Kettlebell Workout for MMA/BJJ and Fitness using Nontraditional Exercises

kb kings article 3Kettlebell Workout using nontraditional exercises
The Kettlebell is the most diverse training tool in existence in my opinion. I always tell people the only limit is your imagination when it comes to kettlebell training. When I started my KB training close to 10 years ago, I was really excited about these new movements that I was learning. I had never done a kettlebell swing, snatch or Turkish Get Up before then. But to my dismay, after learning the KB basics, the exercises did not expand past that. I wanted more. I researched KB training and could not find anything other than the same exercises rehashed over and over. Then one day, when I was living in my gym. A light bulb popped up in my head. I thought to myself, I bet I could incorporate KB with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. So, I jumped on the mat, grabbed a kettlebell and the first move I worked on is the rocking chair! That was the beginnings of Kettlejitsu. Since then, I have continuously developed a lot of other nontraditional exercises and workouts using Kettlebell.
In my previous 2 articles that I have written for the Kettlebell Kings Blog, I used kettlebell flows using more or less traditional exercises. In this one we will be using mostly sports specific MMA/BJJ inspired exercises. Keep in mind, that just because these exercises are influenced by Martial Arts, does not mean that they are inclusive to combat athletes. Anyone can enjoy these exercises. But they are a bit advanced so be sure to have your KB basics down. In this workout, we will be using what I call Anaerobic Pyramid Conditioning (APC). This means it’s a series of movements combined to create an anaerobic breathing effect which is what you will experience if you were in an MMA or BJJ fight. These exercises are combined in what I call a pyramid. So we will perform 5 reps of each exercise, 10 reps and then back down to 5 to complete the pyramid. This is the protocol that I focus on in my new KB Strength and Conditioning download. Let me break down the exercises for you.
1. The KB rocking chair to a press. Like I said this is the first exercise that I developed. This was taught to me by my BJJ Master Roger Machado. It is a movement found in a lot of different BJJ techniques and transitions. It can be performed using body weight only or with KB. Excellent movement for hip/ knee mobility and core strength. By adding a kettlebell and a press, you are incorporating multiple muscles at once. You will be working your upper chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders and your core simultaneously. Plus, you will feel like a ninja afterwards!
2. Deck squats. These are like squats on steroids. By rolling from your back all the way to your feet, you incorporate a lot of different muscles. Particularly, your core. There is a lot of getting up off your back to your feet in MMA and BJJ so this one helps tremendously.
3. Corner to corner rows. In BJJ we do a lot of pulling from this position. So, I feel it’s important to incorporate a lot of different row variations in my workouts.
4. The fighters figure 8. This was also one of the first exercises I developed when embarking on my Kettlejitsu journey. I wanted to incorporate punching to the best of my ability. This one mimics the punching movement of a hooking type punch. It also addresses pivoting and torque. You will feel this exercise in your upper body and your core simultaneously.
So please keep in mind. Before getting to the main workout, you must warm up first! The way I teach, that means plenty of body weight first. Then, we practice each individual kettlebell exercise for 30 second intervals with a 10 second rest. Once you drill each exercise for several rounds, then you can wrap it up with the final kettlebell pyramid.
-rocking chair 5x
-deck squats 5x
-corner to corner rows 5x
-fighters figure 8 5x
-burpees 5x
Repeat each exercise for 10 repetitions then back down to 5 to complete the pyramid.
Check out the video include in this article to get a better idea of the movements in this workout. I also include some footage of me using this workout with my Kettlejitsu boot camp at Legacy Los Angeles. Have fun and train safe!

Variety: The importance of it for Trainers!

