Tag Archives: martial arts

Martial Fitness Mix ‘n’ Match Video

The Wednesday martial arts video is up!

On April 30th my new newsletter SHIFT goes live.   This is where everything I do will come together — my fitness work, my primitive skills and martial arts material, my management, coaching and financial advice, and of course my spiritual teaching.  Sign up now to get tips, fun and inspirational articles, quizzes, meditations, exercises, and more — all 100% free — and guaranteed to shift you in a new whole new gear.

Talking and Clinching

As most of you already know, I’m an author, a martial artist, a seminarian, and a deacon in the Old Catholic tradition.  As a general rule, I release religious videos on Sundays and  martial arts videos on Wednesdays.  Sometimes I make an extra one or get held up or delayed for some cause unforeseen.  Stuff happens.

I’m not always good at blogging about new videos when they get released.  I apologize.  I’ll try to get better.  Today I have two to tell you about.

The first one is a conversation I had with an anonymous atheist who goes by the name FLR (“Facts Logic and Reason”) that happened a few weeks ago.  Had a hard time fitting it into my video release schedule, but here it is (finally ):

The second one is a little heavy bag clinching drill that will make you suck wind like nobody’s business — and help you get fit to fight!

Scarf Hold Escape


that I started making two videos a week? Martial arts on Wednesdays, religion and/or philosophy on Sundays. Go get some.

Hugh Thompson Jr. : Training Involution #165

This week’s T.I. is in video format.  Dig it.

Did You Know…? (And a WOD)

First your Cabal Fang Workout of the Day, and then a little bout of “Did you know?”

The theme of today’s WOD is is grappling, a.k.a. the clinch, a.k.a. stand-up wrestling, and the workout itself is a puke-inducing two-parter as follows:

  1. Choose a sandbag of appropriate weight (I used at #20)  and set timer for 10 mins.  Complete as may sets as possible of 8 each: Hop Push-ups (alternating hands on sandbag, on knees if you must), Flutter Kicks (while holding sandbag up with elbows locked), and Split Squats (sandbag on shoulder).  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to finish.
  2. Grappling Conditioner #2.  Set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00 and square up against your heavy bag.  For the 3:00, splay, punch x2, splay, punch x4, splay, punch x6, etc. up to splay, punch x10.  Start over and repeat as many sets as you can until 3:00 is up.  For the 1:00 so-called “break,” grab heavy bag with a palm-to-palm grip and squeeze with all your might, making sure you are applying sword-bone forearm pressure (if you are a visual learner, video below).  Repeat twice more for a total of 3 rounds, 12 mins total. Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to avoid throwing up.

Now for a  little “Did you know?”  Did you know…

  • That I’ve been maintaining a Productivity Log since January of 2012 that contains all my workouts and various other personal activities, and that it’s a treasure trove of workout ideas and inspiration?
  • That I have six books to my credit — two non-fiction martial arts books, one non-fiction fitness book, and three supernatural romance novels (which are currently on pre-order as a bundle)?
  • That I designed some one-of-a-kind fitness dice and wrote a whole heap of personal improvement pamphlets that are available over at PTDICE.com — and that I include a free t-shirt with every order?
  • That in 2009 I founded a really cool martial art called Cabal Fang?
  • That there’s a Temple of Cabal Fang that contains, among other things, a library of over 100 esoteric books, most of which are cataloged here?



Combat Camp 2015

Update 7/18/19:  My club still uses the flag but we’re now called Cabal Fang Temple, and we’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational charity.  Visit our website or purchase our 12-week personal growth program at Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, or wherever fine e-books are sold.


Original post:

My martial arts club is hosting…

SATURDAY JULY 18th 2015 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
West End Manor Civic Association, 8600 Lakefront Drive, Henrico, VA 23294-6100

An entire day of practical self-defense training including:
* Awareness * Prevention * Striking * Wrestling
* Fighting Fitness * Armed & Unarmed Defense


THIS IS AN OUTDOOR EVENT. Wear functional, weather-appropriate clothing that you do not mind getting dirty, wet, or ripped. No equipment required (but bring your own and you won’t have to share).



