Tag Archives: involution

Boy’s Twelve: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #146

Apparently boys were pretty fit back in ’45.

Check out this little fitness drill called the “Army’s Daily Dozen” from the Boy’s Fun Book of Things to Make an Do (Grosset & Dunlap, New York 1945) pages 142-143.  It’s not as hard as Self-Destruct Sequence or anything, but it’s no walk in the park either!

No rep counts or time guidelines are provided except for two exercises — Burpees (40 minimum!) and the Banks Twists (30 minimum!).  For our purposes I have guesstimated what seem like reasonable numbers.

Now go see if you’re as fit as little boys used to be back in the day.

>>Video at bottom if you prefer visuals.<<

Boy’s Twelve: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #146

If you get this done in under 25:56 you got me beat.

  1. 40 Burpees (no hop, no Push-up)
  2. 25 High Jumpers (a.k.a Standing Broad Jump)
  3. 25 Squat Benders (Squat, then touch toes)
  4. 25 Rowing Exercise (a.k.a. Jackknifes)
  5. 25 Sit-ups with Plough (dead stop after each Plough)
  6. 25 Push-ups (narrow)
  7. 30 Banks Twists (a.k.a. Windshield Wipers, over-back = 1)
  8. 25 Side Benders (look at the drawing and good luck!)
  9. 25 8-Count Push-ups (Burpee with 2 Push-ups and no hop)
  10. 25 Squat Jumps (Split Jump Squats w/ hands on head)
  11. Stationary Run (100 taps of each foot)
  12. 25 Trunk Twisters (Windmills, elbow to knee, 25/side)
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Here’s the spread from the book which is in the public domain. Click link to view the whole thing, it’s actually really cool.

 

Escape Plan Revisited: Cabal Fang Training Involution #145

“Escape Plan Drill” a.k.a. “EPD” has been a fitness standard in Cabal Fang Martial Arts for many years, even before making its first appearance almost exactly four years ago.

If you haven’t done it yet, you’re in for a treat.

EPD is A+ because it shrinks to fit.  You can use whatever calisthenics you like based on your needs and/or fitness level.  And, since it’s an “as-many-as-you-can” type of drill, its difficulty increases with the fitness of the user.

This week’s variant uses martial-specific calisthenics.  Dig it.

Escape Plan Revisited: Cabal Fang Training Involution #145

  • Escape Plan Drill. Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Sprint for 1:00, Shadowbox or hit Heavy Bag for 1:00 then complete as many calisthenics reps as you can for 1:00. Repeat 4 more times for a total of 15 mins, taking as few 12-count breaks as you must in order to finish.  Your 5 calisthenics are: Sit-outs, Shots, Sprawls, Bear Walks, and Back Bridge.  On the Back Bridges, hold or pop reps based on fitness level.  This version of EPD could be called “Humility Sandwich.” Try a bite and tell me if I’m wrong about the recipe.
  • Hagakure Meditation.   Escape is not always possible, certainly not in the end.  After cooling down, set countdown timer for 10 mins., then read the paragraph below and meditate as directed.  Seppuku is of course an ancient form of ritual suicide, so this is not to be read literally.  Read metaphorically it contains a wise but very hard teaching.  We are going to die, perhaps even by having to lay down our lives for what we value most highly.  We modern people struggle with these old, hard lessons.  But some things are worth the struggle.

NEXT WEEK…

Are you more fit than a 12-year-old boy circa 1945?  Find out next week in Boy’s Twelve: Training Involution #146!

Baggage: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #144

Baggage: Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution #144

  • Fill a large gym bag with whatever you can find.  Use folded sheets and misc. athletic equipment for weight.  Then add in some of the detritus of your pathetic existence — junk food  wrappers, tasteless magazines, empty beer cans, old video games, and bits of shameful clutter from your attic or garage.  And finally,  throw in a handful of promises you’ve broken or things you’ve said to friends and loved ones in anger.  I’m not being cute or metaphorical.  Take this part seriously.
  • Complete 100 Bag Lifts as fast as you can.  Beginners do them Cabal Fang-style, advanced, Kansas-style.
  • Complete 50 sieo nage as fast as you can.
  • Pick up the bag and cover 1-mile run as fast as you can.  Run, jog, walk, doesn’t matter as long as you finish.
  • Make sure you warm up thoroughly before you begin and keep your heart rate within safe limits.  This one’s a real humdinger.  If it doesn’t trigger your vomit response, either your bag is too light or you aren’t trying hard enough.
  • Cool down, then wrap up with the Cross of Light ritual and 10 minutes of contemplation.  The Cross of Light ritual is so packed with meaning that describing it fills a whole chapter in the Cabal Fang Study Guide.  Re-read as needed.
  • Record your time and what you learned in your training journal, then  share the less personal bits with the Cabal Fang Facebook group.

