Category Archives: kettlebell

In the Wild Geese Shop

Well we’ve just taken delivery of a stock of Kettlebells.
We decided to order them in as we noticed the quality of bells available locally was dire, and getting gradually worse. So we did some homework and organised a small “trial” order.

And they are class! Simply the best I’ve used!

After looking at the maths I’ve decided we can sell them at €2.50 per kilo. A full €1/kg cheaper than the ones I was buying previously.

Sizes available are (in KG’s) :
4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24
Stocks are limited until we have a follow up order sorted out.
Future stock will include a full range of Competition style kettlebells as well as heavier standard bells (see the 40kg pictured)

Also available from the Wild Geese shop are:

Eskrima Sticks
Wooden Training Knives (hand made in the Gambia by our African representative, Samir)
Training T-Shirts (€12)
No Equipment, No Excuses – Bodyweight exercise manual (€15)
Hop over to or drop us an email on
Wild Geese
+353 87 672 6090
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No Sh1t Sherlock!

I just saw a news headline on the TV ticker tape thing, now before I go off on a rant, I only read the headline, I haven’t heard the entire story.

I don’t think I need to.

The headline went:
“Probation officers are at risk of violence”

Surely thats like saying “Ducks are at risk of getting wet”

Let me think, who else is at risk of violence……

A&E Nurses and other hospital staff
Bus drivers
Prison officers
Taxi Drivers
Publicans and their staff
Bank employees
Social workers
Retail and other security guards
The Homeless
Anybody using an ATM
Kids with glasses
Kids with ginger hair
Kids with braces, in fact any kid that is a little different
The elderly or infirm (yes there are cruel bstrds out there)
Any Joe Soap in the wrong place at the wrong time

The list really does go on.

What gets my goat is that nobody wants to do anything about it.
When I asked a student of mine who is a respected member of the Irish Police Force (Gardai) about the training he received in Garda college, he laughed at me. it turns out their self defence and control & restraint training is considered a standing joke.

When I enquired further he alluded to the truth. Now to be clear, this is how I interpreted what he said, these are not his words, they are mine:
The powers that be would rather pay one of their own sick leave than pay a scumbags legal claim, therfore self defence/martial arts training is discouraged.

Is that incredible or what?!?!

Now what about the poor probation officers?
They like the rest of us need to take our sefety into our own hands. Nobody is going to look after us, it is up to ourselves to decide wether to be victims or not.
By going out and getting trained, you are choosing not.

Whatever flavour of training catches you imagination, be it lifting heavy kettlebells, swinging Eskrima sticks, rolling with BJJ, Kickboxing or the brutality of Kenpo, it is of little difference.
The end result is that you will have strength, speed, skill and knowledge with which to tackle a violent aggressor.

We are all at risk of violence, it is just that some professions bring us closer to it than others, but every friday and saturday night the streets get a little rougher.

Don’t bury your head in the sand, learn to take care of yourself and ensure you are able to get home safely to your family, whatever you do for a living.


Wild Geese

Valentin Dikul – Kettlebell strongman

A circus acrobat, Valentin took a bad fall and broke his back when he was seventeen. Dikul said no to the wheel-chair and painstakingly rehabilitated himself, largely with the help of his trusted kettlebells. But he did not stop there. He proceeded to become a great circus strongman juggling 80kg kettlebells and a powerlifter with mind-boggling lifts at sixty-something years of age!

More on Dikul here:

Kettlebell Foundation Workshop

All Ireland Kettlebell Lifting Federation


Kettlebell Foundation Workshop
Jason Kelly

Sat 25th Oct at 13:00hrs
At the
Wild Geese Martial Arts Academy,
14-16 Magennis Place, Dublin 2 (map)

€60 / £45 per head
The course will focus on Competition lifts & sports specific exercises for the combat athlete.
All done a base foundational level
Wild Geese
every cause but our own

MaxBells Iceland, Ireland’s next!!