The Order of Seven Martial Arts Club was formed in 2009 and is officially sanctioned by the Combat Martial Arts Practitioners Association and Cabal Fang Martial Arts. Learn more about the club at ORDER7HILLS.COM.

It’s Only Human Nature

A recent post by Steve Grogan entitled “Why I Prefer Spirituality over Religion” got me thinking.  I started to simply reply in the comments, but I soon realized that I had far more to say.  Here is Steve’s post:

And here’s my response.



I understand how you feel.  Truth be told, I have had similar knee-jerk reactions myself.  But deep down, I don’t believe that many people are “churned out of churches” with narrow viewpoints because they have ideas “ground into them.”

You have come upon the verge of a powerfully brilliant realization, and I hope you don’t mind if I — one martial artist to another, in a friendly way — give you little helping hand making the leap.

Humans are not generally stupid or easily brainwashed.  I believe people sometimes espouse ideologies they really aren’t deeply invested in, and that they do so for reasons that are frequently quite mundane.  They make investments in order to receive gains.  If they are lonely, they may go to a church to make friends or to interact with existing ones.  If it benefits them socially, politically, or commercially, some folks will attend a church just so that they can hobnob with powerful people,  make business contacts, and so forth.  This group explains why, as you said, some people you perceive as religious don’t practice what they preach.

Others attend a given church out of tradition.  Going to the same church that grandma and grandpa attended provides a sense of security, stability, and comfort.  Or maybe they just go because they’re bored, or because they feel they’re supposed to.

And there are the role players.  These are people who attend churches to pursue their self-aggrandizement, so that they can either feel — or appear — pious, hardworking, selfless, and/or committed.  They volunteer for projects, try to raise the most charity money, lead the choir, the committee, the study group, etc.

Many go to church in search of guidance and direction.   The ones who are free-thinking and determined may stay for years, quietly studying and seeking, perhaps even secretly harboring a viewpoint divergent from fellow congregants, holding out hope that someday enlightenment will come.  Others are more rudderless.  For them, something, anything, is better than wandering aimlessly.  Once inside, lacking wisdom and insight, and surrounded by others who follow the teachings, these types do whatever it takes to exemplify the ideal.

In my experience, there is usually a small but very vocal group of people who are the hardcore believers, the ones who have mistaken the communion wine for the Koolaid.  Don’t judge the entire congregation by these characters.   That would be like judging all Muslims based on the behavior of a few jihadists.

With all this in mind, it should be no surprise that people in religious organizations might be “unwilling to admit that anything else might be true or make sense.”    When you challenge someone’s religious beliefs you are forcing him or her to self-evaluate.  People don’t want to look themselves in the mirror.  Hardcore believers will be especially resistant because they have invested so much more.  It is as if they have built a massive and incredible bridge, and you are asking them to admit that the engineering is faulty, or that it perhaps may lead nowhere.

Human beings don’t usually like facing facts about themselves and others.   They don’t enjoy admitting uncertainty, poor judgement, or true motives.  If they are in a congregation owing to heritage or tradition, it isn’t fun to admit that grandma and grandma might have been wrong.  If they’re there because their friends are there, a challenge of beliefs may ignite feelings of tribalism.  In the end, although some people do push back against religious criticism because they are true believers, reasons vary greatly because people vary greatly.

Making assumptions about the homogeneity of “religious” people — some of whom may only appear to be religious — lacks nuance.  This goes for all broad categories of people.  You are a martial artist, a practitioner of Wing Chung.  Why do you practice it?  Do all practitioners of Wing Chun have the same reasons?  How many reasons are there for people to practice Wing Chun and advocate its concepts?  I posit that there are as many reasons as there are practitioners.  How would you react if someone criticized Wing Chun?

Most of the things you have observed have more to do with human nature than they have to do with religion.  As a martial artist, you know that when a person is pushed, he usually pushes back; when she is pulled, she pulls back.  This is a natural tendency.

But the master is the one who pulls when he is pushed, who pushes when she is pulled.

Perhaps, when dealing with intolerant people, folks with whom you disagree, and so forth, you might anticipate the push.  All options are available to you in terms of thoughts, feelings and actions — pushing, pulling, blocking, shielding, clashing, avoiding, and so on.

