This week’s training involution is a two-parter. Start with the 500-rep All-in Conditioner (video at the bottom of the post) then move on to a Cross of Light exercise.
500 Rep All-In Martial Arts Conditioner
Warm-up with 8 minutes of light cardio. Then, at 50% power, complete 10 to 20 reps of each exercise to make sure you’re fully warmed up and ready to go all out.
Perform every exercise with maximum power and precision. Take as few 12-count rest breaks as you must in order to finish — see video below.
100 Paces of Press Walks. I used two #25 dumbbells but you can substitute a sandbag or another heavy object.
100 max power strikes vs. upright heavy bag.
50 Circles vs. floor heavy bag.
100 mounted strikes vs. floor heavy bag.
50 reverses from bottom position.
50 pop-ups to shin ride position.
A Cross of Light Exercise
When we try to orient ourselves we instinctively think of four directions.
In Cabal Fang we orient ourselves with the Hermetic Quaternary: To Know, To Will, To Dare — To Keep Silent. But there are tons of other things that map onto this — like the Four Heavenly Creatures, the four classical elements, and rather significantly, the Four Evangelists. I’m convinced that’s why there are four gospels in the New Testament — because it instinctively makes sense that there should be four different versions of Christ’s story, each one from one of four different angles.
Me in the role of the Scarecrow at the Land of Oz Theme Park in Beech Mountain, NC
What else maps onto the Cross of Light?
The Four Characters from the Wizard of Oz Film
Just the other day I noticed that the four characters in the Wizard of Oz film fit perfectly in place on this diagram.
The Cowardly Lion goes in the East — he’s in search of courage or daring.
The Tin Woodsman is in the West. Water made him frozen and silent, and he’s after a heart which equates to the water of tears of joy, sadness, sympathy, etc.).
Dorothy belongs in the South because she is human, and her defining characteristic is her will to go home.
And lastly, Scarecrow maps to North because he’s searching for knowledge — but his quest doesn’t begin until he’s cut down and he falls to earth.
See what else you can map onto the compass. Here are some ideas: The Fantastic Four, The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, the Four Horsemen, the four fixed signs of the Zodiac, the four ways of seeing, the Four Alchemical Elements, Plato’s four qualities. Sketch a cross and start mapping. Then, when you’re done, perform the Cross of Light ritual from Chapter 17 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide.
Today the Cabal Fang Temple is hosting our annual Martial Fitness Seminar. This week’s T.I. will be two play along.
Martial Fitness: Training Involution #113
Review your prevention and mindset. What are the four things you should do to prevent getting into a physical self-defense situation? (Hint: the acronym is P.A.D.E. ) If prevention doesn’t work, what are the three things you must do if you think something is about to go down? (Hint: P.R.A.). When things get physical, what are the three things you have to do? (Hint: Y. M. K.). If you don’t know the answers to these questions, re-read your manual!
Can you handle your body weight? Complete the following constitutional: Zombie Squats (50), Push-ups (50), Get-ups (25), Wrist Waggles (1:30), Mountain Climbers (100), Crunch’n’Punch (50), Splays (25).
Can you use a weapon? News flash: weapons were invented because they’re more effective than bare hands. Select a dull training weapon such as a stick or wooden knife. Set up your space with two heavy bags — one hanging and the other vertically on the ground (in a corner or strapped to a post works nicely). Set timer for 2:00 min rounds and cycle through this twice, a total of 16 mins: Hanging Heavy bag strikes max power, Get-ups (switch weapon hands between each one), Sit-ups w/ max power strikes to floor bag, Combat Sprints w/ air strike (16 mins total). See video below for excerpts from last year’s seminar.
Are you centered? Cool down and then practice basic contemplation for 10 mins.
We really want to the temple to be attractive to the general public. So go straight to the bottom of this page and vote in the temple paint job poll. You made time to take the “Which Jedi are you?” poll on Facebook, right? So make time for ours, willya?
Set a goal
Stop futzing around — do you want to get somewhere or not? Get yourself a planner, set some goals, and start making a plan to achieve them. Need help? Become a Patreon supporter and you’ll get access to my organizational method — a 20 -minute how-two video, a action plan worksheet, and detailed instructions. Click here. Why should you care about my method? It’s been perfected over 30 years and it’s what’s allowed me to get so much done. My resume here.
There are only so many hours in the day. Keep your martial arts training focused. The Master says, “To find water, dig one well.”
This gets even more important with age. The older you get, the shorter, more intense, and more focused your training needs to become. As recovery times slow, trade volume for intensity to maintain performance. Work harder and rest more.