See video below if you need more detail.

 

A Farrago of Deracination: Training Involution #143

This is a shot of me training shirtless — running sprints before doing some sledgehammer work. If my shriveled up carcass can take off his shirt then you shouldn’t be afraid to.

A few days ago I promised that this week’s T.I. would be a brobdingnagian farrago of deracination.  Why ‘d I do that?  To get your attention of course!

  • “Brobdingnagian” means “huge.”  Brobingnag is the place where giants live in Gulliver’s Travels.
  • A “farrago” is an assortment, like a hodgepodge.
  • And “deracination” is a delightful mouthful that means “pulling up at the roots.”

Catch my drift?

A Farrago of Deracination: Training Involution #143

  • Write your own obituary.  Not some stupid joke thing, but a real obituary.  If it takes you less than fifteen minutes you didn’t sweat it enough.  Read mine below.  You are going to die.  What do you want people to say about you when the day comes?
  • Take your shirt off and train.  Gents, go outside and take off your shirt.  Ladies, go as skimpy as you can — staying within safety and legal limits of course.  If you have not done this month’s constitutional twice, do it once now.  If you have, complete Escape Plan Drill (instructions to both below)I’ve done this twice in the last few weeks, once as low as 40F, and I can tell you that it has a profound effect on your mind, body and spirit.
  • What’s the point?  Life is not about what you look like, or your toys, or your khakis, or any of that.  Get beyond your skin, go past your comfort zone, embrace your impermanence — and go live the life you should be living.

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Escape Plan Drill

Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Sprint for 1:00, then Shadowbox 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 cycle.  Record total distance covered and total calisthenics reps in your training journal and beat it next time.

Feb 2019 Constitutional

Squats (100)
Push-ups (50)
Crunch’n’Punch (25/person or if solo, 50 Sit-ups with a Jab/Cross at the top)
Steam Engines (25/side)
Lunges (100)
Sprints (25 out/back)
Wall Touches (100)

Obituaries — Richmond Times Dispatch, 30 Sept. 2049

MITCHELL JR., ROBERT E. (“MITCH”) aged 88, of HENRICO, passed away on Tuesday Sept. 28, 2049 at his residence.  He is survived by his wife of 50 years Karen; son Robert; three daughters, Tiffany, Amber and Morgan; five grandchildren, Kota, Shunta, Audrey, Ryder and Jack Jr.; and four great-grandchildren, Zeke, Ken, Aiko, and Mary.  After thirty years in Credit and Accounting Management, Mitch retired, entered seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Old Catholic line.  Re-inventing himself as Father Mitch, he operated St. Barachiel’s, a local community chapel and civic center, for over 25 years.  A world-renowned martial arts master and author, he was the founder of Bobcat Martial Arts, a frontier-styled martial arts club, as well as Cabal Fang Martial Arts, a non-profit martial arts organization with branches on three continents.  He wrote over 50 books on a wide variety of topics, both fiction and non-fiction.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Barachiel Chapel where services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2nd at 2:00 PM, Bishop Alan Smithee presiding.

 

 

 

Groundhog Day 2019: Training Involution #142

Hand weights and homemade fitness dice — how nice

We won’t be selecting the February focuses until later this morning, so for now, let’s just just honor Bill Murray’s iconic Groundhog Day by completing the Training Involution  from this week way back in 2015.

 

 

Groundhog Day 2015 & 2019: Training Involution #142

  • GROUND-FIGHTING CONDITIONER #1 (10 MINS, see below)
  • JUMP ROPE (10 mins w/ 1 lb. wrist weights, AFAYC)
  • CONTEMPLATION — 10 MINS

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GROUND-FIGHTING CONDITIONER #1

Set timer for two minutes and take as few few 12 second breaks as possible:

  1. Circle the bag for 2 mins: Forearms on bag and toes on floor are only points of contact. Circle the bag using only legs and feet, alternating directions, until the timer beeps.
  2. Mount the bag for 2 mins: Strike 10 times as hard as you can. Body lock the bag, barrel-roll, regain mount, and repeat until the timer beeps.
  3. Roll the bag for 2 mins: Lay on your back with heavy-bag perpendicularly on top of your body. Roll it up and down across torso, pushing and pulling like a rolling pin. From time to time, press up the bag and let it drop on your torso to maintain your tolerance for the stresses of wrestling. Continue for entire round.
  4. Defend the bag for 2 mins: Lay on your back with back 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 for two minutes.
  5. Side Mount the bag for 2 mins: Scissor legs each direction 3 times, then scramble over bag with forearms and toes only. Repeat. When the timer beeps, you’re done.

 

Real Life Demon Slayer: Training Involution #141

The Demon Plankton possesses Spongebob Squarepants — a common cartoon trope

Betrayed by a loved one?  Had a friend turn out to be a stranger?  Regretted something you did and wondered why you did it?  Faced down an addiction?  Clawed your way out of a bad relationship?

