Tag Archives: shift

SHIFT Issue #9: Rolling Valleys, Demon Slaying and the Arehkan

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IN THIS Month’s ISSUE…

Where the demons are, the tracks of the “arehkan,” how to escape a standing Scarf Hold and the fairy tale “The White Snake”

Archived issues are stored here.

SHIFT #8: Orion, the Woodland Peewee and More

The newest issue of my twice-monthly newsletter SHIFT is out today!

Click the photo to take a peek.  Almost every issue has some sort of coupon for reduced price downloads of my ebooks or discounts at Mitch’s General Store.

To subscribe to SHIFT click here.

 

SHIFT Issue #3

Subscribers just received Issue #3 of my new SHIFT newsletter. IN THIS ISSUE…Video: The Internal Union of the Warrior-Poet, Eating Isn’t Just About Food, a recipe, and the always-useful Super-Stumper question! Click here to read and subscribe.

SHIFT Newsletter Issue #2

Issue #2 of SHIFT just released this morning.  If you haven’t subscribed you don’t know what you’re missing. Click the pic on the right to subscribe.

SHIFT your outlook.

SHIFT your expectations.

SHIFT your possibilities.

 

 

Amazon Babylon: Martial Arts Training Involution #207

L: The diadem of a famous Amazon from comic books and movies. R: The Star of Ishtar. Coincidence? I think not!

Long before the 2017 movie, Cabal Fang was using an 8-point combat clock called the Star of Ishtar — a universal symbol for the divine feminine associated with the ancient Babylonian goddess Ishtar.  You will note that the star on this fictional Amazon’s diadem is a star of similar design.

Symbols colonize our subconscious minds and permeate the world’s cultures. 

It’s quite possible the artists and costume designers working on the film didn’t consciously change the original 5-pointed star from the comic books to an 8-pointed Star of Ishtar.  They probably did it without even realizing they were doing it.

Stay tuned — The next of SHIFT will contain a video exploring this in more detail.

In the meantime, for this week’s involution we’re going to take our training inspiration from Amazon warriors and ancient symbols…

My forging post.  Note Tarot poster featuring Star of Ishtar

Amazon Babylon: Martial Arts Training Involution #207

  • 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.
  • 10 minutes of crams.  Get on your forging post, pell or war-post and work your crams.  If you don’t have a post, use your grappling dummy today — and then go put up a post in your gym or back yard tomorrow.
  • Practice the Star of Ishtar drill for 10 minutes.  Don’t know it?  It’s in the Cabal Fang Study Course.
  • 10 minutes of heavy carries.  Want to be Amazon strong?  The ancients had no barbells — they carried loads and lifted stones.   Set a timer for 10 minutes and bear hug or shoulder carry your heavy bag (or appropriate substitute based on your fitness level) until the timer beeps.  Put the weight down and take a break as few times as possible.  Finish the whole 10 minutes without putting it down and you’re either a monster or you picked too light a load.
  • 1 mile run.  The ancient Greeks were big on running.  Cover a mile as fast as you can.
  • Contemplation.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to insure a slow and consistent rhythm that completely fills and empties your lungs without bearing down on your breath.  Eyes open.  Gently allow your mind to empty and calm itself.  Don’t make war with thoughts, just let them pass by, dissipating like ripples on the surface of a pond.    

My new newsletter SHIFT went live April 30th, next issue May 14th.   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.

 

 

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.

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Sprawl ‘n’ Crawl: Martial Arts Training Involution #204

I like to scrawl stuff on chalk boards. It’s a teacher-coachy-thing.

No sparring allowed during the pandemic kids.  You’re going to have to stay fighting fit via the solo training route.  How?  By doing stuff that’s as close to real fighting as possible of course!

Keep it real, keep it relevant, and keep it rigorous.  REAL means you’re doing stuff that’s as close as possible to what real people do in real life.  RELEVANT means that it relates to what you want to get better at.  And RIGOROUS means that you are paying attention to doing the work properly in terms of technique and intensity.

Click to visit my shop

The following involution was created using the Scufflin’ Dice program available in my web shop.  Go get yourself some for just $9.99.

 

Sprawl ‘n’ Crawl: Martial Arts Training Involution #204

* 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.

