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Old 01-05-2010, 07:11 AM   #1
Cliff Judge
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What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

This question relates to off-the-mat / extracurricular / supplemental training to support my Aikido lifestyle.

For those of you who haven't heard of him, this guy is an MMA via Sambo + Systema + Yoga guy who produces exercise DVDs that are bent two ways: there's a "keep yourself in fighting shape for the Octagon" angle and a "push back the inevitable wall of aged decrepitude" angle.

My acupuncturist suggested I check out his stuff, and the man's got a pretty considerable body of material out there right now. Titles include "Intu-flow," "Flowfit," "Ageless Mobility," and "Grappler's Toolbox." Looks like he is into breathing, circular movement, mostly bodyweight exercises except for some stuff he does with those weighted bowling pin deals.

Is anybody familiar with this guy's work who can help me differentiate among the various trademarked systems he has developed? It's winter, I'm looking to put together a routine of bodyweight exercises I can do in the morning. It looks like the Flowfit product might be suitable.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
bob_stra
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

I've always enjoyed his 'grappler's toolbox' video. I think the old one was more expansive in scope then the new one - which is very ground grappling focused (which suits me just fine - YMMV). Still - if you follow the logic and have a bit of floor space, I think it'd fulfill the requirement . Again - YMMV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duMScxR7LJ8

Scott has a youtube channel, where he demo's certain moves, routines etc. I also believe there are snippets from flowfit / ageless mobility on there.

In the end, you might be best visiting the Rmax forum and asking there directly

FWIW
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

Two of my Combatives friends Matt Larsen and Jason Keating apparently have been quoted on his website as an endorsement...so knowing those two guys, i'd say he has the goods.

Cliff, going to try and come up Thursday to the dojo are you going to be there? If so, lets talk!

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Old 01-05-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

On another note, I have gotten into Indian Clubs as well, I have two pair, I will bring them with me on Thursday. I am a proponent of these bad boys for sure!

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Old 01-05-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
Cliff Judge
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
On another note, I have gotten into Indian Clubs as well, I have two pair, I will bring them with me on Thursday. I am a proponent of these bad boys for sure!
Oh cool. Yeah I am training this thursday, please bring the clubs!
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:52 PM   #6
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

Clubs good. Me like clubs.
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:12 PM   #7
ChrisMoses
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

Anybody playing with frame training and kettle bells? I think there's some potential there.

Chris Moses
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

What do you mean by Frame Training Chris?

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Old 01-06-2010, 09:27 AM   #9
ChrisMoses
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

"Frame" comes up a lot with Aunkai folks. It's sort of a shorthand for all the connection/internal/structure work that the exercises help to develop. Mabu/the cross/shintaijuku/spear thrusting all serve to develop the frame. I find that "frame" also comes with a lot less baggage than "internal skills", or "IT".

I actually like using kettle bells for some connection/frame training since almost all of the basic KB exercises pass movement through the core of the body out to the limbs and also reinforce dynamic balance.

Chris Moses
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:19 AM   #10
Thomas Campbell
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Anybody playing with frame training and kettle bells? I think there's some potential there.
Yes.

Basic swings. "Spiral snatches" focusing on feeling the crossover in the lower back changing the weight-bearing leg in the transition from pulling to pushing (the KB up).

I'd tell you more but you'd have to join my private DoubleChin forum.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:31 AM   #11
Cliff Judge
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Yes.

Basic swings. "Spiral snatches" focusing on feeling the crossover in the lower back changing the weight-bearing leg in the transition from pulling to pushing (the KB up).

I'd tell you more but you'd have to join my private DoubleChin forum.
I've got like a chin and a half, so I guess I will have to keep training before you will share the secrets.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:41 AM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
"Frame" comes up a lot with Aunkai folks. It's sort of a shorthand for all the connection/internal/structure work that the exercises help to develop. Mabu/the cross/shintaijuku/spear thrusting all serve to develop the frame. I find that "frame" also comes with a lot less baggage than "internal skills", or "IT".

I actually like using kettle bells for some connection/frame training since almost all of the basic KB exercises pass movement through the core of the body out to the limbs and also reinforce dynamic balance.
Okay, yea..I have some experience with Ark and Rob and do some of their exercises when I can. Heck I can't do them without the weights so, no I haven't looked at adding them. Indian clubs though, I see lots of value there as they enforce alignment and posture and give you something to think about/control while maintaining the frame. they are only 1 lb a piece, but if you are doing frame type work like this, which is essentially the normal indian club workout, you will get a heck of a work out cause your frame is extended and the weight is very, very eccentric in nature hence even though it weighs 1lb...it sucks.

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Old 01-06-2010, 12:17 PM   #13
ChrisMoses
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Re: what is what with Scott Sonnon's material

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Yes.

Basic swings. "Spiral snatches" focusing on feeling the crossover in the lower back changing the weight-bearing leg in the transition from pulling to pushing (the KB up).

I'd tell you more but you'd have to join my private DoubleChin forum.
I could probably sponsor you into chunen butori ryu if you could get me into the DC forum...

@Kevin: I rarely do any of the actual Aunkai exercises with weights. Occasionally I'll do 5-10 reps of tenchijin with a pair of 10 lb dumbbells. Generally the exercises are hard enough without the weights and I think adding weights too early will just encourage you to use 'normal' muscle. I generally do swings, turkish get-ups and kb clean and jerks. Like with Tom, I'm mostly using them to feel connection pressures across the body and I think the whole body movements and inherently unbalanced nature of kb (like Indian clubs) are good for that.

Good stuff.

