Kettlebell S Get Up for BJJ/MMA

The Kettlebell S Get Up

I think anybody who trains with kettlebells knows what a Turkish get up is. It is an amazing full body exercise. I love it and have a very particular way of teaching it. But, at my gym, I teach large groups at once. Most of the time they are vary in fitness levels. Since the TGU contains so many movements, plus the fact that involves holding the bell in an overhead lock out position, it is not always ideal to teach in that type of environment. This is what inspired me to develop the S Get Up.  I wanted to do a get up, that was challenging enough for advanced people, yet easy enough for a novice to learn and enjoy.

Like the Turkish Get up, the S Get up is a compound movement. It contains several movements rolled into one.  Like a lot of my movements, its based off of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu position. In the SGU your legs are in an S shape that is used in many BJJ techniques.  Ive eliminated the overhead position in this get up to make it safer and easier to learn. Plus, even though it is challenging, I feel that holding a bell in the overhead position has little practicality in BJJ or life in general.

When I teach any routine in my classes, I like to break down each movement and drill each one for 30 second intervals. That way, my students get the feel for it. The same goes for the SGU.  First, I break down each step using body weigh only. Then I put it together in a flow. After drilling the body weight version for several rounds, we apply the kettlebell to it. Start by drilling the lying S press for 30 seconds on each side. Next, drill the S squats for 30 seconds on each side. Same thing with rows and cleans. You can repeat these exercises as much as you like. Then, I put it all together into a 3 minute round. 2 minutes of alternating SGU, 20 seconds of rows and Burpees for the last 30 seconds.

Please remember that you must always warm up thoroughly before rigorous training. My workouts always consist of joint mobility, core warm ups and body weight warm ups before even touching a kettlebell. For an easy to follow kettlebell warm ups and workouts, check out my Kettle-Jitsu 8 week kettlebell and bodyweight workout program! Have fun with the SGU! Oss!

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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!

Body Weight Flows: How and why?

body weight flows how and whyOne of the reasons why I named my fitness system Kettle-Jitsu is because I consider it an art form. Its more than just a bunch of exercises. It’s an expression of my personality. I am naturally a very creative person.  So I use different movements to create newly developed exercises. Body weight flow combos have become a huge part of system. I create them for different reasons. First of all, me and my students get bored if we are doing the same routines over and over. You can only do burpees so many times before they get monotonous.  So I am continuously pushing myself to create different flows to challenge myself and my students. It makes working out fun and challenging.

Before creating your own flow combos, I suggest you have a solid foundation in body weight fundamentals. I think you should be able to correctly perform exercises like squats, pushups, sit ups, mountain climbers, deck squats and burpees beforehand.  The burpee is the foundation of my flow combos.  In all of my flows, I try and combine multiple movements into one seamless compound exercise. I also try and hit as many major muscle groups in these combos.  Burpees do just that. They are a full body exercise.  So I consider my flow combos to be an extension of that.

I have a specific way of teaching these flows to my students at my gym SoCal mma and fitness in los Angeles.  First, I break down each movement that makes up the flow.  Then we drill those movements individually for 30 second intervals. After that, we will drill the flow as a whole for one minute rounds so that we can perfect it.  I attached a video tutorial of my latest flow, the triangle/spider flow, as an example.  This flow consists of a triangle squat, a low spider plank and a push up. So in our routine we do 30 second intervals with a 15 second rest in between each exercise.  For example: 30 secs alt triangle squats, 30 secs low spider plank, then 30 secs of push ups.  Then we do another 30 secs of triangle squats followed by 30 secs of spider pushups. I like to follow that up with 3, one minute rounds of the full triangle/spider flow with a 15 to 30 sec rest in between sets.

This is the same format I use on my latest dvd Kettle-Jitsu revolution.  The body weight combos on my dvd range from the most basic, into intermediate and advanced flows.  If you are tired of doing burpees, than body weight flows are the way to go! They help challenge your conditioning, focus and a whole lot more! You can use the flows found on my dvd. Or challenge your creativity and develop your own.  Keep training and never stop evolving!To purchase the Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd and to start learning these dynamic flow combos, click here!  http://kjrevolution.com/?page_id=19

Road to The California Open Championships!


