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.above 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. 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!