Tag Archives: WOOTW

What’s a Hero? Workout of the Week #80

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In honor of our veterans this Veteran’s Day I offer…

What’s a hero? 

The world’s first recorded hero is Marduk, the Mesopotamian deity of the ancient mythic tale known as the Enuma Elish.  In that story, Marduk is the only god courageous enough to face Tiamat, the dragon of chaos.

iconThe oldest known hero recorded in the English language is Beowulf.  He is the only warrior with enough courage to pit his strength and prowess against the terrible Grendel and his even more horrific mother.

But lots of people are heroic and they’re not warriors.  Think about the people you look up to as heroes.  What characteristic do they share?  

A hero does what others are afraid to do. 

But it’s more than that.  If it heroism was just about being brave and overcoming fear, then criminals would be heroes because they have the courage to break laws.  A hero’s bravery must serve a noble purpose.

A hero behaves honorably. 

icon“Honor means recognizing your obligations, then having the courage to do what is right.”  ~Forrest Morgan, Living the Martial Way

 

Now let’s carry this brief exploration of heroism into…

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #80

1) Do something heroic.  Think of something you’ve been reluctant or afraid to do, something that serves a higher purpose, and make a plan for getting it done.  Doesn’t have to be earth shattering — smaller might even be better.  Maybe there’s a family member in need of an intervention, a friend who needs help with a daunting task, a volunteer job you’d have to bite the bullet to complete etc.

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

2) Self Destruct Sequence.  See if you can beat my PR of 28:18.  This workout comes from my Top 10 calisthenics book The Calisthenics Codex (Click here to get it at Barnes & Noble, here to get it on iTunes/iBooks or go here get it at Smashwords in any format).

  • Zombie Squats (50)
  • Pushups, diamond (25)
  • Jump Squats (100)
  • Bodybuilders (25)
  • Pikes (25)
  • Jump Squats, split (50)
  • Pushups, barrel roll (25)
  • Bicycles (50 each side)
  • Burpees (25)
  • Twisters (25 each side)
  • Wall Touches (100)
  • Pushups, hopping/clapping (25)

3) Noodle around a little.  If you have a partner, spend 10 minutes practicing your standing locks a.k.a. “the Star of Ishtar.”  No partner?  Get yourself a pool noodle and bungee it to a tree, post or heavy bag to use as a training arm.  If you feel like making it fancy, put a fake elbow in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nasty Nasty Workout of the Week #79

This month’s focus is Mettlecraft.  For those you haven’t read the book yet, you can find a full definition here.  For those who have, you know this is the month where you dig just a little bit deeper.  So the workout of the week is pretty darn nasty.

But in Cabal Fang we never ask anybody to do something we aren’t willing to do ourselves.  So WOOTW #79 is exactly what we did at the club this past Thursday.  And I’m going to inspire you to dig deeper by showing you a little video of me completing my first Handstand Push-up after 16 months of work.

It’s fairly sloppy and I look like a lumpy old grandpa in my faded sweatpants, but I hope it inspires you nonetheless.  I mean, just think — if I can go from regular Push-ups to Handstand Push-ups at age 56 then imagine what you can do!

And now for the nasty, nasty workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #79

  1. Complete the Monthly Constitutional as follows:
  • Walking Push-ups (25)*
  • Twisters (25)
  • Zombie Squats (50)
  • Burpees (25)
  • Curb Touches (100)
  • Lunges (100)
  • Flutter Kicks (100)

2. 8 minute Tire Run.  Set a timer for 4 minutes.  Pick something up and run as fast as you can until the timer beeps and then run back.  Beginners, choose something small and light, say a 5 lb. dumbbell.  Intermediate, choose something a little larger and more awkward, say a 10 lb. medicine ball.  Advanced players, use something like my personal favorite, the humble automobile tire (without the rim, obviously).  Cool down for 3 minutes and then meditate.

3. A meditation on the symbol of the Chalice.  Read or re-read Chapter 15 in the Cabal Fang book.  If you have a chalice of some sort in your home, set it up such that it’s at eye level when you’re in your meditative posture of choice.  If you don’t own a chalice, sketch or draw one, prop up a photo from a book, or print out the photo below.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, assume meditative posture, and regulate your breathing.  Do not squirm, wiggle, fidget or scratch — just look quietly at the chalice until the timer beeps.  When you are done, record your thoughts, feelings and impressions in your training journal.

A chalice (courtesy of Wikimedia)

* Take one “step” either left or right with your hands between each Push-up.

 

Non-Toxic Masculinity and WOOTW #78

Most U.S. public parks were built by the 17 – 28 year-old men and boys of the CCC who worked their butts off for three meals a day, a cot, and a few bucks to send home to Ma and Pa. Click the pick to learn more.