Then you know that demons are “real.”  No, they can’t pass the Amazing Randy sniff test.  But if you conceive of them as harmful patterns of behavior that repeat across time, they are 100% real.

Belphegor a.k.a. Ba’al Peor from Numbers 25:1–15

Demons don’t take over the way Plankton takes the controls from Spongebob.  You have to “invite them in.”  In the movies, you must buy the cursed book, say the forbidden words, or move into the evil house.  In real life you have to try that cocaine, visit that strip club, or gamble with your rent money.   That’s how the “demon” gets a foothold and you introduce the possibility of ending up addicted, sexually obsessed, or homeless.

Maybe believing that “demons” can “possess you” if you “let them in” is a useful fiction that prevents negative behavior patterns — you know, kind of like other useful fictions, such as “porcupines can shoot their quills” and “all guns are loaded.”  Behaving as if porcupines can shoot their quills and treating all guns as if loaded effectively help prevent pain and suffering.

But surely demons don’t have agency.  Or do they?  Does the rabies virus have agency?  Viruses aren’t conscious.  And yet rabies makes the infected want to bite, which is the primary means of transmission.  Sure seems like rabies has agency.  Mammon, demon of riches, seems to manifest whenever people obsess about wealth.  Is the demon Mammon a conscious entity repeatedly leading people astray?

I don’t know what demons are, nor do I understand their agency.  All I know is that they are “real” enough to be harmful and scary.  And real enough to be exorcised.

Demon Slayer: Training Involution #141

What does it take to kill a demon?  Cold?  Fire?  Enchanted weapons? Exorcism?

  • Freeze.  For a 200 count (about 3 minutes), hold a pose taking as few 12-count breaks as you must. Beginners, hold a Horse Stance.  Intermediate, Plank.  Advanced, dead-arm hangs from a Pull-up bar or Crow-stands.
  • Burn. Complete 200 reps of an exercise.  Beginners, Bicycles or Crunches.  Intermediate, Push-ups on knees or Steam Engines.  Advanced,  Down-ups or Kettlebell Swings.
  • Slice.  Complete 200 strikes per hand with your practice weapon of choice.  Tactical pen or kubotan keychain, walking stick or cane, rattan stick, wooden knife, tomahawk, nunchaku or what-have-you.
  • Exorcise.  Set timer for 15 minutes.  Assume meditative posture of choice.  Whisper a 10-to-14-word prayer — aloud as you inhale, silently as you hesitate with lungs full, again aloud as you exhale, and once more silently as you hesitate with lungs empty.  Repeat until timer beeps — roughly 200 recitations.  This will force you into box breathing and facilitate a deeply meditative state.  Your prayer can be religious or secular, general or specific.  Even atheists can pray — pray to Light or Truth.  “O Light, drive away all darkness and show me the way I pray thee.” I used the Prayer of the Heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

Lapses and Slips: Training Involution #140

 

It’s okay not to be perfect.

I was meeting with the other members of the Cabal Fang Temple’s board of directors the other night, and the past suddenly rushed in on me.  I remembered what it was like, way back in 1986, when I first stepped into a martial arts studio: I was 80 lbs overweight, had never done much of anything athletic, and I had the work ethic of a wet square of toilet paper.  Training two hours per week  was almost too much for me back then.  But I didn’t quit.

So what I’m saying is, don’t think you have to be perfect.  Just do your best, maintain incremental improvement, and don’t quit.  If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up so much that you give up — just keep going and do better next time.

Full disclosure: In last week’s T.I. I said, “If you’re not doing two constitutionals per week you’re not doing Cabal Fang — the world’s only martial art with a minimum fitness requirement.”  And yet last weekend I got sick and ended up  only doing one constitutional this week — and I’m the chucklehead who founded this crazy martial art.

Lapses and Slips: Training Involution #140

This month’s focus is Self-Defense vs. Weapons. What if you get cut? Can you move with one limb incapacitated?  If you have to use a weapon to defend yourself, can you move around and fight without dropping it?

  • 10 minutes on a slip ball.  If you’re bored, try the drill outlined in the video below.
  • Armed self-defense gauntlet.  Set a timer for 2:00 rounds and pick up a wooden practice weapon — stick, knife, doesn’t matter.  Complete a round each of of strikes vs. Heavy bag, Get-ups, Sit-ups w/ Strike, Sprints w/ strike, and then do it again (16 mins total).  Drop your weapon penalty = 50 Push-ups.
  • Get it?  “Lapses and slips”?  The training session has slips and “lapses “– an obsolete word for intervals and the origin of the word “laps.”
  • Have you done two constitutionals this week?  If not, here you go.
  • Record everything in your training journal.