From one martial artist to another, I feel I must warn you against the great trap that is dualism.  I really hope you don’t think of this as a lecture.  I enjoy your blog, and I find it thought provoking.  Please keep posting.

Yours in the arts,


Martial Arts Checklist and Workout Log

This is what my t-shirt looked like after martial arts practice on Tuesday.

What a t-shirt sometimes looks like after a workout at my martial arts club.

Is your martial arts club covering all of the bases?  I put together a little checklist for my club, and I thought I’d share.

Each month we choose a monthly concentration and stick with it for the entire month.  Sometimes we wake up and realize it has been too long since we really got deeply into a given area, and that’s bad.  To prevent that, we’re going check things off as we work them.  This month we’re going to do a grappling review and do some sparring (by grappling I mean stand-up wrestling, a.k.a. ‘the clinch’).  We’re not going to focus on take-downs, so I’m only checking off all two of the three grappling boxes.  When all the boxes are checked off we’ll start a new sheet.

I’ve shared it with you.  You can pull up the Google Sheet here, or you can just copy/paste from the table below.  And of course, feel free to modify and adapt as needed.

And if you want to check out our workout log, which goes back to 2009, you can see it here.

Martial Arts Concentration Checklist
Start Date:                                                    End Date:
Description Month/Year
1 All-in Fighting
2 Fundamentals/Basics
3 Grappling Review
4 Grappling Sparring
5 Grappling Take-downs
6 Weapon Command & Mastery
7 Weapon Live Cut/Strike/Shoot
8 Weapon Review
9 Fitness General
10 Fitness Specific
11 Fitness Spirit/Mindset
12 Self-Defense Situations
13 Self-Defense vs. Armed
14 Self-Defense vs. Unarmed
15 Striking Boxing Def./Counters
16 Striking Boxing Sparring
17 Striking Kicking
18 Striking Kicking Boxing Combos
19 Wrestling
20 Wrestling Holds
21 Wrestling Sparring

Cabal Fang, Rising

Third_WaveThe Order of the Third Wave, an order of Cabal Fang, has just formed in New Zealand.  If you are in the Palmerston North area,  and you’re interested in practicing Cabal Fang martial arts, get more info here.

This is a big day for Cabal Fang and for me.  I get several inquiries a year from people thinking about starting clubs, but few actually make a go of it.  Fewer still stick with it for more than a few weeks or even go to the trouble of creating a presence online.  The Order of the Third Wave has already proved itself to be made of stiffer stuff.

cf_PIC_pngFor my readers who aren’t familiar with Cabal Fang, she’s the martial art I officially gave birth to in 2009.  I’ve written two books about her, and there’s nothing else like her.  It takes a special kind of person to practice Cabal Fang, and an especially strong and brave person to start on order.  Why?  Because in Cabal Fang there are no gurus or instructors, only elders and friends.  Each student of Cabal Fang is in charge of his or her own education.  There is no one to tell you what to do, nobody to write a curriculum for you, no belt system to rank you, no uniform to set you apart.  You have to bite your mouthpiece and wade in with courage.

Cabal Fang is my baby.  The formation of the Order of the Third Wave is a big step for her.  It’s like putting your child on airplane to New Zealand.  You want her to go and have fun, but you’re a tad nervous about her flying alone for the first time.

But you know what?  I think she’s going to be fine.  She’s a powerful young woman, and she’s in good hands.


To learn more about Cabal Fang:

Book Sales up 600%

CF_avatarI don’t know what happened.  Was it something I did, or something I stopped doing?  Whatever it is/was, but my book sales are up 600% in the last 30 days.

Now, when sales are as low as mine the figures are easily skewed by just a few sales.  That’s a fact.  But the trend has been up for several weeks in a row.  The increase — all of it — came from a spike in my martial arts books sales.  What is it about those that’s suddenly getting traction?  Search me.  All I know is, I’m thrilled.

If you’re a fan of my non-fiction martial arts books, let me first say thank you, thank you, thank you!  Which book was your favorite? Please comment below.

And, by the way, I have two fitness books in the pipeline — one on calisthenics and one on weight loss and getting cut.  Is either of those of interest to you?