Chris Moses
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #14
Alex Lee
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

I would not advise using weights for any of the aunkai exercises.
Its really counter intuitive. Remember youre suppose to hold these poses with the frame not muscles. If you are adding weights, you have to use a completely different looking "pose" to hold them properly.

I do find kettle bell exercises great for building "muscular" frame. I think its a great starting point. You do kind of have to wipe the slate clean again and relearn the frame without muscles for IP. i.e: a frame held together with "suit" and skeletal system.

just my $.02
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:26 PM   #15
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Alex, I generally agree with you. I think it is possible though to try and use the frame while doing KB work. It winds up feeling different than when I'm doing a muscular based KB workout. If you look at a basic two armed swing, in the muscular version you can think of using the power of the legs to propel the weight up and out through the arms. At the end of your swing, you have tight glutes and quads. That's how I've been shown to do a 'correct' KB swing. If I'm working the frame with a KB swing, I'm more inclined to begin the swing using pressure from the lower back and feeling that kind of rebound off the ground to propel the swing up. At the end of the swing, my glutes and quads are mostly relaxed and then I try to feel the tug on the frame by the KB reaching its max extension. Just one example. I suppose I could have said I was using the frame to do kettle bells and that might have been clearer.

As for using weights to do the actual Aunkai frame exercises, I again generally agree. I would say that by adding very light weights to some of the exercises you can try to still support the body through the frame. For example, try this: do a few sets of slow tenchijin with no weights, but have two 5- 10 or so lb dumbbells on the floor in easy reach. After a few reps, pick up the dumbbells when at the earth/prayer phase. Hold them gently, now try to use the frame to raise the dumbbell up and over head with no tension in the shoulders, then rise to heaven. I've found that if you do this right, you can really feel how the arms are moved directly from the lower back/ming men. Holding the weights in supporting heaven also gives some nice feedback along the same lines. I don't like dropping the arms to mabu to for the descent to earth with weights though for the reasons you outline, it's much harder to support the weight with the frame there, so I often just come down to prayer and then lower to earth.

Again, I don't do these very often, your mileage may vary...

Chris Moses
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:31 PM   #16
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

I kinda goofed up my post. I meant to say...I don't use weights...I agree with that. Indian Clubs I like though as they are not weights really but give you enough eccentric "weight" to make you use correct alignment and posture hence a good frame.

They are really about the same as a Suburito.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:28 PM   #17
Cliff Judge
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
They are really about the same as a Suburito.
That was actually my first thought when I saw a youtube clip of Circular Strength Training - "Hmm this might help out my swordwork, somehow."
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #18
Alex Lee
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Chris, yep cant argue on the way your doing it. Its just something I wouldn't recommend to anyone that is new at this stuff.

It doesn't take much weight to hurt yourself. Just warning other that maybe reading.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:33 PM   #19
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Sonnon demonstrating applied kettlebell work:

stand-up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etB3-...layer_embedded

ground

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPXha...ayer_embedded#

Just some interesting work, not specifically tied in with training internal connection (though it does spark some ideas).
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:43 AM   #20
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Sonnon demonstrating applied kettlebell work:

Just some interesting work, not specifically tied in with training internal connection (though it does spark some ideas).
Interesting. Like you said, definitely 'normal' muscle work. Kind of a different take on some of the usual exercises. I think I like the more traditional get-up because it ties into threading with the leg a lot better than what he's doing there, but I'll give it a try and see how it feels.

Chris Moses
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:28 PM   #21
Keith Larman
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Sonnon demonstrating applied kettlebell work:

stand-up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etB3-...layer_embedded

ground

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPXha...ayer_embedded#

Just some interesting work, not specifically tied in with training internal connection (though it does spark some ideas).
Just watched. Interesting. How much do those things weigh?

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Old 01-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #22
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

This thread inspired me to borrow FlowFit from a friend, just to see what's new.

In the end, I like it. It's cut down a lot of the more challenging stuff from the original GTB (some of them were lots of fun though!), and seems to be less space intensive. There are some clearer progressions to follow.

There's overlap with Scott's other videos I'm sure, but it appears to be a good stand alone

I think it may suit your purposes, Cliff - though I still recommend you chat to the folks on Rmax to get their perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfaeV5gWyxM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7ceBFSIqJg

FWIW
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:42 PM   #23
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Quote:
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Just watched. Interesting. How much do those things weigh?
They vary, but I'm going to guess that's about a 35lb (16 kg) KB. The weight is deceptive on them though because of the shape (meaning it's harder to do the exercises with a kettlebell than it would be with a comparably heavy dumbbell). I've talked a few friends into starting with lighter kettlebells than they thought they would need/want and they were all glad I did.

Chris Moses
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:00 PM   #24
Keith Larman
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
They vary, but I'm going to guess that's about a 35lb (16 kg) KB. The weight is deceptive on them though because of the shape (meaning it's harder to do the exercises with a kettlebell than it would be with a comparably heavy dumbbell). I've talked a few friends into starting with lighter kettlebells than they thought they would need/want and they were all glad I did.
Thanks, was looking at it but couldn't really tell what the weight was. I figured about 30-40 pounds after going out and playing with some dumbbells I have.

Anyway, some of that looks promising for a couple different things. Might have to look into it. Thanks!

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Old 01-07-2010, 02:25 PM   #25
ChrisMoses
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Re: What is what with Scott Sonnon's material?

I really like the Art of Strength youtube site for solid free KB stuff.

His build up for the Turkish get-up is excellent. Some of the leg positions that are shown in the Sonnon version make me a bit nervous, where the alignment on this version seems a lot better and less prone to injury.

Chris Moses
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