Thursday, August 25, 2011

10 Things I Learned at the San Diego RKC last Weekend

Last Weekend marked my 8th year assisting or teaching at RKC certifications. This was my first as a Senior RKC as I must say it was perhaps my most fun and memorable RKC event to date.  The teaching, the students and my other RKC peers made it an incredible weekend. Those of  you that have taken the RKC understand what I am talking about. We truly do have an amazing community and a very unique group of committed and capable individuals that collectively make up a very lively and effective system that we all know as the RKC school of strength.

Dan John, one of the most gifted teachers I have ever met, gave a great talk on Saturday afternoon titled "WHAT IS THE RKC." Dan encouraged all RKC candidates  to write down the top 10 things they had learned that were profoundly important to them.  For that reason I am writing this blogpost in honor of Dan. What a great idea and what an essential habit to form after all workshops. The following are the top 10 things that I learned over the RKC weekend.

1) "Be a PERMANENT BEGINNER."  That's right, remain a permanent beginner as you start your kettlebell journey. Dan talked about how he considered himself a beginner with kettlebells because that way you are striving to get better each and every day. Their is no destination where you finally arrive at kettlebell mastery. Always stay humble in your learning and always seek out those better than you.

2) INTEGRITY is being the same person at all times. It is being consistent in behavior and conduct regardless of the group of people you are around. It is living a principled centered life and sticking to your values and morals at all times.  Pavel and Dan have this quality which makes this RKC community so much more special.

3) SWIM the kettelbell down in the snatch. This one is from Pavel. I have never heard that one before. Literally think of doing a front crawl and pull the SWIM the kettlebell down and back between the legs. That means your arm and torso come closer together. This was an A-ha moment for me!

4) Fail with integrity! This is from Master RKC David Whitley.It's ok to fail but fail with integrity. That means you give it your very best effort and commit to the lift. However, the outcome, regardless of what it is, doesn't matter. Do your best and have the right attitude and that is enough.

5) Connect with people at their level! This is one that I realized during the weekend. Try and meet people and see things through their perspective. Sometimes we try to conform others into what we think they should be. Meet people where they are at and respect their own personal process and journey. We are all different and thank God for that.

6) Focus on the INTERNAL. This is not necessarily anything new but it did get driven home after Pavel kept talking about the internal nature and focus of the RKC movements. We teach intention, position, posture, breath, and where to channel the force. This is fundamentally an internal focus, much like an eastern martial art.

7) BE PREPARED!!! Do your  homework before the RKC!!! People get really NERVOUS and RKC certifications!! Help them to channel that nervous energy into better performance and skill work. This is where the art of coaching comes in. Talk with your team, keep them focused but help them feel confident in their preparation and skill work. As we know, the best antidote to fear and nervous energy is preparation. Take the RKC seriously, prepare and show up ready to go!!!

8) Humbleness and Humility!! This should be obvious but often people have the opposite qualities. Those students that lack humility never pass the RKC!! Is talking back to an instructor about how you are right and we are wrong in not a smart idea!!!

9) The RKC community is SPECIAL and people sense the awesomeness of this community!!! Embrace this community, give back to it, and it will give back to you!!!

10) The DEADLIFT posture and position is KING!!! Never forget that SWINGS and GET UPS really do work if you focus on mastery!!! Watching people improve over a 3 day weekend is amazing and something I never tired of watching!!!

There it is!!!  If you are an RKC reading this, let me ask you, what did you learn????


Smitty.Diesel said...

awesome thoughts brother! Keep up the great work!

Taikei Matsushita said...

I'm stealing those words.

Only lawful thing we are allowed to steal like thieves.

Trevor Trebbien said...

1)Less is more when you teach your students. Just give one thing, then stay out of the bubble.
2)Squeeze that sponge on the clean going up to the press.
3)Be the same person 100% of the time.
4) Don't lift the hips on the beginning of the swing.
5) NEVER chew gum.

SG Human Performance said...

Great post Franz!

Tim Shuman said...

Awesome Post Franzie,, Sorry Senior Franzie.. There should be a booklet of " What is the RKC "

Franz Snideman said...

Thanks Smitty!!!!

Taikei, please do steal them :)

Trevor, Great having you on the team. You did great (even though you chewed gum) he he!!!

Franz Snideman said...

Thanks Mark!!!!!!

Franz Snideman said...

Thanks Tim-e-tee!!!

What is RKC manual? There's a great write up on the concept in the manual. Do you think there should be a separate "What is the RKC" booklet?

Could be a good idea!!

Pharaohs Army Fitness said...

I was all ears when Dan John said the term "permanent beginner". Such a profound statement and an incredible weekend. I'm looking forward to this being the beginning of my journey as an RKC! Can I get 2 claps! 2 claps!

Franz Snideman said...

Yes, you have 2 claps here!!!