focusVariety: The Importance of it for Trainers and Instructors!
When first opened my gym, SoCal MMA 10 years ago, I had 2 black belts, boxing experienced and I was a veteran of professional MMA. Plus, as a kid, I religiously followed body building. So, I felt I had a pretty good fitness repertoire. At SoCal, I taught all of the classes in the beginning. I taught an MMA class, BJJ and a female boot camp class. In all of those classes I utilized workouts that included exercises and movements from all of the arts I trained in. Including animal style movements that have existed in BJJ forever. After a couple of months, my very first female student, Lety, turned to me and said, “Can we do something different? We did this the other day.” I was in shock! But this is what you deal with when you have clients that pay a monthly fee to train at your gym. You have to be attentive towards their needs. This is what caused me to start researching other fitness programs. In an attempt to add variety and attract clients, one of my business partners suggested hiring a kettlebell trainer. I was for it! I knew very little about kettlebells. But I knew enough to know that I needed instruction with them. My partner did the research and found a certified Russian kettlebell trainer to teach once a week at my gym. Since kettlebell training was new to everyone, we enjoyed it. He introduced to us the kettlebell standards, swings, snatches, goblet squats, dead lifts and the Turkish get up. Since these were new exercises, in the beginning, they were exciting and fun. But since the instructor had the traditional Russian kettlebell mindset that you only those few exercises, our clients and myself became bored and uninspired. I was frustrated because I really enjoyed the kettlebell stuff, but I yearned for more. So, I started researching other kettlebell organizations. To my dismay, there was little variety available. This forced me to start innovating my kettlebell and body weight program. I felt every kettlebell workout lacked full body movements. They were more like core and leg workouts. So, I started adding more exercises to hit more muscle groups. I realized how versatile kettlebells and body weight were! I incorporated movements from BJJ and other arts which gave birth to my Kettlejitsu program.
Kettlebell and body weight add more variety than any other 2 training tools in my opinion. I started teaching my new methods to my classes and they loved it! My clients became content and consistent and classes grew. Since then I have maintained my Kettlejitsu boot camps for close to 10 years now. It was also key in helping earn a living from doing what I love to do. Your clients will appreciate variety. If you teach the same thing over and over, I guarantee you it will be difficult to retain students. You have to remember when someone is paying you their hard-earned coin to train with you, you owe it to them to give the best possible training available. This is why I am constantly evolving and learning. I watch and study. I learn from everywhere. I even learn from my students! The key to innovation is to keep an open mind.
These concepts can be applied to martial arts as well. Can you imagine a Martial Arts instructor that only taught 10 moves? It would be pretty boring. One of the main keys to client retention is variety. Have you ever heard the saying, “variety is the spice of life?” I truly believe that! Stay on your toes, be attentive towards your students and add variety to your workouts on the daily. Use these concepts if you have intention on making a living as a trainer! Check out this video that displays some of the variety in my Kettlejitsu programs. Enjoy!

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What is a Kettlebell Flow? Free workout Sample!

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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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The Truth about Mobility

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The Truth About Mobility
Mobility is the ability to move freely and easily. So throughout the day, if you have pain during some of your daily activities, it could be a mobility issue. Fortunately, a lot of those issues can be corrected through mobility exercises. Since I teach large group classes and have been for the last 10 years, I have narrowed down the most common areas that people lack the most mobility in. These are the neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees.
So, how much time daily do I need to spend on mobility? The first 10 minutes of any of my Kettlejitsu boot camps is all mobility. During that time, I cover all of the aforementioned areas where people lack the most mobility. This is the format I have been following and anyone who has consistently attended my classes has enhanced their mobility tenfold. If you teach large boot camps on a regular basis, spending any more time than that on mobility is a waste of time. From my experience, your average person has about 3 hours a week of free time to exercise. If you spend the majority of that time doing joint mobility, you are not giving your clients what they want. People sign up at a gym or boot camp to sweat and get results. You cannot lose weight or tone up from doing mobility for an hour. Quite frankly you don’t need an hour of mobility. I have trained in martial arts for over 30 years now. I even played football and baseball in high school. I had my first Tae Kwon Do match at the age of 9 two weeks after I joined. I literally had dozens of TKD fights, 15 pro mma fights and easily over 100 BJJ matches. At 45 years old, I am more mobile and flexible than the majority of these so called mobility experts.14115440_844597072239195_5298171782733036032_o
Another great thing about mobility is that you do not need any extra equipment to do it. You can address all of your mobility needs through body weight only exercises. There has been no scientific evidence that has proven that adding any implement to joint mobility exercises makes a difference. People who say otherwise are misinformed or they are just trying to sell you some B.S.
So to wrap things up, mobility is very important. Focus on some specific mobility exercises for about ten minutes before each workout and that should be sufficient. Enclosed are some links to videos that show some of the mobility I work with my students on a daily basis. These mobility warm ups can be found on all of my downloads as well. Enjoy! Click here to see proven joint mobility exercises in a live group class!  Kettlejitsu Mobility Instagram

