Krav Maga East Midlands instructor Gordon is also a Strong First kettlebell instructor. In this post he explains the connection between Krav Maga and the kettlebell

Well they both start with the letter K, are hard (ie, you shouldn’t pick a fight with either) and appear to require a level of skill to master. Yes, indeed these are common attributes of both, but perhaps we should look a little deeper at why this combination of systems are so complementary?

When we are initially exposed to any new training paradigm, be it weight training or spin class the mind and body will be challenged, resist and then adapt. The neurology that is associated with learning how to punch or kick is a patterning of tension and relaxation that is triggered by a stimulus such as someone running towards you angry and intent on doing you harm. The kettlebell will do you harm if you don’t put the right level of force and distance between you and it, your full body needs alignment and correct positioning to enable you to fire the kettlebell into the air with ballistic force. That same set of principles is inherent in striking and kicking, the hard style kettlebell technique carries directly into controlled aggression and power.

The quality and correctness of the techniques is important, you want to learn and practice the right way of deploying a kettlebell. Done correctly, in a short time you will be able to gain a new level of fitness, get stronger and improve your general conditioning.

Strongfirst concentrates on 6 major lifts:
• Swing
• Squat
• Clean
• Press
• Get-up
• Snatch


Master the above and get the biggest bang for your buck, and when ready consider adding in a range of ancillary movements, eg. arm bars, windmills, single leg deadlifts, double kettlebells etc. Like the early stage Practitioner Levels in Krav Maga, you focus on laying a solid foundation for movement and control, more advanced techniques and problems come later, and we always go back to the basics and practice getting these right.

The quality of technique matters more than quantity or variety.

One of the surprising factors is the weight of the kettlebell is illusionary, offset from the centre and moving away from the body in an arc it adds considerable force that you will need to control, engaging the whole body. An arm curl with a dumbbell, carries over into few self-defence situations, but full body movement and power driven from the core, rooted in the ground is central to the force dynamics of striking and kicking.

The kettlbell is a versatile tool for strength, conditioning and work capacity (endurance) with modest time commitment of 20-25 minutes, for a decent training session. Whilst a kettlebell itself resembles a “cannon ball with a handle”. It’s better thought of as a training tool than an improvised medieval weapon! Remember, with Krav Maga – you are the weapon!