Category: people

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We have been talking about karlakattai for at least 2 years. Our pahlavandle XL was the first club we produced inspired by this club swinging practice. So it was about time more people discovered the traditions of this ancient practice.

We were lucky to talk to Karthik Vilwanathan who is studying under Sir Jothi Senthil  Kannan, his “guru”, or “the one who helps remove ignorance”. Sir Jothi resides in Tamil Nadu, where he is keeping the traditions well alive with his school, workshops and book on the subject.

For those who still do not know what karlakattai is, and how different to Persian meels and British club swinging, here’s a quick breadown.

Karlakattai is a holistic health practice based on swinging wooden clubs. there are 5 types of clubs, plus one specifically for women.
The designs of clubs are based on their purpose, and shaped to the morphology of the practitioner.

Clubs are swung as single club with 1 or 2 hands, and also swung in pairs. 

Out of the 64 types of Karlakattai suttrus  (swings or rotations), only 4 are done with double clubs. 10 of those swings are done with both hand on a single club. The rest are done single handed, often time switching hands from side to side as 1 repetition.

And now, we leave it to Karthik to tell us more.

If you’d rather just listen to it than watch the whole thing, Click here to listen or save the mp3 file.

Our discussion with Karthik  covers many subjects:

  • 3:10 How common place are karklakattai in India
  • 5:20 Influence of western culture in Indian
  • 6:50 How did you re-discover karlakattai
  • 10:15 Your first set of Indian clubs
  • 12:00 Sir Jothi Senthil Kannan
  • 13:20 Cultural identity
  • 18:55 What did you notice since you started karlakattai practice
  • 23:05 Learning process & preparation
  • 25:20 Traditional Indian club exercises
  • 27:35 Daily practice
  • 29:00 How do other people react to karlakattai
  • 33:48 Six different types of karlakattai, starting weight & progressions
  • 47:50 Heavy clubs practice versus competition aspects
  • 50:00 The reasons behind barefoot training
  • 52:55 Favorite suttrus/ swings
  • 55:50 Training philosophy & guidelines
  • 58:48 Kusthi training versus karlakattai
  • 1:00:10 Breathing
  • 1:04:35 Workshops

Get in touch with Karthik:

https://www.facebook.com/karthik.vilwanathan https://www.instagram.com/karthik.vilwanathan/
https://karlakattai.com/

The 2 videos below show examples of karlakattai suttrus.

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Let me introduce our Canadian ambassador, Mark Robson, who runs a fitness studio called MeFirstFitness in Toronto. At Mefirstfitness, the instructor crew specializes in group fitness with 45 classes a week, one on one personal training and weight loss challenges. 

Mark has a background in sports such as Hockey, Martial Arts,  Volleyball, and a host of certifications from Personal trainer, kettlebell, steel mace and Heroic Sport level 1 instructor.

Let’s hear about Indian clubs and group classes!

How, why and when did you get started with Indian clubs?

I started training with Indian Clubs about 3 years ago. The past 2 years much more seriously due to reoccurring rotator cuff tears.

What kind of clubs do you prefer to swing?

I swing all styles of clubs. I love to swing heavy for sheer power and strength. I like smaller clubs for injury prevention, warmup and rhythm/dance. I also like clubs in between for endurance and cardio.

What is it you specifically enjoy about club swinging?

It doesn’t feel like exercise to me. I love to put on my favourite music and swing for hours. No two workouts are ever the same.

What do you see as the main advantage of lifting odd unbalanced objects versus conventional weights?

I feel its more functional and practical to real life movements and situations. I also feel like I get a better full body workout.

What are the benefits of club swinging for your clients in your opinion?

I do a lot of club swinging with clients for warm ups and to help increase their range of motion (mostly at the shoulder girdle). Clients are also less familiar with them than dumbbells so they find it to be a little more fun when used for more traditional exercises.

How easy/ hard was it to get your clients sold on the idea of swinging clubs?

It depends on what and how you teach them. Most feel the benefits of the light clubs immediately and often ask me if we can start our workouts with them.

For someone wanting to improve athleticism and well being, is swinging clubs enough? What are some great complementary activities to club swinging?

I never like to limit myself or my clients to just one type of training. The obvious answer to this question would be body weight exercises but I also am adamant about adding cardio as well as some power lifting and kettlebell training to all my clients routines. This provides a good combination of endurance, strength and power to your workouts.

What do you like about the Pahlavandle and XL, compared to other types of clubs on the market?

The biggest benefit for most people getting started is the price. The pahlavandles are the most affordable clubs on the market today. In addition you can take them anywhere you go and they are adjustable in weight based on the size of the bottle you use and the filler. Same could be said for the XL. In addition the shipping costs from Heroic Sport are incredible. You won’t pay cheaper shipping anywhere in the world!

