How to do a basic Kettlebell Flow

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How to do a Kettlebell Flow
Close to 10 years ago, I went to go purchase some kettlebells from an old company called My Mad Methods. MMM was located inside of a gym called MBody Strength owned by Marcus Martinez and Mark de Grasse. I met Mark while I was there and asked him if he would take a look at a specific kettlebell program that I had been developing with my students at my former gym SoCal MMA. Mark agreed to. So I proceeded to show some of the kettlebell movements and flows I had developed and his eyes lit up! He said, “would you mind if I filmed these.” I agreed. Within a few minutes Mark looked at me and said, “we need to do a DVD.” I was blown away! I just wanted to see what he thought of the exercises I had developed. I wasn’t expecting to land a DVD deal! This led to his company My Mad Methods producing my first 2 DVDs. Combat Kettlebell Systems was the first. The CKS DVD was the first of its kind to showcase newly developed kettlebell movements and principles taken directly from MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The DVD sold in 30 countries worldwide. I released another DVD dedicated to body weight training called Shadow Jitsu. Then, MMM produced other DVDs from John Wolf and Mark de Grasse. My Mad Methods created such a buzz that it gained the attention of a little nutritional supplement company called Onnit. They purchased MMM (along with my DVDs and articles) and brought in Mark de Grasse to create the Onnit Academy.12592561_883757901723048_1301335978893047852_n-1above left to right, Mark de Grasse, John wolf and myself
In the beginning nobody had seen movement added to kettlebell training. Nobody had seen kettlebell flows and it wasn’t 100% accepted in the kettlebell community. Now, Instagram and other social media have people taking stabs at kettlebell flows and what not. So called kettlebell experts are now crawling out of the wood work with kb workouts for BJJ and MMA. But, there is a huge difference between me and them. Most of these guys just create workouts so that they can upload it to YouTube and I.G. to get hits. These people have never been in the cage while somebody has you on the ground dropping elbows on your face. These people have never had their hand raised in victory in front of thousands of people.king-of-the-cagemedal-chaser Any workout that I post, have been used by me and my students for the last 10 years. I trained a team of MMA/BJJ athletes and regular everyday people at my old gym and now at Legacy BJJ Burbank for close to a decade. These aren’t just workouts I come up with in my living room and throw up on YouTube. Also keep in mind that my YouTube videos are not made to be actual instructional in nature. They are just mere examples of what I do. There are a lot of details that you may be missing if you do not understand the concepts. So I am proud to announce, that Kettle-Jitsu and kettlebell giants the Kettlebell Kings will be working together to educate people and give everyone a better understanding of Kettlebell training for combat athletes.
This is the first of a 3-part series dedicated to Kettlebell training for BJJ and MMA. Let’s discuss the Kettlebell flow. To understand Fighting, you must know that combat sports are anaerobic in nature. This means its closer to running sprints than to going for a long distance jog. Fighting involves multiple muscles at once. A typical BJJ/MMA match involves, pushing, pulling, core work and leg work. Anaerobic training involves short burst of energy, followed by a brief lull in movement. This is how I like to structure my kettlebell workouts.
I have kettlebell flows broken down in 4 different categories.
1. 2 handed single kettlebell flows
2. 1 handed alternating single kettlebell flows
3. Combo flows mixing 1 and 2 together
4. Double kettlebell flows
The enclosed video is an example of #1 and is my most basic Kettlebell flow. It involves a 2 handed clean. This covers our pulling and leg work, 2 handed overhead press (pushing movement), and a 2 handed swing (hinging, core movement). The protocol I use for this is what I call 2 minute Kettlebell circuit. Perform a 2 handed clean and press twice, 2 handed swing twice and a swing to catch once for one minute straight. Followed by ballistic rows for 30 seconds. Burpees make up the final 30 seconds of the 2-minute circuit. Please keep in mind that in my classes, we always start with body weight and mobility before we get into the kb work. This insures that everyone is thoroughly warmed up. Here is a typical Kettlejitsu class format I use
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
I hope this gives a better understanding of how and why I developed kettlebell flows. They are an amazing way to train kettlebells and give you a full body workout, help burn muscle, enhance coordination and focus all at once!
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What is a Kettlebell Flow? Free workout Sample!

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kb-kings-banner-for-siteThe Ultimate TGU One month kettlebell and body weight digital download is on sale for only $15 for a limited time! 4 different workouts and 3 different Kettlebell flows! Click here to take advantage of this deal!  Ultimate TGU digital download

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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Body weight flows and practicality

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body weight flows and practicality

Body Weight Flows:

Which type is right for you?

Body weight flow training is all the rave right now. There are so many fitness gurus developing their own styles nowadays. But before you jump on the bandwagon of some of these trends, ask yourself, “Is this practical for me?”  There are many different types of body weight flows. The two I’ll talk about here are class format flows and open space flows.

