Category: people


We received this fantastic email testimonial from Christopher W. about his Indian clubs rehab story. With his permission we’re sharing it here with you.
Personally, I find his story a testament to the strength that resides in everyone. It is a subject that has always fascinated me. Why do some people accept the health verdict they’re being told, and some people just refuse to accept it?

You might also have heard stories of people who were told would never walk again, or never be able to do the things they used to after a life threatening accident.

My partner in crime at Heroic Sport, Ron Bader is one such person. If you haven’t watched the story behind Heroic Sport, and have 10 minutes, give it a go!

Another such person was a sergeant who had a paragliding accident when I was doing military duties. And during my days of working ski seasons in Australia, I even met Janine Sheperd a few time. 

The will and determination of these people is simply inspiring, and when I feel like whining, I think about them. It’s like a kick back into reality…

We have had reports of people swinging our Pahlavandle and avoiding shoulder surgery, or reporting reduction in neck pain. We are not therapists, but movement can sometimes be therapy, and heal us.

Maybe the story will resonate with you, or someone you know who find themselves in such a difficult and painful situation.

Have you got an Indian clubs rehab story?

Please let us know!
It’s the kind of stuff that gives us motivation to carry on with what we do.

Here is Chris’s unedited testimonial. Good reading!

“I’m literally doing the 14 exercises from 103 and Double Club Combinations 1 on a daily basis now.  Sometimes the alternate swing transitions mess me up (when I’m mentally tired) but I wanted to give you a testimonial.  I’ll try to keep it brief but I wanted you to know:

I was hit by a car in the spine when I was 8 and developed chronic pain and stiffness that prevented me from being the athlete that I had the spatial and kinesthetic awareness to be.  I grew up in chronic pain and had advanced sciatica by 21.  I used to climb stairs sideways in college.  I’ve spent over $30,000 over the last 25 yrs on specialists, massage, physio, chiro, osteo.  I’ve tried every contraption and device on the market.  I’ve done yoga, tai chi, some basic pilates (all I could do was basic!), bodyweight exercises, weightlifting, kickboxing and always succeeded in injuring and reinjuring myself.  I have been an EXPERT in living in pain all my life.  It has affected every single area of my life.

On bad days I couldn’t walk more than half a block before I needed to rest and repeat to get where I was going.  I’d been depressed but somehow never lost my resolve.  I think I knew that if I gave up I’d be in a wheelchair eventually.  My mother offered to buy me a walker when I was 21!  Finally, I got rid of sciatica (from 2 yrs of expensive work with one talented chiropractor who literally changed my spine as per x rays), after 22 years of almost constant pain.   I eventually got past another thick layer of pain using a particular school of yoga that is very extension (not stretch) based.  But my shoulder blades were dead, frozen, useless.  I didn’t even have the beginning of mobility.

So I got past sciatica, and have spent the last year doing this yoga and it has helped my pain tremendously, but it would take years if not decades to restore shoulder mobility to a healthy level since they’ve been compromised since at least 10 or 11 yrs old (35 years).  Enter Indian clubs.  I bought your pahlavandle 2.5 weeks ago and I have never had such a massive shift in strength, stability, mobility, and awareness in anything resembling such a short period of time.  I could write volumes on the amount of change and health returning to my shoulders and back.  The nerve to my biceps was compromised such that I couldn’t consciously flex them fully for the last 20 years.  My shoulder clicked and popped painfully with almost any use.  That was normal.  My core was not connected to my shoulders in any useful way at all.

Progressing to your Transitions 103 and doing everything quite slowly (to learn the patterns and to make sure my core is strongly engaged and my breath is matching my movements) has given me back my ability to flex my biceps consciously, after 20 years.  Right now they (and every other muscle above my knee, lol) are sore but NOT tight at all.  Very mobile.  I can’t say enough about the amount of shoulder and back health and even hip health (inward and outward swing squats are FANTASTIC for connecting tricky hips to tricky shoulders in a functional way) I’ve regained in the last 2 weeks.  It’s like 10 years of progress.  When I lift my arms now my core starts to automatically engage!  This is after 2 weeks!  It’s almost a miracle.

I am super motivated to continue progressing my practice and breathing and feeling better and stronger on a daily basis.  These shoulders are so thankful for your work – both the affordable club option as well as your fantastically explained videos. The Pahlavandle is literally giving me back my shoulders and biceps as well as full body health.”

Did  you find this article interesting? Share with friends!


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:

The 2 videos below show examples of karlakattai suttrus.

Did  you find this article interesting? Share with friends!


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.


Did  you find this article interesting? Share with friends!


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?

Did  you find this article interesting? Share with friends!