Tag Archives: mettle-maker

Vault of Reason: Mettle Maker #243

Heads up!  This week’s mettle maker contains a coupon code for free shipping at Mitch’s General Store so read on.

What’s in these weekly mettle makers?

A martial segment, a fitness segment, a primitive skills segment, and a spiritual segment.  Want to get strong inside and out?  This is the way I’d advise doing it.

Vault of Reason: Mettle Maker #243

  • 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.
  • Do some scufflin’ fitness.  Set a timer for repeating 1 min. intervals.  Cycle through 1 min each of Sprawl ‘n’ Punch, Bear Walks and Heavy Bag Squeezes (use your floor bag and squeeze as hard as you can!).  As a maintenance drill, run about 3 cycles (9 mins total) at moderate intensity.  For something more strenuous, up the intensity and run more cycles.  Created using Scufflin’ Dice ©.  Set includes 4 dice and a handout with link to training video.  Enter coupon code “SCUFF21” at checkout for free USPS priority mail shipping on any order — good until 1/31/21.
  • Hike, vault, and roll.   Put on a pack and hike to a place where you can practice your vaults and rolls.  Take off your pack and put in a few minutes of movement practice.  I used a couple of park benches — see video below.  When you’re done, put your pack back on and hike home.  Adjust weight and distance, and number and type of movements, based on your fitness level, training cycle, and so forth.  If you don’t have training cyclically, you should read my book Martial Grit: Real Fighting Fitness (On a Budget).

  • What plant is this?  Here’s a hint: it’s the same plant the famous wand is made of — the one Voldemort wanted to get his hands on so badly.  Answer below the photos.

This is Sambucus canadensis or common elderberry.  Berries ripen from late July to August and should be cooked before eating, which explains why you always see elderberry jam, preserves, wine, etc.

  • Acknowledge your higher power.  If you don’t believe in God you might want to reconsider.  Recognition of a higher power was central to the survival of our hominid ancestors when they were on the verge of extinction 70,000 years ago and is easily supported on scientific and logical grounds.  Of the roughly 20 sound logical arguments for existence of God, the best, in my opinion, is…
    The Cosmological Argument1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
    2. The universe began to exist.
    3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
    4. The universe began to exist at the point of the Big Bang.
    5. Before the Big Bang there was no time, no matter, and no causality.
    5. Therefore the cause of the universe is timeless, immaterial, and uncaused.
    6. A timeless and immaterial first cause is commonly known as God.The first classic rebuttal is “Not all things that begin to exist have a cause.” But persons, animals and things are not popping in and out of existence all around us. If you insist on completely rejecting our current understanding of how things work, I can’t help you.  The only other avenue of escape from this argument is to dispute the standard model of the universe. But the standard model — in which the universe had a beginning and will have a cold dark end — has remained the scientific consensus despite all challenges thus far, including the Steady State Model, the Oscillating Model, the Baby Universe Model, the Multiverse Model, and so on.

    Based on the evidence and the current state of the scientific debate, we can say with relative certainty that the universe is of finite size, it had a beginning, it will have an end, and that only the Uncaused Cause – a.k.a God — is infinite.  So start saying your prayers. It might feel a little awkward at first, but like anything else, you’ll get better with practice.



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!

The Ropes: Mettle Maker #242

The Cabal Fang monthly focuses are Self-defense vs. empty hands and the Rose.

the Ropes: Mettle Maker #242

  • 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.
  • Do the monthly constitutional.   Complete a 15-minute half pyramid of Sprawls, Mountain Climbers, Push-Ups, Slow Side Kicks, Drop Duck-unders, Steam Engines, Jump Squats (for split leg exercises and kicks L + R = 1).   A half-pyramid is 1 of each, 2 of each, 3, 4, 5 etc. until the timer beeps.
  • Why the lantern? Because it was 27 F and dark at 6 AM when I did this little beauty the other day.

    16 minutes of Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble mix ‘n’ match fitness.   Set timer for 1 minute intervals and cycle through the following four times: Rope Climbs, Bowie knife air strikes, Sledge Blows, and Wrestling Shots.  Created using two dice from the MBF set and two dice from the FRT set, both available from Mitch’s General Store.

  • Can you tie a taught-line hitch?  It’s one of the most practical knots known to man, useful for setting up a clothes lines, staking out tents, and so on.  Knot slides easily but holds well under moderate loads.  Steps below.
  • Say a prayer.  If you already have an active prayer life, don’t let me interfere.  But if you don’t, let me show you the ropes.  Why?  Because recognizing a higher power was central to the survival of our hominid ancestors when they were on the verge of extinction 70,000 years ago.  Recognizing a higher power is step two in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program — the most successful mutual-aid, self-help program in history.  And there are hundreds of reliable studies showing that prayer improves cognitive function and happiness quotient, reduces alcohol intake, fights depression, aids in psychological resiliency, and much more.  Get started.  If you’ve never prayed before, or you’re rusty,  start small.  Say grace before meals, say your prayers before bed, or start your day with a simple prayer like, “Heavenly Father, I pray thee stand with me today, guiding my thoughts, desires, actions and beliefs so that I may walk in your ways in all I do and say this day.”  If you don’t feel better I’ll eat my hat.


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!

Cut the Chatter: Mettle Maker #241

Blah blah blah.  The older I get the more I become the old man who sees 99% of what goes in the world as racket.¹

Cut the Chatter: Mettle Maker #241

  • 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.
  • Face the 25-minute “Stayin’ Alive” drill.  Set timer for 5 X 5:00.  Round 1, run away from your training area.  Round 2, run back.  Round 3, shadowbox.  Round 4, pick up your floor bag (a heavy bag with chains removed) and do not put it down until the timer beeps.  Practice your stand-up grappling — squeezes, Scarf Holds, chokes, etc.  Round 5, wrestle the bag.  Put it on the mat and practice your Bridges, Reverses, tackles, Bottom Scissors, etc.  Click here or the above pic for a video.
  • Pick a finisher.  Cap off your training session with a quick “finisher” — a short but intense contribution to functional martial fitness.  Take your pick: (A) 100 yard heavy carry (choose a sandbag based on your fitness level — I used #105), (B) 5 minute IMT run (C) As many kicks as you can in 5 minutes.  That ought to “cut your chatter.”
  • Do you know what bird this is?  It’s one of the chattiest birds in North America, and it’s name comes from the Greek kitta — “chattering bird.”  If you don’t know its call, then you don’t know one of your closest, most talkative neighbors. Give up?  Click here for the answer.
  •  Cut the chatter and see how different the world looks.  We are constantly awash in racket — music and media of all kinds, T.V., YouTube, podcasts, books on tape and on and on — much of it verbal.  Words can be very useful.  But pointless words are just noise.  Shut off the media, go outside (or at the very least go to a quiet space), and silence your chattering monkey-mind with 10 minutes of contemplation.  Set timer for 10 minutes and assume your posture of choice.  Regulate your breathing to a slow, steady rhythm, making sure that you fully fill and empty your lungs with each breath.  Keep your eyes open and do not fidget, wiggle, or scratch.  Full instructions and more info in the video below.

¹The new movie Wonder Woman 1984 was good though.  Maybe I should make a video about that, considering that I gave it 8 stars and IMDB says it’s only 5.5.



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!