Tag Archives: self destruct sequence

Mettlecraft Month 2018 Recap and T.I. #133


The calisthenics nightmare that is Self-Destruct Sequence is a great way to find out if you scare easy.  But we stared it down.  And guess what we found out?

We are capable of more than we ever thought possible.

Everybody got it done under the 40 minute time limit.  Scott thought I was crazy — but he finished it twice.  Three of us set personal records (James 22:55, Robert 24:38 and me 24:45).  Arman set the new Cabal Fang organization record (21:15).  Two people who aren’t even in the organization were inspired to take a shot at it!  One was legendary martial arts coach Mark Hatmaker (who holds the all-time record by the way at 21:05).


And now for the Cabal Fang training involution of the week.

Training Involution of the Week #133

  • If you only took one nibble of Self-Destruct Sequence this month, go take another bite and see how it tastes the second time around.  Instructions below if you need reminding. Make sure you warm up thoroughly before you start!
  • If you took two or more stabs at Self-Destruct Sequence this month, then you deserve some rest.  Spend 20 minutes on form and technique.  If you’re solo, spend 10 minutes on forms and 10 more on the heavy bag at 2/3 power making sure everything looks just so.  If you have a partner, spend 20 minutes at half power working on Flow Drill #1.: A: Cram w/ Decolage Right to L Roundhouse Kick. B: Fade away overhook kick catch, block down foot, spiral takedown to Hanging Achilles Lock. A: Roll out. B: Follow, step over to Half Crab.
  • Walking meditation.  Go for a walk, at least 30 minutes.  Think about what you learned from Self-Destruct Sequence this month.  Now you know you’re capable of more than you thought possible.  How can you apply that to other dimensions of your life?  Are you capable of more intellectually?  Emotionally? Spiritually?  Come out of your walk with a new stretch goal.  Maybe you want to read more books or take more classes, save more money, spend more time with your kids, or to finally learn to play to guitar.  Cabal Fang is full context martial arts.  The lessons of martial arts are no good if you don’t apply them across all four dimensions.

In case you’re late to the party, here’s the challenge: Get this done in under 40 minutes.

 Self-Destruct Sequence

Zombie Squats (50)
Push-ups, diamond (25)
Jump Squats (100)
10-Count Bodybuilders (25)
Pikes/Leg Triangles (25)
Jump Squats, split (50)
Push-ups, Sit-out (25)
Bicycles (50 each side)
Burpees (25)
Twisters (25 each side)
Wall Touches (100)
Push-ups, hopping/clapping (25)

Exercise illustration video here.


Stand Tall: Training Involution #130

The Magician — he is acting out the Hermetic axiom “As above, so below”

This month our martial focus is Mettlecraft and our internal, symbolic focus is the Staff.

Mettlecraft month means we’re all digging deeper.  Those of us who haven’t licked Self-Destruct Sequence in under 40 mins quite yet are working our way up to it.  For the Staff, we’re finishing every club meeting with the Caduceus Ritual (see Chapter 19 of Cabal Fang: Complete Martial Arts Study Course).

The Caduceus Ritual aligns your spine — physically, intellectually and spiritually.

  • Physically, you stand straight, breath deeply, and vocalize certain tones.   This slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and so on.
  • Intellectually and mythologically you see yourself as a conduit through and between the energies above (sky) and below (earth).
  • Spiritually you allow yourself to fully experience the ritual absorb its significance.

Let’s go put all of this together.

Stand Tall: Training Involution #130

  • Did you finish Self-Destruct Sequence in under 40 minutes last week?  For instructions click here.   If so, do half of the reps as a recovery this week, and think about beating your record next week.
  • Did you get through at least half of the reps?  If so, do 2/3 of the reps this week.
  • Did you get less than half of the reps?  No problem, just try to do more reps this week than last.
  • Did you fail to even try?  There are no excuses in Cabal Fang.  Work around handicaps and limitations.  Modify or substitute exercises as needed.  If you’re wheelchair-bound, equate 12 exercises as closely as you can to the 12 in Self-Destruct Sequence and go.
  • Embody the Caduceus Ritual for the rest of the coming week.  Practice standing tall.  Hold your spine upright, keep your shoulders back, and look people in the eye when you talk to them.  Log your performance in your training journal.

Don’t  tell me what you can’t do.  I only want to hear about what you can do.







Cord and Rule Month 1 and Training Involution #129

Me and my son Robert just after finishing Self-Destruct Sequence in 30:58.

Thursday night was the first new month under the new Cord and Rule program.  We reviewed our journals to demonstrate we’d done our homework and stamped up our rules accordingly.  The thud of the hammer and the visible mark on the brass to signify your work feels fantastic.

November is Mettlecraft Month.  Time to dig deeper.

There were lots of people out sick and otherwise tied up, so it was just my son and I at the meeting.  After we stamped up our rules, we decided to step up on account of it being Mettlecraft Month and earn a big fat “Z” by completing Self-Destruct Sequence in under 40 minutes.  We did, in a blistering 30:58 (my son was done about 30 seconds faster than that — Daddy was bringing up the rear).  We almost beat my personal record from two years ago.

Members of the Richmond group — Leo, Scott, Sydney — and those of you playing the home game — Arman, James — your assignment is to get this thing done before the month is out.  I know you can do it. 

If you think you can safely finish the whole thing in under 40 minutes with no practice, by all means, give it a go.  But I know at least one person — a fitness freak and former competitive bodybuilder — who had to struggle for over a month, finally getting it done after many failed attempts.  My advice is work your way up to it for a few weeks and then take your shot.  Self-Destruct Sequence is no joke!

