian Angel of Cabal Fang

Depending on the Hebrew spelling, Barachiel translates as either ”Blessing of God” (Barachiel) or “Lightning of God” (Baraquiel). He doesn’t appear in the traditional biblical scriptures, only in the apocryphal books of Enoch. In 1 Enoch, he is Baraquiel, the “Lightning of God”, a fallen angel who is one of the 200 rebellious angels known as Watchers.

But in 3 Enoch, where his name appears with both spellings used interchangeably, Barachiel is an angelic prince who rules over the second of the seven heavens.

With this conflicting and confusing information in mind, views and interpretations of Barachiel vary widely. To a person of Orthodox or Catholic persuasion, Barachiel is an Archangel and a saint, the supreme leader of all the guardian angels. He is depicted in religious art as a radiant figure holding a white rose, a basket of bread, or a lightning bolt. Believers in folk magic may see Barachiel as a spirit or saint who can be petitioned for help in matters of luck and games of chance, or to prevail in a contest.

Barachiel’s symbols are the rose and the lighting bolt.

The Rose: Training Involution #119

  1. Inverted Pyramid of Combos and Calisthenics.  Advanced start at 12 (78 of each exercise total), Intermediate 10 (55), Beginners at 8 (36).  Exercises are Striking Combos (3 count min), Push-ups (HS or hardest type you can manage), Wrestling Combos (2 count min), and Get-ups.  So beginners are going to throw 8 striking combos, do 8 Push-ups, execute 8 Wrestling combos, and then 8 Get-ups. Then 7 of each, 6 of each, etc. down to 1.  Video below.
  2. Meditation on a Rose.  Select a color of rose that reflects a mental state you want to cultivate (see list below if needed).  Set a timer for at least five to ten minutes. Assume your meditative posture of choice, regulate your breathing, and then imagine a rosebud of the chosen color. As you meditate on the bud, imagine in your mind’s eye that the bud is slowly opening. As the bud opens into a blossom, so does your mental state open up and flower into the desired state.

Rose Color Symbolism

  • White: Heavenly love, purity, innocence, peace and harmony
  • Red: Passionate love, desire, sacrifice and courage
  • Pink: Friendly love, family love, grace, joy and empathy
  • Yellow: Self-love, joy, calm, focus, health and clarity
  • Coral: Sincere love, thanksgiving, enthusiasm, happiness
  • Lilac: Magical love, wonder, enchantment, change, and success
  • Black: Carnal love, rebellion, rebirth, protection, silence
  • Variegated Rose: Combinations and mixtures of other colors

Cord and Rule: Training Involution #118

I’m camping with my son this weekend, so T.I. #118 is posting early this week.  Lots going on around the Cabal Fang Temple these days.  Here’s a quick rundown:

  • We are testing a new Cord and Rule program to track attendance and keep students motivated.  More info below.
  • Started getting my head around this nonprofit thing.  Started reading books, making calls, getting on grant application email lists, got a Linkedin profile, etc.  Time to start attracting high-powered board members and big donors!
  • No more being shy about asking for donations.  All events and services will be on a “please give what you can” basis.  Yes, we’re a non-profit.  But it takes a few hundred dollars a year just to keep up with web-hosting, legal services and basic program materials, and we want to save up money to build a fancy new temple.
  • Another student in the Hermit Path Distance Learning Program faces his Constitutional trial this month.  The program is virtually free (please give what you can) and there’s only one text bookEmail me to get started.
  • As part of my continuing martial arts education I’ll be headed to Tennessee in October to attend a Western Warrior Boot Camp hosted by Mark Hatmaker — two full days boxing, wrestling and hanging out with some of the toughest guys on planet Earth.

Stay tuned!

