Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Sunday morning Kettlebells Los Angeles classes are BACK!!!

You asked, you waited, you encouraged, you reminded me gently, you expressed your support, and now you're getting your wish...


Starting on January 25, 2015, the Sunday AM class will be back in full swing (pun intended) at 360 Krav Maga in Westwood thanks to the generous hosting of Alan Predolin. 

360 Krav Maga
1365 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Sundays from 8 - 9:30am as listed on the KBLA Facebook page

For those of you who remember the good ol' days when I used to start teaching at 7am outdoors to weed out the un-serious, you can cherish those memories. With the kind of schedule I'll be trying to keep in 2015, there's no way I'll be showered up & halfway out the door at 6:30am, so classes will start at 8am SHARP and go until 9:30-ish. 

If you think my classes are going to be nothing but Turkish Get-Ups, you're sadly mistaken.

There WILL be some dates when classes will NOT be held, so it's up to YOU to check the KBLA Facebook page for the dates when classes will not be held. When Doc is out of town, no classes will be held at this point. The Kettlebells LA website has not yet been updated as of 12/29/14, but it should be updated by late January 2015 in time for the start of the first class. 

If you have your own kettlebells to bring to class, that would be encouraged, as it's almost always best for you to be learning on the same equipment that you'll be training with at home. The downside to that is that since we're on the 2nd floor of a building with steps, bringing your KB up & down the steps without incident will also be a test of your attentiveness and skill.

A few new rules.....(which are subject to change)

1) EVERYONE WILL BE REQUIRED TO SIGN A WAIVER indemnifying our hosts, instructors, and the property. If you get hurt from training with the kettlebell in the KBLA classes, 99.99% of the time, it's because you didn't listen to instructions & didn't check yourself when I or one of my assistants told you to.

2) NO KIDS ALLOWED without adult supervision. The space we'll be using isn't vast & doesn't have a lounge for kids to play in safely unsupervised. While I wish we had a situation where there was a licensed childcare professional on hand to keep kids in check, the logistics at this location preclude that option. The class is only 90 minutes. If you can arrange for coverage, great. If not, there are some great babysitters who are looking for work and who'll keep an eye on your child while you train. With the briefness of this class, we need to minimize distraction & get as much done as we can. If your child is capable of sitting quietly and containing himself/herself without disruption for 90 minutes, he/she can sit in the lobby during class and either observe or hang out quietly.

3) CLASSES ARE BY DONATION: Suggested donation is a minimum of $20 cash/class. No checks or credit cards will be accepted. This may change in the future, but this is how we're going to run it for the time being. Anyone abusing the system will be asked to leave and not return. I want to develop this into something that's sustainable for the host, for me, for the future assistants/interns, and for you. If you think things run purely off non-monetary charity in a sustainable manner, then show your charity and find us a biga$$ed location with lots of parking, matted floors, licensed daycare, and reasonable rent.

4) SAFETY IS FIRST AND FOREMOST ALL THE TIME. Anyone caught clowning around, acting stupid, being a showoff, or otherwise being reckless will be asked to leave. A warning is a courtesy, not a right.

5) SUNDAY CLASSES ARE NOT PRIVATE TRAINING SESSIONS OR MEDICAL CONSULTS. If you come with a medical problem that interferes with your ability to perform the lifts safely, you will be asked to sit on the sidelines and observe until you have medical clearance to participate. If I tell you that you have a medical condition prohibiting you from a certain exercise or lift and you continue to perform it in spite of my advice, you will be asked to leave. If you try to monopolize class time by asking me questions about your particular condition, you will be asked to make an appointment with me in the clinic or asked to seek out care from a qualified & well-trained medical professional. At most classes, there will be SFG & RKC certified instructors learning alongside you. If you would like to pursue private training outside of class, any arrangements you make with those instructors is at your own risk & with your own discretion. Those instructors are not necessarily endorsed by me or anyone affiliated with me.

Don't try asking for a fitness solution to a medical problem.

