Fitness and Form: Is Form Everything?

Fitness and Form: Is Form Everything?
I started my Kettlebell journey close to ten years ago. I was instructed by a certified trainer. So naturally, form was something that was definitely emphasized. Afterwards, I started to develop my own kettlebell movements and released a DVD on My Mad Methods Productions (later bought out by Onnit). Once I started putting my new stuff out there I got mixed reviews. Some people loved it and felt it was a natural evolution for kettlebell training. But, the form police came out as well! A lot of traditionalist openly criticized my movements and told me my form was bad and that I would hurt somebody.
Your form when performing any fitness exercise is always important. But what everyone should know is that form varies from instructor to instructor. Even when it comes to something like the kettlebell swing. One organization teaches one way and another organization teaches another way. So, if 5 different kettlebell organizations teach the swing differently, whose form is correct??
Is form everything? In my opinion my student’s safety is everything. It is my priority to keep my student’s injury free. Form is something that is taught and refined over a long period of time. Nobody’s form is perfect 100 % of the time. Plus, I have new students trying out my classes all the time. Do I expect them to have perfect technique in their first class? Of course not. Does that mean I should not even let them workout because their technique is not there? Hell no! When people come to your class, they are there for a workout. If you don’t give it to them, then you may have lost money there.
Some organizations brainwash their pupils to believe their technique is above and beyond everyone else’s. I read an article from a man who was master instructor from a prominent kettlebell organization. He was talking about how he was invited to teach a boot camp at a local facility. He went on about how he didn’t like the boot camp because it wasn’t enough time to correct everyone’s form. He also said he could never do boot camps if it meant that form would have to be sacrificed. I thought to myself, man this guy obviously doesn’t have students. Lol So, I did a little digging. I checked out his Instagram account. Just as I thought, Mr. Master Kettlebell instructor had a few videos of himself in a garage doing the most basic and boring workouts ever. SMH! Just because someone is certified doesn’t automatically mean they are capable of teaching. To be an instructor, one must be flexible and be able to adapt.
Keep in mind these are the same guys that heckle me and tell me my form is imperfect. Yet, I make a living from teaching. How ironic! Lol I will also tell you, from my experience, the people that always critique and heckle are the ones training in their garage or living room. The arm chair experts.
If you ever want to make a living by being a trainer, you must be patient and give your client what they came there for. If they came for a workout, then that’s what you need to give them. If you spend an hour just correcting technique and they don’t break a sweat, don’t expect them to come back.
I believe one of the reasons people are so concerned with technique is that they believe it leads to injury. In all of the years I have been teaching, I have come to the conclusion that improper warm up is the number one reason people get injured. Once your body is thoroughly warm, it can sustain most strenuous workouts as well as different sporting activities. Take Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for instance. During the course of a BJJ fight, almost every position you’re in is a mechanical disadvantage. You are constantly lifting, pushing and pulling from awkward positions. Do you think we stop and say, “let me shoot that double leg again, my form was a little off?” lol In fact, I have trained a ton of BJJ fighters over the years. A large portion of them have back problems. After I warm them up, most of them are like, man, we don’t even really warm up, we just train hard.
So, is form everything? I believe warming up and my client’s needs are everything. Form should always be emphasized. But a trainer has to be patient and realize that form is something that comes with time.

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Is your Fitness Functional?

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Is Your Fitness Functional?
Functional fitness has got to be the biggest buzz word in the fitness industry today. If you google “functional fitness”, the definition according to Wikipedia is, “functional. training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life. For me that definition sums it up clearly. Yet, those two words have taken on an entirely different meaning.
The fitness industry is just like any other industry. There is always a trend. Even in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competitions there are trends. One minute everyone was playing deep half guard, then it was berimbolo etc… So we are now in the era of functional training! The problem is, everyone is tagging functional to marketing campaigns and what not. It has taken on a different meaning.
I feel that people think that if you are doing a compound exercise that it is functional. I don’t agree entirely. I see some people doing the most outlandish stuff ever on Instagram. Then they say how functional it is. I’m thinking, functional for what exactly?? Maybe he thinks because he was working multiple simultaneously that its functional?
Functional for me is mimicking movements you do in everyday life. We walk, squat, lunge, reach, bend over, pic things up, get out of bed, pic up babies, carry babies around etc… But, if you are like me, I train and teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu every day. So, my functional training is a bit different than most people. That is why I developed Kettle-Jitsu.

