Tag Archives: WOOTW

TRUTH! (and Workout of the Week #65)

“Truth?” you ask.  “What about it?”  Well, truth is a big deal.  So much so that you can, as a thought experiment, divide the world into two camps: (A) those who believe in rigid, timeless, objective truths and (B) those who believe that truth varies from person to person and objective truth is a fantasy.  And it sometimes seems as though the evening news is just a blow-by-blow retelling of the unceasing conflict between the two.

In this video, philosopher Michael Patrick Lynch walks you through how to start getting at the truth through the idea of shared, common reality.  He says,

“Protagoras said that objective truth was an illusion because “man is the measure of all things.” That can seem…liberating, because it allows each of us to discover or make our own truth.  But actually, I think it’s a bit of self-serving rationalization disguised as philosophy. It confuses the difficulty of being certain with the impossibility of truth. “

One of the best TED talks I’ve listened to in recent memory.

And now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.  Sorry, by the way, for missing last week.  Stuff happened.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #65

  • Heavy Bar training drill.  Get yourself a heavy bar — a digging bar, barbell bar, etc. — and pick it up.   Small folks use a #20, big folks use a something heavier.  Beginners work for 6 minutes, intermediate 12, advanced 18 — do not put down the bar for the duration of the drill.  Move that bar around like you would a staff if you were fighting — spearing movements, jabs, pokes, blocks, bracing maneuvers (striking with the portion between the hands), and so on.  In addition, practice your Figure-4 locks.  If your arms completely gas, put the bar behind your neck and do 10 to 20 Squats, then start again.  Wear gloves if you’re a tenderfoot.
  • 24-Hour commitment to truth.  Make a commitment to speak the truth for the next 24 hours.  The point isn’t to be blunt, rude or hurtful.  To avoid that you’re going to need to slow down, choose your words carefully, and express what you’re feeling.  Note: this isn’t the first time I’ve talked about truth.  If you like this one, you might appreciate the previous one.

 

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My New Every Day Carry (“EDC”) and WOOTW #62

Marble’s safety pliers. This was your granddad’s multi-tool.

Recently I’ve had several meaningful conversations with friends and acquaintances inside and outside the martial arts regarding the subject of “EDC” or “every day carry” — referring to pocket knives, pistols or what-have-you.  I used to carry a tactical folder with assisted open by S.O.G.

But I read a couple of articles about how carrying a weapon increases stress hormone production and I watched the episode of Through the Wormhole called “Is Gun Crime a Virus?” and I started wondering.  If I didn’t have a weapon on me, might I be more relaxed and more likely to use my head and avoid trouble?  I started thinking.

And then I listened to an episode of the AOM podcast with Lenore Skenazy, the author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) She talked about how the world is lots safer than we all think it is, which made me go looking for data.  And I found said data on ourworldindata.org  which is the coolest website ever.  Did you know that minimum wage in the U.S. puts you in the top 10% of wage earners worldwide, and a salary of $50,000 puts you in the top 1%?

Anyway, what I found out was, that the homicide rate in the U.S. is about what it was in 1965 and that, generally speaking, the world is safer than it’s ever been.  I kind of already knew this.  But apparently you have realize things over and over again in order to permanently realize them. 

In the end I decided that what was good enough for Grandpa is good enough for me. He didn’t need to carry a pistol or a folding pocket sword and neither do I.

So here’s my new “EDC.”

Marble’s safety pliers, unfolded this time. Pliers, Phillips head screwdriver, knife blade, file/screwdriver combo

If you want one you can get it from Old ’97 Knives in Danville, VA.  The owner’s name is coincidentally Ronald Mitchell (no direct relation I’m aware of).   When I ordered mine I had ’em in two days.