As the 60+ bike riding phenom Ned Overend says, “Training with an emphasis on high-intensity intervals has been my preferred method of preparing for races throughout my career. I’ve learned that by reducing volume, I’m more rested for high-intensity sessions, and by being rested I can push myself harder during the intervals.” (read more here)
And with all this in mind…
Training Involution #111
Tune up. Remember doubling down? I still recommend that once in a while. But today, do the opposite. Instead of doubling a lackluster training session to break through a plateau or stretch a limit, pick something you crushed — something that seemed rather easy — and make it harder by removing the dead wood or increasing the intensity. Don’t lengthen it, tighten it. Put it in a pressure cooker. Example One: Let’s say this month’s constitutional is easy for you. Try this — drop the two easiest exercises and see if you can cut your time by at least 33%. Example Two: Let’s say you did Wrestling Conditioner #4 and just wasn’t that hard. Try adding a #10 weighted vest.
June’s martial focus is Wrestling and the spiritual focus is the Hourglass. I hope you’re ready, because I think this week’s involution is going to push you past your perceived limits — inside and out!
Bagged: Training Involution #110
Heavy Bag Wrestling Half Pyramid (video below). Put a heavy bag on your mat (or on a tarp out on the grass if you have no mat). Get underneath your bag and and complete 1 of each: Shrimp, Buck, Reverse, Circle, and pop up into Shin Ride. Then do 2 of each, 3 of each, 4, etc. up to 10 of each — that’s a total of 55 each. Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to finish as fast as you can. Finishing this with proper form is admirable. In under 20 mins is solid, under 15 is good, and anybody who gets it done in under 10 mins is a beast.
CR20E — Object Run. Run for 20 minutes while carrying an object in one hand, such as a water bottle, walking stick, dumbbell, etc.
Draw and explore the hourglass. Sit down with your training journal and a pen. Draw an hourglass — nothing fancy, just a quick sketch. Then, as you sit and look at your drawing, list the first ten words that come to mind. When you’re done, have an honest conversation with yourself regarding the drawing and the words you wrote. Psychoanalyze yourself. What did you learn about yourself from this exercise? What did you learn about the hourglass symbol? Record everything in your training journal of course.
This is a play on the famous sub shop chain logo. Get it?
I’m celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary, so this week’s T.I. is going to be a call-back to a year ago today.
But first, here’s a medley of miscellany and whatnots.
I just had a birthday. On the right is a picture of the hilarious t-shirt my wife gave me (right).
We managed to accumulate a busted washing machine, a busted generator, 35 gals of crushed aluminum cans and some scrap steel to recycle — all to benefit the temple. Can you believe all we got was $20.20? It looks like they coded everything as misc ferrous scrap. But you know that generator core had 5 or 10 lbs of copper wire in it, and the washer motor almost as much. Didn’t think of that until after we left. Next time I’ll rip out the motors and demand separate weights. Should’ve gotten $75 at least.
And now for your 12-month-old flashback…
Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #60 Training Involution #109
Boxing HIIT for Accuracy: Setup a slip ball and a heavy bag so that you can switch between the two. Set timer for 1:00 rounds and complete 20 of them, alternating between ball and bag. On the heavy bag rounds, focus on hitting precise targets on the bag. Put a few “Xs” on the bag with medical tape if your bag doesn’t have dots or targets. On the slip ball rounds, focus on executing perfect and crisp pops and slips. Muddy movements are easy for opponents to read! When done, cool down by walking it off for 3 minutes.
Writing exercise. Get out your training journal and write 100 words minimum about quality. What does quality mean to you? Have there been times in your life when you have and have not done quality work? Compare, contrast and explore.
“Lightning hits! Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine “virtue.” But aretê. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason. Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric.”
~Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
May’s Cabal Fang concentrations were Wrestling and the Hourglass. But since we gave over one session to a member trial and were several times forced by rain into doing stand-up work inside the park shelter, we decided to carry over both concentrations for another month.
It’s really difficult to wrestle in the pouring rain. We did it once and it was actually really fun. It’s the wet gear and drive home that stinks.
As many kicks as you can in 20 minutes. Count them, log them in your training journal, and next time you work the drill beat your number. If it’s not in your training journal it didn’t happen.
Weapon half pyramid to failure. I used my cane but you work with a non-lethal version of your chosen EDC (wooden knife or training folder, rubber gun, flashlight, tactical pen, etc.). Perform 1 of each exercise, then 2 of each, then 3, etc. See how high you can “climb” before you have to take a break longer than a 12-count. Jackknifes, Get-ups, Side Lunges and Push-ups. Attack while you move whenever possible and don’t drop or put down your weapon for the duration. Better figure out those Push-ups during training — do them with one hand in a fist, wrist bent, etc. — or risk getting stuck with no answer in a self-defense situation.
Learn a little about Hermeticism. Watch the video below. My Patreon supporters got it last month by the way.