Tag Archives: involution

Sacred Words: Training Involution #164

Egyptian god Thoth

Should anyone other than a politically correct dweeb, a prime-time-ready talking head, garden-variety prude, holier-than-thou twit, or virtue-signalling chuckle-head want to clean up their potty mouth?

Sure.  Because speech is sacred.

Our greatest myths and holy books embody this truth.  According to the Egyptians,

“Thoth is the mediator through whom the world is brought into manifestation. He is the Tongue of Rā, the Herald of the Will of Rā,  and the Lord of Sacred Speech.”¹

God separates light from darkness — Sistine Chapel

In Genesis 1 of the Holy Bible, God speaks the universe into being.  He says, “Let there be light: and there was light.”  Later in John 1, when speaking of Christ, we hear,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

The ancients revered the ability to recite poetry and holy words.  They embodied the idea of sacred speech.   Modern people have mostly surrendered in the battle against profane, rude and crude speech.  And few are able to recite any beautiful words even if they wanted to.

When I was a kid, we had to memorize poems, speeches and scripture.  Why?  So that we could have command of the words on a fundamental level.

Sacred Words: Training Involution #164

Restriction breeds creativity, not freedom (for more on this topic watch this video).   Let’s put some restrictions on ourselves and see if it drives our creativity.

  • Warm up thoroughly, at least 8 minutes.
  • Hobble yourself.  Take a scrap of rope, an old Karate belt, Yoga strap, etc. and hobble yourself such that your ankles cannot get more than a shoulder’s width apart.²
  • Complete a gauntlet.  Set a timer for 8 x 2:00.  You may do this with hand strikes only or with a practice weapon, your choice (I used my walking stick).  Complete this twice:  (1) Strikes vs. Heavy Bag (2) Get-ups (3) Sit-ups with two heavy bag strikes at top of each (4)  Strikes vs. air while doing Prisoner Get-ups. ³
  • Cool down for  3 minutes and then hit the showers.
  • Hold your tongue.  Refrain from swearing for one week and see how you feel about it.  For extra credit, memorize some pretty words, some poetry, a piece of scripture, etc.  Write it down on a scrap of paper, put it in your pocket, and study it every hour or so for a couple of days until you own it.  Another way to do it is to make a voice recording on your phone and play it over and over until you can recite along with it.  This is good for your brain and for your soul.

¹ Mead, G. R. S, Thrice-Greatest Hermes, Vol. 1, [The Thesophical Publishing Society, London 1906]

² I do several of these sorts of training exercises every month for self-defense practice — hobbled, one hand tucked into my belt, one eye patched, a rock in my shoe, etc.

³  Prisoner Get-up: Drop to left knee, drop right knee to get on both knees, rise up to right knee only, then stand up.  Next time drop right knee first.  Alternate sides.

Snake, Fish, Dog, Owl: Training Involution #163 Live From Karate College

This week I’m broadcasting live from luxurious Tyler Hall dorm at Radford University in where I’m attending the Karate College 2019!  This will be my fourth time — I’m a graduate of ’03, ’05, ’17 and now ’19.

Karate College is a fantastic event.  For about $200 you get 2-and-a-half days of non-stop martial arts training from some of the best instructors out there.    This year’s attendance is the lowest I’ve seen, which is scary.  Come out and train people — you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone!

FYI, Training Involution #163 marks a little bit of a turning point.  From now on the weekly Cabal Fang T.I. is just going to be the T.I.  Why?  Because these T.I.s are also going to do double duty in my Bobcat Martial Arts program.  No big announcement, no drama queen antics.  Just sound martial principles.

If the drills are legit they’re applicable to every martial artist everywhere, not just to those practicing Cabal Fang.

Snake, Fish, Dog, Owl: Training Involution #163

The single most effective martial arts maneuver is running away.  Not literally running, but getting the heck out of Dodge City, evading, hitting the road, saying bye-bye.  A martial artist should be able to move.  And when the situation is over, be able to sit still.

Set timer for 7 x 4:00 mins, no breaks.

  • Rounds 1 & 2: Warm up thoroughly.  Light to moderate activity, low-key calisthenics like Jumping Jacks, Push-ups on knees,  Crunches, maybe some low-intensity  Jumping Rope, etc.
  • Round 3: Slither free like a snake.  Get your floor bag or grappling dummy and start wrestling.¹  Back Bridge it, Neck Bridge it, and Reverse it.  Squeeze, throw, and flip it.  Stand it up on end and practice your Shots against it, etc.  No striking — just wrestling — and no breaks longer than a 12-count.
  • Round 4: Swim away like a fish.  If you have access to a body of water, swim as fast as you can.  If you don’t, get on the floor and do a dry swim.  Alternate between Prison Push-ups, Swimmers, and Flutter Kicks.  When you gas, take 12-count breaks in Elbow Plank position.
  • Round 5: Run away like a dog.  Cover as much distance as you can in 4 minutes.
  • Round 6: Walk it off for 4 minutes.  Get your heartbeat down to normal.
  • Round 7:  Watch like an owl.  Now assume your posture of choice — seiza, lotus, half-lotus, cross-legged, sit in a chair, or have a seat in the grass and lean back against a tree.  Spend 4 minutes just sitting.  Don’t judge, don’t fantasize, don’t evaluate, don’t plan.  Just sit. 

