Tag: Indian clubs

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Today we have a guest on our blog! Since we are in touch with a wide variety of people and trainers around the world, we decided to start running regular interviews with interesting people!

Meet Daniel De falco

indian clubs argentinaDaniel De Falco is a Sport Conditioning Coach from La Falda, Cordoba, Argentina. He’s been running small group and personal training at his training facility since 2009. 

He specializes in Neuroscience and Emotional Education (Universidad de Villa María)  as well as Movement Analysis and Applied Functional Science (Gray Institute).

He’s also a Qi Gong and Tai Chi Instructor, and explores other kinds of movement activities, such as Capoeira Angola, Improvisation Art Movement, Pilates and Groundwork.

Daniel, what is it about Indian clubs that is perfect for what you do?

I use Indian Clubs with my students for shoulder health and movement prehab/ rehab and when working towards more complex skills development. Basically, healthy and strong scapulas and shoulders are requiredas the foundation for everything we will introduce later on (Heavy Club Training, Mace Training, Calisthenics, etc…).
I also use club swinging as a form of dynamic meditation, in which music and rhythm are really important. They are perfect for exploring multiplanar movement and improving coordination skills.

Who do you work with?

I work with all kinds of persons, from athletes to older people. My work is to promote health trough movement, and Indian clubs are perfect for that. I teach Indian clubs workshops and also run classes.

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

In my country it is very difficult to find Indian clubs (all my Clubs are at least 50 years old) , so Pahlavandles are a very accessible way to build your own clubs and Bulavas by using recyclable bottles.

I decided to become an affiliate for Heroic Sport because I really like the versatility of the product, being adjustable.  By filling them halfway you can tweak the drills in a proprioceptive way, due to the perturbation of the water. sloshing around.

How did you get started with Indian clubs?

I got started with Indian clubs 10 years ago while researching about vintage strength training, and Indian Physical Culture, as I have a strong interest in Ayurveda, Traditional Indian Medicine.

This ancient way of training really attracted me. Training with these kind of elements has a more holistic approach, and in many cases also a devotional content.

How do you train?

I swing with one and two clubs, also pretty much with everything that can be swung in a circular pattern, as you can see in some of my videos.
I like heavy traditional Gada swings, combined with light Indian clubs movements. Light weight, strong effect!

The Pahlavandle extender is a great way to freestyle and experiment with flowing routines with a light and short mace,  and my shoulders have never felt so great!

Do you have a tip for the readers?

For beginners I always recommend to focus on recovering full function and mastering before moving to complex skills or adding weight. Don’t be afraid of regressions, of going back to more basics skills, because with a better foundation, everything is easier and safer in the long run.

Thank you for your time Daniel!

You can follow Daniel and get in touch with him through social medias

  1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daniel.centrosakya
  2. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/laotse1981
  3. Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/defalcodaniel

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Today we have a guest post, written by Jonas Thylstrup, Trainer at InnerGym in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We’ve had the privilege of training with Thierry Sanchez from Heroic Sport. And let me tell you, it’ wasn’t your typical experience of attending a workshop with lots of filler and little relevant info you can pass on to your own students…

Here’s why we think of Thierry as a world-class coach at what he does:

Attention to detail

Most people can teach different skills in training reasonably well.

Indian clubs and kettlebells workshopBut, due to his background as a World-Champion, and his extreme attention to detail, he always tries to improve technique and form, and how to teach those skills to others. The foundation skills keeps being refined, so that you end up with principles instead of yet another method.

Thierry also tries to remove superfluous details that while sounding great and might impress novices serve no real purpose…

Seriously practicing what he preaches

Indian clubs workshop and certificationWe know the usual saying ‘practice what you preach’. Yet does it really mean something anymore? Isn’t it just a smart slogan?

In Thierry we found the real deal. Few people can boast of being a world-champion at what they teach, yet titles are only one side of the coin. If you’ve been a champion 10 years ago, a lot of things can change, and you might lose some sharpness in that long stretch of time.

This is not the case here. Due to continuous practice and being constantly challenged by questions from his students, Thierry is always razor sharp and able to provide you with new drills, techniques and info on how to improve your training even more.

Learn and apply!

The best teachers usually come as students from the best teachers in the previous generation and this is definitely true here as well.

Having learned from 2 former world-champions, Thierry brings the best from both the great masters of the past and from new knowledge, to teach to all of us in the present.

All in all, if you are looking for a top kettlebell and Indian clubs trainer and educator, Thierry has our highest recommendations.
We plan to bring him back to Copenhagen to further develop our skills!”

If you cannot attend a live workshop with us, you have the possibility to learn at your own rhythm with our video downloads and even become certified online.

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Is the military stance with Indian clubs useful for HEMA practitioners?

Training with Indian clubs has a long history in the middle and far East. By contrast, in the West, Indian clubs are roughly 200 years old, when the Brits adopted the practice and brought it back to Europe. They changed a lot of things about Indian clubs, from the shape and weight, to patterns and exercises, to the way to stand with the clubs.

Indian clubs for HEMA product banner

In this post, we’re going to look at why the British focused on the military stance, and if it makes sense for you to use it or not, especially if you train for HEMA or any type of sword fighting. To help you decide, we’re also going to look at locomotion and the role of the core.

The military stance

Indian clubs for ladiesLook at the old books on Indian clubs from the 19th century and you will most likely notice the models standing with heels together and feet 45 degrees out. This is called the military stance, the agreed convention of the Victorian age.  
When swinging this way, the whole body must remain squared up, not allowing any rotation at the head, shoulders or hips.
It looks fantastic when doing a choreographed routine with several people swinging clubs at the same time.
But the military stance also decreases the base of support, therefore decreasing stability and the amount of weight one can swing.