 

Thai Knee Kettlebell flow

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The Thai Knee Kettlebell Flow

This is a really basic kettlebell flow with a twist. To be able to perform this flow, you must first know how to do a T-Rex squat, 2 hand overhead press and 2 handed swings. If you are proficient at the 2 handed swings, you can add the Thai knees to it. Adding the knee really challenges your balances and hits your core more so than regular swings. I suggest trying this combo with a lighter weight first. Also, please make sure you are thoroughly warm before trying any kettlebell exercise. If you are not sure on how to warm up properly, purchase the Kettle-Jitsu revolution 8 week kettlebell and body weight course to get you on the right track. Enjoy!

Deck Squat Tutorial

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The Deck Squat
I recently had a buddy of mine from Sweden ask me about the deck squat. He wanted to know how to go about teaching it and what not. It’s a great question because teaching a deck squat can be a bit tricky. You have to remember that people who come to you for training will vary in athleticism and fitness. So as simple as a deck squat may seem, not everyone can perform it equally. But, if you follow the tips I cover in this article, you will have your students reaping the benefits of this awesome exercise in no time!
In the enclosed video I cover various different variations of the deck squat. Not to be confused with “Death squat.” I had a student that confused the name until I corrected her. Lol Anyways, first and foremost, please warm up your clients thoroughly! The deck squat involves rolling off of our back all the way up into a full squat position. You work a lot more muscles in this variation than a traditional squat. Next make sure you have a comfortable surface to work on. At Legacy BJJ Burbank, we typically work on tatami mats. But, not all people have access to tatami. So in this video, you can see in our Kettlebell and conditioning room, we have these individual mats made by perform better. They add a sufficient amount of padding to perform this exercise.
Next lets get into the execution of this exercise. Start on you matted surface from the sitting position. Rock backwards to create momentum. Make sure you come up with both feet planted evenly on the ground. Then, use that momentum to squat up into the standing position. In my experience, this can often be difficult for people to do. People vary in fitness levels, flexibility and may have injuries and what not. So, if they cannot do the standard version, I tell them that it is ok to use their hands. You can use one hand at a time or 2 hands at a time. Ive had students use the hand assisted versions until they worked up to the regular version.
Last but not least is the rocking chair variation. Now if the aforementioned variation does not work for your clients, the rocking chair variation does the trick. This method involves tucking one leg in and rolling up on the side of your shin. Again, you can use a one handed assisted variation if need be. I want to thank Bjorn from Sweden for this question. Please feel free to ask me any questions kettlebell, body weight, BJJ or MMA related. I will try my best to answer it!

The first Kettle-Jitsu Coach certification of 2016 is set for April! Get certified and learn to teach exercises like the deck squat! Learn more here! Kettle-JItsu Coach Certification 2016