In the past year, I have competed in 11 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments. After 30 plus years of training in martial arts, that is the most I have competed in a single year! It has been a fun journey and a great learning experience. This past weekend I competed in the Five Grappling California open Championship. I felt the urge to write about this particular event because I faced a few set backs which made it particularly challenging.
As you all know, I just released a new dvd. This is the first dvd I have ever produced on my own. Im a trainer, not a dvd maker, marketer or even a computer guy for that matter. So once I embarked on the making of this dvd became a long drawn out process. It was all trial and error. That and having to run my gym SoCal mma consumed all of my time. It was difficult to even find the energy to train. So, I was having inconsistency in my jiu jitsu training. However, I never neglected my Kettle-Jitsu training. I make it a point to train with my classes 4 times a week. I lead by example. I think it is important as a trainer to do so.
Even though I was really busy, I set a goal to compete in the California open. The dvd was out already, so there was a bit of a load of my back. A few weeks into my training, I strained my hip really bad. It was so bad I had to see a doctor. Of course he said I needed to lay off the Jiu Jitsu as well. Even though my hip wasn’t well, the Kettle-Jitsu training didn’t bother me much. So, I decided that since I cant train jiu jitsu, I will focus on intensifying my kb and bodyweight training. For me this means doing more rounds and increasing the weight of the kettlebell. Since my dvd was out. We were working the whole 8 week program from it at my gym. We followed it to a T. I steadily increased the weight until I was using a 50lb kettlebell for most of the workouts.
Then my hip started feeling a lot better. Good enough to start training jiu jitsu again. But by then, the tournament was really close. I don’t even think a full 2 weeks of training bjj would make a difference. To make matters worse, after a rolling session, my knee somehow got tweaked. It started to swell. So the bjj training again went out the window. Because of the knee injure, I couldn’t even train the week before. I had to scale down the Kettlejitsu training to let my body heal before the tournament. But the knee injury was enough to make my weight off. So this caused another problem. I had to cut 5 lbs the day before the competition in order to make weight.
So after all of that, I competed and won all of my matches by submission. I was extremely happy by the outcome because of all of the adversity I had to endure. I went in there with my Kettle-Jitsu conditioning and experience and still pulled off the victory. This is what really separates what I do, from other fitness systems. Kettle-Jitsu works every aspect of your conditioning, coordination, strength, agility, speed and focus. All of these of which are very important to combat athletes. How may fitness systems can claim that?
Nowadays there is this big strength trend. Everybody is preaching how important it is to be strong. You see people all over facebook talking about deadlifting this much or that much. Is it more important to be strong, or to be fit? What consequences will you face after years and years of heavy lifting? Fitness should be everyone’s priority. Why is it so important to be strong? Does your job require it? Safety and functionality of your fitness regime are more important. With Kettle-Jitsu, I do not emphasize using a lot of weight. It is up to the practitioner to decide whether they want to go heavier or not. Even then, I stay away of using extreme amounts of weight. Even as a competitive athlete, I don’t feel a need for it.
So don’t get sucked into the new “strength trend.” All you need is kettlebell and bodyweight. Kettle-Jitsu is for everyone! It even helped me compete and win the California open with minimal jiu jitsu training! But remember, you don’t have to be a fighter to train like one!
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10 Body Weight Flows for MMA and Fitness

Get started with Kettlebell and body weight flows with this combo deal! 2 workout programs with a total of 10 different kettlebell and body weight workouts! Learn the same workouts that Professor Joey teaches at Legacy BJJ Burbank to dozens of students daily! Get an instant 20% off at check out with code Kj20 Kettlejitsu Revolution/TGU combo packkettlejitsu package dealkb strength banner for web and facebook pre sale

 

 

 

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When I first started in the martial arts, I trained in Korean styles. I started in Tae Kwon Do when I was 9 years old. Then it was Hapkido and Kuk Sool. Each of these arts had Hyung, or forms we would have to practice and master for each belt level. So every belt level had a specific Hyung(form) to learn in order to progress to the next belt. These forms I equate to the body weight flows found in my system.  My body weight flows range from simple into more complex and dynamic in nature. A body weight flow by my definition is, combining multiple body weight exercises into one continuous pattern for a giving amount of time.

In my Kettle-Jitsu Revolution Dvd, we start off with the basic burpee as the foundational movement for these flows. Then, we build off of that into more complex flows.  A lot of these flows contain actual movements used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts.  So in essence you are practicing essential mma fundamentals while practicing your conditioning. Kettle-Jitsu bodyweight flows are designed to enhance your fitness, conditioning, agility, coordination, focus and timing. I try to hit as many muscles as possible in one flow. This is what gives it that anaerobic effect and gives you the feel like you get in a BJJ match.  The great thing about these flows is that they can be taught and practiced by any one! In the enclosed video, I have long time student Rosanna assisting me. She is a wife and a mother. But as you can see she flows effortlessly with the movements. Proof that you do not have to be a fighter to train like one!

Remember, the movements in this video are not meant to be instructional. This is simply an example of some of the flows found in my system.  A few of these are found in my new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution double dvd. So if you want to build the foundation needed to execute these flows properly, order your copy today!  click here buy it! http://kjrevolution.com/?page_id=19

Injuries: Cause and Prevention

back-injury

Since I have been involved in the Kettlebell industry, I have realized that it has gotten an bum rap for back injuries. Even my chiropractor said to me once, “Oh, I get a lot of business from kettlebells.”  Here is the problem. Most kettlebell practitioners blame technique as the root of all injuries. This is what they are programmed to believe. I have seen and received plenty of comments of certified kettlebell coaches ridiculing technique. Omg, you are going to injure yourself doing that. Ive heard it time and again. These people have been totally misinformed. Most of these people do not even train a lot of people on a regular basis. Ive been in the martial arts and fitness industry for over 30 years. What I have learned is the number one people get injured is because of improper warm up.