6) FOLLOW DIRECTIONS OR LEAVE. Let's face it.... Training with any object in a ballistic fashion is a higher-risk activity. If you're going to participate in my class, then you're telling me that you're there to learn things in the way that I'm teaching them. If you'd like to experiment on your own and do your own individual thing, there's nothing at all wrong with long as you do it on your own time and at your own place. All my patience these days is taken up already by my kids. If you feel like testing mine, you can either pay a sh!tload of money to train with me privately, or you will leave.

7) YOU WILL PAY IN FULL TO COMPLETELY REPLACE ANYTHING YOU DAMAGE. We're guests. And guests who are conscientious (and not entitled, worthless leeches) will make sure that any inconvenience they cause their hosts is made up for. For example, if you drop a kettlebell and it damages a mat, you've just agreed to buy the host (in this case, 360 Krav Maga) a brand-new mat to replace the damaged one.

Carelessness is the #1 cause of non-contact kettlebell-related injuries that I've seen. So if you've got financial skin in the game, I'm more than happy to use that as a motivator for you to be extra mindful and to develop the control you need to become a better girevik (kettlebell user).

Ego is the #2 cause of non-contact kettlebell-related injuries that I've seen. So if I tell you to put a weight down, to stop a set, or to make sure that each & every kettlebell hits the deck silently, please refer back to rule #6 [Follow directions or LEAVE].

CHALK: If you're one of those people who likes to use chalk when you lift, that's fine. Just make sure you bring an extra towel to clean up any & all chalk from the mats.

Jeez, Doc! Why so intense & mean?
Precision is your salvation.

If you have to ask questions like that or you have that feeling already, please save yourself the hassle of coming to Westwood to train with me. I stopped teaching group classes a couple of years ago when Mika was born because I no longer had the energy to put up with adults who really need to be in daycare instead of in my class. When I don't have to explain the fundamental philosophy of how I teach and I'm surrounded by the kind of respectful, diligent people who are fun to teach, then the class is LOTS of fun for everyone. So that's why I'm setting the ground rules firmly now... from the get-go.

I'm doing this again because there are professionals in the strength & conditioning community, the amateur & pro sports communities, the clinical rehab community, the martial arts community, and the fitness community that have been exceptionally polite & supportive of me restarting this group class. I'm NOT doing this just to add more to my already overflowing plate.

If you're down to be part of that select group, it'll be my honor to teach you. If you want to come to just test your physical limits & get a grueling workout in, go somewhere else. These classes are about attention to detail, precision, and high awareness. If that doesn't sound appealing to you, there are plenty of places that will pander to your desires.

For the rest of you who are down to do serious work, I look forward to seeing you on January 25th in Westwood!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Endure the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret!

This started out as a blogpost that I began over a month ago, but as one of my business consultants said to me this morning, "Lots of good stuff you have gets lost when you're one of those guys who has to keep too many plates spinning."

But this is an important topic that I didn't want to let slide. There are so many thoughts that pop into my head for blogging & writing & recording & podcasting that I really need to have a dedicated multimedia assistant working with me on a regular basis to get more of this $h!# out to you on a more regular basis. I understand that this is an issue for me, and I'm working as best I can on creating a change in processes that will streamline the flow of what will hopefully be useful information out to you. And I really need to thank each & every one of you that's been dropping me messages of encouragement, offering your expertise & help, and sharing my posts all over Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the web.

You inspire me..... and because of that, I want to leave you with this bit of inspiration as we head into the Holiday season. [EDIT: Yes, I started writing this well before the holidays.]


More than a month ago, one of my dear friends, Jason Ferruggia posted an awesome tweet that I hold VERY close to my heart.

To me, this is one of the most powerful sentences in training, in sport, and in life... and it is also one of the most grossly misunderstood.

For far too many who read that sentence, the words "pain", "discipline", and "regret", are the ones that stand out, so the reflexive interpretation in American society is that even if you have pain, you need to show discipline by not quitting. Otherwise, you'll regret it. Unfortunately, I think there's been a myopic view of that sentence that has damned countless athletes and injured no shortage of children.

Some folks have adopted the mindset that 'not quitting" means not changing anything and just putting more effort in, even when it's causing you pain or hampering your performance. In those situations, people have mistaken stubbornness for discipline, and I've seen that well-meaning but critical error victimize everyone from youth athletes to rehab patients.

