Monday, August 4, 2008

The UCLA RKC Part 1

All my adult life I have been having to endure this conversation.
"You know (Insert individual's job or hobby) is a lot lke being in the Marines."
As this conversation continues I'm always thinking "No. You know what's like being in the Marines? Being in the Marines. Nothing else even comes close."
Well, this is pretty damn close.
The RKC obviously has a military type of structure to it. Why? The military is really good at breaking down complex subjects so that they are easy to understand, keeping large groups organized, building esprit de corps, and providing a consistent funnel of ever evolving instruction.
I have just described the RKC experience.
I met and worked with a number of outstanding trainers. I was fortunate enough to be on Kenneth Jay Master RKC's team. Kenneth designed the workout that I mainly do, the Max VO2. It's easy to forget that Kenneth is only 30, and just how much he's done already in regard to not just kettlebells, but health and fitness. Why? For the same reason that the RKC works. Egos are firmly in check. More importantly, there's no need for ego because these men and women are confident in their abilities. It would be really easy for Kenneth, or Brett Jones, or Mark Reifkind to have big heads, but they don't. Sometimes even if people are trying to be humble they put out a vibe that just says "Hey, look at me I'm awesome!" I didn't get this when speaking to Brett, and I never get it when talking to Rif. People who are truly confident don't have to convince you that they're good.
I had the opportunity to talk to Dan John a few times, and it was the same thing. It was as if he was just some guy off the street who wanted to get to know you. I found out his brother lives down the street from me, and we both have an affinity for Corn Husker's lotion.
I of course met Pavel, which brings me back to the ego thing. I don't know Pavel that well, but you do get a strong vibe off of him that it's not about him. It's about the system. A good chunk of the RKC instructor's manual comes from other people, past and present RKC's. This is because Pavel listens. He hears what you say, and if it's better than what he had, he changes it. It doesn't always have to be his way, but it must be the way that is most effective.
There will be much more to come on this, but the general idea is that this is a life changing experience. I watched people who were dying by the end of the first day keep fighting and hang tough through the next two days. Much credit to my trying partner Bryan (forgive me for forgetting your last name) from Arizona for hanging in there like a pitbull and never quitting.
Oh, and I managed to stay in the Happy Hands Club. I have had a theory for a while of how to keep your hands together during the RKC, and I am very pleased to announce that it worked. This isn't happenstance, and I don't have naturally tough hands. Quite the opposite. I was able to do this by implementing an organized system. I'll have more on that in the future. If you're going to the RKC in the next month or two and want more info e-mail me directly. The below photos were taken in the UCLA locker room right after completion of the RKC. I never taped or used any protective gear.


  1. Nice Job, Jordan. Congrats on making it through with "happy hands".

    BJ's Blog

  2. man what a great post and thank you for the kind words. as i have said it is with great pleasure and pride that I have you in my studio and recommend you to people who come to me.You are as solid a man as can be. humble,smart,confident. and now, RKC!!
    "You know what's like being in the Marines? Being in the Marines. Nothing else even comes close."
    Well, this is pretty damn close."

    makes me so damn proud I can't stand it.What a honor to get even close to that standard.
    A good time was had by all. and I can't freaking beleive AT ALL your hands came out so good.
    Well done Sir.Welcome.

  3. oh yeah can't wait to hear aobut the hand system. always ready to learn something.
    and you owe me a bottle of cornhuskers,lol.

  4. Thanks Rif, the kind words are much appreciated. For you sir, I will go into my private reserve of Cornhusker's lotion.

  5. Congratulations Jordan Vezina, RKC!

    Yes it IS a life changing experience certainly one that I'll never forget.

    And yes, I want to know how the heck you got through with hands unscathed and without protection. I intend, at a minimum, to eventually re-certify in and would really like to implement your hand-care system. Email me at:

  6. Thanks Franklin. I'm putting together an article on it this week, so I'll send you the first draft copy.

  7. Well said and what a fantastic experience you had. Love the hand thing and look forward to hearing more about it!

    Rock on man, you are a great rep for the RKC system and they are fortunate to have you.


  8. Jordan, Great post, it makes me want to certify again just to rise to the occasion, lol!

    PS the video of your snatch test is on you-tube

  9. Thanks Joe, I appreciate the time you've taken to answer my questions.

    Thanks Tracy. The video of Rif's promotion is up as well on my averagetoelite youtube page.

  10. Judging from your hands, I'd say you had a weekend of stroking yourself instead of lifting kettlebells, LOL! They look great.

    Great job! I honestly thought you were already an RKC instructor, so this post was a bit anticlimactic for me. Not that I'm looking for a climax when I read your posts.

    I agree with your assessment of Pavel. He listens. Rif listens too, and so does Brett. They know so much, to the point that they can be gentlemen and "just be," in the context of good manners and sensible advice when they're with other people. No ego involved at all.

  11. Wow. That was kind of a lot of information. :)
    Thanks for the compliment Aaron. It was a great time and I look forward to being a part of it in the future. That is, when I'm not out on my missions killing people with vo2 poisoning.

  12. I'm sure you'll make time for both, you freakin' weirdo. Your talents far exceed the calluses on your hands.

    Beers are on me whenever we meet.

  13. Sounds good my friend. If all goes according to plan we'll be meeting next June.

  14. I'm looking forward to the info on your hand conditioning as well. Congratulations on your RKC experience!

  15. Thanks. I've put you on the list.