7 MMA Specific Kettlebell Exercises for Hand Speed and Punching Power

Free download banner for webSubscribe and get your free ebook and free kettlebell flow workout! Also, get exclusive discounts on all workout programs! click here!  Free ebook and Kettlebell flow workout!jiu jitsu magazine article   kb punch7 MMA Specific Kettlebell Exercises for Punching Power and Hand Speed
Close to 7 years ago, I released my firs DVD Combat Kettlebell Systems. On this DVD I introduced combat specific kettlebell exercises to improve striking and ground work. Kettlejitsu is in a constant state of evolution. So, since then, I have developed more exercises. In this article I will briefly cover exercises to improve punching power and hand speed.
First and foremost, let’s talk about safety. If you do not a solid foundation in kettlebell training, you should not attempt to try these exercises. Second of all, you should warm up thoroughly. Third, start off with a light weight. I will cover all of these exercises in a future digital download. So keep an eye out!
Exercise 1. The pull and punch: This exercise has a bit of sleight of hand. It involves pulling with one hand and a punch press with the other. This movement addresses the pivot. Pivoting into your punches is essential for strikers.
Exercise 2. Combat Thrusters: This exercise is performed from a fighting stance. Some people refer to it as a stagger stance. Again, there is a pivot at the top of the punch press. You will definitely feel these in your core! Remember, power comes from your core.
Exercise 3. The Fighters Figure 8: Before you try this, you must master a regular figure 8 and a figure 8 to a hold. This one involves a hooking type motion with a pivot at the end.
Exercise 4. Bottoms up uppercuts: I have to give a shout out to my boy Rollie Robles of Fatx101.com He attended my very first certification years ago. We were working figure 8s and someone asked my about how to throw an upper cut with a kb. At that time, I was doing the ballistic version only. Then I saw Rollie doing the bottoms up version. I liked it. So I kept it!
Exercise 5. Ballistic uppercuts: This one involves a bit of hand 2 hand. Definitely not for beginners. This one will develop your focus and hand eye coordination as well.
Exercise 6. Combat cleans: If you do not know how to do a regular clean, then please do not attempt this. This involves the pulling and punching aspect of punching.
Exercise 7. Combat High Pulls: This exercise in my opinion is most specific to throwing straight punches. Even more so than the previous exercise. Use a light bell at first. Doing high pulls from a fighting stance can be a bit tricky. Plus, keeping the bell suspended in mid air can be challenging for your forearms.
I really feel that with kettlebells, you can get more specific to ground fighting and striking than any other training device. There is not a more versatile implement on the planet! Keep an open mind and evolve! To develop your foundation so that you will be able to execute these movements, check out my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week kettlebell and body weight download!


Combat Thruster Kettlebell Circuit

tgu banner combat thruster pic for article new years adCombat Thruster Kettlebell Circuit This is our Kettlejitsu, “workout of the week” at Legacy BJJ Burbank. All of the exercises in this workout are performed in a fighting or “stagger” stance.  This adds and entirely different aspect to the workout. Since we are working from a fighting stance, all of your muscles are working from a different angle. Pivot and torque are also addressed in these exercises. Combat thrusters, and combat high pulls add a pivoting aspect to the exercises.  These two exercises are very specific to striking since it is imperative to pivot into your punches for maximum power. Check out the enclosed video to see the Combat Thruster Circuit in action

Basic Flying Arm Bar Variation

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flying arm bar

BASIC FLYING ARM BAR TUTORIAL
ONNE QUESTION I GET FREQUENTLY BY BEGINNING BJJ STUDENTS IS HOW TO DO A FLYING ARM BAR. SO IF THEY ASK, I LIKE TO SHOW THIS BASIC VARIATION FIRST. ONE OF THE MAIN CONCERNS PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE OF IS SAFETY. IF YOU TEACH AN ADVANCE RISKIER MOVE TO A STUDENT WHO MAY NOT BE READY, IT COULD RESULT IN INJURY. THE FLYING ARM BAR IS ONE OF THOSE TECHNIQUES.
IF YOUR STUDENT DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO DO A BASIC ARM BAR FROM THE GUARD. THEN THEY ARENT READY FOR THE FLYING VARIATION. aLSO, MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON A MATTED SURFACE BEFORE ATTEMTING THIS ARM BAR. I HAVE TO CREDIT MY MASTER ROGER MACHADO FOR TEACHING ME THIS ONE WHEN I WAS A BLUE BELT. TIPS: MAKE SURE YOUR LEFT HAND IS GRIPPING YOUR PARTNER RIGHT BEHIND THEIR ELBOW. THE OTHER HAND SHOULD BE ON HIS LEFT LAPEL. RIGH FOOT SHOULD BE ON THEIR HIP. THIS FORCES THEM TO BEND OVER AS YOU SIT DOWN TO SPIN INTO THE ARM BAR.

Check out Legacy BJJ student Fernando Adriano lll hitting this move live at the Irvine open this past weeken!  Instagram arm bar

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Forward and Backward Tumbling for BJJ

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Forward and backward rolling for bjj

 

Mastering certain BJJ specific movements are as important as mastering fundamental BJJ techniques in my opinion.  Forward and backward rolling are 2 of these movements. Mastery of these rolls are crucial because they are needed in a ton of Jiu JItsu techniques. Becoming more proficient in tumbling can increase athleticism, agility, coordination and mat awareness. This video shows a deeper look at forward and backward tumbling and their application in BJJ techniques.