Do you use the Pahlavandle in your classes or workshops? How do people react the first time you show them a plastic handle?

Yes, totally! They react no differently than they would to a regular set of wooden clubs. Most wouldn’t know the difference, plus the Pahlavandle swings virtually the exact same way as a wooden club, so even experienced users wouldn’t notice a difference.

What advice can you give to people just starting up?

Find a coach, take a course or get yourself some online videos to study. You need to start with the very basic circles and moves. Practicing is the only way to get better.

Do you have a favorite template to structure a training session?

I’m not a fan of structure personally as I get bored rather easy. But when teaching clubs I like to start with one move before adding another and building to more complex sequences as we go.

1 thing people wouldn’t know about you?

I’m also a musician, comic book lover and avid gamer.

Anything you wish to add?

I’m very happy Thierry asked to interview me for this Blog and I am a proud Ambassador for Heroic Sport. Reach out to me if you want, as I would love to share my passion for everything Club related with you! Cheers and keep swinging!

You can get in touch with Mark through his facebook and instagram pages, or head to his site.

 

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At the beginning of July 2019, we had  a guest coming to our Heroic Sport retreat. The whole thing took a left and turned out into a wild and creative weekend of brainstorming, leaving us full of excitement and open to new possibilities we never considered.

It’s fantastic to get input from people out there who can look at our Pahlavandle and our teaching methods in a totally new way, and bring their own passion and expertise to make it into something bigger. We are grateful for the way things are moving.

We can’t reveal it all, but you will get some insight by watching the videos below!

I personally enjoyed talking to Ngub so much, I decided to do an interview so that everyone could benefit from his journey and wisdom.

We also converted the video into an mp3, so that you can download and listen to it at your convenience. 

Here are some of the points we went through:

  • What attracted you to Indian clubs in the first place?
  • Steel clubs vs Pahlavandle
  • What made you decide Heroic Sport was the right match for you?
  • How did you come up combining what you do professionally with Indian clubs?
  • What is kinesiology and how can it help us?
  • How can we bring more balance in our lives?
  • What’s the biggest hurdle for people maintaining a physical activity program?
  • What’s the difference between looking ahead, turning the head or following the movement with the eyes?

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Juan Carlos Leidero convinced us at Heroic Sport to send Thierry to join him at Salinas Longboard Festival in Asturias, Northern Spain. We’re going to do some demonstrations, small classes and workshops to promote Heroic Sport and the fantastic combination of Pahlavandle™ and boardsports!

Therefore, here’s a quick little interview to present you Juan Carlos who’s the first person in Spain to run Pahlavandle classes on Stand Up Paddleboards.

What is your background?

I have always been active in sports and was in the special forces during my military service. I started rock climbing when I was 20 and it changed everything for me. This lead me to certifying in Pilates, yoga and other formations such as kettlebells, bosu, trx etc…
I see these modalities as tools for people who want to achieve a better body-mind connection.

In the last 10 years, I have had my own Pilates studio in Avilés, working with all kinds of people, as well as doing some program for TV, and different sports such as surfing and rock climbing. The last 5 years I have been operating out of an organic shop, Dhadhas. I am still very enthusiastic about the whole thing!

How did you start with Indian clubs?

I saw a video of the Pahlavandle on social medias. At first I thought it was a bit of a joke, but I was curious so I researched a bit more, and discovered it was legit. So I took contact with you guys.

What do you enjoy most about Indian clubs?

The freedom and flow of the movements. The spirals feel especially therapeutic and overall great.

Tell us a bit about Salinas International Longboard Festival, 17th edition.

We’re expecting 5000 people this year, with lots of music, competitions, workshops and street food, right on the beach. People from around the world come to participate and gather inspiration to share back with their clubs and schools.
The festival is like a giant experimental ground, and I want to share the benefits of Indian clubs with the surfing and boardsports community.
 

What are the benefits of Indian clubs for people?

They help us reconnect the mind to the body, become aware of how we move or tension in neck and shoulders. Better proprioception results in better balance.
I see Indian clubs as a great tool for body mapping (linking emotions and thoughts to physical experiences) and restoring a state of flow and well being.

What are the advantages of the Pahlavandle™ over other types of clubs on the market?

They are great invention! Very practical in the way you can adjust the weight up to 3kg, and I love the fact we are upcycling plastic bottles, giving a second life to trash.
Just pick up 2 bottles, and you can train your whole body just about anywhere!

How do people react the first time you show them the pahlavandle™?

Very surprised at first, but after a few swings they feel the restorative effects for neck and shoulders. They also think it is fun to train.

Do you want to add something else?

Being a passionate person with my work, I define myself as a facilitator of the mind and body.
I am confident that if one learn the right techniques, the results can only be positive.

You can get in touch with Juan Carlos on social medias.