Here is a common scenario. I was at a tournament one day and a guy saw my Kettlejitsu shirt. He was like, “oh I love kettlebells.” “I was going to compete today, but my back is jacked up.” I asked him if he did it swinging. He said yes. I asked him if he warmed up first. He said, “yes, I did some jumping jacks first.” This is a perfect example of people not warming up properly.  I have seen numerous people jack up the backs from just the swing alone.  The fact of the matter is that if your body is thoroughly warmed up, you can do almost anything. Our bodies are super resilient machines.  We adapt to everything. In mixed martial arts and jiu jitsu, we are constantly putting our bodies at a mechanical disadvantage. Perfect technique %100 of the time is impossible.

At my gym SoCal mma and fitness, I can literally teach up to 100 students a week.  I am constantly getting new students. Many of them have never tried kettlebells, are overweight and out of shape.  But, they learn the same routines as the intermediate and advanced students at my gym. The beginners are obviously not going to have perfect technique. But since they are warmed up properly, they will remain injury free.  In my new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd, the workouts are structured exactly the way they are taught at my gym.  The workouts are easy enough for the beginner, yet challenging enough for the advanced practitioner.  It is a complete workout program that includes a solid 15 minute warm up to insure you will not get injured.  I am also a firm believer that Kettlebell and body weight go hand in hand. The way I teach, you never even pick up the kb until we are thoroughly warmed up.  That is why I include and ab workout, body weight interval training and compound body weight training before we hit the kettlebells.

In my line of work, injured clients do not help pay the bills or bring me business.  Keep your clients injury free by warming up properly, especially before dynamic full body exercises with barbells and kettlebells.  You can learn how to warm up your clients from my new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution body weight and kettlebell dvd!

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!

 

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.

Featured body weight exercise, “Thai Knee Combos”

Screenshot_2013-07-14-19-22-35Thai Knee Combos are one of the many dynamic body weight combos that will be featured on the new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd.  This compound exercise is a class favorite at Joey Alvarado’s gym, So Cal mma and fitness in los Angeles, CA.  Like many of the exercises in Joey’s system, it an mma infused movement designed to improve your anaerobic capacity.  The Thai knee combos are a fun and effective flow to add to any ones arsenal!  Look for a detailed instruction on the upcoming Kettle-Jitsu Revolution double dvd!

Fitness Trends and Practicality: Which one is right for you?

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If you haven’t noticed, the fitness industry is booming! With the emergence of such power house systems such as crossfit and p90x, people are crawling out of the woodwork and developing their own brand of fitness. Which one is right for you? Are they all legit? A lot of questions pop up. It is so easy to do it now a days.  Whip a program, hire a bunch of fitness models and then put it on a dvd. Presto! A new fitness system is born. Does this make it legit?

 

I respect systems like crossfit and p90x because they get results. People criticize them like crazy because they are successful. People are enjoying and getting great shape. This makes it legit in my eyes. I always ask myself, “is this practical?” What I mean by that is, is it practical for me, my gym and my clients? Will this  system  bring me more clients?

 

Im seeing a lot of bodyweight training these days. I think its great. Your body is a gym. But im seeing allot of movements being used that aren’t so practical. I see people doing human flags, one handed handstand and all kinds of crazy pull up variations. Its looking like gymnastics out there! This is all good. It looks cool and you definitely have to be in shape to do them.  But is how can I use this at my gym? Can I teach a class room full of people how to do a human flag? How will I be able to implement gymnastic type pull up variations to a class of beginner students?  The answer is you cant.

The same goes for the kettlebell industry. You have organizations charging and exhorbinate amount of money for certifiations and they only show you five movements. Then on top of that, they put so much emphasis on the snatch, that they never even teach their clients how to create balance full body routines with them. I say shame on them. Most of these organizations dont even teach proper warm up and they are always injured beacuse they put so much emphasis on weight. Technique and safety should be priority.

 

 

I have had the pleasure of knowing my good friend John wolf for a couple of years now. He teaches his system, E.K.G or Evolution kettlebell groundwork, to packed classes at his gym. He uses kettlebell and bodyweight in his system He has embraced their practicality.  His system is proven. I believe this is why he and I get along so well. We see eye to eye on just about everything.  My system, kettle-Jitsu is also proven. I can have up to 40 people swinging on my mat at once. Variety and effectiveness leads to the retention of students. So does practicality.

 

So ask yourself this before you purchase you next dvd or embark on a fitness cert: is this system right for me? How will it benefit me? Will it help me get more clients? Who developed this system? Does he/she own a gym?  Is it practical?!?