Tag Archives: martial grit

Have Mercy: Martial Arts Training Involution #209

Today’s the fourth T.I. of the month centering around the Cabal Fang symbol the Chalice and the martial focus Striking.  May’s a long month which allows us five weeks to get into the weeds of this unique internal and external work combination.

You know, I spend a ton of time making sure that everything I create — products, posts, newsletters, books — all harmonizes and co-inheres with what I’m working on at home and at the martial arts club.

 

dice

A mix’n’match of FRT dice and Scufflin’ Dice

How do you make sure that everything you do — home, work, school, play, church,  etc. — harmonizes and co-inheres?  Journaling, in the form of an integrated diary and training log, is sufficient for most people, and will probably work for you too unless you’re a creator.  If you are a creator like me and you’d like little a peak behind the curtain — a look at how I create, organize and harmonize all of this material — dodge over to Patreon and for just $1/month you can get behind-the-scenes access.

The martial portion of this week’s T.I. is a grappling-striking mix’n’match created using FRT Dice and Scufflin’ Dice.  I just grabbed a couple of each and gave them a toss to create a session that would force me to practice integrating my striking and grappling skills.

Have Mercy: Martial arts Training Involution #209

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Mix’n’match pyramid of 5 exercises to 5 reps for power.  A pyramid to 5 reps is 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 (25 reps total of each exercise).  The five exercises are Bearhug Carry (1 orbit of your training area = 1 rep),  Shots (classic wrestling style), Shovels (sledgehammer, 1/side), Bodybuilders (10-count Navy Seal style) and Heavy Bag Combos (5 combos = 1 rep).  Power is a work/time/distance equation (lots of detail on this inMartial Grit, see below) so everything in this pyramid should be done with full forcemax-power-squeezing of heaviest manageable sand or heavy bag based on size/fitness level, explosive sledge digs, max-power heavy bag striking etc.  Only have one heavy bag and using it for the carries?  Just put on the floor and practice your down strikes from Top Saddle.
  • Mercy meditation.  Cool down for 3 minutes, then set a timer for about 10 minutes and assume your meditative posture of choice.  Regulate your breathing to a slow and steady rhythm.  The Chalice symbol embodies the concept of reception.  It is about receiving, accepting, and allowing.  Keep your eyes open as you think about something you’ve been unable to forgive, allow or accept — something you know you should let go in yourself or in someone else.  See if you can envision a way to be merciful.  It’s very important not to think in words during meditations like this.  Think in images and feelings only.  Let them appear like gauzy dream superimpositions on your visual field.  If the word-monkey starts chattering just ignore him and he’ll quiet down soon enough.  When the timer beeps, record your thoughts and experiences in your training journal.

My new ebook “Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget)” releases July 1st.  Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, iTunes or Smashwords.  Honed by 30 years teaching martial arts in inner city programs and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. 3 keys to proper mindset. Accelerate your training with the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Dozens of drills and exercises using heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies.  

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Perilous: Martial Arts Training Involution #208

Here at Cabal Fang HQ the May ’20 martial focus is Striking and the spiritual symbol is the Chalice.  I’m teaching two martial arts now — Cabal Fang and Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — so I try to make the weekly T.I. applicable to both.  

This week’s T.I. features a modified version of a Bobcat drill named after Black Hawk, and the title ties into a famous lyric poem by Tennyson about the Holy Grail written during the Frontier period — see an excerpt at the bottom.

Like martial arts and fitness?  My new ebook “Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget)” releases July 1st.  Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, iTunes or Smashwords.  Honed by 30 years teaching martial arts in inner city programs and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. 3 keys to proper mindset. Accelerate your training with the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Dozens of drills and exercises using heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies.  

And now for your weekly T.I.

