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.

 

 

 

Animal Style Workout Variations for BJJ

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Animal style movement training seems to be pretty popular nowadays. Its hardly anything new. Animal style training can date back to the monks of the Shaolin temple. They used many different animal movements in their Kung fu.  I first was introduced to animal style workouts back in about 1994 when I Trained at Romero Calvacanti’s(jacare) Master BJJ gym in Atlanta.  Animal movements are one of the standard warm ups used in a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gyms world wide.  Now animal movements have caught on to the mainstream. Since functional training is so popular now, animal style workouts fit right in. They are full body movements that can be performed almost anywhere.  In this video I am doing some variations that I have developed my self. The movements in the video will help with your conditioning, agility, mobility and coordination.  Stay tuned for my upcoming Body Weight 4 BJJ programs! It will contain and encyclopedia of BJJ/MMA specific movements and workouts!. Enjoy! 

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Sensei Joey Receives Black Belt from BJJ Legend!

Breaking News! Sensei Joey Receives BJJ Black Belt!

A milestone was reached yesterday in the career of SoCal mma and Kettlejitsu founder Joey Alvarado! Professor Joey was promoted to Black belt by BJJ legend Roger Machado! Here is a personal note from Sensei Joey himself!

“I started training in BJJ back in 94. I was living in South Carolina and I would drive up to Virginia to get privates with Frank Cucci who was a blue belt under Pedro Sauer at the time. I was in awe of him. A year or so later, Romero Jacare Cavalcanti opened Master Bjj in Atlanta. I had the pleasure of doing some training with him as well. Amazing! I moved to L.A. and was poor. So I just trained to box under the tutelage of my father. I started with Rigan Machado and Roger Machado a couple of years later. Then I caught the mma bug and embarked on a 7 year career. I had to stop training with gi, so I wasnt eligible for promotion. throughout those years, i had many people tell me that I should be a black belt and ask me when I was going to get it. I always said, i dont know and I dont care. When my master gives it to me, then it is so. I could have easily switched gyms to get promoted but I refrained because im just loyal like that. I stuck it out and endured what I had to. 16 tournaments as a brown belt, including10 gold medals, 3 silver, 2 bronze medals later it happened. I would like to thank everyone who helped me through this 20 year journery. To my grandmaster Shelton R. Moreland you instilled something in me that I carry to this day. Training with you gave me the discipline to train in other arts and sports. Gamsamnida! I love you. To my team SoCal Mma I could not have done it with out you. To my special friends who have been my training partners for over ten years Albert Rios and Giovanni Vasquez, thank you and i love you both! Rigan Machado Thank you for the inspiration. To my master Roger, obrigando and im honored to represent you! Special shout out to my good friend Alberto Crane and his team for opening his gym for me to train. You guys are a big part of this and im very appreciative of you pushing me and the techniques I have learned from you! Oss! thank you Michael Perez and Rocky Morales two of SoCals finest for showing up to my special day. ! Oss!”1015963_10204243232618886_4217420290211919861_o

3 Minute Total Body Weight Circuit

When developing workouts for my classes and dvd’s, one of the main concepts I use is what I call the “balance principle.” This basically means, I try to hit all of your major muscle groups evenly. So after a Kettle-Jitsu workout, you should never feel like you just got a leg workout, or just a core workout. By combining as many muscle groups into your workouts, you will get that metabolic effect. I use this principle with both body weight and kettlebell training.

For this particular body weight workout, I combine dynamic exercises that hit multiple muscles simultaneously to give the circuit an anaerobic effect. I call this the Lunge/Touch and kick circuit. This is a 3 minute nonstop circuit in which you change exercises every 30 seconds. There are 4 exercises.  1. The lunge/touch and kick 2. Walk out to a push up 3. Mountain climbers 4. Burpees.  In my classes, before any workout, we start off with joint mobility and some light body weight movements. I cant stress enough how important this is. This prepares your body for rigorous training and helps to prevent injuries. We do an ab pyramid, then break down each movement in the circuit for 30 seconds with a 15 second rest in between. To have a better understanding of this formula, check out my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd.  It follows the same aforementioned format.  After this, you should be ready to start the Lung/Touch and kick circuit!