Since I teach boot camps on a regular basis, space is always an issue. This is why a spend more time developing class format flows. That way you can teach these movements in large group classes and require minimal space.  The first video below is an example of class format flows.  As you can see in the video, me and my student are performing various different types of flows side by side. These are movements I teach daily and work great in large class format.

Open space flows are when you have enough space to perform more intricate flows. Maybe you own a gym and you have a large mat space to yourself. You could be at a park or a beach. In the second video, me and long time student Oscar are doing some free style MMA flowing. As you can see with all of the Kicking, punching and random rolling around, these types of flows would not be ideal, in a large class. Even though I have access to a really big gym, I rarely have the time to do these types of flows. I work out with my classes, so on free time, the last thing I want to do is extracurricular training.

So if you are a trainer and you teach group classes on a regular basis, class format flows may be what you want to spend your time learning or developing. If space is not an option, you can partake in open space flows.



Best Kettlebell Exercise for BJJ!

jiu jitsu magazine articletgu sale $17Get the Ultimate TGU on sale now for only $17! as seen in the latest issue of Jiu JItsu magazine! Click the above banner or this link!Ultimate Turkish Get Up Program download Or, get Save $$$$ and purchase the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week program and Ultimate TGU together for only $47!!! Click the below banner or this link to save! Kj revolution/Ultimate TGU combo!New web banner package dealTurkish Get Ups are one of the initial exercises that I knew had a direct connection to MMA and Bjj. The mechanics of the TGU are almost identical to a movement in BJJ called, Standing up in base or the Technical lift. The TGU is the best kettlebell exercise for BJJ for 3 reasons. 1. You work your pushing, pulling, squatting/lunging movements all in one exercise. 2. it has numerous applications in actual BJJ techniques. 3. It works motor skills we are not accustomed to doing in every day life. Therefor it enhances your coordination. Most traditional Bjj dojos practice this via body weight on a daily basis. Standing up in base has many applications in jiu jitsu. It has also evolved into a movement necessary for the “scrambling aspect” of Mixed Martial Arts. Scrambling is the art of regaining the standing position in an MMA fight. If you are not good at scrambling, then you will have a shot career in MMA. So, drilling the mechanics of Standing up in base is a must. In the enclosed video, I have several variations of the TGU and Brazilian get up and some applications with a partner. Implement these into your mma and kb training and you will experience tremendous gains! Be sure to check out Joey Alvarado’s article on the Turkish Get Up in the latest issue of Jiu Jitsu Magazine!

Best Kettlebell Exercise for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

jiu jitsu magazine articletgu sale $17Get the Ultimate TGU on sale now for only $17! ass seen in the latest issue of Jiu JItsu magazine! Click the above banner or this link!Ultimate Turkish Get Up Program download Or, get Save $$$$ and purchase the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution 8 week program and Ultimate TGU together for only $47!!! Click the below banner or this link to save! Kj revolution/Ultimate TGU combo!New web banner package dealTurkish Get Ups are one of the initial exercises that I knew had a direct connection to MMA and Bjj.  The mechanics of the TGU are almost identical to a movement in BJJ called, Standing up in base or the Technical lift. The TGU is the best kettlebell exercise for BJJ for 3 reasons. 1. You work your pushing, pulling, squatting/lunging movements all in one exercise. 2. it has numerous applications in actual BJJ techniques. 3. It works motor skills we are not accustomed to doing in every day life. Therefor it enhances your coordination.  Most traditional Bjj dojos practice this via body weight on a daily basis.  Standing up in base has many applications in jiu jitsu. It has also evolved into a movement necessary for the “scrambling aspect” of Mixed Martial Arts. Scrambling is the art of regaining the standing position in an MMA fight.  If you are not good at scrambling, then you will have a shot career in MMA.  So, drilling the mechanics of Standing up in base is a must. In the enclosed video, I have several variations of the TGU and Brazilian get up and some applications with a partner. Implement these into your mma and kb training and you will experience tremendous gains! Be sure to check out Joey Alvarado’s article on the Turkish Get Up in the latest issue of Jiu Jitsu Magazine!

10 Kettlebell and bodyweight movements to help MMA striking

10 for striking10 Exercises to Help Striking For MMA

Almost four years ago I released my first dvd Combat Kettlebell Systems.  On the dvd I introduced a lot of sports specific movements for mma and bjj.  On the CKS dvd I used mostly kettlebells for this. I introduced newly developed movements to help improve your striking and ground work. My second dvd, shadow-jitsu, I continued with the mma/bjj theme but using only bodyweight.  Since then I have refined and developed more movements to help your striking for mma, boxing and kickboxing.  Here are 10 of these movements with a brief description of their purposes.  Enjoy.