Moving on…

If I’m going to make Cabal Fang the best martial art it can be, then I need to become the best Robert Mitchell I can be.  So, in addition to being enrolled in online seminary to improve my spiritual education, I’m also pursuing my continuing martial education by becoming an Apprentice Coach under Mark Hatmaker — gentleman, scholar, martial artist, coach, and mud runner extraordinaire.  The Cabal Fang Workout of the Week is one of Mark’s.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #62

A BOXER’S GRINDER

• Push-Ups 30

• Squats 75

• 3-minutes of hard shots on the heavy bag as if your life depends on it

• Sit-Ups 30

Beginners do 1 set, intermediates 2 sets, advanced players do 3 sets, and complete nutcases do 4 sets.  I finished 4 sets in 39:01.

Updates: Travel, 501(c)3 Status, WOOTW, etc.

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Temple Fund Recycling Efforts

See slideshow above.  I’ve been accumulating aluminum and other recyclables to benefit the Cabal Fang Temple Fund.  This past Saturday I took the first batch up to C&C Cullet on Route 1.  Four bags of aluminum cans, two auto batteries and 80 pounds of scrap metal earned us $50.00 to add to the Cabal Fang Temple Fund.

What’s the Cabal Fang Temple Fund?  It’s the fund to build or buy dedicated space for training and other activities.  Current balance $388.00.

More to come!

Travel Postpones Next Workout of the Week

From Thursday through Saturday this week I’ll be in Radford, VA for Karate College 2017.  Workout of the Week #62 will be delayed until July 1st.  Can you make it a week without it?  Sure you can.

501(c)3 Tax Exempt Status

A couple of months back I mailed the IRS our 501(c)3 paperwork for Cabal Fang Temple, Inc.   What was their reply?  A letter stating that they will give their ruling in no more than 180 days.  Um, okay.

So, changing the subject…

My Vacation Pictures

Speaking of travel, a couple of weekends back the wife and I took a little trip out the western part of Virginia.  We stayed at Hotel Strasburg which was was fun, but to be honest, I really can’t recommend it.  It’s a 100+ year-old building packed with antiques and it could be the ultimate in “shabby-chic.”  Problem is, it really needs some TLC and a deep cleaning.

But the we stomped around town, went to Luray one day, spent hours in the Strasburg Emporium and the Strasburg Museum, spent a day driving around on Skyline Drive, and generally had a blast.

If you’re that area, by all means stop at E. Pearls.  What an amazing shop!  I was so wrapped up in the place and talking with the shop owner that I forgot to take pictures.   He sells art and terrariums, that’s it.  Somehow he makes those things fit together, and its fun and charming and different and really cool.

And of course we sent to Family Drive-In Theatre and Cooter’s Dukes of Hazzard Museum.  How could we skip those?

See you when I get back from Karate College!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bar and Grill: Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #61

This week includes a modified version a workout shared by the wrestling encyclopedia himself Mark Hatmaker.  Mark is a gentleman and a scholar, and I will be training with him next week at Karate College 2017.  Can’t wait!

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week  #61: DOWN AT THE BAR AND GRILL

  • Get yourself a bar.  Whatever you have available will work fine — an empty weight bar or a weighted workout bar is best, but a wrecking bar is fine (even two dumbbells if you have to, just go lighter than you think you should at first blush).  I used a #20 digging bar.    Whatever you pick up, do not put down for the length of the workout.  Do 25 Military Presses, 18 Walking lunges (bar at waist or chin, your call), 25  Knuckle Push-ups (squeeze that bar!), and 18 more Walking Lunges.  Do that 3 more times.  That’ll be 4 sets total, a grand total of 100 presses, 144 Walking Lunges, and 100 Knuckle Push-ups.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to finish.
  • Now grill yourself.  Not literally of course, but figuratively.  Think of a time when said or did something that makes you feel ashamed.  Analyze it completely, get down to the who-what-when-where-and-why of it.  No excuse-making.  Be honest with yourself.  What can you learn from this dissection?  Have you atoned?  If not, should you?  Did others forgive you, or have they held grudges?  Were you ever punished?  Were the consequences just?  How do you think others who make similar mistakes deserve to be treated?