Toxic masculinity.  The Patriarchy.  Hyper-masculinity.  Male privilege.  Locker room talk.  Good ol’ boys.  Male chauvinism.  The casting couch.  Cosby.  Weinstein.  Toback.  O’Reilly. 

These are some of the images of men saturating our media lately.  But you know what?  Men, on the whole, are kind of awesome.

So here are some cool facts about men.

Good men are not hard to find.  They are all over the damned place.

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #78

  • Improvised weapons practice.  Select a blunt object safe for practice such as a  hand tool from your shed like a plastic trowel, a pair of pliers, a wooden or rubber knife, a stick from your yard, a ballpoint pen, a cane, your kubotan key chain, etc. and set a countdown timer for 10 minutes.  Strike the air in an “X” pattern — with sincerity and intensity! — as many times as you can before the timer beeps. Switch to your off-hand when you gas out, which should happen if you’re going at it like it’s life or death.
  • Complete the Constitutional of the Month.  Substitute exercises as needed based on experience/fitness level, partner requirements, etc.
  • Cover 1 mile as fast as you can.
  • Mental rewind meditation.  After a 3-minute cool down, set a timer for 5 minutes and assume your meditative posture of choice.  Regulate your breathing.  Starting with right now, replay your day in your mind’s eye, like a movie in reverse. Look for things you did or said that were not exemplary. Were a gentleman or lady today?  Did you do a good job of acting like the person you are in your heart?  Record your realizations in your training journal.

Flashback! Workout of the Week #77

This week’s workout is partially a flashback to an old Cabal Fang WOD from Feb. of 2017 called the “777.”   But the internal portion involves your training journal.

If you aren’t keeping a training journal you are missing out.

Journaling is associated with better lifetime outcomes — mental health, productivity, financial success — it’s just an unparalleled life habit, period.  But if you add your martial and fitness workouts into the journaling mix, well, it’s just a ridiculously powerful tool.

Not doing it?  Fix that.

Workout of the Week #77: the “777”

  • Heavybag.  Set timer for 7 rounds of 1:00/:30 and hit it as hard as you can — maximum effort!
  • 20 lb. sandbag pyramid.  Full Pyramid to 7 (that’ll be 49 total reps of each exercise when you’re done) of Sandbag Burpees and Sandbag Sit-ups.
  • Journal review.  Get out your training journal.  Turn back a year (if your journal is under a year old, just go back to the beginning) and look at your entries.  Spend 15 minutes reading and reviewing.  How far have you come?  Are you happy with your progress?  Are there things you have no made progress on?  Why?  Are you repeating mistakes?  What do you need to change, improve or expand upon?

If you think this post was interesting there’s a good change you’ll love my patron-only posts at Patreon.  You can get them for as little as $1/month by clicking here.

Free Martial Arts Training at Home (and WOOTW #76)

A couple of my friends after a successful trial for rank advancement. Start training in Cabal Fang too. What are you waiting for?

The Hermit Path Distance Learning Program is what we call our Cabal Fang Martial Arts home study course.  It’s absolutely free because we are a genuine, truly-and-for-real, non-profit educational corporation.

Sign up today and you’ll get a free download coupon for the 300+ page Cabal Fang Study Course.  All you have to do is complete the exercises and workouts, keep a training journal, and submit scans of your journals each month.

Remember those ads they used to run in comic books back in the 70s? We are NOT like them. Photo courtesy of Mr. Dan Kelly and his super cool website http://www.mrdankelley.com

Cabal Fang is a mind-body-spirit martial art.  Our emphasis is on getting fighting fit, learning how to fight, and getting your head together.

No, you can’t learn to fight by studying solo.  But there are two other dimensions that you can definitely pursue at home — fitness and spirit.

Weightlifters know that if they pick up heavy objects that are hard to lift, they’ll get stronger.  Cabal Fang is not easy.  Nothing that makes you stronger is ever going to be.  But trust me — you can do this.

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang “No Excuses” Workout of the Week #76

  • Eye-patched.  Prepare to fight with a handicap if necessary.  Tie a bandanna or tenugui around your head such that one eye is covered.  Set a timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00 and get after that bag with maximum damage in mind — punches and kicks.  Really try to beat the stuffing out of it.  Caution: Depth perception is difficult with one eye covered — don’t get hurt.  Don’t have a bag?  Make one.  Nowhere to hang it?  Lash it to a tree.  No excuses!
  • Calisthenics pyramid.  Full pyramid to 7 of Hop Push-ups, Pikes, Finger-tip Push-ups, and Jumping Jacks (that’ll be 49 of each exercise total).  If/when you gas on the Push-ups, drop to knees.  Can’t do do Hop Push-ups with a hop at the top?  Do them regular. Can’t do Finger-tip Push-ups?  Do them on knuckles instead.  No excuses — only substitutions or step-downs.
  • Searching for excuses.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Assume your meditative posture of choice, close your eyes, and regulate your breathing.  Imagine that your life is a video recording.  In your mind’s eye, start it playing backwards from right now.  Watch the video playing backwards, noting as you go the things that you’ve been making excuses about.  When the timer beeps, get out your training journal and write down the things that you’re going to do, say, correct, overcome, etc. by throwing your excuses into the negative behavior dustbin.

