Monday, October 15, 2012

Rant Time!

So a few posts ago, I asked for suggestions from readers as to how I can make this blog more interactive, useful, and entertaining.  An anonymous poster has given me the great idea of using it for expressing my personal views, beliefs, and rants!  This person, actually 2 people, commented on my video of my 40kg turkish getup. (If you would like to familiarize yourself with the comments regarding this video, click here.)  Both of these people have 2 things to say. First, because I did not lower the bell slowly after each rep, I was in danger, and therefore, my performance of the repetition was "dangerous."  Second, because I did not follow the dogma of the RKC, I am not equipped to teach kettlebell training.  So, now that you got the background on my video and these 2 anonymous poster's comments, here goes my rant!

On more thing beforehand though. It needs to be said that anyone wishing to pick apart my technique, training, and teaching methods should provide some background as to who they are!  It seems to me that any wackjob could have posted that, and I'm willing to bet that neither one of them have anywhere near the experience and training I have in strength and conditioning training.  That being said, lets look at the 2 premises they provided.

First, if you have ever tried to floor press or TGU a heavy bell (over 24kg), you are familiar with the large amount of torque placed on the shoulder and elbow if you try to slowly externally rotate the bell away from you when you are finished the rep.  It seems to me that a very safe and obvious way to avoid that damage is to fluidly allow the bell to drop to your side as you move out of the way.  Since the bell is dropped a merely 2-3 inches, and I am moving away from it as it falls, I am in no danger whatsoever.  In fact, when you have as much martial arts training as I, doing this becomes second nature.  Furthermore, both these jokers are quite arrogant to assume that I teach others to lower the bell in the same manner during a turkish getup.  Of course, the THOUSANDS of people that I have trained over the last 13 years would surely confirm that I always encourage perfect technique and control, especially when you're a novice lifter.

Secondly, I HATE the dogma that surround the letters "RKC."  I have a bunch of pretty letters as credentials around my name too, but I certainly don't claim to arrogantly be the standard for all kettlebell exercises and techniques.  I have both met and trained with Brett Jones, and while he is a nice guy, I certainly do not cling to his every word or movement as if it were gold.  Let's be honest, RKC is just a kettlebell certification marketed by a BUSINESS, and like any business that explodes in an untapped market, it has the luxury of proclaiming it to be the most genuine and perfect expert.  Why?  Because they don't have much competition!  In the last 2 years, a few more certifications from rival businesses have popped up, each claiming they are the primary expert on the subject of kettlebell training.  The truth is, none of them are perfect, nor do any of them have omnipotence over training and techniques.  All of them have something to offer everyone, as we all are on a continual quest to learn and improve our own training.  What I do works for me.  And so far, how I teach others has also worked for me, AND them.  I will continue to learn all I can about kettlebell training, and pass along what I can to my students, all while encouraging them to use what works for them, and discarding the rest.  Bruce Lee had it right when he said we must all search for our own truth in training.  And while dropping a 88lb kettlebell 2 inches may not be supported by a dragondoor RKC, it worked for me! The results speak for themselves, as I do not know of another trainer personally who can perform such a feat, all while making it smooth, safe, and near effortless.

Gotta love the controversy!


  1. Nothing like a good rant Jason!

    Many people are guilty of excellence by association and have no idea what they are talking about - they always then hide behind the guru.

    Looking at your technique, there was nothing wrong with any transition phase or stability issues. The thing people need to consider is that you are pushing yourself to be better and having complete control of a 40kg kettlebell in the get up is more important on the concentric phase than the last part of the eccentric. This is also the most likely place to receive an injury due to the shoulder stability changing with gravity and the body being in a compromised position for maximum strength. The mat was there to catch it and it did not land on you or cause injury.

    I am sure with a 24k they are nice and controlled. However when you are fighting the devil it can get ugly - to quote Professor Stuart McGill!

    Keep doing what you are doing and you will silence them with your actions. As a weightlifter I am sure they would tell me to lower the weight slowly with pelvic control :)

    In Strength


  2. Jason, first you are correct, RKC is not the only authority that sets the standards, especially after so many instructors (who developed those standards) left it.

    As far as the very last move (drop) is concerned, I personally found that Steve Maxwell has a good solution for getting down. Here is the link:

    It helped me. I am not doing beast, but I had no issue with getting 32k to the ground without jerking or losing control. At first the move feels strange, but once you got used to it, it helps... :) Thanks for your posts. Kirill

  3. Jason,

    These folks are not worth the time or negative emotional energy.

    That being said .... to those who commented negatively - put up or shut up! Can they perform AND teach? Bring it!

    Keep doing what you are doing Jason.

    In partnership,

    Dr. H

  4. I laugh about your critics. Your trainees are your credentials! Don't ever forget that. Remember how the guy from PA felt when the two old guys you train almost beat him!