Kettlebell SFG I & II Questions

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Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
1. I have two 24kg bells which look different. One is regular with black finish and the other a "competition" kettlebell, so larger, and it is green. Can I use them for the test?
2. Given their importance in the two gradings, are snatching 100 times in 5 minutes and pressing half my bodyweight the "ultimate" kettlebell skills according to SF philosophy? (I.e., even though I'm focussing on S&S, I should aim for these if I'm a "real" kettlebeller?)
3. There are moves in the gradings that are not in the main recommended programs in the SF system. Is the thinking that these moves (such as the windmill for instance) are useful only for specific, particular reasons, such as for giving nuanced strength for particular sports, or for physical therapy, but are otherwise not recommended?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
@Kozushi , good questions. I hope you do the certifications. On your questions:

1. You use the bells at the hosting location. These are almost always the standard black iron bells, such as Perform Better brand.

2. I think these milestones ensure that we have spent a lot of time in pursuit of mastery. A lot of valuable lessons are learned along the way. Yes, they do make you a more experienced kettlebeller than S&S, though S&S and ROP are good base-builders for them.

3. The SFG II testable skills (windmill, bent press, push press, jerk, and double snatch) are not seen as often in programs, true. They do teach some more nuanced lessons about the kettlebell. They aren't as directly applicable as the SFG I skills (swing, clean, press, snatch, squat, and get-up), but they take the kettlebell mastery a little deeper and can be useful in various ways. I used the push press, C&J, and double snatch in A+A repeats. The windmill taught me some new ways to think about the get-up. The bent press helped my t-spine mobility. I can't say I've used the SFG II moves as much as SFG I, either for myself or my students, but I was glad to learn them and expand the repertoire of skills. They make good spice for other main dishes.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
One thing to remember about the SF system is that it is geared for strength. This sounds obvious, but all the "main" dishes (as well as the way they are coached) have been chosen for a reason - to increase strength. Other exercises within the repertoire are accessory/ancillary/specialized variety because they help the main lifts. A great is example is the way the handstand pushup is taught - it is taught because when performed in SF standards, it helps the overhead press. It's not taught as a gymnastics lift, where different body alignment is worth style points. This is neither bad or good; it depends on the goals. I'm also guessing why there is not much on olympic weightlifting within the curriculum, as that is a more power or strength-speed quality. That being said, SF's system can set an amazing foundation should you pursue that.

I'm not management, but I don't think there is a "holy grail" or ultimate exercise that says one is "real kettlebeller". Depending on your goal, SF has tons of proven options with different tools to attain it.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
@Kozushi , good questions. I hope you do the certifications. On your questions:

1. You use the bells at the hosting location. These are almost always the standard black iron bells, such as Perform Better brand.

2. I think these milestones ensure that we have spent a lot of time in pursuit of mastery. A lot of valuable lessons are learned along the way. Yes, they do make you a more experienced kettlebeller than S&S, though S&S and ROP are good base-builders for them.

3. The SFG II testable skills (windmill, bent press, push press, jerk, and double snatch) are not seen as often in programs, true. They do teach some more nuanced lessons about the kettlebell. They aren't as directly applicable as the SFG I skills (swing, clean, press, snatch, squat, and get-up), but they take the kettlebell mastery a little deeper and can be useful in various ways. I used the push press, C&J, and double snatch in A+A repeats. The windmill taught me some new ways to think about the get-up. The bent press helped my t-spine mobility. I can't say I've used the SFG II moves as much as SFG I, either for myself or my students, but I was glad to learn them and expand the repertoire of skills. They make good spice for other main dishes.
1. That is convenient! EXCELLENT!
2. That answers my question perfectly! I hadn't figured this out on my own. In other words, S&S and ROP are excellent for the "layman" but if you're dedicated to the art of the kettlebell, you go further, and this "further" is the SFG system. I get it! - I get the impression that there is not only one way to train for the SFG tests nor as an SFG qualified specialist. I suppose though that one must ensure one can do all the testable lifts in sequence at any time when called upon to do so, ... so this means training each move more than the test requires.
3. Again, this answers my question PERFECTLY! Thank you! Speaking of the windmill, there is what I call a "half windmill" in the TGU, but the windmill takes this movement further as it is much larger. As a judoka I can attest to the usefulness of the windmill strength for my sport. The SFG II guidelines having you do three of them in a row is a useful way to understand them - I would not have thought of sets of 3 as being ideal. That's super!

The SF Bodyweight certifications also fascinate me. The barbell is a different world, however.
 

Ian V

Level 5 Valued Member
@Kozushi - this set off an interesting train of thought for me. You and I are both Judokas and if we think about what we use in contest it is only a very small part of what is available in Judo as a wider art. I know many good fighters who could never perform a half decent Nage no Kata let alone the full Gokyu. Does this make them a lesser or incomplete Judoka or is the technical perfect person less of a person for not being involved in competition. It's all about preferences at a time and focusing your attention on what you want to be good at.

Just a thought.

Best regards

Ian
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 7 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
to expound on #2

I wouldn't say "ultimate" it just means you have done the work and have built a solid base of strength and conditioning making you stronger than the average person.

one example, if you are gonna attend an SFG cert and know both the snatch test and half bodyweight press are in the bag, wouldn't that mean you can spend more time further honing other skills throughout the weekend?
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
@Kozushi - this set off an interesting train of thought for me. You and I are both Judokas and if we think about what we use in contest it is only a very small part of what is available in Judo as a wider art. I know many good fighters who could never perform a half decent Nage no Kata let alone the full Gokyu. Does this make them a lesser or incomplete Judoka or is the technical perfect person less of a person for not being involved in competition. It's all about preferences at a time and focusing your attention on what you want to be good at.

Just a thought.

Best regards

Ian
An example of this is newaza. Newaza is very important for competition, but not really the starting on the knees kind of newaza randori that we do in the club. Nevertheless, you need to be good at this kind of randori to really consider yourself a good all round judoka; same for being able to perform all the throws regardless of whether or not you can pull them off in competitions or not.

Yes, thank you for the perspective.

Still, there is a spectrum that one must fall inside of in order to consider oneself as a decent judoka, and I am trying to find that spectrum for kettlebelling also. While doing 100 swings 3 times a week might be a decent minimum of exercise for the average person, someone trying to get in very fit shape (if not super fit shape) would be doing more than this. If SF (whom I trust as the IJF of kettlebells) has `the big 6` movements, there must be something important about them and I should train them somehow, regularly. S&S is the base, but I think I ought to work the other moves too. Focussing on health and exercise is very important for a long, healthy, happy life.
 
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