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Functional for me is also teaching your muscles to work together harmoniously. We achieve that in my boot camps with certain exercises that are staples of my curriculum. In almost every class I teach, I include different variations of dead cleans, squats, lunges, presses, rows and dead lifts. I believe those exercises are amongst the most functional for regular everyday people and combat athletes. Functional exercises for combat athletes are, rocking chair, snake move, deck squats, combat cleans, swings, Turkish Get ups, and high pulls etc…
I believe functional also boils down to the piece of equipment you use. I feel that your body, barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells are the most functional tools you can use. With those tools you can comfortable, clean, squat, press, lunge, and hinge. If you cannot comfortably do that with something, then for me it’s not that functional. But just because it’s not functional doesn’t mean it’s useless.
Let’s use the Macebell for example. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a long metal pole with a ball attached to it. You can perform compound movements with it. But do they actually mimic anything you do in everyday life? We do not even hold things in our hands in everyday life in the same manner necessary to use a Macebell.
So, if you are truly looking for functional workouts, take a deeper look into the movements. Ask yourself, does this mimic anything that I do every day?

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Testimonial!

Kikb strength banner for web and facebook jpegI just wanted to share with you all this amazing testimonial that I received from a Kettlejitsu follower.  I get emails and messages daily with people telling me how they enjoy my workouts.  I have to say, I never get tired of hearing it.  Kettlejitsu is how I stay in shape and is my creation. So it warms my heart that people enjoy my workouts and get the results they want.  Check out this testimonial and see how Regina and her husband have lost 30lbs!!!

Joey!

So we started your program on April 1st. We did the 8 weeks of body conditioning and kettle bell work outs (your most recent one). Then we did the 8 weeks of your KB revolution.

That took us through about mid to late July. Then we took a break because we do a lot of boating, kayaking and biking in the summer. On October first we are starting up again – this time w/ your Turkish get up work out.

So – I started out wanting to lose 30 lbs. To date, I’ve lost 26 pounds, went down 2 clothes sizes and feel amazing. My husband lost 30 pounds and looks gorgeous.

We are feeling a little soft right now since we haven’t been on the regimented kettle bell program recently, but we have still been eating healthy and have just been maintaining our weight. We are really excited though to start up again – this time w/ the Turkish get up work out so we can continue our path towards a healthier, fitter self.

As of mid-July I was out of the overweight category finally! And I have dropped a few more pounds since them. I’m looking to lean out a little more and maybe lose about another 10 pounds. Still working that out though – since I will be putting on more muscle, I’m not so concerned about the actual weight on the scale – I’m more concerned about lean muscle.

Anyway – your program was the only fitness program we’ve followed and its fantastic. We love it.

Attached are 3 photos; one from January 2017, one from July and one from August 2017. In the July photo – I’m in the center w/ the purple hazed glasses. You can tell the 26 pound weight loss though. In the January photo, I can’t even wear those shorts anymore because they are so loose they don’t stay up!

Anyway – just wanted to let you know about the progress. You have an awesome program and we totally believe in it and I wanted you to see the results yourself.

THANKS!

Regina

January 2017Rocking a bathing suit! 🙂August 2017July 2017

Fake Fitness!

