10 Exercises to warm up your posterior chain for Kettlebell training and BJJ!

¬10 exercises for your Posterior Chain

Warming up in my professional opinion is without a doubt the most important thing you can do before exercising. I realized this about 10 years ago when I first embarked on my Kettlebell journey. We had a certified kettlebell coach teaching a boot camp once a week at my old gym SoCal MMA. The coach was insistent that I use a heavy weight because I wan an MMA fighter and a man. Even though I had zero kettlebell training, I listened to him. After every class, my lower back was killing me! I thought to myself, “I must be doing something wrong.” After a few classes I realized that it wasn’t me, it was the lack of a good, solid warm up!
Our warm up consisted of halos with 16kg bells and swings. Not the ideal warm up when you are about to engage in any type of kettlebell training. I eventually took over the KB boot camp at my gym and made warming up a priority. In the 10 years that I have been training with kettlebells, I have narrowed it down to the 2 areas of the bodies that endure the most injuries. These areas are the lower back, and the shoulders.
The kettlebell swing is an explosive exercise that emphasizes your posterior chain. Your lower back is a crucial part of this chain. If you injure your back, it is extremely painful and uncomfortable. When your lower back is injured, walking, bending over, getting out of bed and just about everything you do will be painful. It is my number one priority that all of my clients stay injury free. If any of my students leave my gym injured, then I failed them as a coach. I can not have that on my conscience.
I know the name Kettle-Jitsu may be misleading. People may assume its just about kettlebell training. But, in my programs, body weight is just as important as kettlebell. In fact, in my classes, it consists of 30 minutes of body weight and 30 minutes of kettlebell. This is the protocol I follow on all of my downloads. The first 30 minutes of body weight training are preparing you to work with the kettlebell in the last 30 minutes of the workout.
In the first 30 minutes of my classes, we focus on warming up our entire body with mobility, isometrics, core exercises, ab training and body weight training. There is a huge emphasis on warming up the posterior chain. That way, when we get to the body weight training, the chances of you getting any type of injury are miniscule.

The enclosed video contains 10 of the exercises we use in every class I teach. I even include these my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes! I urge you to implement these into your daily routine. Since these are body weight exercises, you can do them anywhere! You can even wake up in the morning and do these in your living room before work! Have a look at this video and try them out for yourself!

The kettlebel figure 8 for MMA Striking

¬The Kettlebell Figure 8 for MMA Striking
Close to 10 years ago when I started developing my Kettlejitsu system, I discovered you can mimic fighting movements with a Kettlebell. The rocking chair and snake move are the first exercises that I experimented with. I was astonished at how well they worked together! I became obsessed! So, I wondered, could I utilize striking movements with the kettlebell? The answer is yes! I saw someone do a figure 8 to a hold back then and I though, that looks similar to an uppercut! That’s when I started working on the fighter’s figure 8 and the KB uppercut. It later led to me developing swings and other striking movements from a fighting (staggered) stance.
But first things first. I believe it is easiest to start working on these movements with the basic figure 8 first. Why? Because it is from the same stance most KB exercises utilize. So, you will have a basic, shoulder width stance. I have seen many figure 8 variations. I use a hinging movement with this exercise. I have seen variations where people stay hunched over and just use arm momentum to feed the bell in a figure 8 fashion. I tried this method and really got nothing from it. By utilizing the hinge in the basic figure 8, and since the bell is being fed in between the legs and on the outside of the body, it hits your core in an entirely different manner than a swing.
Couple of tips! I grab the bell by the corner and feed it to my other hand so it can gram the opposite corner of the bell. If you grab the handle by center of the bell, when you feed the bell through your legs, you may accidentally grab your own hand and drop the bell. Also, I suggest using a light bell to practice.
Once you get the hang of the basic figure 8, you can progress to a figure 8 to a hold, bottoms up uppercuts, ballistic uppercuts and the fighters figure 8. Some of these can be found on my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution download.
I definitely recommend adding the Kettlebell figure 8 and its variations to your workouts. They are super fun and add a ton of variety to your training! You do not have to be a combat athlete to enjoy and benefit from them!

How to make dairy free cheese! (vegan)

How to make dairy free cheese (vegan)
So, as you may already know, I have given up all animal products for the most part! I guess you can say that I am a vegetarian. I thought that meat would be the most difficult. But there are suitable replacements for meat. What I miss the most is cheese!!! I have tried a lot of dairy free variations but I was not totally satisfied. But thanks to some friends who are vegan, they turned me on to cashew based cheese. I mean, who would have thought you can make cheese out of nuts!??
A student of mine Sasha, brought me a bit of some cashew cheese that his girlfriend made and I loved it! It had a creamy, nacho cheese flavor that I really liked. I finished the container he brought me in like a day! I though to myself, “there is hope!”
So, I became a bit obsessed with making cheese. I researched it and found a ton of different recipes. I then came up with my own variation that combined several different methods. So here it is. Sensei’s dairy free cheese!
1. Raw cashews
2. Nutritional yeast
3. Miso paste
4. Lime or lemon juice
5. Apple cider vinegar
6. Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
7. Siracha
8. Agar agar powder
9. Whatever seasoning you like
There you go. Only 8 ingredients. You actually do not need the siracha or miso. Those were my additions to this recipe.
1. Soak the cashews in water for a few hours or overnight.
2. Add cashews to a food processor and blend until you get almost a peanut butter like texture.
3. Add nutritional yeast to taste
4. Add other ingredients to taste as well
5. Add 2 table spoons of agar agar flakes to a cup or so of water and boil. Continuously stir the liquid for about five minutes. It will start to tighten up into a gel type consistency.
6. Add agar mixture to the cheese in the processor and blend. Do this quickly because the agar will start to tighten up quickly.
7. Pour cheese mixture into molds or a bowl and let sit in the fridge for a few hours.
Presto! You have vegan cheese! Great to spread on bread and crackers. I love adding it to my bean and chees burritos and as a dip for veggies. Enjoy!