History of KPP
Like many I fell in love with the kettlebell after my first introduction. In 2001 Mark Reifkind my high school strength coach told me about kettlebells. After a quick tutorial on the swing, clean and snatch he took me through a simple workout that left me out of breath causing my heart to rate skyrocket above 220 beats per minute. I was intrigued and excited to implement this tool into my programing.
I purchased my first set of cast iron kettlebells and continued to practice learning the movements. In early 2003 I was certified by Pavel throughout the RKC at the time now Strong first. Later that same year I was able to secure an opportunity to present Kettlebells to the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) the following year in 2004. I invited Pavel, John DuCane and Brett Jones to be a part of the presentation and all agreed. I presented kettlebell basics, with Brett's help, at the NSCA strength and conditioning conference. Pavel was impressed with the presentation and suggested that Brett and I make a video of what we presented. We decided to call it Kettlebell Basics for Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers, On set, between takes I suggested to Brett that we pass the kettlebell back and forth to see what would happen.
The moment we passed kettlebells, a passion for KPP was ignited in me that continues to fuel my drive for developing and brining KPP to the world. From that day forward I would pass with whomever would let me throw kettlebells to them. I moved to LA shortly there after and met a man named Robert Mckee. We were both at a Mike Mahler and Steve Cotter seminar, it was mid 2006. He and I hit it off and he invited me to meet him at Golds Gym in Venice Beach CA. I told him what I had been doing and we spent the next two years passing bells together, in the back yard of Gold's gym exploring and developing the KPP system. In 2008 I met Jeremy Layport, one of San Jose State University's strength and conditioning coaches at the time and Blair Ferguson, owner of Ventura Training and athletics. Both of whom were already accomplished strength and conditioning coaches and trainers. Between Blair, Jeremy and Robert, the system was becoming more complex and well rounded. Unfortunately in July of 2009 Robert unexpectedly passed away, deeply saddened, I continued to innovate KPP but things would forever be changed. I began working with Blair 2-3 times a week for 1-2 hrs at a go. Blair and I worked on building out more of the patterns and progressions of the KPP system. I would leave Blair's with excitement and curiosity and when I would get home my imagination would run wild with ideas of possible ways to pass kettlebells. When I was able to I would go up to San Jose were I would work with Chris Holder and Jeremy Layport to get them up to speed with what Blair and I were innovating. In 2011 we filmed the Kettlebell partner passing video and I wanted to start doing workshops. The world didn't seem ready for KPP. I was met with resistance and opposition. I continued to innovate and develop the system anyway and would teach whoever was interested in learning, I knew there was a bigger purpose and that it would all make sense one day.
In 2013 I moved to a monastery where I spent the next three years, studying spirituality and working in the maintenance department. In my free time I continued to develop the KPP system and share it with various staff members, guests and most notably Chris the cook. He and I trained nearly everyday and I made sure to take as long as we needed to set a solid foundation. The next three years I honed the system and worked on as many facets of the system as I could think of with the intention of making it as safe and progressive as possible. I came to realize that KPP may not be for everyone, however everyone that engages with KPP has much to gain and learn from the dynamic system.
I left the monastery in June of 2016 and decided it was time to bring KPP to the world. After an austere three years of monastic life I felt like life had passed me by. Reintegrating into a society that valued many things that were of little to no value at a monastery, proved to be a daunting task. The pace of the world is light years ahead of a monastic community isolated in the mountains of Big Sur. People speak and move faster, expectations for response times are at break neck speeds compared to cloistered life. People are much louder outside the walls of the monastery and far more pressed for time. Self reflection is not a priority and meditation is more of a fashion than a way of life. Technology managed to take a massive jump in the three years that I was away and I was virtually illiterate in the world of social media and smart phones. I love being off the grid and disconnected and I felt it was of benefit to me, regardless of how rocky re-entry into consensus reality was. I found myself looking up a steep learning curve and having to trust the process, much like what I tell people who are learning KPP for the first time. I was hesitant and resistant to get too enmeshed in the world of social media and at the urging of my friends in the fitness industry I began a social media campaign. I started getting footage of the things we were doing and posting so others could see. I was surprised at the response and how many people were watching and liking the videos. I offered the first KPP workshop May 6, 2017 in honor of my boyhood friend who I had lost a year earlier to a heroine overdose. I didn't tell anyone that was why I chose that date but he and I knew.. I am learning every day that KPP is more than I thought and I continue to see how people are being changed by this system of training. I continue to innovate and develop the system, now that the demand for KPP is growing I am building out a useful curriculum to teach KPP to others that evolves as my experience does.