RKC San Diego 2010

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Last weekend, I had the honor, pleasure and privilege to be invited as an instructor assistant for the RKC weekend workshop in San Diego, CA.

After unloading several thousand pounds worth of kettlebells ranging from 10lb to 106lb (in boxes first, much harder to lift than by the handle, before unpacking them), the instructors were tested on their form in all the drills, including the infamous snatch test, which is 100 reps under 5 minutes with 24kg/53lb for males under 50, 20kg/44lb males over 50 -aka Master Class- and 16kg/35lb for ladies weighing over 123.5lb, 12kg/26lb for ladies under 123.5lb.

We were blessed with weather that was fair compared to last year’s triple digit. People flew from Italy, Singapore, Australia and even North of the border to attend the event. Slightly different format from when I took mine: fewer workouts to punctuate the instruction, but practice was performed with heavier weights. No chickens, no sissifying of the workout or the system. Only grade A1 muscle! We are a school of strength first and foremost. Pavel Tsatsouline, Doug Nepodal (toughest guy in a kilt I ever met), Doc Cheng, Jeff O’Connor, Josh Henkin and Paul Daniels commandeered the instruction with their distinct personalities and abilities.

The demographics spanned the gamut in age, profession and abilities, though everyone showed up, or almost everyone, ready for the event. You HAVE to prepare AT LEAST 6 months prior to attending in building your conditioning. In my group alone, heralded by Mark “Doc” Cheng to whom we owe the high bridge in the Turkish get-Up among many other contributions (and he’s a pretty humble guy, but great to see in action), we had a few 50+ y.o. guys (doctor, wrestling coach, successful entrepreneur), a mother of an RKC instructor, a lawyer who looked like she flew in from Pandora, an Aussie Sheila with athleticism that would rival most men I know, a female EMT who was recertifying and whose skill surpassed most people I know, you get the picture.

Why should you train for the RKC? Whether you want to instruct or push your own limits, you get adopted into a community of skill, knowledge, support and strength that makes every other protocol pale in comparison. While the kettlebells offer many advantages, we can also recognize its limitations, but the protocols taught will allow you to surpass those limitations and carry-over into other modalities with such ease, you may surpass others who’ve trained there for years. Jeff O’Connor, one of the team leaders, even said that if there’s something great and new we don’t have in our system, rest assured it’ll make its way there.

On that note, I read through the new instructor manual and discovered more articles backing up what I am telling you about. Improved cueing, better organization for instruction so that you assimilate the drills faster than before, tools I wish I had myself a couple of years back. And that’s the beauty of the RKC system: like a computer’s operating system, we upgrade, fix the bugs to make the “machine” faster, stronger, more streamlined and efficient. Pavel’s constant research and outside contributions grow the system. Here’s another example: I’ve been working with the TRX for years before even touching a kettlebell. Now, Pavel has a new book and DVD about TRX training which I can’t wait to play with because I KNOW the stuff in it is going to be good!

I’ve helped frail clients get big in record time. I’ve shortened my workouts yet made myself stronger and faster. I got rid of excess information and superfluous moves, going back to what Jeff O’Connor calls “Advanced Basics”. Really, think about it with another quote I once mentioned stating that the difference between a white belt and a black belt is the execution of the basics. A swing is a swing is a swing. How you do it is what matters (meaning: well!)

If you are still curious about kettlebells, email me so I can set up a session for you, to introduce you, or maybe get a group going for an intro workshop. Your training will never be the same afterwards. Your physique and your life will improve.

As Pavel always says or ends his emails with: “Power to you!”

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