The native club swingers of Persia and India stood (and still do) in a wider stance to maintain stability, and transfer power from the ground up. There is no way you can swing heavy clubs with your feet together. The only time you’d want to narrow your base of support is if swinging by the side of the body or figure 8s, but does it make sense to have the heels touching? That’s up to you.

Rotating the hips and shoulders as the club drops behind the back assists the swing and brings the club to the end of its full arc.

If you lift weights, you know there is a difference in how much weight you can lift above your head depending on your stance (narrow or wide) and the degree of leg involvement (strict or push press). The same goes for club swinging.

Sure, you might not be interested in swinging heavy clubs, but the concept of full body integration applies to all sports. I must also say that I spend most of my day to day training time swinging clubs under 3kg. I also swing clubs from 4-8kg a few times a week, and heavy clubs once or twice a week.

How does the military stance affect body involvement?

When swinging Indian clubs in the military stance, the whole body is squared up, and the clubs move around the body. To compensate this fact, the core must work against the natural body rotation that happens when swinging clubs.
Remember that the British style of club swinging is done with light clubs.

In contrast, the Persians and Hindus swing heavy clubs using their full body with every move. Their body weight shifts from leg to leg as their hips rotates naturally along with each swing. In a 4 count Meel swing for example, the feet and hips move in sync with the swing, creating a pelvic rhythm.

When swinging this way, the clubs have the right of way, and the body moves around the clubs.

The reasons behind the military stance

As always, we have to look at context why the Brits decided on a more rigid approach to club swinging.

There are 2 reasons we can speculate upon.

The British military forces used Indian clubs as a way to train the troops, not just for health reasons, but also for discipline and  combat, when fighting on horseback with cavalry saber was still actual.

While swinging Indian clubs by itself won’t make you better at sword fighting, there is some transfer to it. This is why many HEMA practitioners are recently taking interest in Indian clubs.

In the saddle, the legs’ main purpose (while far from static) is to help the rider stay on horseback, not to assist the power of the saber cuts. So it might make sense to train in a rigid way, and develop strong arms, shoulders and grip.

If you train HEMA, you need to be able to move and use your whole body as one unit!
What looks great at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has to be remembered for what it is: an artistic display of club swinging.

The second factor is that during the Victorian and Edwardian era, it was simply rude to shake and swivel your hips in public. Since Indian clubs were taught in large groups in institutions, swung for public demonstrations, and also taught to upper class clientele, you just had to tone it down back in those days. After all, if you were British, you were expected to behave in a certain way…

How does this relate to locomotion and movement?

A braced core (think anti flexion, anti extention, anti rotation exercises) is useful while lifting heavy things to protect your back. Athletic power and locomotion is something different.

Think of punching, kicking and throwing. Your trunk generates power through rotation and side bending to turn movements into a true full body exercise. 

Many people are under the impression that the legs are the main player in locomotion and human gait, while the trunk is passive. In this theory, the legs are supposed to rotate the pelvis for motion to occur. This has been proved as wrong, as the legs cannot do such a thing.
The current theory is called the spinal engine, where the trunk is actually the driver of movement. Side bending produces torque which rotates the hips and allows the  legs to move.

This is of course a simplification, we encourage you to read more about it in this article: LINKING THE SPINAL ENGINE.

When you realize this fact, you’ll understand why the natural stance makes more sense.
And why figure 8 moves are so important to include in your training regardless of your sport! You can’t do this properly in a rigid stance. Your knees will not be happy either… Drop the military stance, allow body rotation and weight shift, swing and move like a cat.

So when should you use the military stance?

We can think of 2 instances when you should swing Indian clubs in this way:

  • you want to specifically work on core anti rotation exercises
  • you need to focus on increasing the range of motion around the shoulder joint, in the case of rehab (after talking to your doctor)
  • you need variety

Remember to use light clubs, and use this in therapeutic doses!

Questions about Indian clubs or this article?

Join our group on Facebook to carry on the conversation!

Image source:

Sam Kehoe “Indian club exercises”
Wills’s cigarettes Indian clubs exercises

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60% of office workers complain of neck and shoulder pain… A short movement break is what the doctor should order!

One of the reasons for these complaints is that we sit in the same position for hours on end, and neglect to move our body into positions out of the ordinary. 

But I go to the gym…

It doesn’t help to go to the gym after work either, most often you end up reinforcing your bad postural habits by targeting the mirror muscles! The same culprits involved in poor posture, and nagging pains.
And would wants to sit on a machine in a crowded place with neon lights and playing bad music anyways?

What you need to do is to straighten up, and move your joints in full range of motion, and though different planes of motion.

Better well being in 2 simple moves

We have 2 short videos of very simple Indian clubs exercises you can do right now!

The figure 8 helps loosen up the spine from the hips to the neck, and the large circles also take the shoulders into their full range of motion.

Another complaint from office people is wrist and elbow pain. The root cause is the same. Too little and too restricted movement!

Body and Mind

Another benefit of using Indian clubs at work, is the mental boost that comes from doing cross crawl patterns. This works just as well as a cup of coffee, hence our short Coffee Breaks videos!

We all benefit from complex movements and repetitive patterns.
The repetitive motions activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which turns off the “fight or flight” response. Club swinging is soothing for the brain, as it helps decrease stress levels while increasing mental clarity and facilitating learning in general. We call it often meditation in motion or tai chi with weights.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go home feeling energetic and limber rather than tight and drained?

Indian clubs at the workplace

The people at VODA energy know this and took steps to ensure the well being of their employees, by placing Pahlavandle™ around their office!

With our video downloads, you can learn the basics relatively fast! Or we can come to your workplace. Contact us here!

Questions about Indian clubs or this article?

Join our group on Facebook to carry on the conversation!

Image source:

Pexels.com