As my big bro, Mark Reifkind (former Master SFG, ultra-marathoner, powerlifter, gymnast, & probably Mossad operative trainer) has said, "Consistency trumps intensity every time."

Let's define "consistency" as "dedication to a pursuit". 

Your pursuit can be an athletic goal, such as placing in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) championship, winning a team trophy like the Stanley Cup in hockey, or even something as simple as being able to make it through your wife's salsa class without fatigue or physical pain... because the mental anguish is out of my field of expertise ;-). 

Your pursuit could be a medical one, such as surviving cancer, reintegrating smoothly into civilian society after a particularly harrowing deployment, or getting back on the mat after ACL reconstruction. 

Your pursuit could be a social one, such as learning how to take criticism without getting defensive, overcoming paralyzing shyness, or becoming comfortable with public speaking. 

Regardless of the pursuit itself, we need to be clear about 3 things:
  1. Being clear on our short and long term goals
  2. Being honest with our performance
  3. Being open to guidance

Once we're clear on those, let me just pick one goal in particular in the interest of time... say, conquering a strength training goal, like a PR (personal record) military press.

This was a bottoms-up press that the photographer liked better at an angle. Nothing helps you appreciate rest more than when your photographer is taking multiple shots of you in mid-lift, changing lenses & angles! ;-)

So perhaps it goes something like this...

1) You work hard & consistently every day to increase your press training volume (number of reps). You don't miss days on your program and don't give excuses. You're the ideal athlete and you steadily increase your loads and your performance.... OR you skip days every now & then and decide that you'll just pile on more reps and "go harder" the next time you train to "make up" for your inconsistency. 

2) As you work on improving your press, you plateau out at a weight that's less than your goal regardless of your level of consistency (or inconsistency). 

HERE, where the honesty counts, is where lots of people are made or broken. In this case, you can either, seek out where your form was suboptimal, forcing you to struggle harder than you needed to and likely steering you towards injury, OR you could just stubbornly drive through even harder with more mental dedication in spite of physical deterioration. 

The second of the 2 choices MAY get you to your result, but it won't be sustainable. Your pursuit of that PR press may have forced your rotator cuff, scalenes, and other structures into such profound compensation that you injured yourself badly enough to need a surgical intervention for the numbness, weakness, and/or pain that your arm is now experiencing.

3) When you realize that your performance has plateaued and you can't improve any further on your own, seeking out the guidance of a true expert (and actually taking their advice) can make all the difference in the world. 

Let's say that you seek out a world-class physical therapist (like Dr. Ann Wendell or Dr. Charlie Weingroff) to help you clear up what's causing you the pain, and let's say that they advise you that there are some neck and thoracic spine issues, along with some trigger points, that need clearing up. You're told to stay off loaded overhead lifts (get-ups, presses, snatches, jerks, and even pull-ups) until you've demonstrated an effortless, pain-free range of motion unloaded.

You can either adhere to their advice, put your favorite lift on the sideline for now, go through their prescribed treatment protocols, and troubleshoot all of the dysfunctional movement patterns that were sabotaging your lift in the first place and move past your plateau... OR, since you second guess the experts you sought out, you can still continue to train your press because you might be 3 months away from something like your StrongFirst SFG Level 1 certification, and you're afraid that not pressing will make you weak.

In the latter case, you're being dishonest with yourself and with the person you sought out for guidance and help. And as a result, you just might manage to make it through whatever athletic event you're training for, but you'll be injured for a long time afterwards. Instead of being the picture of strength and embodiment of the ideals you're trying to teach your fitness clients, you'll be the picture of a dumb jock or jock-ette who didn't listen to the professionals who were trying to teach you how to avoid that injury in the first place. What's worse is that you'll likely turn into one of those washed up athletes-turned-coaches who does nothing but sell dreams of his/her glory days to unsuspecting clients who'll likely be injured trying to follow the same methods you used.