This is taken directly from Steve Maxwell’s Blog (, hopefully it will wet your appetite for his planned visit to Dublin, Ireland.
If I can get the numbers for it I will not just hold a training seminar but will arrange for a certification program for all the more experienced kettlebell lifters and coaches around.
Now read on to find out what it’s all about:

On an especially beautiful Icelandic weekend, 8 & 9 August, the fourth Maxbells Teacher Certification was held in Reykjavik.
The response was overwhelming!
The students left glowing testimonials:

* What I liked the most was how it was organized. Steve is the best teacher I’ve had in fitness and he explained and talked us through it all. The course was fantastic and filled every expectation I had…and more. – Hilmar Arnarson

* What I liked the most was how detailed the workouts were, they were very well explained and every question about them was answered. A very strong and hard seminar–loved it. Kettlebells rock and Steve Maxwell is af**king tough guy. – Haraldur Oli

* I liked that we didn’t beat the basics to death. I loved the joint mobility and Steve’s knowledge of the body and anatomy and his ability to teach people who have no idea about what’s inside the body and how it moves (or should) the way it does. Top-notch training from one of the world’s best coaches. – Chad Keilen

The MaxBells Certification is the new kid on the block: it’s where teachers come to learn. Unlike other certifications, which primarily work with technique and improving one’s personal skill, the MaxBells Certification prepares you to teach and become a leader in the classroom or on the training floor. All aspects of goal-setting, the client interview, workout construction, teaching styles, classroom organization and that paramount, client retention, are fully covered.
A MaxBells Certification graduate takes leave from the seminar with confidence, because the course provides the exact tools he or she needs to succeed as a teacher of group or private kettlebell classes. Actually, the people who gain the most are those coming in from the other certifying bodies–the RKCs and AKCs–this course fills in the sizable gaps left between. I’ve recently expanded my material and covered two full days of kettlebell goodness in Reykjavik. If you’re interested in becoming a kettlebell instructor, look no further. If you’re already using kettlebells as a coach, teacher or trainer, this course will greatly benefit you. Everyone leaves with a tremendous amount of knowledge ready to be put into action and new, original ideas.

While the emphasis is on learning teaching, already existing kettlebell skills are refined, an instructor-candidate must exhibit a high standard of competency in order to become certified. Certificates will not be issued to candidates unable to demonstrate this competency .

At the end of the course, on the last page of our manual, everyone is requested to answer three questions:
What did you like about the course?
What didn’t you like about the course?
What will you tell others about the course?
The answers from four certifications have proven to me I’m teaching the right stuff.
Come to the cert and judge for yourself! I hope to be to welcome you to the next Maxbells Certification Sunday 21 September at Maxercise in Philadelphia.
Contact Alma at the Maxercise front desk (215.928.1374) if you’d like to register, or email

This is my last East Coast certification for the 2008! I’ll be making my way out west, via in Cleveland, Ireland(!), Toronto and Portland, then down to the SF Bay area, so if you want to get together, email me and let’s get together for some memorable times. It all depends on what you consider fun…

Cleveland OH 11/12 October/KB Basics + BJJ
Ireland tba
Toronto 1/2 November/BJJ + Conditioning weekend
Portland 9 November/MaxBells Cert

