Bridging the generational gap with my daughter.

Spending some quality family time with my daughter back from college for her break.

What Kettlebells and the RKC have done for me. This year, I’ll be putting out my Dirty Dozen must have exercises in my monthly Blog. This will cover the 12 months of the year. However, I must digress a tad and let you know how this seemingly innocuous, yet at times evil black iron ball with a handle and the organization that promotes the training – The RKC has had an incredibly significant effect on my life. I know that it may seem impossible, yet locked inside that black chunk of iron is an incredible amount of emotion, sweat, enjoyment, pain, love, trial, tribulation and triumph.

At the beginning of my Kettlebell Journey, people thought that I was a “Crazed Man Possessed”. This may be all true, (wink, wink) but I was committed to spreading the word about  kettlebells and the RKC. I personally had never felt physically better, more challenged and more excited about a training method in my over 35 years of serious training. People looked at me quizzically when I spoke, especially the skeptics of the Greater NY/NJ Metropolitan area. Yet I never let up.

One of the first major Kettlebell/RKC events that changed my life had to do with my first Kettlebell video. I had called my distributor, BayView Entertainment, to see how sales were going on my S.A.V.E. Self Defense video series and they informed me that they were doing a Kettlebell video with Amy Bento. I let them know that I had just become RKC Certified and they asked me to do an Advanced Kettlebell Workout video for their label. They then asked me to establish contact with Amy. We were doing our shoots back to back, so we got to talking during the months preceding the shoot. I wound up letting her use some of my kettlebells for her video. Over the next year, we established a friendship and wound up dating, getting married and being blessed with our daughter Adrienne. Amy became RKC certified and her latest Kettlebell Power video just received a Top 10 Rating from Fitness Magazine in February, 2013.

My oldest daughter, Nicole, a college freshman is pursing a degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science. Nicole is a Black Belt, HKC Certified and a staunch vegan with a popular recipe blog. At 99 lbs, she can do 100 snatches with the 12kg (25 lb) kettlebell in under 4 minutes. She does yoga, zumba and martial arts in college and ran track in high school. Fitness and sports have helped her through many tough times in her life and have become a big part of her persona and a way of life. She loves helping people live better.

My son Spencer is a poster child for Kettlebell Training. He is 16 years old, 6 foot 1 inch, weighing 210 lbs. His most recent throw of 58’ 8.5” put him at the #7 spot in the nation and #2 for all High School Juniors. One of the most amazing things is that he also wins and places in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and he is anywhere from 50 to 100 lbs lighter than the other Elite Status throwers. I do not have him do barbell back squats, but he can do a heel to butt Pistol (single leg squat) with the Beast (106 lb kettlebell) with either leg, easily! He has never done a max bench press or deadlift. He only started doing those exercises last year, and only for reps. He is a true product of Kettlebell and Bodyweight training.

As you can see, Kettlebells and the RKC has had an incredible, positive impact upon my family. Heck, I even have my 74 year old mom swinging bells three times a week! The RKC is more than a simple fitness organization. It’s an incredible network of people committed to helping others achieve better lives through our proven training methods. Everyone loves to share their knowledge and help others to succeed. We have such a great community with such a vast knowledge base. I’m so thrilled to be a part of it and I know that my life is immeasurably better ever since I made the decision to pick up a bell, sign up for my RKC and go for it. I urge others to do the same. You will get back your financial investment 100-Fold!

Yes, the RKC Certification is not inexpensive. So what? Is anything worth anything cheap? You get what you pay for. If you want to learn how to use Kettlebells from watching YouTube, GOOD LUCK! If you want to be part of an incredible organization of like-minded people, join the RKC Community, it will be worth every penny.

For more information on Kettlebell Training visit Dragon Door or www.kettlebellking.com

Youth Sports: Ruining our Youth or Enhancing their development?

Youth football, soccer, wrestling, baseball, tennis, cheer leading, dance, swimming, basketball…travel teams…try-outs & cuts…successes and failures. Championship games…Pee Wee Super Bowls, Little League World Series…a trophy for every kid…over inflated Pee Wee Coaches egos…Parents fighting each other and assaulting referees…Have we lost sight of what our Junior Development Leagues are for?

 

What price are our children paying? Burned out by the time they get to High School, many athletes never reach their touted potential. Many children who mature later on, who have suffered exclusion or maybe didn’t make it onto the “crucial travel team” and become turned off to sports without even getting started.

 

I am going to put forth several extremely bold statements. You may agree, disagree, love me, hate me, continue to read my blogs or “un-friend” me on Facebook (Yes – I’ve been unfriended before!). Your choice. I am calling attention to this issue is of epidemic proportions and it’s ruining our youth and the whole notion of junior development sports.

 

My grandfather (born in 1902) was a boxing trainer and even played in for one of the first professional football teams, the Paterson (NJ) Bulldogs. He made a whopping 15 cents per game. He was asked on many occasions to coach the burgeoning “Pop Warner” football and Little League Baseball teams, yet he would not do nor would he let my uncle join the teams. He thought that the kids should learn to play without the interference on adults. My uncle went on to play foot ball in high school and was a stand out receiver making the All-Decade Team for Eastside High.

The incredible amount of Injuries – concussions, torn acl’s, rotator cuff, “Tommy John” elbow surgery, etc…I was in High School in the ’70’s. I played football, wrestled and ran track in High School. In 4 years of HS Wrestling, I don’t remember one concussions – yet two years ago, I coached a team that had 7 (yes seven) in one year. All of those kids had come up through the junior wrestling program. I had no idea what an “ACL” was, now 2 out 5 of female High School soccer players have injured or completely torn their Anterior Cruciate Ligament. These injuries aren’t contained only to soccer, I have just picked this sport to mention at this point. How is this so?

The answer is simple. The athletes are de-conditioned, overworked and have not had the proper strength and stability training. The focus is on “making the travel team” or being on the “A-team” instead of learning how their bodies function and having fun with sport. They play the same sport all year long, from a very young age. The parents and the children alike are brainwashed into thinking that this is the only way it should be.

 

Children should be involved in sport for fun and fundamentals only until 12 or 13, at the earliest. If they compete, it should be on their own terms, not with an adult or coach prompting and pushing them. Getting competitive should really be held off until High School, but at 12 or 13, it’s OK to get the competitive juices flowing.

 

Children should be involved in sports and activities that are going to develop their bodies and have their muscles and tendons strengthened. They should partake in swimming, martial arts, gymnastics (non-competitive), track & field, calisthenics and other, body awareness development based activities. All quote “organized sports” with teams, championships and their associated coaches should be abolished and replaced with open sports activities at town fields or other indoor facilities. I could go further into this, but I think that I’ve made my point.

AEMMA & Kettlebell Trainers

On Saturday, August 18th, seven American Eagle MMA & Kettlebell trainers became certified in Hardstyle Kettlebell training. The 10 hour certification was incredible. A great deal of information was shared with the group. There were 13 additional participants from NJ, NY, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Senior RKC Max Shank was a wealth of knowledge. Kettlebell technique, general strength and class programming were covered.There were 7 members of the American Eagle MMA & Kettlebell school certified as Hard Style Kettlebell Instructors.

American Eagle MMA & Kettlebells facility owner RKC Team Leader Phil Ross, was very proud of his students’ accomplishments. Nykole & Spencer Ross of Mahwah, Jennifer Chaparian of Allendale, Zack Fox of Saddle River, Larry Buchwalter of Ridgewood, John Hartman of Park Ridge and Cathy Raimonda, the studio’s Operation Manager from Glen Rock all became HKC Certified Kettlebell Instructors.