Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"How would you define mastery of the basics?"

A great question from Sean on my last blog post about the RKC Level 2 and it deserves an answer.

Does a boxer ever stop perfecting his/her Jab?
Does a Martial Artist ever stop perfecting his/her stance or front kick?
Does a Kettlebell athlete or trainer every stop perfecting his/her swing?

I have made the observation before that there is a difference between swinging a kettlebell and knowing how to perform the kettlebell swing.

Everyone can appreciate the level of dedication and pursuit of perfection that Tiger Woods has placed on his golf swing, putting stroke etc... The comment..."He plays at another level" is often applied to Tiger's game. Obviously there is a difference between swinging a golf club and knowing how to swing a golf club.
But do you pursue the same level of perfection and achievement in your goal activity?
Or do you "workout"?

When I refer to mastery of the basics it is this level of pursuit that I am referring to.
I learn a bit more every time I pick up a kettlebell - sometimes it is what not to do - sometimes it is an enhancement that elevates the swing or snatch to a new level for me.

And that is just the personal physical and mental pursuit of my own mastery of the tool.

There is a whole other level of mastery for teaching and training others where the personal mastery of the principles is molded and adapted to the individual. Skill in assessing the person to be trained and trying to remove the negatives before piling on the "good stuff" and then guiding and developing that individuals mastery of the activity.

Too dramatic? Too "over done"?
Perhaps - but not to someone striving for mastery.

I demand this of myself and expect it from fellow RKCs.


Boris said...

I read a book entitled "Mastery" recently. Great, great book - echoes a lot of what you just said.

Here is a wonderful blog post about the book (unfortunately not from my blog): http://fwconsulting.blogspot.com/2006/06/mastery-and-plateau.html

Franz Snideman said...

Well said Brett!

Time for me to get back to the basics....thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

yes!! i agree brett!! no need to create more "fluff", because the best is the basics...must master!! good stuff!!

Scott Storey said...

Great post! When Rob Lawrence and Sarah laurie troubleshot my Swing technique everything else became easier. Snatch numbers went up, TGU's didn't feel as heavy or disjointed and deadlift poundage increased. It can't be repeated enough to clean up the basics.


Rita Nemeth, RKC said...

I like your posts especially because they are so much up to the point that usually one cannot add anything - just agree.
Looking forward to the October Cert - will be a great honor to learn from you, even if from another perspective as that of the RKC candidates.
Until then: I work hard on the basics :-)

Unknown said...

Brett, could I swing for you at I-phase?

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Boris - i will have to check that book out.

thanks Franz.

thank Alan.

Thanks Scott - a wide foundation leads to a higher peak.

Thanks Rita -I look forward to working with you in October.

Thanks Tim - we can certainly get some swings in at I phase.

Iron Tamer said...

The definition of Mastery is finding depth in the fundamantals.

Gabi said...

This is an excellent statement and a big help for me, thank you, Sir.

Ever since I started working with kettlebells, I've been sticking to the same maybe ten basic exercises. People keep asking why and if it's not boring... Easy to say "No" but hard to put the point into words. Before the Cert it didn't bother me much, but now I feel I owe my clients some explanation. Now I have a great source to refer to.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Dave and Gaby

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