Saturday 6/20/2009 Modern Self-Defense Center in Middletown, Connecticut hosted Dr. Mark Cheng, RKC Team Leader for a Kettlebell and Functional Movement Patterning workshop. I’d heard great things about Dr. Cheng so I was looking forward to the seminar for a while. I was absolutely NOT disappointed! Dr. Cheng is a fantastic teacher and has an understanding of the details and intricacies of movement that is inspiring and humbling at the same time.
We spent most of the morning working on a SINGLE movement pattern – The Squat. I think everyone there, including myself, thought they knew how to squat. The fine details we got from Dr. Cheng were really eye opening.
The immediate impact Dr. Cheng had on me and my training from this one “simple” set of drills and corrections was:
- My deadlift immediately felt stronger after working these new movement patterns with him.
- My hips and hamstrings felt noticeably “better.” I’m not sure exactly how to define better. All I can say is that the new movement patters I learned for the squat from Dr. Cheng had my hips feeling noticeably “lighter” and more open. I’d describe the sensation as very similar to the feeling I get after a really good yoga session. My flexibility and my circulation felt noticeably better.
From the squats we moved into the Kettlebell Get Up. Again, I learned A TON about movement patterns in this seemingly simple exercise. In particular, loading the lats and opening the thoracic spine. Once again, it was a humbling, frustrating and absolutely inspiring experience to “crawl” through an exercise I’ve been doing for a long time and considered myself to be well experienced with.
Interestingly, when we finished the Get Ups my shoulders, chest and upper back felt great. I had the same feeling in my upper body that I had in my lower body after the squats. Amazing what moving properly can do for you!
From the Get Ups we moved into one and two handed Kettlebell swings. Again, a deceptively simple movement done correctly created a great learning and training experience.
The swings were actually my favorite part of the seminar. Mainly because Dr. Cheng really picked on me and my form. He also made me train ALL my sets with the 32kg Kettlebell because I was “MSDC’s resident Kettlebell coach.” It was great and I learned A LOT about firing the glutes to propel the Kettelbell in a swing.
Throughout the day Dr. Cheng did a great job of tying together the movements we were doing with the basics of the squat we practiced at the beginning. It was really cool to see where the squat movement patterns were in the Get Up and the swing and all the other things we do as gireviks and martial artists.
Dr. Cheng is an outstanding teacher and is absolutely full of knowledge about human movement patters. And he’s completely accessible, funny and friendly. Thank you, Dr. Cheng and thank you Chris from MSDC for hosting him!
Leave a Reply