I was fortunate enough to have fellow team member and friend Chris Duffin and his team out to TPS last weekend for the Kabuki Movement KMS Level 1 certification seminar.

This seminar is a beast at 3 days long and was loaded with a massive amount of quality information; so much so that I can’t remember at least half.
That’s ok. Chris has all of it for reference in the outline that goes along with and on his site.
Where do I begin?
How about Friday?
Chris and the crew came in early to train, and there was whiskey and deadlifts obviously.
I did my planned training session, but Chris went off the books and hit an insane set of RDL’s with 765 for a few reps.


We got Kubuked., KMS, Elite FTS, CJ Murphy, KAbuki
The seminar began at 3:00 p.m. and we had a full, sold out house.
On Friday we covered breathing, bracing and assessments of both. Chris’s team did an outstanding job of presenting the material in an organized, clear and concise way that was easy to understand.
But not to remember though, there was a lot!
A word on his team.
I knew they would be good, but they exceeded my expectations.
They were mostly young coaches too, and that was a surprise. I was impressed to see how good they were at their ages. Most under 30 from what I could tell.
Let me tell you, if you think you know how to brace and generate tension you are probably wrong.
They really go over this and get you to maximize it. I was pleased to learn that I was pretty good at it, and they didn’t make any corrections on my bracing. I did however, learn a few new tricks and cues to make my clients do it better.
We also saw, to a large degree that most people brace ok, but miss the oblique portion of it. His team did an excellent job of correcting this.
Rooting into the ground was also covered at length and explained very well.
We’ve been coaching this for many years in a manner very similar to how it is done in the KMS system, but not exactly.
What I found, at least for me, is that the root technique I use may have been exacerbating the issues and pain in my hip.
With some simple adjustments, the pain I my hip began to dissipate quickly. If you follow my logs, you know that I have not been able to squat or pull from the floor for quite a while without crippling pain.
To get relief in a matter of hours from small adjustments made me want to bang my head off the wall and jump for joy at the same time. I asked myself why didn’t I think of this, and how did I let it get to this point?
I’ve tried just about everything you can to get it better including:


  • Massage
  • Art/Graston
  • Acumobility work
  • RPR
  • Be Activated
  • Mobilizations
  • And more.

I think all of this added up to getting me to where I am lately. Over the past few weeks, my pain has been lower than it has in a few years. I think the KMS stuff was the final piece of the puzzle that I just couldn’t find.
I left Day 1 with guided optimism, and no limp……….

We got Kubuked., KMS, Elite FTS, CJ Murphy, KAbuki

Day 2 had lecture and breakout groups on the system and how to apply it to the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift.

That really doesn’t tell you much. To really describe it I’d need 10,000 words or more and no one wants to read a log that long.
Suffice to say it was thorough and it gave me many tools to bring to my coaching and my team.
After the seminar we all went out to one of my favorite spots, the 8/10 Bar and Grill and drank some Guinness and Jameson. I always say the best part of a seminar is the dinner after.
This is was no exception.
We kept it an early night as we had to be on our A game Sunday morning.


Day 3:

Day 3 was a little lecture and lots of training.
They covered how to apply all that we learned to performing and coaching the 3 lifts.
I was cautiously optimistic about actually squatting.
My plan was to take the bar.
Just the bar.
As we went through, I added a little weight (95) and had no pain.
Cassandra, one of the coaches suggested going a little heavier so I went to 135.
I hit 2 reps at 135. Neither was to full depth, but I HAD NO PAIN.
Instead of being an asshole, I kept the weight there and did another set, and got DEEPER.
Still no pain.


I decided to do what I would have a client do, and stop.
This was a huge WIN for me. Will I be able to squat again?
I don’t know.
I am more concerned with ambulation (being able to walk) than squatting right now, but if this system gets me there, maybe I’ll try squatting again in a few weeks or months. For now, I am getting my ass to work on the things that will get me pain free.
On to the bench.
I didn’t try anything heavy, rather I worked at 225 and let them make some adjustments.
The biggest one was my rooting and foot positioning.
The changes they made allowed me to move 225 with zero pain and I was much tighter.
Another win.
I was very optimistic here that I would be able to pull from the floor.
I was wrong.
First set at 135, it lit up like a firecracker.
I moved it up onto pins in the rack and did a few pulls at 135 with less pain than usual, but still some.
We agreed that the areas that were compromised were fatigued and going back to faulty patterns so I stopped and coached.
I do think that when Friday comes around this week and I pull, I’ll be able to get closer to the floor as the fatigue level will not be present in the amount it was here.
They wrapped up Day 3 with a Q&A.

Thoughts on the KMS seminar:

♣ One thing I really like about this is that you don’t just attend and get a piece of paper.
You must complete an assignment with a client and video it and write up what/why you did  to correct their movement in order to be certified.
♣ I also liked the fact that there were more similarities in our system (TPS Method) than differences with theirs. Chris also agreed that he felt we were doing things very well. It’s not that I care what someone thinks of how I do things.
I don’t need validation.
I do care that we are giving our clients the best product that we can on all bases, from warmup to movement to lifting and recovery. Having someone whose opinion you value agree is good.
I value Chris’s opinion.
♣ Another thing I like is that Chris does not fall to dogma. We are similar in that way.
Chris told me that he was surprised to see that I wasn’t married to one system. I explained that I use the JKD concept of looking at EVERYTHING and finding out what works and what doesn’t, and then applying what works, and tossing what doesn’t.
He said he uses a similar method.
Don’t get stuck in dogma.
Keep an open mind. This will apply to the younger coaches a lot. Many young coaches look at what they learned in school and what is shown in studies.
Just because it’s in a study or a college curriculum does not mean it is the only outcome or option.
See what applies in the real world and talk to experienced people.
Remember that old story about how a bumble bee can’t fly according to engineers?
They can.
A study is meant to prove or disprove a theory, not necessarily to find the truth in many cases.
Wrap Up:
I noticed that on Sunday morning when I woke up, I got out of bed.
That’s it. I just got out of bed.
This may seem like a ridiculous statement, but I don’t just get out of bed.
It’s a very elaborate procedure that has been choreographed and has a lot of steps.
It’s also a very stiff and painful experience. (That’s what she said.)
Every day since then, I have simply gotten out of bed.

Like a normal person would.
This is almost unbelievable to me.
I also am not limping and have almost no pain in my hip.
I am now 5 days out from the seminar and the pain is dissipating every day.

I think with 4-6 weeks of diligent application of what I have learned I will see massive improvements in gait, decreased pain, increased feeling of wellbeing (as result of the reduction in pain), and an increase in strength.
If you get the opportunity to attend one of Chris’s seminars, do it.
The value received far exceeds the fee.
That is the highest recommendation I can give.
And, I squatted 135.

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Vincere vel mori