The working title of my next book is Mettlecraft: Guts, Grit, and Mastery for Martial Artists. It’s going to be the definitive how-to book for martial artists on how to get tough inside and out, including body hardening of hands and shins, meditation exercises, training tips and guides, how to maintain focus, how to fuel your determination engine, and so forth.
So I thought I’d give you a little teaser, starting with a little White Monkey.
Part of mastering martial arts is training through discomfort. Serious injuries? No. You need to heal. But you’ll have to train through the normal muscle pain that comes from exercise, and the minor scrapes, bumps and bruises that accompany realistic practice. So Mettlecraft is going to contain reviews and recommendations of liniments, balms, and oils that are helpful for warming up, staying loose, relieving pain, etc.
One of my favorites is White Monkey Holding Peach Balm. This is one of my favorite products, and one of my favorite product names. “Heel-Tastic“? How lame! Why not call it something awesome like ‘Dulcet Mountain Silk Unction,’ or ‘Feather on Seventh Cloud Stick?’ Either of those would be way catchier, am I right? But I digress.
This stuff contains 3% Methyl Salicylate (about one fifth what you’d find in Ben-Gay) so it isn’t an effective pain relief rub. What it’s great for is warming up and staying loose. Rub it into tight and tender muscles before and after you work out — but if you are going to wrestle or grapple, make sure you don’t have any on exposed places where your partners might get it in eyes!
It also comes in handy for relieving headaches (put a dab on each temple and chill in your recliner) and for opening your nose after getting hit in the face. A few hours later, when the swelling sets in and your face feels like a block of cement, a tiny dab in the little divot above you upper lip (a.k.a. your philtrum) does the trick.
White Monkey Holding Peach Balm also contains Camphor, Menthol, Eucalyptus oil, Cinnamon oil, Peppermint oil, and Clove oil. Think of it as Tiger Balm’s big brother from Thailand. It works better, smells great, goes on creamier, and costs far less. I bet your local Asian market has some.
Enjoy it safely. Don’t get it in your eyes or expose it to mucous membranes, and keep out of reach of children.