KB Flow group pic jpec for social mediaFake Fitness: Beware!
The other day in class, a long-time training partner of mine and fellow BJJ Black belt asked me how the KB Flow shoot was going. I told him great! He then said, why don’t you hit up some famous BJJ players like Andre Galvao to do your workouts. Then you can post the video. I told him, I have actually thought of that. But, I don’t feel that it is being authentic. I don’t want to fool people by training some famous person once with my programs and parade it all over the internet to get more business. In my opinion, that is fake. Now if someone like Galvao, embraced my programs and truly enjoyed it, that’s a different story. That would be genuine.
Unfortunately, this industry has a lot of fraudulent fitness programs and organizations out there. The salesmanship in this industry is at an all-time high. You have people professing the superiority of kettlebells and look super fit. Yet, they merely use kettlebells as a supplement to barbells, dumbbell, and other fitness equipment. You have organizations that were once all kettlebell oriented, but when the industry shifted and Crossfit became popular, these organizations quickly added body weight and barbell to their curriculum. To me that’s fake.
Since I posted pictures of the recent cast of my new KB Flow shoot, I have been getting a ton of positive feedback. Someone said, “That’s so cool that you are using your own students in the shoot.” My response was, I have always used only my students who actually train regularly in my Kettle-jitsu Bootcamps. The only exception is my addition of KBfit Britt in this shoot. Although she is not a student of mine, she is a legitimate practitioner of all things kettlebell. Her and I have been friends and fans of one another on social media for a long time now.
I honestly would not feel comfortable hiring some random fitness professionals to be in my video shoots. This is what you see in fitness magazines and a lot of workout DVDS. In my opinion that is false advertisement.
I see and hear a some of these fraudulent fitness gurus making the most outrageous claims about their programs. Listen, if someone has to sell you a certain workout program like as if he were selling you a car, then there is a problem. All it should take is for someone to try out a program once to see whether it is for them or not. If you need to convince, or manipulate them further to stick with the program then that is a red flag.
I owned a gym for close to 10 years and I have worked at Legacy Burbank for the last 3 years. At both facilities, I merely offer my Kettle-Jitsu boot camp. It is entirely the client’s choice whether to try it out or not. I’ve never had to force or use my power of influence to make people do my classes.
At 46 years old, I am in the best shape of my life. Kettlebell and body weight are my sole sources of strength and conditioning. The physique I have was attained by using all of the kb workouts that you see me doing on social media and my downloads. The only additions to that is my martial arts training.
So, beware of fraudulent fitness gurus making outrageous claims like, this will heal you, or this will make your BJJ better, I have even heard one ninny say that it reverses the aging process!!! One should merely be able to try out a workout once to be convinced whether it’s for them or not! Free download banner for web

 

Top 5 Knee Mobility Exercises

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Over the last few years I learned the importance of knee mobility exercises; sometimes in life, we have to learn the hard way.

After 30 years of consistent martial arts training and competing, I guess my body was asking for it.

I’ve always been flexible and never had problems with any of my joints, so I suppose I took my flexibility and mobility for granted.

In Tae Kwon Do and Kuk Sool, two martial arts that I trained extensively in, we did joint mobility.

But since I was young, I thought we were just going through the motions; I never realized how important joint mobility was.

Joint Mobility Worked for Dad
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When I first moved to Los Angeles 15 years ago, I was living with my father. My father is a retired professional boxer with over 30 fights under his belt. As most of you know, road work (running) is an integral part of a fighters regimen.

So even in his mid 50’s, running was somewhat of a habit with my father. He would wake up at 5 AM every morning to do his 3-mile run. One day he asked me why his knees were hurting. I asked him if he warmed up.

He said no, so I told him the importance of warming up and gave him a few knee mobility exercises to do. He was amazed at how much it helped him. To this day he still runs and does his warm up/joint mobility.

Thirteen years after the previous story, I found myself in the same situation. I neglected joint mobility and stretching. My left elbow was always throbbing. It particularly hurt when I would do my one of my favorite kettlebell exercises, the high pull.

Needless to say, it was frustrating.

Then I had the pleasure of being invited to my friend John Wolf’s first Evolution Kettlebell Groundwork (EKG) workshop. In this workshop, he covered mobility exercises. That’s when I realized how important it was all over again.

I started working the exercises I learned from John and incorporated them into my warm ups. Low and behold, my elbow pain went away!

The Importance of Knee Mobility Exercises

When performing joint mobility exercises, our body produces a lubricant called synovial fluid. This fluid helps lubricate our joints and can even help regenerate certain parts of the body.

If done on a regular basis, it will help you move freely and pain-free. I do an extensive joint mobility warm up in all of my classes, and my students love it!

The beautiful thing about it is that you do not need a gym to do joint mobility, it can be done anywhere.

Top 5 Knee Mobility Exercises


Our knees are probably one of the most problematic parts of our bodies. Knee issues are one of the most common problems I encounter with my clients.

So, here are my top five joint mobility exercises that I use with my clients. Try them out for yourself, and you will reap the benefits!

Knee Mobility Exercise #1. The Ski Move

I named this exercise the “ski move,” because it resembles the movement used when people ski. It involves a side to side movement that is low impact and gets the knees moving.

Knee Mobility Exercise #2. Tootsie Roll

This movement resembles a dance from the 90’s and involves circling your knees inward. Naming exercises is important so your clients can remember them. I tend to add a bit of humor when I name exercises.

Knee Mobility Exercise #3. Butterfly

Similar to the Tootsie Roll, but involves and outward rotation of the knees. I recommend doing each one for 30 seconds.