Perilous: Martial arts Training Involution #208

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 16 minutes of martial fitness action.  Set timer for intervals of 4 minutes.  Shadowbox for 4 minutes.  Then run out for 4 minutes, run back — (get back before the timer beeps!), and finish up with 4 minutes of weapon shadowboxing with your training weapon of choice.  How many times did you drop your blunt training weapon or accidentally allow the business end to touch your body?  Do 50 Push-ups for each error.
  • Want more? Do this month’s constitutional — click here.
  • Grail mediation.  Cool down for 3 minutes, then assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to a slow and steady rhythm.  Keep your eyes open as you imagine that the glowing Grail is hovering in the air before you, close enough to touch.  The Grail is the cup Christ used when he instituted the Holy Eucharist, and legend has it that one sip from it confers infinite blessings.  How does it make you that make you feel to be in its presence?  Don’t think about the Grail in words — just allow yourself to experience the image and concept of the Grail emotionally, spiritually and inspirationally. When he timer beeps, record your thoughts and experiences in your training journal.

An Excerpt from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Holy Grail

Then came a year of miracle: O brother,
In our great hall there stood a vacant chair,
Fashion’d by Merlin ere he past away,
And carven with strange figures; and in and out
The figures, like a serpent, ran a scroll
Of letters in a tongue no man could read.
And Merlin call’d it ‘The Siege perilous,’
Perilous for good and ill; ‘for there,’ he said,
‘No man could sit but he should lose himself:’
And once by misadvertence Merlin sat
In his own chair, and so was lost; but he,
Galahad, when he heard of Merlin’s doom,
Cried, ‘If I lose myself, I save myself!’

II

…When the hermit made an end,
In silver armour suddenly Galahad shone
Before us, and against the chapel door
Laid lance, and enter’d, and we knelt in prayer.
And there the hermit slaked my burning thirst,
And at the sacring of the mass I saw
The holy elements alone; but he:
‘Saw ye no more? I, Galahad, saw the Grail,
The Holy Grail, descend upon the shrine:
I saw the fiery face as of a child
That smote itself into the bread, and went;
And hither am I come; and never yet
Hath what thy sister taught me first to see,
This Holy Thing, fail’d from my side, nor come
Cover’d, but moving with me night and day,
Fainter by day, but always in the night
Blood-red, and sliding down the blacken’d marsh
Blood-red, and on the naked mountain top
Blood-red, and in the sleeping mere below
Blood-red. And in the strength of this I rode,
Shattering all evil customs everywhere,
And past thro’ Pagan realms, and made them mine,
And clash’d with Pagan hordes, and bore them down,
And broke thro’ all, and in the strength of this
Come victor. But my time is hard at hand,
And hence I go; and one will crown me king
Far in the spiritual city; and come thou, too,
For thou shalt see the vision when I go.’

The Galahad Maneuver: Martial Arts Training Involution #206

Playing the Cabal Fang home game?  Cool.  This month’s constitutional, martial focus and symbol are on on the left.  Stop shirking and start working. Or enroll in the free home study program.

Are you a Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumbler?  Things are a little less structured for you.  World’s your oyster.  Roll the dice, do the Molly Pitcher, the Sim Webb, etc., or enroll in the program.

Regardless of which camp you’re in you’re going to love my new ebook “Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget)” which releases July 1st.  Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, iTunes or Smashwords — it’s a real winner.  Honed by 30 years teaching martial arts on shoestring budgets in inner city programs and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. The 3 keys to proper mindset. Improve right away using the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Proper use of heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies.  

And now for your weekly T.I.