See, what most people fail to understand in the over-glorified worlds of sports, athleticism, fitness, and even work is that oftentimes less is more if you have the right priorities. So when Jason Ferruggia posts that you need to endure the pain of discipline, that discipline, when you're not getting the results you want, sometimes takes the form of having the self-control of pulling yourself back enough to take a different approach to the same goal. 

Gray Cook often shares his vignette about taking professional football players off of the squat rack and having them focus on individualized corrective exercise progressions until their Functional Movement Screen scores are "2s on everything with no asymmetries or pain" for months. When these world-class athletes return to their usual strength and conditioning workouts, they're often shocked to see that they not only didn't lose strength, but oftentimes increase their max lifts. The key here is that they had the discipline to follow directions and not just do more of the same. 

Einstein has been well-quoted as saying that insanity is doing the same thing over & over and expecting a different result. Now while that term has been used to brand a workout routine, let's not get it twisted. If you're not getting past the plateaus or the pain that's in your way, it's time to reassess your strategy, your honesty, and your discipline. Regret is a poison that never leaves your soul, so make sure you deal with the factors that contribute to it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Projection: Or how to show your clients that you're not listening to a damn thing they're saying

I can't remember the exact year, but I remember wading through LA traffic to get downtown to the Convention Center for a meeting with my mentor, Gray Cook. When I'd arrived, we sat down for a quick bite at the eatery on the ground floor, where he introduced me to a Scotsman named Alwyn Cosgrove, saying "Our meeting can wait. I want you to listen to this guy."

Gray & I sat in the back of the room, and Cosgrove started to work his magic. Speaking with incredible charisma and the kind of easy confidence that only rock-solid experience can bring you, he started to explain how fitness trainers are oftentimes their worst enemies.

Cosgrove explained that there are some trainers who come into the field & think they know it all already because of their past as a competitive athlete. He shrugged them off from the get-go, saying that many of them would just perpetuate the injuries they were given as kids onto the next unwitting group of people that became their clientele.

On the other hand, another group are people who come into fitness training from whatever background and are hungry to learn more to improve themselves. Those people, he explained, were also often guilty of being their own worst enemies. They hear about some awesome training method that falls in line with their aspirations or their area of curiosity, and they hammer all of their clients with whatever it is that they've just learned or been exposed to. Those trainers, too, were also sabotaging their business reputations by projecting their personal fitness goals onto their clients.

He went on to illustrate it with a particularly memorable analogy that went something like this, occasionally slipping into his native Scottish accent...


Let's say you're a recovering bodybuilder and you just got out of an awesome presentation on hypertrophy. One of your clients is a 50-year-old mum who just had her third child and just wants to lose the baby weight and be able to keep up with her other two kids. Tell me exactly why the f*** would you write a "heavy arms day" into her program. D'ya think she's gonna go up to the other mums after school, flex her biceps & go "Hey! Check this $h!# out!"?

Or do you think it's more likely that she's going to get discouraged after a while of you hammering her with workouts that make her feel sore for days and inadequate and then quit coming to you for training?

So you have to ask yourself this... Are you training your clients like YOU want to be trained? Or are you training your clients to help them meet and then exceed their goals? If you're doing the first of the two, you're not listening to a damn thing your clients said to you. You're projecting what YOU want for YOURSELF onto them. And while it might be well-intentioned, you're being your own worst enemy.


My recall of the exact wording of Cosgrove's presentation is grossly inadequate, but the analogy, the profanity (which left the entire room cracking up and Gray Cook grumbling "How come women clap and laugh when he does that $h!t and they complain when I do it?"), and the essence of his message are spot-on.

If you're in the fitness field, it's a damn good idea to ask yourself with frequency whether you're training your clients in ways that excite, inspire, energize, and empower them towards their goals, OR are you projecting your training goals onto someone else and living vicariously through them while they're the ones paying for it?

Remember: Raw enthusiasm is no substitute for intelligent awareness.

If you're a fitness professional and this DVD hasn't made it onto your radar, grab it. When you've got Gray Cook, Dr. Lee Burton, & Alwyn Cosgrove teaming up to guide your programming to a streamlined process, you can't go wrong!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fit, Fashion, & Function: Are your pants f***ing up your movement?