Instructions:  Set your timers to 3 minutes with 30 second intervals.  We rest for 30 seconds in between rounds. I use a ringside mma timer.  These are great because you can set it to ring every 30 seconds. This lets you know when to change exercises.  To perform the circuit, start with lunge/touch and kick(right leg back, kick w left) for 30 seconds, walkout/push up 30 seconds, lunge/touch kick(left leg back, kick w right) for 30 seconds, walkout/push up 30 seconds, mountain climbers for 30 seconds followed by burpees for the final 30 seconds.  Repeat as many times as you like. At my gym SoCal mma, we do 3 rounds and follow it up with our kettlebell workout.

You will feel this circuit everywhere! Enjoy!

Kettlebell Flows for Fitness and MMA

Flow

 

The Art of the flow

The word flow, has a very particular meaning in the way teach Kettle-Jitsu.  I have developed many flow patterns as a means to get people in shape. In Kettle-Jitsu, a flow is a combination of two or more movements, into one seamless  pattern.  By doing this, you are hitting multiple muscles simultaneously, challenging your focus and your timing.

Although you may think flows may be difficult to teach, there is a way to simplify it.  I can teach anyone to do a bodyweight flow and kettlebell flow in one session. The way to do it is to break down each movement and drill them.   For instance in the first video, SoCal Fighter Michael Perez is working our T-Rex fighter flow.  This flow is a combination of a goblet squat, seated curl, two hand press and figure 8 to hold.  Separately, these movements are relative simple. Except maybe the figure 8.  So, in order to teach this to a class full of people you would break down each movement for 30 second intervals. I usually allow a 15 second break to rest between exercises.  For instance to break down the T-Rex triple attach, we do 2, 30 second rounds of goblet squats, 2, 30 second rounds of seated curls and 2, 30 second rounds of 2 hand presses. You can always opt to do more sets of each exercise if you like. Then, ill combine them together into a one minute flow.

Video #2 is a clip of that same flow in action in a Saturday Kettle-Jitsu bootcamp at my gym SoCal mma and fitness in los Angeles.  Most of the people in that class had never performed this flow or even tried a fig 8.  Another important tip in teaching kettlebells is to make sure your clients are thoroughly warmed up. Not warming up properly in my opinion the number one way people injure themselves. Not because of improper technique.

I had one client tell me that my workouts were unlike any other workout she had done. “Incredible” is how she described it.  I really think that creating flows engage your clients unlike traditional style workouts do.  Check these videos out for yourself and try them out for youselves!

 

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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Can you build muscle with Kettlebells?

 kb strength banner for web and facebook pre salelearn the 15 secrets to rapid fat loss and muscle gains w Joey’s new KB strength and conditioning 2 month intensive program!  Click here for the pre sale ! Only $12.99! Kb strength presale                                                       Can you build muscle with Kettlebells?

Recently I watched a video post of a gentleman addressing the question, “Can you build muscle with kettlebells?” I don’t remember what his name was. But I believe he was a crossfit guy and he was in great shape.  His answer to the question was no. You cannot build muscle with kettlebells.  He demonstrated a few kettlebell movements. I believe he did some swings and snatches.  His form was good.  So I can see someone properly trained him. But his answer was based on those 2 movements.  Unfortunately, those are the only movement’s people associate with kettlebells.  Swings, snatches, cleans and the occasional Turkish get up are the most prominent movements taught in the kettlebell industry.  So I can’t blame him for coming up with his conclusion.  People just have not put in the work to explore the true potential of what kettlebells are capable of.

I disagree with his conclusion 100%.  All of my strength and conditioning comes from kettlebell and bodyweight only.  I don’t use machines, chin up bars, barbells or dumbbells.  If you know how to use a kettlebell properly, they can take place of all of the aforementioned exercise devices.  But if all you do are swings and snatches, you will not get those results.  I will dive further into this subject in the future.  I just want to give a brief example of how I structure routines in my Kettle-Jitsu system.  In the enclosed video, we work our chest, shoulders and triceps with crossover pushups. If anyone has ever used this exercise, you will know it awesome for building power and definition in your pecs.  We do 2 hand cleans that work your legs, glutes, biceps and shoulders.  Rows work your back, lats, core and arms.  In this video we are using what I call Thai knee swings. In this variation, as we swing upward, we drive one knee up. This is a fantastic overall body exercise that emphasizes core.  Thai knee combos are done prior to the kb workout. This dynamic bodyweight combo works almost every muscle in your body.

