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It was a rainy Saturday morning in New Jersey. We had a session scheduled for our NTC Combatives Tribe as usual. Within the NTC Combatives Tribe we practice various Martial Arts.

coach helder martial artsWe take “What Works” for us from (3) main disciplines or Arts; PRAMEK, Eskrima and Muay Thai with various methods borrowed from Ninjutsu.

My background with Combatives stems mostly from my time in the US Marines. We drilled often with bayonets and our KaBar fighting knives. Once I was exposed to Eskrima/Kali and the Russian Martial Arts a few years back, I felt very comfortable with the philosophy and the  material so I continued with my Study. I felt that the NTC Method would never be complete without a Combatives “camp” so NTC Combatives was created and implemented a couple of years ago.

When we work with our NTC Combatives Tribe Members, we focus on what we can deploy instantly. We take the “First Responder” approach to the Martial Arts; Implement what we can use NOW and disregard the rest! We need to have our Members prepared for whatever arises. Our motto at NTC is “ALWAYS PREPARED!” To us, those aren’t just cool words; they are the philosophy that we live by. Keeping that in mind, we do not have time to focus on traditional Arts because of how long they take to master. Our goal is to instill principles more so than techniques so that each Tribe Member begins to develop their own flavor of their Combatives style. Keeping this focus in mind, Attribute-Building, takes precedence with all things NTC Combatives related.

As most of you know, I am quite partial to the kettlebell and especially the Swing exercise. My Force Factor Kettlebell Program is implemented and practiced by all of my NTC Combatives members.

Going back to today’s training session, many of the points mentioned above came into light as we practiced our Combatives.

One of our Tribe Members is an excellent Muay Thai fighter. He fly’s back to his home in Thailand every few months in order to compete. I consider myself very fortunate having Martial Artists of this caliber in our NTC Combatives Tribe. As we explored various principles and how we can adapt them into our Method, a facet of our training that seems to come up often was brought into light once again; the Kettlebell.

We were discussing implementing knee strikes into various situations. As I was being taught this by our Muay Thai expert, he kept repeating something over and over that at first I didn’t understand; “the Wiggly Powerful Knee.”

What the HELL was he talking about? Well, I just kept on doing my thing..

It was time for a break and we grabbed some water. A few of the guys continued drilling as I questioned my Muay Thai friend on what exactly he meant by “Wiggly Powerful knee.” He took a minute to collect his thoughts and looked at me in an even stranger fashion than usual. He then went on to explain that he trains many fighters. He was used to my “wiggly” approach to Combatives since we train together often over the past year. My “Wiggly-ness” is easier translated into Joint Mobility. With Russian Martial Arts, we focus a lot on joint articulation. We practice PRAMEK which is a unique approach to RMA. We concentrate on efficient work by focusing on joint manipulation to perform Work as opposed to Type-II muscle fiber. This gives us many advantages that I will not get into now.  So I completely understood what he meant by “wiggly.” But what was the powerful knee about? Well, he continued to elaborate.

He explained that the fact that I was employing PRAMEK principles made it difficult for him to anticipate my movement. But what really impressed him, his words, was how powerful my knee thrusts were. He told me how it takes years of training to recruit the bio-mechanics needed for explosive knee strikes found in Muay Thai. He was baffled that I was able to use my knees the way that I did within the first 5 minutes of his instruction. Since I also happen to be his kettlebell coach, he DIRECTLY attributed my proficiency with knee strikes to my kettlebell work. He noticed how explosive my kettlebell Swing was when I demonstrated the exercise earlier, especially in the power generated by my hips. He shook his head and stated “All my students will now have to learn the kettlebell Swing and use it often!” I was honored by his accolades but was not at all surprised by his praise of the kettlebell; specifically the Swing.

Kettlebells have opened many doors for me and this was just another affirmation to bring that point home. Kettlebell work just seems to give people attributes that would be otherwise unattainable; at the very least it would take Much Longer with traditional training.

Below is a video of me demonstrating various exercises from our “Kettlebells for Combatives” series. This is advanced work but it is still mainly based off of the kettlebell Swing. Take a look, tell us your thoughts and “it ALL Starts with the Kettlebell Swing!”

<==Click HERE TO Learn More About My Force Factor Kettlebell Program!==>

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