One of the things that I've been paying increasing attention to in the past 8 years with all the traveling I've been doing is how improperly fitting clothing can contribute to decreased performance and/or health issues. I see it with footwear, with sports bras, with eyewear, and even jewelry.

For me, one of the most noticeable pieces of clothing that affect my movement and comfort are pants. When you're forced to sit for hours at a time aboard a flight, or hustling to get to your gate in time, pants that are too baggy or too restrictive have the potential to make life uncomfortable and even unsafe. I'm amazed at how many guys tolerate wearing pants that make them feel like their legs are falling asleep, probably because it's so hard to notice until they try to get up & actually walk.

The more I wear these 5.11 Tactical Traverse pants, the more I like them. In climates as varied as wintertime Canada & summertime Hawaii, the pants have still remained comfortable wears. I don't think I've ever had a pair that looks, fits, & feels as good as these do. Regardless of how much stuff I have to load the cargo pockets with, the elastic "magazine retention bands" inside help keep the phone, wallet, keys, EDC, or whatever else from bouncing all over the place, and the 4-way stretch fabric never makes my legs or hips feel like I'm wearing a tourniquet so that my circulation is never impeded.

Photos courtesy of Fitness Ranes of Honolulu, HI

As a guy who has a bit of a caboose, slacks that are cut without the extra room in the backside make me cringe. The Traverse, however, moves with the comfort of a well-broken-in pair of sweatpants with the look of something respectable enough for a boardroom or a patient consult. While wearing pants that look classy enough to go out to a business meeting dinner, I still feel comfortable throwing a kick vertically without the fabric pinching or tearing.

Since I often have to wear the same clothing to a dinner engagement directly from teaching an all-day workshop on rehabilitative movement (a la Prehab-Rehab 101), Hardstyle kettlebell training, or even martial arts, I was a bit concerned about whether or not the synthetic fabric would show signs of "pilling" with friction, but no signs of any such wear so far. Whether teaching kneeling and ground-based movement drills on Astroturf or dropping shin kicks into a muay Thai bag, the points of hard contact still look unblemished, even after several washes. Unlike some synthetics, this blend hasn't retained odors yet, regardless of how intensely I've sweated in them.

Working on "Sphinx" position during my Prehab-Rehab 101 workshop in Honolulu with participants who came from as far away as Los Angeles & Jakarta!

To have an "all situations ready" pair of pants is quite a feat for me considering all the stuff I spend my time doing - from treating patients, to sprinting after my kids, to training pro athletes, to researching traditional martial arts, to hauling ass from one flight after another, to the rare "quiet dinner & drinks" with the Mrs! The Traverse from 5.11 Tactical leads the pack of all the pants I've ever worn.

My final review: If you live a fast-paced, active lifestyle that requires you to be on point in a variety of situations, these are worth every penny & then some! CEO Tom Davin & crew hit the ball straight out of the park on this one.

UPDATE: 12/29/14 - After washing & wearing the hell out of these things & long wearing sessions during travel, the fabric is starting to pill around the seat area. I haven't yet gotten a hold of one of those electric things that shaves the pilled fabric off yet, but I'm curious to see how it responds.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Parenthood: Building a quantity of quality

Almost 11pm on a Friday night, and I've just brought Squealie back from a training session with The Immortals Lion Dance Team in Monterey Park, gotten him showered, fed, & off to sleep.

As I browse my Facebook feed & catch up with what friends are up to, I see a couple of messages in my inbox that catch my eye. One friend is warning me not to spread Squealie too thin with "a whole bunch of commitments that keep him from being a kid", while another is asking how to get their kid into the same activity.

I figured it's probably a good time for me to explain the choices that I've made for my son as far as his extra-curricular activities. So here's my 2 cents on raising kids and deciding what activities are worth getting your kid into... which breaks down to 4 words:


And I'm not talking about THIS particular picture either!

