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Old 08-04-2010, 06:49 AM   #1
James Evans
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London
Posts: 537
Default Martin Rooney's new book and Sambists and kettlebells

This could go in the Fighting section as well but I'm mostly interested in the kettlebell exercises here.

I've been slowly working my way through Rooney's new book (not that it's taxing, it's a coffee table book to some degree). This really is a labour of love for him. If you're not familiar with the premise, he spent, I think , a year travelling the world attending various meccas of the martial arts that he considers to be the foundations of MMA as it stands now.

What you get is an introduction to each fighting art, an explanation of rules and physical requirements and then a glossary of 'special exercises' employed in training. It's not a Matt Furey book of secretz exactly but don't buy it and expect anything eye catching. If you've got the cash and are interested in exercise variety it's fun.

In his first book, Training for Warriors, I thought many of the exercises were demonstrated with pretty dreadful form, particularly Oly variations. A lot of the stuff here is bodyweight based and demonstrated by the locals in impressive style. Rooney himself is a model for a lot of the photos and he is always spot on.

Anyway, just got through the Sambo section and was really struck by how ragged the kettlebell demos look in comparison to the slick, perfectly choreographed stuff put out there by Pavel et al. Made me realise even more what a polished operation goes on there. The photos may do these Sambo guys an injustice but they do seem to be a heavin' and a haulin' those bells (of all different dimensions and styles) any which way but loose.

Furthermore, on top of the standard kb exercises we are familiar with (snatch, swing, clean, TGU etc.) they are mostly using them like dbs so we get a couple of lateral raise variants, several different curls, up right rows, bent rows and the like. There are quite a few juggles too including one very cool swing to a flip where you catch the bottom of the bell in your palm like a shot putter.

My take home thought from this was if you're not into Girevoy/Long Cycle malarkey stop analysing every damn element of the kettlebells and just use them as you can and wish.
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