More about Iceland! The Icelanders proved to be star students: incredibly attentive, courteous, and always enthusiastic. The Icelandic public education system is second-to-none and every participant, at least grammatically, had better English skills than most North Americans! I so enjoyed working out those Vikings! My hosts, Gudjon Swannson and his enchanting (and wildly strong) wife, Vala Mork, Iceland’s Kettlebell QUEEN–a true Valkyrie–were flawless. Every detail of organization, venue and set-up (not to mention hospitality) was superb. Gudjon has a most-enviable strength-to-weight ratio and an unstoppable physical prowess all wrapped up beneath the demeanor of a wise Viking chieftain.
I’ve always identified as part Viking and felt quite at home on this beautiful island.
For those who can’t make the upcoming Philly cert, I’ll be presenting a Level 1 Kettlebell Workshop Saturday 13 September in San Jose CA at Frank Shamrock’s gym. It’s going to be a terrific time, the house is full, but we’ll make some room if you’re motivated to acquire the basics.
What You Will Learn at the Level 1 Kettlebell Workshop
Why the One-Arm Clean & Jerk may be the ultimate strength-endurance and cardio exercise
How to use kettlebell training to improve mobility and athleticism
The most overlooked attributes in physical training
Four workouts from the DVD:
Cruel and Unusual 2
The Maxwell 300 series, Spartan-style kettlebell workout
How to balance the shoulder girdle with pull-up power
Kettlebell complexes:
Get-up and Go
Between Heaven and Hell
Kettlebells for fat-loss and extreme muscular definition
The Omelette for superior cardio conditioning
Circular movements with kettlebells, for total core-conditioning
Kettlebell workout construction and design
Recovery and restoration techniques
Hormonal balance and control for youthful vigor
If I say so myself, just reading over the above, it’s going to be one hell of a day! You are guaranteed satisfaction with the material…here’s what people have generously written so far:
I’d like to mention how extremely pleased I am with your coaching. Your unrelenting focus on my weakest links shows me the true value of having a coach, of having an experienced guide leading me each step of the way. I’m only now beginning to understand that it really is “how you put it together.” – John Bendorf
Just wanted to express my thanks for your seminar this weekend. I am sore beyond belief, but that’s good! Thanks for taking the time for personal instruction and answering my training questions. The seminar and yourself are very motivational. I came away from the seminar with a very changed perspective on fitness. – Sonny Ritscher
I have trained with several coaches in the past, including a former strength coach of a pro football team, and while a few were excellent, I’ve had the best results under your guidance-thanks for all your help. – Steven Fink, MDEnjoy the clip of the Reverse Turkish Get-Up–look at those Vikings go!

In Strength & Health,
posted by Steve Maxwell at 2:39 PM on Aug 21, 2008

Frank Shamrock, Swiss Balls and Kettlebells

Here’s a great video montage showing the UFC legend Frank Shamrock going about his business.

A couple of things caught my eye during the clip, one is the fluidity and grace with which he moves and the other is the kettlebell exercises, Alternating floor press, Renegade Rows and Hand to Hand Swings, all firm favorites of mine.


Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Training with 7 Times World Kettlebell Chamo, Vasily Ginko

This is a pic of me with the 7 times World Kettlebell Lifting Champion Vasily Ginko.

And I have to tell you he’s a real gentleman, if i was as big and powerful as this lad, I’d be a bad bugger!!

Joking aside, this lad is the real deal, I thought I knew my way around a kettlebell, but was shown a whole new world over the course of the weekend.

Vasily showed us the competition lifts, building them up in layers of detail, far more than you’ll get in any book or youtube footage, various juggling techniques and a whole range of supplemental exercises for strength, power, power endurance and stamina.

As an unexpected bonus we were all (I think there were 7 of us) given a manual to back up all the info given.

The weekend was also the kick off for the All Ireland Kettlebell Lifting Federation (AIKLF) which is affiliated to the International Union of Kettlebell lifters (check out The AIKLF is hoping to field a team in the 2009 amature games held in Latvia, while the IUKL is campaigning to have the sport entered into the Olympics.

It seem kettlebells are much more than the “fad” so many of it’s detractors are calling it.

I hope to have a full report on when I get the rest of the photo’s in from the rest of the gang.

A big thanks to Vasily and to Jason King for organising the event.

All the Best


Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Sweep the leg. Do you have a problem with that?

It’s on TV now, I’m sat here mucking around online while the missus is sat flicking through TV channels, guess what she found, hang on it’s the final……..

……………Go on Danny Laruso!! That’s right, The Karate Kid!

Anyway back to the point, 21 years ago I was sat on the sofa, aged 10 watching this same film. Within the month I was training. I had joined the local karate school (St Martins Jnr Karate Club, under Sensei Jack Parker) and finally started something.

This had a major effect me. Karate was one of the few things I really stuck at as a kid. As I grew up, all the other lads grew out, I was a beanpole. While I cycled everywhere, I wasn’t strong. Around the time I was 16/17, Jack turned to me and said that if I wanted to continue improving to black belt standard and to stand a chance in the tournaments.

As a result I asked my mates on the school rowing squad if I could join their gym sessions, they asked their coach and a new era started.

We had two gym sessions per week, the lads obviously had other sessions out on the water, I ran and practiced karate. Plus we’d meet once or twice a week for a session on the ergo’s (what we called the concept 2 rowers, still my machine of choice)
One session was “light day” consisting of Pyramids, the other session was “Heavy day” using 3×10. The exercises were always:
Leg Press, Bench Pull, Power Cleans and bench press. I think that was all, there were certainly no isolation’s!