Honoring the big picture breaks down into 4 main questions that need to be answered simply and directly:

1. Does a given activity benefit your child in the long run without needing a convoluted extrapolation for it to be justified?
This is pretty straightforward in my mind. If you're teaching your child to swim, the skill may save his/her life. If you're putting your child into soccer, the conditioning & teamwork skills that he/she will learn will be incredible. If you're giving your child drumming lessons, the understanding of rhythm and ambidexterity gives them tremendous advantages in learning and sports. If you're taking your kid to learn jewelry making (assuming he/she has expressed a real enthusiasm for it), you're giving him/her exposure to a means of expression that may well turn into a viable income stream. If you're bringing your 4 year old child to learn Klingon, then maybe you need to ask yourself whether or not you're trying to live vicariously.

2. Does the activity resonate with the set of core values that your family most identifies with and that will inspire your child as he/she grows into adulthood?
Traditional Chinese martial arts (as I was taught and as I teach my son) are HEAVILY imbued with ethics that cause a lot of cognitive dissonance with the convenient mores of modern American society, especially here in Los Angeles. You're taught to respect, to investigate through training, patience, and polite inquiry (rather than by "questioning" through blurting out & constantly jabbering away like an uninformed contrarian), and to appreciate that every motion has multiple layers of meaning (from the fighting applications, to the restorative value, to the political & historical context). This is exactly in line with the kind of values that are my soul's mission statement. I've fought to have this as part of my life, and I'd gladly give my life to defend my son's access to the profound strength that this gives.

3. Does the activity reinforce key lessons in the other activities that the child is into?
I could very easily create a justification for enrolling my son in a ballet class. It teaches incredible body control, precision, and discipline. The only down side to it, in my mind, is that there's a cultural aspect that he needs more exposure to understand and appreciate in the Chinese martial arts & lion dance that will teach him some body control, similar precision, and discipline, but with the added benefit of learning a cultural legacy and a tactical tool (should the need ever arise in the future).
Also, for me, as a Chinese-American, there's a bit of a cultural bias here. Squealie is enrolled in a Mandarin Chinese immersion school, I teach him a bit of traditional kung-fu at home (bouncing back & forth between Mandarin & Cantonese, depending on what style we're working on), he takes Chinese lessons on Saturdays at the "local" Buddhist temple, and he's very recently become involved with the Immortals. It's not hard to see how those activities overlap with each other.

4. Is the activity different enough that it gives the child variety without being disconnected from his/her other activities?
Considering that Squealie's also doing basketball twice or thrice a week, he gets exposure to dynamic teamwork situations, as well as throwing/jumping/sprinting movement patterns that he wouldn't get as much of in martial arts.
He also usually 2 days/week of the kids' class at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts, where the kids are taught directly by the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto himself. While the curriculum isn't focused on forms or rigid discipline, a STRONG emphasis on practical application is inculcated from day 1, and the character & attribute development that occurs in the class is undeniable. While it's non-Chinese martial arts there, it's gives him a different entry point into the same end goal as what I've been teaching him, thereby allowing him to respect and appreciate multiple approaches to the same problem.

Now for the one factor that helps tie all of this together... LOVE.

You need to love your child enough to engineer your life in such a way that you can spend time with him/her in a manner that reinforces the values that should be taught by their instructors. If you're thinking that it's enough to throw your mileage, money, and mouth behind whatever activity and don't put forth the CONSTANT MINDFUL EFFORT to provide your child with consistency, you're just as much of a problem in their life as the "bad kids" that you're hoping they avoid.

Live with ethical authenticity, and you'll lead with inspired integrity. 

The road to raising a good, anti-fragile child isn't easy and is very often fraught with frustration. But understand that the consistency you put in now is key to their understanding of discipline and strength of character in their years to come!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kettlebells, Corrective Exercise, & Honolulu - Hardstyle Hawaiian Time!

That's right, folks! It's been a LONNNNNNNG time comin', but Doc's finally coming back to Hawai'i and bringing the Power of Pavel & the Goodness of Gray along with him!

I'll be teaching my first workshops on Oahu this coming June 7th & 8th at the newly opened Fitness Ranes on Beretania in Honolulu!

1213 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96814  (808) 398-4931

But who are these workshops for?? Who can actually do them safely? Who's invited? And what will I get?