So keep in mind, you can build muscle and burn fat simultaneously with kettlebells.  It’s all about how you put it together. If all you are doing are the standard swings and snatches over and over. It will be difficult to get significant results.  To learn how to build muscle and burn fat w kettlebells take advantage of the new KB strength and conditioning presale!





Featured Bodyweight Exercise: The K-Town Burpee

ShadowJitsuLogo-3Recently I posted a video of some variations of burpees that I have developed over the years.  I received a lot of great feed back about the K-Town Burpee variation I demonstrated.  The K town burpee was developed by accident!  One of my students did a burpee variation where she would go down one leg at a time and come up the same way.  I was like wow! Thats an interesting variation! So i played with it and came up with the K Town burpee.  The name comes from my beloved student, Angela Correa.  Everyone pronounces her name like the word Korea.  Which is where she came up with the name Korea Town for her band.

Doing this variation adds an entirely different dynamic to a burpee.  In this burpee variation, you come up one leg at a time.  So it becomes like adding a one legged squat to a burpee.  You can also add a jump at the top to give it that plyometric effect.  This exercise is ideal for anyone looking to liven up your training.  Perfect for crossfitters who are always doing the same traditional burpee.  It will add more life to your workout!

Burpee Variations

Subscribe to receive updates!1014957_10201285248162761_475013135_oBurpee are probably one of the most universally used compound body weight exercise in existence. Fitness people all over the world practice burpees on a daily basis. it is standard at mma gyms, bjj gyms and ccrossfit gyms. It is for good reason! Burpees are a simple but extremely effective full body exercise. Burpees are what i call a compound bodyweight exercise. This means that it contains 2 or more exercises combined together into one movement. In the case of the burpee, you are using your chest, triceps, shoulders, core and legs.
I use burpees at my gym often. But i am all about variety. I feel variety is essential in keeping your clients interested. So even though burpees are an awesome exercise, me and my clients get bored of doing them all the time. This is why i have developed a lot of different variations of the burpee into what i call bodybuilder combinations. This video contains some of the variations that i use at my gym SoCal mm and on my upcoming dvd Kettle-jitsu Revolution. Try out them out for yourself and see if you like them! Burpee variations

Improve your punches with high pulls!

highpullcurvekbImprove your punches with high pulls!

One of the most common questions that I am asked is, “can you use kettlebells to improve your punches?” the answer is yes!  The high pull is the first kettlebell exercise that showed me that kb’s could be used to aid with striking.

One of the reasons I love the high pull is because you are pushing, pulling and hinging all in one exercise! So that means you are hitting your core, back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps and forearms all in one movement.  I really feel that the high pull is one of the most neglected and underdeveloped exercises in kettlebell training.  When performing the high pull the way I do, you turn it into a more explosive, compound movement.

The kettlebell high pull contains almost identical mechanics as punches do. When throwing a punch, you are using your core, chest, back, shoulders and arms.  When doing the high pull you are hitting all of the same muscles.  The traditional high pull is used more or less as a precursor to the snatch. Ive adjusted the technique into what I call a combat high pull. I also have other kettlebell exercises that come even closer to throwing actual punches. You can find these movements on my combat kettlebell systems digital download.

With the combat high pull we address the punching and retracting motions found in a real punch.  So, when performing the combat high pull, you start the same way you would a swing. Once you pop your hips and propel the bell up to where it is parallel to the floor, you drive your elbow back as far as possible and then immediately punch it back out.  This add that explosive element you need when throwing punches.  You can see the exact mechanics in the enclosed video.

Since I am constantly teaching, I do not get to train my striking at all.  But, I always do my kettle-jitsu training.  Periodically I will spar with my students and they are surprised at how fast my hands are! Try out the combat high pulls for yourself and see the difference.