It’s the warm ups i really liked though. A 20 minute circuit that would make Steve Maxwell blanch, then onto the weights.

Now, I realise it wasn’t the most scientific training we could have done, but we got results!
I put on a little weight, but got much much stronger with conditioning to match, got my black belt and fought for my country. The rowing squad were in the top 15 in the country.

When I need to train up for something these days, I always look back to those days, my first gym experience. Although I know much more now, it was the heart and soul we put into the training, it was the basic exercise selection, it was the high intensity circuits.

I look around the Gym I work in and see the girlie boys spending over an hour trying to get from a b cup to a c cup while I’m in and out in less than an hour, full body done, heavy weights moved and heart in the mouth intense cardio ( I like to finish with a 4 minute tabata after a strength workout). I could never get my head around bodybuilding.

I got into training to improve my martial arts, I continue training to improve not only my martial arts but everything else I do. If strength isn’t functional can it truly be called strength?

Fuck it, the sun’s shining, the Karate Kid won his fight and I’m in the mood to get out into the garden and do some training of my own. Bodyweight only, cos I took my Kettlebells to the gym.

Lets go


Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Kettlebell Classes

I am now based in Jackie Skelly Fitness, Clarendon St, D2, behind Brown Thomas. Although you’ll still find me in the Martial Arts Academy a couple of times a week.

The manager at Jackie Skelly has asked me t put on an 8 week course on Kettlebell training. I said yes.
So I’m doing a free session on Monday the 19th at 1315pm, the course proper starts on the 2nd June, also a monday and again in the lunch time slot of 1315pm for approx 45mins.

Places are strictly limited, I like small classes so evrone gets the best instruction. The class will be aimed at beginners so don’t worry about your fitness level. You will warm up, learn a lift then practice the lift in a work out. As the course goes on there will be less learning and more training.
Contact me direct on 087 672 6090, or or call the gym on 01 6770040 to enquire further. There’s more detail here

Oh and nearly forgot, everyone who attends this first course will also recieve a free 1hour personal training session with me, to be taken withing the 8 weeks that the course runs.

See you there


Wild Geese
any cause but our own

80% of Fights End Up On The Floor

True. But don’t forget that 90% start on the feet.

The truth is, if you’re awareness has failed and you find yourself in a situation that you can’t talk yourself out of, the chances are you’re on your feet (as are the antagonists).

This is where preemptive striking, power and accuracy will come into play. You want to know that when you make contact, it counts. The ground is the last place you want to be.

For this reason the majority of traditional martial arts are all stand up based, including kenpo and eskrima. Many Filipino’s have a very simple viewpoint of ground fighting, if you see people doing it, go over and stab one of them, or kick a few heads.

Does this mean we shouldn’t learn grappling, absolutely not. It is a very valuable skill, and great conditioning, but it is far from being the be all and end all I often see it touted as.

You won’t see finer grappling than in the octagon of the UFC. But on many occasions I’ve heard discussions with various mma’ers that go the way of “but most fights go to ground……”, “submissions are best….” etc, please note I hold mma in the highest regard and have a few of my own students actively involved in mma. But on the street these arguments are highly flawed.

My personal favorite UFC fighter is the former champion and UFC legend, Chuck Liddel.


He fights similar to a street fighter, avoiding going to ground and instead preferring to knock out the majority of his opponents. That and the fact that he’s also a Kenpo man. Chuck has great takedown defence and awesome striking power.

Rolling on the ground is great training, but do so for more than a second or two outside and you’ll have people putting the boot in on you from all sides. Submissions on the street are dangerous, it is much safer to strike with all you have and get the hell out of dodge.

Spend time on the heavy bag, incorporate power training (kettlebells are great for this), learn to hit from any angle with all your natural weapons (hammer fist, palm, knuckles, forearms, elbows etc..)with no wind up and full hip and body involvement. Train to strike from compromised positions where you have no space to swing, no leverage from your legs or one limb disabled.

And train to be accurate and relentless.

Wild Geese
any cause but our own