Cord and Rule: Cabal Fang Training Involution #118

  1. Work your body.  Set timer for 8:00.  Complete as many strikes as you can vs. your heavy bag before the timer beeps.  If you don’t have a heavy bag,  make one; if you don’t have anywhere to hang it indoors, throw a rope over a tree limb or lash it to a tree or post.  When done, shoulder your bag and see how far you can carry it, switching shoulders as needed.
  2. Work your mind. Write down your strike count and the distance carried.  Are you writing down measurable metrics for all training sessions — such as rep counts, time elapsed, distance, etc. — and trying to improve?  If not, you aren’t training, you’re mucking around.  “That which is measured improves.”
  3. Work your spirit.  Set a timer for 10 mins and assume your meditative posture of choice with a chalice (or an image of one from a book) at roughly eye level.  Regulate your breathing as you stare at the chalice.  Allow thoughts, feelings and images to manifest.  What can you learn from the chalice?  As always, record everything in your training log.

Ancient Mesopotamian tablet showing the god Shamash holding the cord and rule.

The Cabal Fang Cord and Rule Concept

As a way to motivate students, add more structure, deepen the mind-body-spirit connection through mettlecraft, and better track attendance, we’re adding a rule to our knotted cord.

Since ancient times the mark of a “ruler” was the holding of a knotted cord and a hashed rod or rule – the cord for measuring long distances, such as in surveying land, laying out a building’s foundation, measuring the speed of a ship in “knots,” etc., and the rule for measuring shorter, more precision distances.

According to ancient myths, deities only bestowed cords and rules upon human leaders who were competent to rule.  A “ruler” should be is a person we can all measure ourselves against — someone we respect, admire, and believe is worthy of being emulated and followed. Our cord and rule will remind us to strive to become people we feel are worthy of respect, admiration and responsibility.

Babylonian goddess, likely Ishtar or Ereshkigal, holding cord and rule

The cord and rule are mentioned in the Old Testament, Ezekiel 40:3: “So He brought me there; and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, with a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand; and he was standing in the gateway.”

A blank ruler will be issued to each student at the beginning of the third month of study.  Starting after the first trial, the rule will be stamped with various words and symbols to mark monthly training milestones, to commemorate the completion of trials for rank advancement, etc.

Marking and maintaining the metal rod ties into Mettlecraft — it is a tangible item of “metal” that is marked based on one’s “mettle.” Our cord and rule help us determine how we “measure up” against the people we were when we started.

You Could Learn a Lot from a Dummy: T.I. #117

The finished dummy.  I used blue duct tape to finish him off.  Feels like you’re beating up a member of Blue Man Group.

With some pipe scraps and an investment of about $20 in duct tape, zip ties, and one $3 length of PVC plumbing pipe, I made a grappling dummy.  There’s a photo set of the construction at the bottom of the page.

Why did I make such a thing?  Because you can learn a lot from a dummy.  Plus, with the price of shipping, these things cost over 200 smackers — and I’m way too frugal for that.

If you don’t have a dummy and you don’t feel like making one, you can always substitute a large athletic bag full of folded sheets or something — but since your bag won’t have legs, your starting position will have to be on top of a weight bench or plyometric box, which will interfere with your footwork.

You Could Learn a Lot from a Dummy: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #117

  • Heavy bag power punching.  Set timer for 10 minutes and work your combination of choice, applying the Dempsey falling step.  Suggestion: Lead Jab, Rear Cross, Lead Hook.  Sink into that Lead Jab. Then, when throwing your Rear Cross, get your rear heel off the ground and really bite into the ground with the ball of that foot as your lead foot creeps out a jot more. Then surge in on the bag and uncork the Lead Hook — “slam the door” with max power as you straighten your knees a tad and pop up after the two previous falling step punches.  Rules 1 through 3 are (1) move in, (2) move in, and (3) move in.
  • Work your dummy.  Get out your dummy, pick a throw or clinch technique, and work it for 10 minutes.  I prefer either Seoi Nagi or Duck-Unders (which I always finish with a takedown — either a back ride to the mat or a knee breaker to put him on his back).  10 minutes is enough if you don’t muck around.
  • Complete a this month’s constitutional.  Leg Lifts (50), Jumping Jacks (100), Push-ups, Hop/Clap (25), Crunch’n’Punch (50), Help-ups (50) (if solo substitute Steam Engines), Burpees (25), Jump Squats, Split (50).