Knee Mobility Exercise #4. Egg Beaters

This is an exercise swimmers use to tread water. But, in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we perform the same movement while lying on our backs. It involves making circular motions while lying on your back with your feet raised.

Knee Mobility Exercise #5. Rocking Chair

I remember when I first did this exercise. It hurt my knees. This told me I needed to work on my knee mobility. Since it hurt, my coach showed me an alternative way.

If you try this exercise and you feel pain in your knee, place your hand on the floor of the same side you roll up on. This will take pressure off. After a while, you should be able to perform the rocking chair with ease and with no hands.

To see these exercises in action, check out my video that goes along with this article. In the meantime, do not neglect your joint mobility! Practicing joint mobility on a regular basis can ensure healthy, pain-free movement!

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Kettlebell Get Ups for BJJ and MMA! Part 1

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Kettlebell Get Ups for MMA and BJJ
Years before I even trained with kettlebells I heard many people professing how good they were for martial arts. But never quite heard any one explaining exactly why they are good for combat sports.
Flash forward to the first time I was taught the Turkish Get Up! First thing that came to my mind was, “Oh wow!” it’s almost identical to what’s called the Technical lift in BJJ! About the only difference is, with the technical lift, on the get up part, instead of putting the knee on the ground, we bypass that and stand straight to our feet.
The Technical lift (aka: standing up in base or the technical stand up) is a mandatory movement that any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioner or MMA fighter should master. It is the proper way to stand up when someone knocks you down in a street fight or MMA fight. Also, it has a ton of direct applications in BJJ sweeps and transitions.
Other than martial arts applications, the Turkish Get Up has numerous benefits. I honestly feel that it is one of the best full body exercises you can do. I personally prefer to add a press and drive thru my elbow which targets your chest and back. When you do this, it makes the TGU more challenging because you are utilizing more muscles.
Also, I do not favor doing max reps of a TGU with a ton of weight. In the course of a BJJ match, I personally utilize the TGU or Technical lift movement numerous times. So, I make my get up training closer to that. I prefer to train an alternating Turkish get up for 2-minute rounds to get a full body workout. This also makes it highly anaerobic the same as combat sports. You can get a deeper look into my Turkish Get Up training methods in my one-month Ultimate program.
Check out the attached video in which I demonstrate a Turkish get up and a Brazilian get up. The video also demonstrates a few direct applications to BJJ and MMA. Enjoy!

