Workout of the Week #81

Workout of the Week #81

  • Half-hour Pyramid.  Select 4 to 7 calisthenic exercises. Less is harder because you'll do more reps of the same exercise!  So beginners = 7, intermediate = 5 or 6, advanced = 3 or 4.  Set timer for 15 minutes.  Climb the pyramid until the timer beeps.  Finish the set you're on, then try to climb back down before the half-hour is done.
  • Heavybag Compass Drill.  Set a timer for 4 rounds of 2:00/:30 or, if your round timer won'd to fractional intervals, use 3:00/1:00.  Resist the temptation to do longer rounds -- you'll start pacing yourself, and that's not the goal.  Round 1 focus on Form.  Go slow and make your body mechanics as perfect as you can.  Round 2, focus on Accuracy.  Pick your targets carefully and try to hit them perfectly.  Round 3, go for Speed.  See how many shots you can throw before the timer beeps.  Round 4, go for Power.  Make every shot a knockout blow.
  • Blood Compass Meditation.  Set a timer to beep every 3 minutes.  Assume your meditative posture of choice, regulate your breathing, close your eyes and start the timer.  You're going to do 4 segments of 3 mins each as follows:

1. Visualize a chalice hovering in front of your forehead and imagine that it contains the the blood of your chosen god or goddess.  Think about where you look for guidance and what you worship -- not in theory but in practice.  Are you are properly demonstrating and directing your devotion?  When the timer beeps...

2. Imagine the chalice descends to hover in front your lower abdomen  and that it contains the blood of your ancestors and kin.  Think about what you've inherited biologically and emotionally from your ancestors.  Are you using discernment to determine what you're carrying that's positive and what's negative?  Are you passing on the good an jettisoning the bad?  Are letting go of emotional baggage?  When the timer beeps...

3. Now the chalice hovers near your right shoulder and it contains the blood of friends and heroes.  Who do you associate with?  Who do you aspire to become?  Are you associating with, and looking up to, the right kinds of people?  If not, why is that?  What can you do to sort that out?

4. And finally, the chalice moves left and hovers near your left shoulder and it contains the blood of sacrifice and nourishment.  Are you making sacrifices for the benefit of yourself, your family, your community and your nation?  Are you respecting the sacrifices of others?  Do you respect the lives of the plants and animals that have died to nourish you?  Are your meals more sacred or decadent?

When you're done, record your thoughts and realizations in your training journal and add action items to your To-Do List.

Workout of the Week #80

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.

2) Self Destruct Sequence.  See if you can beat the first elder's PR of 28:18. 

  • 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.

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Workout of the Week #79

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.

Workout of the Week #78

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, a tactical pen, etc. and set a countdown timer for 10 minutes.  Strike the air in an "X" pattern -- with sincerity and intenstity! -- as many times as you can before the timer beeps.
  • 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. 

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Workout of the Week #77

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?

READ MORE HERE...

Workout of the Week #76

CABAL FANG 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.

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Workout of the Week #75

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.

 

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Workout of the Week #74

 

CABAL FANG MARTIAL ARTS 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 apiece 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.

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Workout of the Week #73

 

CABAL FANG MARTIAL ARTS WORKOUT OF THE WEEK #73

  • One-Armed Bandit.  Defend against an imaginary bandit using just one hand!  Set a timer for 2 rounds of 5:00/1:00.  Tie a rope around your waist or put on a karate belt and tuck your left wrist under it — or just grab your belt with your left hand.  Go at your heavy bag with self-defense level aggression using just your right hand until the timer beeps.  Switch hands for the second round.  Don’t forget to modify your shell and use defensive maneuvers like bobs, slips, pops and rolls between groups of shots.  “But I don’t have a heavy bag,” you say?  Make one or shadowbox — no excuses.
  • Describe your moral compass.  Get out your training log or journal and describe in 100 words or less your moral compass.  What is “north” — your primary orientation and the positive morality you are heading toward?  What lies to the “south” — the thing you’re heading away from?  What are the secondary and tertiary moral issues to the “east” and “west?” 

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Workout of the Week #72

 

CABAL FANG WORKOUT OF THE WEEK #72: “PIECES OF EIGHT”

 

  • The eight movements of the Star of Ishtar.  Set up a training arm — a simple stick or pool noodle lashed to a post or heavy bag works great — and spend at least 10 minutes working on the eight self-defense movements in the Star of Ishtar.  Don’t know those movements?  Either watch the video below or buy the eBook.  Want to make a fancier arm?  Click here.
  • As many rounds as you can in 15 mins of: 8 Burpees, 8 Dbl Wide Pushups, 8 Leg Lifts.
  • Contemplation for 8 minutes.  Set a countdown timer for 8 minutes, assume your chose meditative posture, and set quietly.  Don’t make war with your thoughts, just let them slowly quiet and still themselves as you approach stillness…

 

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Workout of the Week #71

CABAL FANG WORKOUT OF THE WEEK #71

  • Pick one calisthenics exercise and complete as many as you can before the timer beeps.  Beginners set your timer for 5 to 10 minutes, intermediate 10 – 15 minutes, advanced players for 15 or 20 minutes. Pick any exercise you want.  I generally prefer whole-body ones for this (Bodybuilders, Splays a.k.a. Down-ups, Jumping Jacks, Burpees a.k.a. Squat Thrusts, etc.) but there’s something to be said for Push-ups and Squats too.
  • Meditation of One.  This month at the club our spiritual focus is the Emerald Tablet.  Start my memorizing the second line of the Emerald Tablet: “That which is below is like that which is above, and that which is above is like that which is below to accomplish the miracles of one thing.”  Now dim the lights, be seated in your favorite meditative posture and set a timer for 10 minutes.  Relax, close your eyes and and silently recite the line in your head over and over until the timer beeps.  Record in your training journal any thoughts, feelings, impressions and mental images that appear in your mind’s eye.