1. The jab drill: This is a forgotten drill that was taught to me by my father, former number 6 ranked feather weight boxer. It emphasizes the importance of the jab and helps with rhythm and timing

2.The shoe shine: this boxing drill helps sharpen your uppercuts flow better and helps with hand speed.

3.Machine gun kicks: this exercise helps add speed, timing and torque to Thai style kicks

4.Thai knee combo: Helps with conditioning and simulates Muay Thai knee strikes.

5.High pulls: Ive adapted this kettlebell exercise to mimic an actual punch. Punches involve a pushing and pulling dynamic that this exercise helps harness. It also helps with hand speed

6.Bottoms up uppercuts: this one helps develop proper mechanics for your uppercuts.  It also helps develop torque, pivot and hand speed. It is also a great core and bicep exercise

7.The fighters figure 8: A favorite amongst my certified Kettle-Jitsu coaches.  Develops speed and power for hooking style punches. Also an amazing full body exercise.

8.Combat cleans: these are cleans performed from a fighting stance. This make this exercise pretty close to throwing an actual punch. Helps torque, pivot and its an excellent full body exercise. Make sure you have a solid kettlebell foundation before attempting this one

9.The pull and punch: My most recent development. Combines an upright row with a press and pivot. Works timing, power, pivot, focus and torque. This one will have your heart pumping in no time! Check out the Kettlsjitsu Revolution download that contains some of the movements from this article!

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The four stages of an mma war

D3D_2405The Four Stages of an MMA War: Preparing for a Fight

If you’ve never competed in a professional fight, you might not realize the amount of mental fortitude required by the fighters to get into the ring. Coach and former professional MMA fighter Joey Alvarado will fill you in.

Time after time, fans of MMA glue themselves in front of the big screen to watch the UFC. What they see is the fight that happens in the cage, but what most people do not realize is what an MMA fighter goes through behind the scenes preparing for the match, both physically and mentally. They simply see the final culmination of months of hard work. As a former professional MMA fighter, I can tell you from personal experience that the trials of preparing for a fight are some of the most difficult I have ever experienced. Here is an inside view of what an MMA fighter endures when preparing to fight. I have broken it down into what I call the “Four Stages of an MMA War.”

Stage One: Long Term Preparation

Training for a specific MMA match can take anywhere from two to three months. If you are training properly for a fight, you should be training at least twice a day (some UFC fighters train as much as three times a day). When training this much, there is little time for anything else; almost everything else takes a back seat to the training. The preparation of a fight can put a significant strain on personal relationships; if your significant other is not understanding, it can hinder the training process. A boyfriend/girlfriend who is demanding attention can cause you to lose focus, leading to lackluster training sessions or even inconsistency in training. My father, a former world ranked boxer, once told me that in order to be a fighter, one must live the life of a monk. What does a monk do? A monk spends his days meditating and keeping away from the distractions of the outside world. If afighter can apply the discipline of a monk into his/ her own training, they will be much better off.

Stage Two: Hell Week

This is the week before the fight. This is the time when you might be cutting the pounds needed to make weight the day before the fight. Reducing your caloric intake significantly can cause your mind to become more susceptible to the stresses and anxiety of the upcoming match. During Hell Week, fellow training partners are constantly going to ask you, “How you feeling man, are you ready to fight?” The slightest thought of the fight will most likely raise your anxiety levels and mentally drain you. Keep your mind occupied and try not to dwell on the fight too much. This is a difficult stage and it is important that your coach pays close attention, preparing you both mentally and physically.

Stage Three: The Day of

Stage three is the final waiting period the day of the fight. This is an extremely nerve racking time period; it may only be a few hours before the match, but it will seem like days. While in the warm up room, you can hear the droves of people filling up the arena and your adrenaline will kick in. Proper breathing is extremely important to control your anxiety levels. It’s important that your coach stays with you during this whole period to make sure your mind is in check, wrap your hands, and make sure that you’re warmed up properly. A good coach will prepare your mind and constantly reassure you that you are prepared for the fight. If you are not prepared mentally, you can lose the fight before you even step in the cage.

Stage Four: The Fight

The final stage is the actual fight. There is a saying amongst trainers/fighters that states, “the hardest part of a fight is the preparation, the easiest part is the fight itself.” This is 100% true. Months of training boils down to a mere 15 to 25 minutes a cage fight (sometimes much less). A fight can end within seconds. During the fight, you must not think; you should simply react. After the months of drilling techniques and the countless hours of sparring, your body should be conditioned for the proper reactions to what happens during the fight. In MMA, there is no time to think. If you spend too much time thinking, your opponent may capitalize on it and end the fight.