Farwell to a rock God

12901325_10209068680223698_188215213945284706_oFarewell to a rock God
Thursday, May 18, I woke up about 6am. Tuesday and Thursdays are days I get to sleep in. But since my body is so used to teaching 530am boot camps, I still wake up early. So, I usually wake up and realize that I can sleep in, then go back to sleep. This time, I checked the notifications on Facebook and saw that an old friend tagged me in a post. I was still half a sleep so I didn’t even read the post and fell back to sleep.
I woke up a couple of hours later and checked Facebook and the first thing that popped up in the feed was Chris Cornell dead at 52. Then It donned on me why that old friend tagged me in his post! I was the one that introduced him to Soundgarden (Chris Cornell’s band).
I couldn’t believe it. Of all the brooding Seattle grunge gods, he always seemed like he had it together. Plus, he was at such a high point in his career that it didn’t make sense.
Within the last few years the music industry has lost a lot of icons. Scott Weiland, David Bowie, Lemmy Kilmeister and Prince. All of which I loved. But Chris was my man. There is no other musician that I held on a higher pedestal.
I was first exposed to Chris Cornell and Soundgarden in 1988. I was 16 years old and living in Belgium. My father was in the military so we moved around quite a bit. At that time, Guns n’ Roses were my favorite band. But I was always looking for the next big thing. At that time, there was no internet. I kept up on the music scene through Rock and Roll publications like Circus magazine.
I read all of the articles in Circus mag and would get tips from the album reviews. There was a review for Soundgarden’s album Ultra Mega Ok in one. Their name intrigued me right away. They gave it a really good review and raved about them. So, I looked for it at the Post Exchange. The PX was our equivalent of Target on the military base we were living on. Problem is, they didn’t get those obscure bands on indie labels. They only got what was popular at the time.
I few weekends later, my family took a trip to Amsterdam. A-Dam as we called it, was only a couple of hours away from Belgium. So, we used to frequent trips there.
We were walking around and I noticed a record shop. So, I ran in there to see if I could find it. They had it! I bought Ultra Mega Ok on vinyl. I could barely contain myself on the drive home.
I immediately ran in the house and put the album in the record player. My ears were not prepared for what I was about to listen! I have never heard anything like that before. It was Grunge before that term had even been coined! It was alternative, mixed with metal, blues, punk and God knows what else. It was different and I loved it! Cornell’s voice blew me away. soundgarden-sst
A few years later we were stationed in Wurzburg Germany. At that time Soundgarden had released another album called Louder than Love. My love for the band grew stronger. I found out that they were playing in Frankfurt which was only an hour or so away! I begged my parents to let me go. They agreed to take me. I even brought my younger brother and his friend Andrew with me. Neither of them even knew who Soundgarden was. They just took my word for it that they were the shit!
So, my parents dropped us off at the Batchnap club where they were playing. It was a very small venue. I’m not even sure if a 100 people could fit in there. All I know is that we were early and were got up front center stage! Standing room only. Chris Cornell was literally singing a foot away from me! Shirtless, long curly locks head banging, Chris Cornell blew everyone in that place away with his vocal range! To this day it is still the best concert I have ever been to.
Afterwards while waiting for my parents to pick us up. We noticed the whole band was just kicking it outside of the club! We were like, “holy shit, isn’t that Soundgarden?” So, we walked up and had a chat with them. They autographed their song list and were super cool. My brother and friend became a fan for life after that.
That friend, was Andrew. The one who tagged me on Facebook the day of Cornell’s death.Sound garded loud love
Again, through magazines, I learned of a project with Chris Cornell and members of Pearl Jam called Temple of the dog. This time I found the album on the economy in Germany. I played it and it was nothing like Soundgarden. At the time Pearl Jam wasn’t even a name. To be honest the album didn’t even resonate with me. I guess I was expecting a heavier vibe on the album. But it was the exact opposite. It was slow, bluesy, melodic and kind of dark. But since I was such a huge fan of Cornell’s, I had to give it another listen. With each listen I started to realize how genius the album was. It was beautiful. Temple of the dog was a tribute to their late friend and singer of Mother Love Bone, Andrew Wood.
To this day, Temple of the Dog is one of my top 5 albums of all time.
A few years later, they released Badmotorfinger. It was their breakthrough album. Their single Outshined had a steady rotation on MTV. At that time, I was playing guitar a lot. I’ve actually been playing on and off since I was 10. I had purchased a drum kit and I kept it in my friends Ryan and Mike’s house that they were renting. It was a big house that often turned into a spot for afterhours parties. They had introduced me to their new roommate Scott who was a drummer in a local band Rear View Mirror. We eventually became friends as well. I told him that I play and we should jam sometime. He said cool. What do you want to play? I said have you heard of Soundgarden. He said he had heard them and what particular song I wanted to play. I chose “Outshined”. I could play it on guitar from start to finish with no problem. He said that he would need to listen to it so he could play it.
I put the album in and played the song. He listened to like 10 seconds of it and was like, ok I got it. I was like, don’t you want to listen to the rest of it? He said, no I got it. I thought to myself, there is no way he could play that song after only listening to 10 seconds of it. I mean, Soundgarden is known for having odd time signatures in their music. Not the easiest to play for any musician.
So, we geared up. Scott and I played outshined perfectly! I could not believe that Scott could play like that. It was the first time I had ever played with a drummer of that caliber! It felt so amazing!
I continued to follow Chris Cornell throughout his entire career. He was the only artist that if he released and album, I would immediately buy it without hesitation.
A couple of years ago. I was on my way to Rome to compete and teach. I had a layover in Sweden. So here I am walking around the Swedish airport and Chris Cornell walks right passed me! I turned around and spoke his name. He turned around and said “hey man” with a smile on his face and started walking toward me! I was like, “OMG!” I shook his hand and for the first time in my life, I was at a loss for words. He was larger than life and towered over me! I stuttered words out of my mouth and hoped that he would understand. I felt like a little kid all over again. Maybe it was meant to be.
I don’t want to bore everyone with my countless stories of Chris Cornell. I don’t even know why I’m writing this. I guess maybe I feel I owe him this much for giving me so much. He was a musical genius. He could sing acapella and blow you away. Just check out “all night thing.” He could serenade you with just an acoustic guitar. Check out “Seasons.” His lyrics read like poetry. Just check out like a stone.
I’ve been listening to his music nonstop since his death. He did talk about death a lot. I thought maybe it was because some of his close friends like Andrew Wood and Kurt Cobain had died. Maybe he was fascinated by death.
I had no idea he suffered from depression. I lost my own father to depression. It’s a horrible disease.
Let this be a reminder to all of us, that life is short. I’ve lost more people close to me than you can imagine. Why do you think I do what I do? I’m living the life I want and doing what I love. I may not be rich. But I am living a fulfilled life.
In the song “Like a Stone”, Cornell’s lyrics read, in your house, I long to be, room by room, patiently. I’ll wait for you there. Like a stone. I’ll wait for you there. Alone. I read an article, where the bassist of Audioslave, asked Cornell what he was talking about in the song. What was he waiting for? Cornell turned to him and replied, “I’m waiting on death.”
Just like that, the greatest musician my ears have ever heard is gone. A bonified rock God laid to rest. “I, I never wanted, to write these words down for you. With pages of phrases, of things we will never do. So, blow out the candle and I lay you to bed. Since you can’t say to me now, how the dogs broke your bone, there is just one thing left to be said. Say hello to heaven.”
Farwell to you Chris. I feel like I lost a friend. I hope you look down and see all of these famous bands playing tribute to you. We will always love you. Your music will live for eternity! Thank you☹