¹ There’s no excuse for a martial artist not having a floor bag.  Buy a used bag on Craigslist for $10 or make one.

 

 

 

Folderol and Frippery: Cabal Fang Training Involution #162

A snail gets attacked and beaten up by two turtles. The police come.  They ask the snail what happened. The snail says, “I don’t know — it all happened so fast!”

My grandsons gave me some cool origami for my birthday.  They made what they made because I wowed them with snail jokes (I got a million of them), they love my cool watch, and I guess they always see me in collared shirts.  Great gifts from two amazing boys.

Origami is folded paper, which got me thinking about folderol, which is different but sounds similar.  Folderol is frippery, wish-wash, claptrap, and other unimportant stuff.  Origami gifts from my grandsons are treasures — they are not piffle, twaddle, or gimcrackery.  Still though, got me thinking.

So I re-evaluated my activities and made some changes.  You should do this too from time to time.

Folderol and Frippery: Cabal Fang Training Involution #162

Cabal Fang Vital Grace #3 is Frugality  — “to be efficient in the use of time, effort and resources.”  Take today off from training and spend an hour evaluating your use of time and resources.    What you can do to trim, slice or eliminate waste of all kinds and get more frugal?  For some examples, here’s what I got rid of and or adjusted this week.  

  • Fearless Fridays.  Made a pact with a friend of mine as follows: every Friday we email each other a report of what we’ve done to advance our projects for the current week and we ruthlessly evaluate one-another — no quarter taken or given.
  • Adjusted training time.  15 minutes less time on fitness and 15 minutes more on technique.  I’m training 80 minutes a day on average (including days off — 100 minutes if you don’t).  Too much wear and tear on my body at this age.
  • Focused training time.  Freezing my Korean Karate training. Current forms twice a week to maintain existing foundation in basics only.  No new forms or techniques.  99% focus on Cabal Fang and Frontier Rough & Tumble.
  • Very little free stuff.  Can’t hope to make any money teaching martial arts in my retirement if I keep making making YouTube videos that give away all my secrets.  Only occasional tidbits and teasers going forward.  More effort on interesting books and sale-able products.
  • Efficiency in fundraising.  One more giant load to the recycling center to benefit the Cabal Fang Temple, then I’m done.  Takes hours to crush cans, organize, bag, and haul, and we only get $100/load.  The county can have it going forward.  Writing books and increasing donations is a better use of my time.
  • Gave up shopping for a new vehicle.  I not Miss America and heaven knows I’m not pretty enough to need a fancy car to wave from.  My ugly truck runs fine.  I can rent a car for a couple of trips a year and not take on a $500/month car payment.

Flag Day: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #161

This week’s T.I. is out a day early so you can, if you desire, complete it on Flag Day.  Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14th, 1777.

Flag Day: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #161

  • 5 x 10 of Dumbbell Squats and Bench Presses (if you don’t have access to weights, just do 4 x 10 + 1 set to failure of Air Squats and Push-ups).  Choose a weight you think will work and get started.  If a set is easy, add a little weight on the next one.  If you can’t quite get your 10 reps, take a little off the next set so that you get as close to 5 x 10 as you can.
  • Heavy bag carry.  Pick up a heavy bag and carry it as far as you can without stopping.
  • 2-mile flag run.  Okay, fine, you don’t have to run with an actual flag.  But run with something in your hand, like a water bottle or my personal favorite, a walking stick.  It’s a heckuva lot harder than it sounds.
  • Flag Meditation.  Set a timer for 10 mins.  Use the flag as an object of meditation, either visual (q.v. mandala) or verbal (q.v. mantra).  If you choose the visual method, meditate on an actual flag or a photo of one; if you choose the latter, use the Pledge of Allegiance.  Silently recite it to regulate breath.  “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America (breathing in) and to the republic for which it stands (holding breath with airway open), one nation, under God, indivisible (breathing out), with liberty and justice for all (hesitating empty with airways open).  

Squiz: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #160

SQUIZ /skwɪz/
Britain, Australia, New Zealand, colloquial. Perhaps a blend of squint +‎ quiz

  1. [noun] a look.
  2. [verb] to peer at or eye suspiciously.

