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  1. #1
    John Du Cane is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Thumbs up New Interview with Mike Krivka, RKC Team Leader

    Dragon Door Interviews:
    Mike Krivka, RKC Team Leader

    by Adrienne Harvey, RKCII, CK-FMS

    Dragon Door: How did you find kettlebells?

    Mike Krivka: I first saw kettlebells back in 1986 at the Russian Embassy in downtown Washington, D.C. I was learning Sambo from a bunch of really grizzly old Afghan vets who worked as spooks and spies. Previously, I had studied Judo and Jujitsu, but wanted to learn Sambo, because of the emphasis on ankle or knee locks to disable the opponent. At the Embassy, I noticed some kettlebells sitting in the corner, though at the time I had no idea what they were. So, my very first experiences with kettlebells were from the Sambo players. They used kettlebells in a very different way than we do in the RKC. For example they practiced a lot of one and two hand high pulls, because that motion is used to set up several over-the-shoulder throws in Sambo. They did a lot of pressing, grip work and a kind of swinging movement. Unfortunately, since I didn't have any kettlebells of my own, training with them fell by the wayside for a while.

    Dragon Door:
    That's interesting, did you have any previous experience with weightlifting?

    Mike Krivka: I've lifted weights since I was about 13 years old. In college, I followed all kinds of protocols, did a lot of lifting, but found it all really boring. In 2000, a friend of mine from the West Coast and also into martial arts, suggested I try kettlebells. Soon after, I attended a two-day kettlebell workshop in Northern Virginia. At that workshop I picked up a kettlebell for the first time in years, and got myself smoked in about 30 seconds. I literally bought the first kettlebell I touched and still have it! I actually work with that 24kg kettlebell every single day at home. I loved training with kettlebells so much that I went to a few more workshops and then the RKC workshop in late 2001 or 2002.

    Dragon Door: That's really early.

    Mike Krivka: Ever since, I’ve been using kettlebells 5 to 7 days a week. I really love them. As a lifelong martial artist, I find that kettlebell training and technique are very similar to the concepts I had been studying all along. Like martial arts, the RKC methods are part of a very structured and methodical system. Everything is based on realistic movement, conservation of energy, conservation and application of force, plus speed and timing. I think that kettlebell training is the martial art of weightlifting. If someone is serious about improving their martial arts practice, then they need to consider training with kettlebells. All my martial arts students are also kettlebell students. I require them to learn kettlebells along with martial arts because the two are so similar that they shouldn't be separated.

    Dragon Door: That makes sense. Having studied a little bit of Tai Chi, when I work with kettlebells I often find myself in a similar mental state. How often do you train?

    Mike Krivka: Since I’ve been practicing martial arts for a long time, people often want to know how much I train. Depending on my schedule, I usually practice my martial arts two to three times a week. Anymore, I teach more than train martial arts, but every day I train with a kettlebell. As far as I’m concerned, my kettlebell training is my martial arts training. The intensity and structure that I bring to both practices is the same. I like the Japanese adage of sharpening the sword every day, instead of waiting until it gets dull. I’m sharpening my sword every single day. While my technique has been honed through years of practice and instruction, I must maintain my intensity and physical conditioning every day. But I love it, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Kettlebells are the main tools for my training. In the last few months I’ve also added barbell deadlifts to help my posture and to change the alignment and strength of my base. But that's in addition to, not instead of kettlebell work.

    What most people consider working out is actually recreation. I train a lot of military and law enforcement personnel, and their survival is often contingent upon their fitness level. In order to survive, they need to be able to focus and work very hard at a high intensity with a high power output. If someone's in Afghanistan or on the street, being able to run five miles at a six-mile per hour pace isn't going to help. Similarly, plenty of guys have a huge bench press, but can’t move a 25 pound kettlebell for 2 minutes, or they can’t get up off the ground fast enough to save their life. Fitness is relative and it’s also a mindset. Can I protect my family or extract myself from a dangerous situation? here to continue reading the full interview.

  2. #2
    bencrush is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Lawrence, KS


    That is one of the most impressive interviews I have ever read! Mike is a humble guy with an astouding training background.

    Ben Edwards

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