7 Reasons to get Certified

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7 Reasons why you should get Certified!
With my Kettle-Jitsu Coach Certification coming up, people are asking numerous questions about it. So why would it be in your best interest to attend and invest in this event. Here are seven reasons why.
1. To attain a greater knowledge of kettlebell and body weight training. For fitness trainers looking to add more tools to your arsenal, Kettlebell and body weight are a must! These 2 training tools are becoming extremely popular! Don’t be left behind!
2. Fitness challenge! Since this is a grueling 2-day event with approximately 16 hours of KB, it is a test of will! Some people look to events like the spartan race or tough mudder. This would be an equivalent.
3. To attain rank. This is a level 1 certification. I look at it as an equivalent of attaining rank in a Brazilian Jiu JItsu or any other martial art. The level 1 cert in Kettle-Jitsu is like earning a blue belt in BJJ.
4. Make fitness your profession. If you have a passion for fitness, sometimes it leads to you wanting to make a living from teaching it. The Kettle-Jitsu Coach cert is a comprehensive fitness course that is geared to prepare you for teaching group classes and one on one sessions. Instead of focusing only on the exercises themselves, The KJC course focuses on proven protocols, routines and exercises so that you may instantly implement them into your training arsenal.
5. Learn to teach boot camps! Teaching large group classes is no easy task! There is a method to the madness. Before teaching a boot camp, one must have a solid foundation in some sort of fitness program. The KJC course prepares you for this and goes even deeper!
6. To add appeal to your gym. Maybe you own a BJJ or MMA gym. If you only offer one discipline at your gym, you are selling yourself short! Adding a fitness boot camp to your BJJ/MMA gym will attract a whole different demographic. Adding more classes equals more $$$! Maybe you own a CrossFit or fitness gym. The same principle applies. Before you invest your hard-earned money. Most of the people administering kettlebell certifications do not own gyms or teach boot camps regularly. So basically, they teach from theory only. If you follow Kettlejitsu on social media, you will see many videos of large group classes. In this course, Joey teaches from 10 years of teaching KB on a regular every day basis.
7. Invest in your health! Taking this course will not only give you a better understanding of kettlebell and body weight training, but It also teaches you to be healthier in general. This course also teaches mobility to prepare your body for workouts and promote healthier joints. Remember, exercise is an easy way to prevent the risk of diseases. The Kettle-Jitsu Coach Cert is geared towards longevity.