But because this month’s external focus is Self-Defense vs. Unarmed, we’re going to add a new definition:

3. a self-defense quiz (contraction of self-defense and quiz)

And since our internal focus is The Candle (meditation) we’re going to add in that element as well.

Squiz: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #160

  1. The last time you stayed in a hotel, did you request a room between the 2nd and 4th floors? (FYI, fire ladders don’t reach beyond the 4th)
  2. Do you know your spouse or significant other’s license plate number?
  3. Do you know the nearest safe harbors to both home and work? (A safe harbor is a location that’s open 24 hours which has some kind of security presence)
  4. Do you have your attorney’s phone number memorized in case you’re arrested?
  5. Do you know your state’s laws regarding use of force?†
  6. Is there at least a quarter of a tank of gas in your vehicle right now?
  7. Do you have a fully stocked first aid kit in your home that contains a first aid manual?

Expand your definition of meditation beyond sitting on the floor in lotus position reciting a holy mantra.  Your mind treats visualization like actual experience with 80% efficiency.  Which means that in addition to preserving your spirit, it might preserve you body in a self-defense situation.

  1. Have you spent at least five minutes this week visualizing what you would do if you were the victim of a violent attack, such as a carjacking, abduction or sexual assault?
  2. Have you spent at least five minutes this week visualizing what you would do if someone tried to force their way into your home or office?
  3. Have you spent at least five minutes this week visualizing your own demise?  “Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily.” ~Hagakure

That’s 10 questions.  How did you score?

10 = A
9 = B
8 = C
7 = D
6 or less = F

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† In my home state of Virginia, USA, our laws are basically “stand your ground lite.”  In other words, I don’t have to run, but I can use only sufficient force to ensure my safety.  Details here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Shining Hour: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #159

Exclusive of warm up, transitions and cool down, this T.I. is one hour of action.

Make this your shining hour.

Put out like this is your one shot for an Olympic gold medal or it’s your black belt exam.  Put out like Mom and Dad are watching you fight to free nuns and orphan babies from a concentration camp. 

All we want is all you’ve got.

One Shining Hour: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #159

  • Warm up for at least 8 minutes.
  • 10:00 half pyramid of BackNeck Bridge, Prison Push-ups, Ankle Picks and Get-ups.  See how high you can climb before the timer beeps (I almost finished my 9th rep of each).  Beginners sub Back Bridge for Back Neck Bridge, regular Push-ups for the Prisons, Lunges for the Ankle Picks, etc.  as needed.  Modify, adapt and overcome.
  •  10:00 on the heavy bag.  No round breaks and no pussyfooting around.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to survive this nightmare.
  • 10:00 run.  See how much ground you can cover before the timer beeps.
  • Cool down for 5:00.
  • 30 minutes of contemplation, mediation or prayer (your choice).

Yes, I sometimes use homemade dice to create random drills. That right there is nerd fitness.

Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157

“If you can’t run, you walk.  If you can’t walk, you crawl.  If you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.”

This week’s T.I. is about understanding the power of realizing you are not alone.

Yesterday, when I did this week’s T.I., I thought of the above quote from Firefly, one of my favorite TV shows.  This T.I. was so hard that the only way I could make it through was to think about the fact that if we were training together — me, you, and the rest of the Cabal Fang crew — none of us would ever let anybody quit.

So I imagined you were there with me, that you were there encouraging me, helping me, making suggestions on how to modify exercises,  and asking me to dig deep.

Your brothers and sisters in Cabal Fang are right there with you.  Now go get it done.

Firefly Style: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #157

  • Warm up for a full 8 minutes.
  • 3 sets of HSPUs to failure.  If you can’t do HSPUs, do Jackknife Push-ups.  If you can’t do them, do Regular Push-ups.
  • 3 sets of Squats. 2 x 5 + 1 set to failure.  Pick a weight that works for you (I used 110 lbs).
  • 10 x 10 yards of Heavy Bear Walks. Select two hex dumbbells.  Go way lighter than you think you need.  I used 10 pounders.  Bear Walk with dumbbells in hand for 10 yards.  Stop and do 10 Push-ups with a Plank Row between, alternating sides.  Repeat 10 more times for a total of 100 yards of Bear Walks, 100 Push-ups and 100 Rows.
  • Unless you are Captain America, you are going to fail at this.  When you do start failing, imagine me and all of the other people in Cabal Fang working right there with you.  If you gas on the Bear Walks, drop the dumbbells and go on without them.  If you gas on the Push-ups or Plank Rows, come up and do them on knees.  Switch to lighter dumbbells halfway through if necessary.  Make whatever changes you have to make and take as many 12-count breaks as you need.  The only rule is don’t give up.
  • Cool down for 3 minutes.
  • Stretch and practice contemplation.
  • Record what you learned in your training journal.