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Pavel has always given credit to his influences. He cites the authors who have written on similar strength theory, and he bibliographs the science he uses to ground the Hard Style in science. Brooks Kubick, Louie Simmons, Marty Gallagher. Mel Siff, Academician Amosov, Professor Verkoshansky, these are all names I have seen in more than one book. I have read and re-read Power To The People numerous times. I have Enter The Kettlebell nearly committed to memory. The words are alwys the same, as is the message, yet, when I return to Pavel’s training conferences I find new means to explain, explore, and polish the movements we measure ourselves with. I have learned three separate means to improve a student’s pull up instantly. My toolbox for teaching the swing is a big, salty, clunky sonofawhore, but I never pull out more than two or three enabling drills. I have taught the jerk to 10+ RKCs from the Philadelphia area, and each time I revert to the standards of jerk progression set forth from the 2007 Level II. Each time, discovering a smoother path to mastery. As a curriculum, the RKC has focused on the same material for 8 years now, yet we continuously add by subtracting, field stripping the drills and facilitating friendly introductions to the drills, followed by meticulous employment of a small set of corrections. As we march forward, in step, we develop new standards for competency in our strength, our staying power, and our ability to communicate the standard to others. I am with the RKC. I damn near exalt the name and declare praise. So my loyalty to the program is no joke.

If I chose to tell a story in jest, it would recant the day I saw a television advertisement for supplemental creatine monohydrate. The short ad displayed the transformation of a young man, starting with his frustration with the fruitless labor of weight training, and concluding with the lean mass he gained earning him the right to stand next to a hot girl. Likely blond, and busty. I was a senior in high school, and my last season of lacrosse was about to begin in less than two weeks. It was beautiful spring weather every day, and I lifted with the same 2 guys [Cliffy and Wood] and our track athlete pal Christina [who still had an incredible body until 5 years ago] for over a year. We were a tight crew, and of them, only two of us wanted to be big. So the creatine commercial appeared to me as a short-cut. An investment that would yield a big chest for me, and for the girls I would chase, as well! When I learned that a jug of creatine was 36 US Dollars, I bailed. Guys I knew from the football team were taking it to swell prior to any hope of playing college ball. I didn’t begin to mix creatine with grape juice until 1999. That was ’95, and my favorite drill was the bent over row.

When a Dragon Door customer or a www.dragondoor.com shopper views the HKC, they may feel the same way I did on that spring day. A shortcut! A financial break! A glitch, a loophole, a time portal. If they do feel that way, and they view the HKC as a quick cut to the front of the line, then they are as foolish as I was. They may even flake on the commitment as I did with nutrition after I was 17. Or they could view the value and relish it, taking the chance to train with a pack of strong instructors and get a skill set to make them better. The trouble is, perception is reality. It is their impression of it that may define the quality of the candidate who passes an HKC. To quote the great Jordan Vezina,
I predict this conversation:
“I’m an HKC.”
“What’s that?”
“It’s another branch of the RKC.”
“What’s that?”

And when that last question is answered, the HKC will have it reputation.
“I’m an HKC.”
“What’s that?”
“I’m certified in kettlebell basics by the guys who are taking kettelbell training in a new direction.”
Or. . .
“I’m an HKC.”
“What’s that?”
“I’m certified to teach kettelbells”.

And there it is. The essence of it is how the kids represent themselves to the clients. Your client will have a cousin who trains with an HKC, and you will hear about how they are doing all these carzy moves and Crossfit workouts with kettlebells. You will have a client whose sister-in-law trains with an HKC and she has lost 20 pounds (!). You will hear of the c0-worker of your client who trained with an HKC that shredded his shoulders and now needs surgery. All of these things have been said about RKCs. Now, with the HKC Instructor having an ethical obligation to remain within thier limits, it will be easier to identify who is competent and who has extended themselves beyond their capability.

I train RKCs. I train George, Pat, Don, Jen, and I consult my students who have gone on to become RKC. I work with the populous that represents RKC to the masses on a weekly basis. They are both fit and weaker. Focused and scattered. Diligent and diverted. The talent pool will be the same in the HKC community. The level of fitness will likely be a degree less than what the RKC holds, yet the ability to grasp, exemplify, and communicate the kettlebell will be roughly the same in both tiers.

