Tag Archives: martial arts

Left Cross Right Hook Counter Drill

Sometimes I write blog posts and make videos that are deep and complex.  Sometimes I just make a 60-second one-shot.  That would be this.

Get dirty.

Anyway, I’ve started to distill some of Matt’s ideas and put them to work in my mission, which is to save the world by making stronger, happier, healthier people through martial arts and religion.  So here’s a video I made about fear.

TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Steam Power: Silence, Speech, and the Word

Speech has a sacred component, words have power, and into the things we name we breathe steam.  Be careful what you name.

Watch video below for more details.

TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts is just $19.99/month and that’s your choice if you’re interested in Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912). What are you waiting for — enroll today!

Mettlecraft Month 2020 is Here!

Mettlecraft Month 2020 (a tougher challenge than we initially thought) is all done — see full and final recap below!

Well, it’s that time of year again — Mettlecraft Month!  Everyone — students past and present, old friends, new friends — please play along and share videos and/or photos of yourself facing the challenge.  Watch this space for updates!

So what’s the challenge?

12 Minutes of Very Bad Karma plus as many kicks as you can in 8 minutes

Like video? See below.   If you prefer written instructions:

  1. Set timer for two intervals — 12 and 8 minutes with no break. [Tip: if you only have a repeating countdown timer, just set it for 4-minute repeats and listen for 3 cylcles and then 2 cycles].
  2. “Very Bad Karma” from my e-book The Calisthenics Codex. Select a rep count for the four exercises — Sprints (12′ out and back = 1), Split Jump Squats (jump, switch, jump = 1), Get-ups and Knuckle Push-ups.  I started with 5.
  3. Complete as many circuits as you can at your selected rep count in 12:00 minutes.
  4. Immediately start doing kicks.  Do as many kicks as you can with good form in 8:00 minutes.
  5.  Add rep counts together for your total score.
  6. Example: You pick a rep count of 5 — 20 reps per circuit.  You complete 8 full circuits plus 4 Sprints before the timer beeps.  That’s 164 reps.  Then you do 180 kicks.  Your total score is 344.

December 1 and final results

Beautiful full moon of 12/1

Thanksgiving always throws a wrench in Mettlecraft month and thwarts last minute attempts to beat scores.  But this year, on top of that, Morgan hurt her wrist.  She had to take time off, get a brace, etc.  So we extended the month to 12/1 and took another run at it.  Jack had to work late and couldn’t make it, so it was Daddy Daughter Night.

Special kudos to Morgan for adding almost a hundred points to her previous score — and for beating my calisthenics count! — all while wearing a wrist brace.  She put up a very impressive score of 484!

I knew there was no way I was going to catch James, but I wanted to beat everyone’s kick number and break 400.  But alas, it was not to be.  I only got 365 and came in a measly 3 points behind Jack — beaten by a nose!

Great job everyone, and thanks a million for taking this ridiculous journey with me.  Everyone who took the trip goes in the Calisthenics Codex Hall of Fame!

Here’s the final tally:

James Williams — 228 + 398 = 626
Jack Bloor — 278 + 266 = 544 
Mitch Mitchell — 176 + 365 = 541
Morgan Mitchell — 189 + 295 = 484

November 30 Results

James Williams — 228 + 398 = 626.  Apparently James was bitten by a radioactive spider, because he wrecked the challenge with a mindboggling score.  James takes the cake — and the plate, the silverware, the tablecloth…

November 24 Results

Mitch Mitchell — 176 + 303 = 479

November 23 Results

James Williams — 203 + 331 = 534

November 19 Results

I tried to get 50 of each exercise in order to break 200 total reps during the Very Bad Karma phase.  Didn’t make it.  Here’s the video.

November 17 Results

Mitch Mitchell — 150+ 250 = 400
Morgan Mitchell — 150+ 240 = 390
Jack Bloor — 278 + 266 = 544 

November 16 Results

James Williams —  203 + 264 = 467

November 12 results

Mitch Mitchell — 176+ 263= 439

November 10 results

Everybody’s numbers came up this week!

Mitch Mitchell — 175+ 218 = 393
Morgan Mitchell — 162 + 236= 398
Jack Bloor — 240 + 259 = 499

November 3 Results

Mitch Mitchell — 136 + 242 = 378
Morgan Mitchell — 160 + 200 = 360
Jack Bloor — 205 + 280 = 485  Way to go Jack!

Now get moving!

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,