Putting Out and WOOTW #60

This is a quote from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig. The older I get the more sense this book makes. Haven’t read it? Do it.

Big Black a.k.a. Christopher Boykin — who just passed away last month of a heart attack at age 45 — had this catchphrase that I like.  It’s simply “Do work.”  And what that basically means is that you need to buckle down and put in some effort to be excellent.

“Do work” is a modern, slang, short-hand version of a very large and complex idea that’s explored, and think ultimately proven to be true, in the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  That idea is that the quest for quality is what gives birth to all great philosophies and religions, and that it has incredible power to transform individuals and cultures.

The short version goes like this: When people pay attention and strive for excellence they are on the right track.  But when they don’t pay attention and they don’t care about what they’re doing things go wrong.  That’s oversimplified by about six bushes and a peck, and there’s much more there of value that you’ll get if you read the danged book.

But in the meantume, just try it.  Pay attention, take responsibility, focus on quality and “do work.”  Everything that the pursuit of quality touches is made brighter.

And now for the Cabal Fang Workout of the Week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #60

  • Boxing HIIT for Accuracy: Setup a slip ball and a heavy bag so that you can switch between the two.  Set timer for 1:00 rounds and complete 20 of them, alternating between ball and bag.   On the heavy bag rounds, focus on hitting precise targets on the bag.  Put a few “Xs” on the bag with medical tape if your bag doesn’t have dots or targets.  On the slip ball rounds, focus on executing perfect and crisp pops and slips.  Muddy movements are easy for opponents to read!  When done, cool down by walking it off for 3 minutes.
  • Writing exercise.  Get out your training journal and write 100 words minimum about quality.  What does quality mean to you? Have there been times in your life when you have and have not done quality work?  Compare, contrast and explore.

Hitchhikers: Y or N? — and WOOTW#59

This is me holding the giant circus mallet that I made.  What’s if for?  All kinds of stuff.  Like that one thing I’m doing in the video below.

Last Sunday I was out running errands in my truck and a nondescript lady  who seemed to pushing 60 years of age flagged me down in the Starbucks parking lot.  I pulled over and rolled down the window a crack.

“Can you give me a ride home?  It’s only a mile or so,” she asked.

“Ma’am, are you alright?  Can I call someone for you?” I replied.

“No, I’m fine, thank you.  My car broke down and I had it towed.  I just need a ride, that’s all.”

I couldn’t imagine a tow truck driver not offering a ride to a gray-haired lady, and something about the situation seemed…off.  I didn’t exactly get a danger vibe from her, I just sensed she was being less than truthful.  And her entire aspect seemed strange, like a character from Twin Peaks or maybe like a pod person from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

“I’m sorry ma’am, but I don’t think that would be a safe idea for either one of us,” I said.  “Do you?”

“Never mind, that’s fine, I understand, I’ll ask someone else,” she said.  She turned around and walked down the sidewalk before I could say anything else.  I sat there with my jaw hanging open and watched her approach another man getting out of a minivan.  Another car pulled up behind me and I realized I was holding up traffic, so I went on with my business.

I still feel weird about the entire thing.  I mean, I’m trying to be the best person I can be.  What kind of person doesn’t give a lady a ride?  And yet my self-defense radar was pinging like a cash register on Black Friday.

What do you think?  Should I have given her a ride?  Or was I right to say “no”?

And now for…

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #59

  • Start with 100 Sledgehammer Double Wristlocks per side (see video below).
  • Then cover 2 miles as fast as you can.  Walk, jog, run, sprint, or any combination thereof.  Just get there.

Workout of the Week #58

First things first — Happy Memorial Day to all my friends in the USA!  Have a hot dog and a beer, relax, and enjoy your long weekend.

And now for something completely different: this time the workout of the week is all on video!