* 15 minutes of floor bag work.  Get out your floor bag (a heavy bag with the chains taped up) and set a countdown timer for 15 minutes.

  1. Sprawls.  Lay floor bag on side and Sprawl with forearms to the bag 4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
  2. Bear Walks: Approx 25′, 4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
  3. Shots:  Stand the bag on end, back up a couple of steps, and shoot in on the bag for a takedown.  4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
  4. Bag Lifts. Get the bag from the floor to your shoulder any way you like.  4 – 6 times based on your fitness level.
  5. Bear Hug the bag: Stand up and squeeze with it with max power cutting bone pressure of the forearm until you gas out. 
  6. Repeat until the timer rings. 

* Contemplation.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  Assume your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing to insure a slow and consistent rhythm that completely fills and empties your lungs without bearing down on your breath.  Eyes open.  Gently allow your mind to empty and calm itself.  Don’t make war with thoughts, just let them pass by, dissipating like ripples on the surface of a pond.    


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.

 

 

Hell Fire: Martial Arts Training Involution #203

Harrowing of Hell — Fresco, by Fra Angelico, c. 1430s

Yesterday was Good Friday and tomorrow is Easter, the days we commemorate Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection respectively.  That makes today Holy Saturday, the day we reflect on Jesus lying in his tomb — the day many Christians contemplate the Harrowing of Hell.

“Harrow” is a very old word that means comb or rake.  In the old days a giant square device with teeth was dragged across the fields behind a plow horse to break up the larger clods of dirt, smooth out the earth, and pull out weeds.  Nowadays that task is done by a disc harrows.  This prepares the soil for planting so that seeds can sprout and grow.

A fire in my back deck chimenea

The idea of the Harrowing of Hell is that, after the rock was rolled over the door to his tomb, Jesus descended into Hell.  After having spent his life ministering to the living, Jesus then spent his death ministering to the dead and sharing their experience.  Just like an agricultural harrow prepares the soil for its spring reemergence, Jesus prepares the dead for their ultimate resurrection.

The night of Holy Saturday is also called the Easter Vigil — when bonfires are made from which to relight the sacred candles which yesterday were dark, when new catechumens (adult converts) are baptized into the faith, and so on.

Hell Fire: Martial Arts Training Involution #203

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work.
  • Try to set a PR (personal record) at one of your martial metrics. I hope you have some!  How many minutes can you go all out on a heavy bag without taking any breaks?  How fast  can you complete 250 kicks vs. air?  How about 150 max power kicks vs. heavy bag?  How many times can you hit your pell with a tomahawk in 4 minutes?
  • Complete this month’s constitutional.  In Cabal Fang we create a new constitutional every month and we complete it twice a week.  This month’s is sandbags.  Video below.
  • Harrowing meditation.  Wait until after sundown and make a fire in your fireplace, in a fire bowl on your back deck, in the chimenea on your patio, or in the burn barrel in the alley if the fire codes allow.  In the Middle Ages, Easter — tomorrow — would have been New Year’s Day.  Consider that the greatest of us brave the darkest places to help the those who are lost and in danger.  Think about the fact that it is the sacrifice of self that leads to rebirth.  Before you go to bed, write a few words your journal about how this speaks to you as a martial artist.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  


On May 1st 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.

 

 

The 3 Keys to Practical Weapon Skill

Are you working out, or training?  Are you actually getting more skilled with your weapon?  If so, can you prove it?  These are some of the questions answered in this week’s martial arts video, “The 3 Keys to Practical Weapon Skill” at the bottom of this post.

If this kind of thing appeals to you, consider signing up for a martial arts distance learning program.  The Cabal Fang Hermit Path program is 100% free and provided by the non-profit I founded in 2009 — click here to sign up today!

Interested in the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period — 1607 to 1912?  Click here to find out more about my Bobcat Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble program — just  $19.99/month.   

Or how about a bi-weekly email to designed to inspire and motivate you find your inspiration,  establish and hit goals, and feel more alive?  SHIFT your OUTLOOK.  SHIFT your EXPECTATIONS.  SHIFT your POSSIBILITIES.  Sign up here.