1) NEWBIES: For those who've never touched a kettlebell before, but want to see, feel, and understand the safest methods to train with this old-school Russian training tool that will get you stronger, kickstart your fat-loss safely & effectively, and training in the metabolic sweet spot while minimizing your chances of injury, this is the perfect intro.

Why? Because if there's one thing that I pride myself on, it's training people to have a solid grasp of fundamentals.

Whether you're a total beginner or a seasoned pro, the key to performance lies in safely refining the basics, and that's where Doc's delivery shines!

Instead of no pain, no gain, it's all about NO PAIN, NO PAIN when I teach!

2) KETTLEBELL INSTRUCTORS: For those of you insiders who've been following my work with the RKC/StrongFirst Hardstyle kettlebell training crew and earned your instructor certifications, don't you worry! The insights you'll gain will help you supercharge the stuff you already know & take it to the next level. Ask almost any instructor who's already attended any of my workshops, and I'll guarantee that anyone worth their salt took away far more game-changing goodies than they were expecting!

It doesn't matter if you've trained with another kettlebell certification group or not, I'm not putting people on blast. My whole goal is to give you more tools to help keep you, your clients, and/or your patients moving, feeling, looking, and performing better.

Considering that people will likely be coming from all over the islands, this could very well be the perfect networking opportunity for you as well to hook up with other trainers, physical therapists, and potential client referral sources! In addition to all of that, you get a special discount! Scroll down to see more!

3) BEACHBODY COACHES: It's been a few years since Tai Cheng has been released, but don't think I haven't heard your requests for a kettlebell training program! While Beachbody has yet to formally approach me to put one together, I've continued to teach for my personal teacher & mentor, Pavel Tsatsouline, as a Senior StrongFirst Girya SFG instructor.

In spite of the lack of a specific program in the Beachbody library, kettlebells and the "Hardstyle" training method have still attracted the attention of mega-coaches like Mike French (pictured above), who even trained hard & earned his instructor certification!

The kettlebell is the best weight-training device that I've found in my decades in the fitness, martial arts, and strength & conditioning industry. Its versatility in terms of space, variety of exercises, and benefit is damn hard to match!

So what are you waiting for? Scroll down towards the bottom of this post & register! If you're an active Beachbody coach, you just might get a nice discount off your registration!

4) PAIN MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONALS, REHAB DOCTORS, & PHYSICAL THERAPISTS: There's a reason why I got into kettlebells in the first place.... I was injured.

I couldn't run, I couldn't sleep through the night without pain, and I couldn't train without suffering for days afterwards. 

What changed all of that?... The methods that both Pavel & Gray Cook used to re-train my body got me back to where I could sprint right out of a seat, sleep through the night without my arms & hands going numb, and back to where I could move with power & confidence instead of the fear that the smallest movements were going to set off another injury.

The progressions we're going to go through with both the lifts and the Prehab-Rehab progressions are designed to get you moving better, feeling stronger, and suffering less. This stuff is the soul of what I do in my clinic in SoCal for everyone from the professional athletes to the person recovering from an injury post-surgery. For those of you who are medical professionals & movement therapists, this is some of my very best stuff, and I'm giving it to you!

I'm gonna be peeling back the stuff that everybody takes for granted to a level where even the most experienced look at what I'm teaching & have to stifle the urge to scream "Holy $h!#!!!!!"

Like I said before, if you understand basics, everything else is easier, safer, better, & lasts longer. So I'm kicking off Saturday with Hardstyle, High Detail & peeling back the ballistic hinge to reveal the essentials of restorative joint alignment & power production, and then changing gears to bring it down to the ground with the Secrets of Strength - The TGU Unlocked. 

Now this is way more than the workshop footage you may have seen that I did with IDEA on Kettlebell Rehab. This is breaking down what it really means to optimize, showing the value of the finer points, and re-educating your body in a way it's probably never experienced before!

"But I already know the Swing & Get-Up! Saturday is gonna be boring!"