With regard to the integrity of the HKC ideal, that is my stance. There may be no need to mention this, but the HKC is an excellent business move. Feeding the RKC and simultaneously creating new business is excellent. The HKC will likely require less logistical support and few bells, and if the focus is on swings and get ups for one day, well then it lets our Top instructors develop, even further, the program we all agree is premier for physical strength. They will get better, we will get better, it is kaizen.

And now I find I will be attending the HKC as an observer/assistant.

RKC Level II weekend in 4 days. I can feel it. . .

>Yoga debrief:

Pranayama breathing: Took it easy, tried not to exhaust my deltoids.

Arda Chandrasana: Excellent. I killed it on second set. My half-moon bend was making people jealous.

Utkatasana: I still do not understand the torso positioning on this one. Extend your spine but suck your belly in from the 90 degree squat position? I have yet to nail this one. And, my hips.knees/ankles are officially F’d.

Garurasana: I can’t lock my fingers together, nor can I wrap my foot around my calf. But I’m tryin‘, baby.

Dandayamana Janushirasana: I lose feeling in my hands and feet when I perform this. Also, I slip all over the room.

Tuladandasana: I phoned this one in.

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Poschimotthanasana: I looked sexy and the movement may have unlocked my right scapula.

Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana: Yes that is what it’s called. And I had a nice chin tuck with some safe spinal flexion on this one, B+.

Trikanasana: This is my best pose so long as I am not dizzy or disorientated from elevated blood pressure and sweat. Some days I slip all over the mat and get angry, raising the blood pressure even further. But yesterday, My triangle was the prettiest in the room. It actually aroused me to see s guy with so much lean muscle [Me] crush this pose and make it look artful as well. A-.

Tadasana: Easy enough to never mess this one up.

Savasana: At rest, I thought of a woman.

Pavanamuktasana: First of the floor poses, or, the Spine Strengthening series. I figured somethign out while phoning this one in. I’ll use it next time.

Bhujangasana: The cobra, which I do 100% correctly, sees me with limited ROM coming off the ground. When using only muscular activity and no press up from the ground, I barely move. But that is how it should be.

Salabhasana: I was tired and had sweat in my eye. I did not fly high in this pose. I just buzzed around the room, as with Poorna Salabhasana.

Dhanurasana: I kept my legs tight to each other and did not aggravate my knee, amazing.

Supta Varjasana: I bailed on this one due to my knee.

Arda Kurmasana: I tried something different here today. it may have worked, I woke up without a screaming back. Just my knee today!

Ustrasana: I had a nice camel. And it all makes sense now! Shifting the hips forward prior to leaning the head back.

Sasangasana: My most favorite of the positions I modify. I modify this one for the health of my neck, and the version I employ feels solid.

Janushirasana with Poschimottanasana: D+. I was tired and wanted to go home.

Ardha Mattsyendrasana: The ‘spinal twist’. Half windmill, half Bretzel. What an excellent movement series to finish with. I will go off on this movement later.

Kapalbhati Breathing. The finishing fire. Getting better every time.

So what did I learn from Yoga yesterday?

My effort level is largely dependant on the instructor.

More people [women] attend this class in the summer months.

The room stays warmer in the summer.

Sometimes that room is unbearable in the summer.

I need to stop smoking cigars, as they are raising my blood pressure.

Every time I go into that room and place my mat in the back row, some bitch, yes, both times a young girl, places her mat directly in front of mine, so as to prevent me seeing my own reflection. Three times this has happened in the last month and all three times I let it go, and moved. The next person who places there mat in front of mine will get smacked. Verbally. Or maybe I’ll just slap the bastard, who knows!

>Staring me in the face. A calendar, a beast of steel, a phone call never returned. Six months away. Six weeks from today. Six hours. Training time lost to both injury and strategic rest. Pull ups a plenty and then a controlled break in the cycle. Greasing the groove to increase the proof.

35 pounds to lose.

20 dead hang pull ups.

Rifle Expert qualifications.

Quitting smokeless tobacco.

All goals I have met and conquered. Next week will measure me. In both size and depth. Yoga tonight, after a beautiful run of 6 days between sessions. What’s gone on the past few days? You can certainly see it in my face. Next week they need to see it in my press.