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Workout of the Week #70

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #70

  • Complete a constitutional in under 20 minutes.  Sprints (25 each -- 5 to 10- yards, out and back = 1), Crunch 'n' Punch (25), Push-ups, reg. (to failure), Neck Crunches (25 each, front, left, right, back, total 100), Jump Squats, split (50), Jackknifes (25), and Push-ups, knuckle (to failure).  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to finish.
  • What have you done lately?  Dim the lights, be seated in your favorite meditative posture and set a timer for 10 minutes.  Regulate your breathing for a minute or two.  Then close your eyes and imagine there are two movies playing on a split screen in your head.  The movie on the left side shows  the things you've done recently that are sincerely selfless and genuinely altruistic.  On the right screen are the things you've done that are self-serving, hollow and/or virtual.  Which movie contains more action, is more interesting, engaging and realistic?  When the timer goes off, get up slowly and stretch for a few minutes.  Then record your thoughts and realizations in your training log or journal.

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Workout of the Week #69

 

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #69

  • Grappling Conditioner #3.  Get yourself a heavy bag and set it on the mat.  No mat?  Put a tarp on the grass like we do at the club.  Don’t have a bag?  Make one.  Set a countdown timer for 10:00 mins and complete as many sets as you can before the timer beeps of 5 Bag Lifts, 10 mounted strikes, and 5 Splay ‘n’ Punch.  Here’s a video.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need in order to finish.
  • Why are you studying martial arts?  Get out your training log or journal and write 250 words about why you’re studying martial arts.  If you don’t know why you’re on this journey it’s going to be really hard to direct your training, much less your thinking.  Where does your martial arts story end?  Don’t forget — people don’t tell stories.  Stories tell them.  What’s yours going to be?
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Workout of the Week #68

Libby Hill Stairs in Richmond VA

Libby Hill Stairs in Richmond VA

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #68

  • Pick up something heavy and carry it up something steep.  Get the heaviest thing you can safely handle -- backpack, auto tire, sandbag, weighted vest, whatever -- and find the steepest hill or a flight of stairs in easy striking distance.  Get your heavy thing to the top as many times as you can in 40 minutes.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you need to finish, and be careful going down on noodle legs or you'll fall.
  • Honor the chalice.  When you're done, stand at the top and pay homage to the chalice by reciting your interpretation of the devotional from Chapter 15 of the Cabal Fang Study Course -- feel free to make changes as needed to fit your spiritual worldview: "O Holy Chalice, blood of God and Goddess, blood of ancestors and kin, blood of friends and heroes, blood of sacrifice and nourishment -- thank you for your love, support, and inspirational example. But most of all, thank you for my rich inheritances—material, emotional, spiritual and philosophical. Blessings to you all; please know that you all live on in me.”  If it wasn't for the people who came before you, who carried some very heavy chores and responsibilities up some very steep inclines, you wouldn't have most of what you have today.

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WOOTW#66: At the Crossroads of Arete

CABAL FANG WORKOUT OF THE WEEK #66

Part One — High Intensity Circuit Training.  Set up four stations — a hitting station, a lifting station, a swinging station and a squatting station.  Set a timer for rounds of 2:00 minutes, no breaks, and complete 8 rounds — that’s 16:00 minutes. For the hitting station, hit a stump with an ax, punch a heavy bag with your fists, or beat on a tire with a sledge.  For the lifting station, flip a tire, squat press a barbell, lift a sandbag, etc.  You get the idea.   Improvise!  You must go as hard as you can — hit, lift, swing and squat with the maximum intensity you can muster.  Take as few 12-count breaks as you must in order to finish standing up.  Video below.

Part Two — Meditation on arete.  What the hell is excellence anyway?  Well, if you don’t have any idea what it is, you probably aren’t going to have any luck in your pursuit of it!  So set a timer for 8 minutes.  Assume your usual meditative posture and meditate on arete.  When you’re done, get out your training log or journal and write at least 100 words on what arete means to you.

READ MORE HERE.

TRUTH! (and Workout of the Week #65)

Excerpt below -- READ MORE HERE

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.

Workout of the Week #63

Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #63

  1. STRIKING FROM UNCONVENTIONAL POSITIONS.  Set timer for 2:00 minute intervals.  Strike heavy bag as you drop to one knee, then two knees.  Put one foot on the floor, and then stand up.  Keep striking the entire time.  As the Little Dragon said, "Hit while you move, move while you hit."  When the timer beeps, get on the floor and practice kicking the bag from every angle, with your weight on left hip, on right hip, on your back, on your butt with hands on the floor, back kick on hands and knees, etc.  Next interval, lie down next to a floor bag -- don't mount it, you've practiced that plenty! --  and hit it with hammer fists, palm heels, punches, etc.  Hop to the other side and keep going.  When the timer beeps, stand up and run through it twice more.  That's a total of 18 minutes -- 9 intervals of 2:00 minutes each.  Take as few 12-count (or 7-breath) breaks as you need to finish.  If that's confusing, there's a video below.
  2. EXPLORING YOUR GUMPTION. After you've cooled down, set a timer for 10 minutes and assume your meditative position of choice.  Regulate your breathing and think back to the last time you waited for someone else to solve a problem that you could've addressed yourself.  This could be something as simple as not picking up some litter sitting next to your car in the parking lot or cleaning up the messy break room at your job.  Or it could be something as big as letting a teacher or principal deal with your kid's decaying attitude or not voting in the last election.  Explore that failure and ask yourself some questions, like 'How would things be different if you had taken responsibility?'  Record your thoughts and insights in your training log or journal.