Yeah, I thought so, too, when I went to my first RKC. As a personal student of Pavel's, I didn't think that the Swing or Turkish Get-Up would be even worth a mention as far as stress to me. Some of you may have heard that the Turkish Get-Up is one of my favorite exercises, so much so that I wrote the book (literally) for Gray Cook's Kettlebells from the Ground-Up DVD. But when I went through the RKC for the first time, a tall Danish fellow named Kenneth Jay, who was then a Senior RKC, called me out in front of the group for corrections on my Get-Up technique. Because of him giving me insights into how to look at something I took for granted for months & months, I ended up learning TONS more about the Get-Up, eventually becoming one of the world's authorities on its execution. 

If you think it's all about the high bridge, you couldn't be more mistaken!

During the Saturday session, I'll break down the TGU's 3 layers of benefit as a movement screen, a corrective exercise, and a strength & conditioning tool so that you understand how to address a multitude of people by applying a wonderful tool in a bunch of ways that are tailor-made to your audience & help you create strength that you never knew you had while improving your 1RMs!


Sunday's all about Subtle Strength. Developmental sequence training is something that the badasses in the rehab, chiropractic, osteopathic, and physical therapy worlds have been paying attention to for a while now. Most of the fitness world doesn't even have this stuff on its radar yet, but it's the best kept secret in terms of low-risk, high-reward fitness & rehab training, especially when paired with the human performance GPS known as the Functional Movement Screen

This material is what forms the basis for my Prehab-Rehab 101 DVDs, which were recently released by & have been blessed by some incredible praise!

So you need to be a medical guru to attend or understand the material on Sunday? NO WAY!

This stuff is going to be taught in a language that EVERYBODY can understand. I'm not big on geek-speak. I'm big on everyone going home with as much USEFUL information as they can possibly apply successfully.

The coolest thing about the Prehab-Rehab progressions that we're going to cover on Sunday is that they're NOT just for the injured or weak, just like they're not just for the pro athletes. The progressions we'll go over are for EVERYBODY, and as soon as you see how to break them down & get the most out of them, I have no doubt that they'll become part of YOUR TRAINING sessions!

How will we measure improvement? Simple! By revisiting the lifts from Saturday, the Sunday progressions will show you how much better you move & perform. That's a built-in gauge for you to not only see how well you're doing, but a great way of communicating that benefit to your clients!

OK... Now that I have your attention, people who register for BOTH Saturday & Sunday will receive a special swag bag with some of my favorite goodies inside!  EXPIRED as of 5/19/14. Since we didn't change the price for the early bird special on 4/26, we're just gonna do away with the swag bags for any registrants who are signing up between now & the workshop date.


You can choose to come just on Saturday or Sunday, but the best value for your dollar (and your training) is going to be for both days. These are EARLY BIRD PRICES & will go up on April 26th at midnight! Once we sell out the limited number of spaces, no more will be opened. 

Why the limited number of spaces? Because I want to make sure that I get a chance to work with EVERY SINGLE PERSON during the course of the day. This isn't about me showing you a couple of cool moves & just leaving you to struggle with an assistant. I want you to leave having the experience of working DIRECTLY with me! 

Also, Fitness Ranes isn't some big-box gym where you're just one of the nameless crowd. This is a special place, and you're going to be one of the first people in there to learn some potentially life-changing stuff. So it was a big honor for me to be invited to teach there by Bruddah Chris, and I want to make this something special for all of you!

Just go to the drop-down menu of the days you want to attend and register based on your affiliation! We will be checking IDs & require proof of either RKC/StrongFirst instructor certification OR active Beachbody coach status for those of you who are planning to enjoy those discounts.

YOUR BEST VALUE - Both Saturday & Sunday, June 7 & 8, 2014

Registration options

But if you can only make it to one day, it'll be an honor to see you and a pleasure to work with you or either of these days!

Saturday, June 7, 2014 only: 12noon - 7pm

Kettlebells Fine-Tuned workshop (Saturday June 7th, 2014)

Sunday, June 8, 2014 only: 9 - 12:30pm & 1:30 - 5pm

Prehab-Rehab 101 workshop (Sunday June 8th, 2014)

I'll be looking forward to seeing you there at Fitness Ranes - 1213 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI!

Much aloha,