The Galahad Maneuver: Martial arts Training Involution #206

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Martial Arts Mix and Match.  4 rounds of action (beginner/intermediate 2:00 each, advanced 3:00) for a total of 8 to 12 minutes.  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need.  Do one round each of Lunges, Clocks, Low Crawl, Sled Pulls/Yanks.  Video below.
  • Not enough exercise for you?  Do this month’s constitutional.  See photo above or click here.
  • Practice the Galahad Maneuver.   Pick something you know that’s not good for you and make a substitution — a food or beverage, a form of entertainment, or even a person who’s a negative influence.  Just 5 minutes of serious thought will reveal a list of stuff you know you shouldn’t be eating, watching, doing or associating with.  Start with one of the easy ones and substitute a better choice.  This is the trail-head that leads to the mountaintop of sacrifice.  Keep going and perhaps one day you’ll come to see the world the way that Sir Galahad saw it when he said, “If I lose myself I save myself.”  Remember, Galahad was the only Knight of the Round Table who saw the Grail. You are not your tastes, your needs, your wants, your favorites, or hobbies, or any of that.  You are something much more than that.  But you have to strip some things away to begin to see it.  By the way, this drill is associated with the Chalice symbol and it first appeared in The Hourglass Way: Transform in 12 Weeks with Cabal Fang which contains about 11 more exercises that are equally powerful.

Movie Time: Martial Arts Training Involution #205

Lots going on in these parts!  On April 30th my new newsletter SHIFT goes live.   This is where all my ideas unite — fitness,  primitive skills, martial arts, personal development, and spirituality.  Sign up now to get fun and inspirational tips, articles, meditations, exercises, and more — all free — and guaranteed to shift you in a new whole new gear.

And on July first my new ebook “Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget)” will be released.  Pre-order now at Barnes & Noble, iTunes or Smashwords — it’s a real winner.  Honed by 30 years teaching martial arts on shoestring budgets in inner city programs and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. The 3 keys to proper mindset. Improve right away using the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Proper use of heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies.  

So much for the commercials — on with the movie.

Movie Time: Martial arts Training Involution #205

Simeon T. “Sim” Webb — Casey Jones’ famous fireman after whom the Sim Webb fitness drill is named (thanks to findagrave.com)

This training involution plays out like an old western movie.  Imagine you are a mild-mannered fireman on a coal-fired locomotive.  The train is robbed by bandits who capture you and take you for ransom, planning to sell you back to the railroad at the next town.  What they don’t know is that the railroad is about to go under, and there will be no ransom paid.  You must make your escape!  You manage to flee in the middle of the night, evading all but one of the bandits, but your hands are bound.  As dawn is breaking you free your hands just in time for the climactic fight scene in which you defeat the bandit.  The credits roll as you stride into a deserted town ready to make a new start.

 

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Sim Webb fitness drill Simulate a few minutes in the life of a locomotive fireman — named after Simeon T. “Sim” Webb — Casey Jones’ famous fireman and survivor of the wreck of the Cannonball Express.  Get a sledgehammer and complete this twice through: rake the coal to the box (20 Paddles w/ sledge), check the box (2o Sprawls), check the pipes (5 x 50 yd sprints w/ sledge), shovel the coal (20 Shovels with sledge), check the fire (20 Squats).  See if you can beat my time of 10:21.  If you want more drill like this, click here.
  • 1/2 mile P.O.W. Run.  Run 1/2 mile with your fingertips touching your ears or with fingers interlaced behind your neck (my time was 5:57).
  • Constant contact drill.  Square off with your heavy bag and get after it as fast as you can with meaningful contact.  See how long you can go without gassing out.  If you do this immediately after the run and you make it past 2 minutes you’re doing fine.
  • Walking contemplation.  Walking at a leisurely pace, regulate your breathing to insure a slow and consistent rhythm that completely fills and empties your lungs without holding your breath.  Gently allow your mind to empty and calm itself.  Don’t make war with your thoughts — just quiet your internal dialogue, stop thinking in words, and let yourself slide into relaxed awareness.  Just be.  Simply exist and move and breathe for about 10 minutes.

Martial Grit is Ready for Preorder!

My next book — Martial Grit — releases on July 1st and it’s ready for preorder!

Honed by 30 years teaching inner city programs on shoestring budgets and in public parks for a non-profit, this is as real as it gets. The 3 keys to proper mindset. Improve right away using the “S.A.F.E. M.P.” protocol. Proper use of heavy bags, floor bags, dummies, slip balls, chains, weights, tires, sledges, pipes, mallets, etc. And DIY instructions for making your own gear for pennies!