H2H Intermediate Kettlebell Flow

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H2H Intermediate Kettlebell Flow
This is part 2 of my 3 articles on kettlebell training for combat sports exclusively for my sponsors the Kettlebell kings. In this article, we are covering what I call an H2H or hand to hand kettlebell flow. This particular flow is for intermediate level KB practitioners for 2 reasons. 1. It involves the overhead squat and high pull which require a bit of practice. 2. H2H means we will be passing the kettlebell from our left hand to right hand for the duration of this flow. This requires focus, timing and coordination.
This kettlebell flow contains one of my favorite kettlebell exercises, the high pull. When I was first taught this exercise, I immediately thought to myself “this is like throwing a punch.” I immediately attributed it to a punch we call a overhand right in MMA or Boxing. But to my dismay, we only worked it a few times. Most traditional kettlebell trainers teach the high pull as a precursor to the snatch. Which for a lot of people, is the be all and end all of kettlebell training. Although I do enjoy snatches, I feel the high pull is equally important. Maybe even more so. Reason being, if you work the high pull the way I do, then your hinging, pushing and pulling all in one explosive movement. That means your working your core, chest, back, shoulders biceps, triceps and forearm at once. I am including a video tutorial of how I do a high pull. So check it out to see what im talking about. High pulls are also help with hand speed and punching power. Its like throwing punches with a kettlebell! Try shadow boxing after a few sets of high pulls and see how fast your hands are!
In the previous article I talked about the many attributes needed in combat sports and how kettlebell flows help. One I didn’t touch on is focus. Your mind has to be razor sharp in the ring or cage. Even when you are in the later rounds and you are exhausted you have to have the ability to keep your composure and focus. One mental lapse and it can cause you the fight. Kettlebell flows address this issue. After a few rounds of this flow you will tire and it will increasingly get difficult to keep the flow consistent. It forces you to focus.
Here is the workout. We will keep the protocol the same as the workout in the previous article. In all of my workouts protocol is as follows:
1. mobility and core warm up
2. Ab pyramid (abdominal work)
3. B.I.T. Body weight interval training
4. C.I.T. Compound body weight training.
5. K.I.T. Kettlebell interval training
6. Kettlebell circuit
The kettlebell circuit is as follows: 2-minute round. 1 minute kettlebell flow, 30 seconds of rows and 30 seconds of burpees. I would suggest practicing each exercise that makes up the flow individually. This is what I call K.I.T. or kettlebell interval training. I usually do 30 seconds of work with a 10 second break between each set. Example: 30 seconds of overhead squats on the left 30 seconds of overhead squats on the right, 30 seconds high pulls on the left and so forth. Then try the flow using a lighter bell until you get used to the sequence. You can upgrade the weight of your bell for however you see fit.
There you have it! Intermediate H2H Kettlebell flow for combat sports and fitness! Stay tuned for part 3 of this series!

What is a Kettlebell Flow? Free workout Sample!

tgu-flow
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What is a Kettlebell flow
Kettlebell and body weight are the only two training methods where you can fuse one’s personality into. This is why I love them. So naturally when I immersed myself into kettlebell training, I started to combine principles and movements from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA with kettlebell and body weight. The flow is an underlying concept that I’ve used throughout my entire 30 year martial arts career. In a fight you need to be able to seamlessly flow from technique to technique. So I implemented this concept with kettlebells. Over 10 years ago I started using kettlebell flow with my students. Back then, people were afraid to think out of the box when it came to kettlebell training. But thanks to Mark de Grasse of My Mad Methods (bought out by onnit) and my first DVD, Combat Kettlebell Systems, I broke the mold of traditional kettlebell training and started the evolution.
Now countless people are taking a stab at what they think kettlebell flows are. But I see that they are missing some key elements. So I will break down the criteria that makes up a Kettlejitsu Kettlebell flow.
1. Kettlebell flows contain 3 or more movements into one seamless pattern.
2. Each flow should be balanced on both sides of your body.
3. I do not emphasize weight since flows are performed for time.
4. My kettlebell flows are developed so that they may be easily performed in a class format.
5. Continuous motion is a key factor in a kettlejitsu kettlebell flow
6. Only one to two hinging movements per flow.
7. Each flow should contain a pushing, pressing, hinging and sometimes pulling movement
8. In a kettlejitsu flow, there is no pause or stop
In my classes we will do a kettlebell flow for one to two minutes long. Since you do not put the bell down at all during that whole period, all of your muscles, including your forearms get taxed. If anyone has ever training in BJJ or MMA, they know that after a match, your whole body is tired. Your forearms are filled with lactic acid because of all of the grabbing. If your kettlebell flows are structured properly, this is how you should feel after a round. Enclosed are a few examples of kettlebell flows in action. Enjoy!

The below video is an example of a TGU Flow taken directly from the Ultimate TGU one month Turkish Get up Program. For more on this topic, please check out How to do a basic Kettlebell Flow and How to do a basic Kettlebell Flow

This is a very popular video shot almost 4 years ago. It contains many different kettlebell flows I use in my group bootcamp classes.

This video was shot 4 years ago at the My Methods Booth at the LA fitness festival. Me, Mark de Grasse and John Wolfe shared a booth.  Pre Onnit academy.

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