I created the pyramid workout using PTDICE — a set of 9 dice which I designed and marketed a couple of years ago. I have a few sets left. If you want one, send me an email at first.elder@cabalfang.com and I’ll sell you a set for $15.00.

Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.

 

Where Lurks the Next Mass Shooter (and WOOTW #75)

I shouted out,
“Who killed the Kennedys?”
When after all
It was you and me
(Who who, who who)

~The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil”

In January of this year I had an awakening of sorts during which I realized that there might be a reason why I didn’t have a book on the New York Times Bestseller List, why my martial art wasn’t more popular, and generally why I wasn’t smashing goals left and right.

Why?  Because I need to write better books, I need to perfect my martial art and I generally need to work harder.  99 times out of 100, lack of success has to do with you — not someone else.  And guess what happened when I realized this?

Blog traffic increased.  My creativity and courageousness soared and things that had previously seemed like work felt like recreation.  I finally founded my non-profit.  I started hitting goals I hadn’t previously dreamed I could hit.  I know it makes no sense at all, but taking full personal responsibility for success or failure is actually liberating, and restriction — not freedom! — encourages creativity.  

And so, in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting, here is a video that I could not have made last year because (a) I wasn’t self-critical enough to have the insight, and (b) even if I had the insight I wouldn’t have had the courage to speak my mind on such a controversial subject.

Let me know what you think.

 

And now for the workout of the week.

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #75

  • Inside/Outside Heavy Bag Drill.  Set a timer for 8 minutes.  Imagine that your heavy bag is a person — really imagine it! — or else this drill is worthless.  Throw combos of 2, 3 or 4 shots against the bag.  As you do, imagine what your opponent would be likely to throw back.  Get your head off center line while you strike by using slips/shoulder pops simultaneous to your strikes.  Move while you hit, hit while you move!
  • The “888” Workout.  Set a timer for 8 minutes.  Complete as many sets as you can in 8 minutes of 8 Prison Push-ups and 8 Jump Squats.
  • 8-count Self-Improvement Drill.  Sit down with your training journal and a pen and set a timer for 3 minutes.  Start the timer.  Before it beeps, write down 8 things you could do that would make you a better person and/or would make your life better.  Restriction — not freedom! — encourages creativity.  Thanks to the time limit you’ll be blurting things out on the paper that have been hiding in your subconscious.  Give your 8 ideas consideration and move them to your To-Do List as you see fit.
Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.

 

Hermes’ Winged Helm and Workout of the Week #74

This week I’m going to hook you up with a little knowledge lecture about Hermeticism.  Why?  Two reasons:

  1. Because Hermeticism is the backbone of the spirituality of Cabal Fang,
  2. And people often ask what the hell Hermeticism has to do with martial arts (like Fernan Vargas did on the Raven Talk podcast).

Here’s the video — hope you find it fun and enjoyable.

And now for Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #74

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #74

  • Slip ball.  Get in front of your slip ball for 10 minutes.  If you are serious about boxing or kickboxing you should be doing this twice a week until the end of time.  Pursue slip ball with enough sincerity to be sweaty when you’re done.  Don’t know how to use a slip ball?  Watch this.  Don’t have a slip ball?  Put anything on the end of a string and hang it up, or make a proper one by drilling a hole in a tennis ball and running some para-cord through it.
  • Power kick pyramids vs. heavy bag.  Set timer for 10 minutes.  Throw a Side Kick pyramid to 4 with left leg forward, switch stance, and do another with right leg forward.  Switch stance.  Throw a Roundhouse/Switch Kick pyramid with left leg forward, switch, and then throw another with right leg forward.  Repeat until the timer beeps.  Kick as hard and fast as you can for max power.  Each pyramid = 1 kick, then 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 with only a short beat between groupings.  See if you can get through 12 pyramids — the whole thing 3 times — before the timer beeps (that would be 192 kicks).
  • Caduceus meditation.  Symbols effect your mind in ways that words and sounds cannot.  One of the best ways to use and interact with symbols is to sketch them in your own hand.  Draw a caduceus on a  piece of paper.  Then prop it up such that it’s at eye level when you’re in your chosen meditative posture.  Narrow your eyes to slits, regulate your breathing, and meditate on the drawing for about 10 minutes.  Record your thoughts and impressions in your training journal.

A caduceus (courtesy of Wikimedia)

Did you enjoy reading this?  Then the Cabal Fang book will blow your mind.  Buy a paper copy on Amazon or from Createspace or download the ebook here.