Week 1 Run-up to Self-Destruct Sequence: Training Involution #129

  • Warm up for at least 8 minutes.  Hop from foot to foot, trot, skip and jog, and rotate all joints, and do the Fools Journey form for about 5 mins.  Then spend 3 mins doing a few reps of each exercise (see below for exercise list and instructional video).
  • Complete SSM-1 of each exercise in Self-Destruct Sequence.  SSM stands for “single set max.” So “SSM-1” means you do as many of each exercise as you can but you stop on the rep just before you think you’ll probably fail.
  • Shadowbox 10 mins for form.  Don’t go all out, just relax, let if flow, and work on your form.
  • Cool down for 3 min. 
  • Complete the Caduceus Ritual.  See Chapter 19 of the Cabal Fang Study Guide for instructions.
  • Record what you did in your training journal.  If it ain’t in the journal, it didn’t happen.  “That which is measured improves,” as the saying goes.

 Self-Destruct Sequence

Zombie Squats (50)
Push-ups, diamond (25)
Jump Squats (100)
10-Count Bodybuilders (25)
Pikes/Leg Triangles (25)
Jump Squats, split (50)
Push-ups, Sit-out (25)
Bicycles (50 each side)
Burpees (25)
Twisters (25 each side)
Wall Touches (100)
Push-ups, hopping/clapping (25)

??? DID YOU KNOW ???  that Self-Destruct Sequence comes from my book The Calisthenics Codex and that, if you finish any workout from the book you can get into the Calisthenics Codex Hall of Fame?

This workout appears in my Top 10 calisthenics ebook — click here to download!






Self-Destruct Sequence: T.I. #116

I guess I’m getting old.  Yesterday I did Self-Destruct Sequence in 36:52 — six minutes behind my record time of 30:20 back in March ’16.

How about you give it a try?

Post your times here in the comments and share your thoughts on what it was like.  I’d love to hear from you.

Without further ado, the Cabal Fang Martial Arts Training Involution of the Week!

Kicking it with Self-destruct sequence: Training Involution of the Week #116

1. Shadowboxing Kick Combos (180 kicks total).  Keep your usual fighting shape throughout — trust me these combos still work — and don’t muck around.  Kick like you mean it.

  • 10 @ L. Knee + R. Roundhouse
  • 10 @ R. Knee + L. Roundhouse
  • 10@ L. Stomp + R. Push Kick + L. Roundhouse
  • 10 @ R. Stomp + L. Push Kick + R. Roundhouse
  • 10 @ L. Side Kick + R. Back Kick + R. Side Kick + L. Roundhouse
  • 10 @ R. Side Kick + L. Back Kick + L. Side Kick + R. Roundhouse

2. “S.A.F.E. M.P.” Kicks vs. Heavy Bag.  Set timer for 1:00 rounds.  Complete two sets of “SAFE MARTIAL PRACTICE” (12 mins total), taking as few 12-count breaks as needed to finish without throwing up:

  • S. = Speed (as many kicks as you can)
  • A. = Accuracy (Add Xs with tape and hit them)
  • F. = Form (best form possible)
  • E. = Endurance (no rest breaks no matter how bad it hurts)
  • M. = Mobility (lots of foot maneuvers, head movement, and off-angling)
  • P. = Power (max power shots only — try to split the bag open)

3. Self-Destruct Sequence

Doesn’t matter if you break it up in pieces, do it in circuits, or rip it straight through; doesn’t even matter if you have to substitute an exercise or two because of your fitness level.  Just modify, adapt, and get the damned thing done.  Video of the exercises below.

  •  Zombie Squats (50)
  • Push-ups, diamond (25)
  • Jump Squats (100)
  • 10-Count Bodybuilders (25)
  • Pikes/Leg Triangles (25)
  • Jump Squats, split (50)
  • Push-ups, Sit-out (25)
  • Bicycles (50 each side)
  • Burpees (25)
  • Twisters (25 each side)
  • Wall Touches (100)
  • Push-ups, hopping/clapping (25)

This workout appears in my Top 10 calisthenics ebook — click here to download!

Did you like Self-Destruct Sequence?  The you might really like my book The Calisthenics Codex.  There are some real beauties in there, like “Gym Class Flashback,” “Cell Block Montage,” “Bad Karma,” “Very Bad Karma” and many more.  Available wherever fine eBooks are sold!

Workout Routine: Self Destruct Sequence

Here’s a little slice of hell that I’ve started trying to get through that I call “Self Destruct Sequence.”  So far I’ve only made it through at half of the listed reps (to be fair though, I’ve been doing it with a weighted vest, so there’s that).

This workout appears in my Top 10 calisthenics ebook — click here to download!

By “get through it” I mean completing all of the exercises without taking any rests longer than ten seconds.  I’m sure that if I took plenty of breaks and stretched it out to an hour I could go and do it right now — but my goal is to get through this thing in less than 40 minutes.

Give it a shot.  Let me know how it goes…

  1. Zombie Squats (50)
  2. Pushups, diamond (25)
  3. Jump Squats (100)
  4. Bodybuilders (25)
  5. Pikes (25)
  6. Jump Squats, split (50)
  7. Pushups, barrel roll (25)
  8. Bicycles (50 each side)
  9. Burpees (25)
  10. Twisters (25 each side)
  11. Wall Touches (100)
  12. Pushups, hopping/clapping (25)