Tag Archives: involution

Sack Cracker: Martial Arts Training Involution #167

If you enjoyed this week’s involution there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy The Hourglass Way: Transform in 12 Weeks with Cabal Fang.  This short, laser-focused workbook could change your life.  CLICK THE PIC to download the e-Booklet!

For unrelenting misery there’s nothing quite like the sensation of being squeezed — by problems (social, work, health, financial, etc.), by a training partner (wrestling practice anyone?) or by a real threat.  I speak from experience.  I have, at one time or another, been squished, crushed, and wrung out by everything listed above.

When life — or your training partner or assailant — puts the squeeze on you, you need to squeeze right back.

This week’s involution will (a) help you start developing your crushing power by making you crack a sack, and (b) get you motivated to solve and overcome any social, work, health or financial problems you may be facing by pushing you to get your crack out of the sack.

Sack Cracker: Martial Arts Training Involution #167

As always, warm up full before you begin.

  • Crack yourself a sack.  Get a floor bag (a heavy bag with chains taped).  Make one if necessary.  Set timer for 10 mins.  Scissor lock the bag from the bottom and squeeze as hard as you can.  Straighten your trunk while you hit the top of his “head” with hammer fists.  When your legs gas, swap top/bottom foot position and repeat three more times.  Roll to top position and straddle the bag.  Complete a Smearing Push-up and a Horizontal Bag Lift (my version of Hatmaker’s KSB).  Repeat three more times.  When you finish the last lift, lay a Scarf Hold on the bag, squeeze as hard as you can, and then switch grips and hips four times.  Drop the bag, go back to scissors, and repeat until the timer beeps.  Video below.
  • Get your crack out of the sack.  Run 1 mile as fast as you can.
  • Sack up and crack right back.  Whatever pressures are putting the squeeze on you —  social, work, health, financial, etc. — there is always something you can do.  Restriction breeds creativity, not freedom.  Get paper and pen and set a timer for three minutes.  Don’t analyze and think deeply — you’ll do that later — just throw out ideas!  Write down as many things as you can that might help your situation.  When the timer beeps, calmly review and analyze the list.  Pick the three best ideas.  Put them on your to-do list, set completion dates on your calendar, and son.  Taking action — any kind of action — is better than laying there and letting life, your opponent, or your assailant, crush the life out of you.

If you liked this blog post you’d probably dig some of my books and training products. For Frontier Rough & Tumble martial arts products visit Mitch’s General Store.   My books are available wherever e-books are sold but you can get them in any format at Smashwords.

Repeat Offender: Martial Arts Training Involution #166

About 75% of criminals have been incarcerated multiple times, and most experts estimate that the average criminal commits approximately 10 crimes per year for which they are not apprehended.  

If you are assaulted it will likely be at the hands of an experienced repeat offender.  And since you’re a nice guy,  and you never hit first, you’re likely to be punched, struck, stabbed or shot before you even start defending yourself.

Proposition A: We must practice fighting while hurt.

We are habitual, repeat offenders too.  We do all kinds of things we know we shouldn’t do.  We skip training sessions, eat crap food, say stupid things, screw up at the office, drink too much, yell at the dog, etc. etc.

Proposition B: We must work on ourselves.

Repeat Offender: Martial Arts Training Involution #166

Complete Wrestling Conditioner #2 while impaired.  Tuck one arm into your belt, tie a bandanna over one eye, put a pointy rock in one shoe, put on a brace that makes it impossible to bend one knee, or spread the contents of your gym bag across the training area and wrestle on that.  It’s amazing how annoying it is to work on the mat with a stick under your knee or a rubber gun in the small of your back.  You can find instructions for Wrestling Conditioner #2 in Cabal Fang: Complete Study Guide from Querent to Elder or here.

Self-evaluate.  What are you doing to get better in mind, body and spirit?  What’s your plan?  Is it working?  If you don’t have a plan, or if the current one isn’t working, try The Hourglass Way — available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Smashwords, and everywhere e-books are sold.

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


† 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.