I just got back from assisting at the San Jose 2010 RKC. Awesome experience as usual.Here are some very quick thoughts from the experience:
1) The RKC system is ever evolving. As great as the teaching was at my original certification, it was two years SHARPER at this one. I was especially impressed with the how much the teaching of the swing and the turkish get up have been honed. The first day alone was dedicated to mastering these two exercises. As Jeff O'Conner said, if you don't have the get up mastered, you will not be able to RECEIVE the instruction of the other exercises. The teaching of the exercises was predicated on "AHA" exercise that make execution virtually automatic.
2) I said in my review of the last cert that it was amazing that some people were not prepared for the snatch test. I would say that pass/fail stats were similar this year. I believe that the current test (100 snatches in 5:00) is a little bit easier to prepare for and pass then the previous test (x number of consecutive snatches with only one hand swing). Not only that, I think the old test is more forgiving of faults in your snatch (casting, bell resting too high at the top, raising the shoulder, minimal hip action). I expressed this though at the RKC, and it was pointed out to me that the snatch test is really like a "cover charge" at a bar. It is not meant to keep people out, but serve to show that people have a minimum amount of shoulder mobility, conditioning, and time under their belt to be instructors. I am fine with that. That being said, it is still inexcusable to not be prepared for this if you are spending over $1000 for the certification.
3) I was amazed at the number of safety violations that I saw. I don't know how many times that I had to move bells because they posed a danger to those participating. It is this simple, DON'T CONTEND WITH SPACE WITH A KETTLEBELL.
4) As we get more certifications in more parts of the country, they are going to be more localized. There was definitely a California feel to this cert. A VERY HIGH percentage of people drove to this certification (some as far as 14 hours). Again, this is a good thing, but if there was anything that stood out from this certification, this was it. Also, with the effective cost of the certification goes down since many don't have to pay for airlines, hotels, lost work days, and meals. This also means that you are more likely to see more reschedules and the cost of quitting also goes down.
5) One thing that I will say: The RKC community is getting stronger. Not only the people, but also the amount of collateral that there is. There have been so many quality books and DVDs produced since 2007. I was like a kid in the candy store.
6) Marcus Martinez (RKC/Orange County, CA) got some club bells. I got to try them with David Cohn (RKC/Pheonix, AZ). All I have to say is "WOW!" If you want to work on your shoulder and wrist mobility, check these out. You can get them off of the Dragon Door site. Get the video, because the exercises are not in the least self-explanatory.
7) Even though I was an assistant, I learned a lot from the students. Many of them have big training businesses and/or are experts in their discipline. I picked the brains of as many people as I could. That being said, when you are an assistant, you also have more access to the Team Leaders and Pavel, and you can't put a price tag on that.
8) During the instructors' meetings, the Team Leaders are interested in what you have to say. That is really a big deal. Also, you pick up a lot of real interesting things. One instance I really remember is watching the Technique Competition with David Whitley. He really had an eye for what to look for.
9) Basic KB stuff, if you are demonstrating a kettlebell exercise for a client, watch your head position. A lot of times, technique flaws can simply be fixed by correcting the head position. Also, if the head position is not correct, exercise execution is very hard to correct. "Look at" cues are some of the best. Just like dysfunction often flows from the head down, so do improper kettlebell mechanics. Fix the head first.
10) Another basic, use what you learned. There is a reason that it was being taught. During the Instruction portion of the cert, a number of students did not use the drills they were taught, and would tell the person what to fix. Use the "Aha" drills that you were taught. Plus, they make you look smart.
11) Also, a KB that is too light is just as bad as one that is too heavy. If you don't believe me, watch a kettlenetics or KettleWorx video. For those of you that train female clients, don't tell them how much something weighs, it doesn't matter.