SFG Class One

When the inaugural StrongFirst Girya certification was announced a few months ago I really wanted to be there for a number of reasons. It was to be the first event, the launch of what Pavel calls “Phase Two of Global Domination”. Many of my friends would be there, including the Mongoose, who was invited as an assistant. One of Nashville Kettlebell’s own, Melissa Melton was in preparation for to make the jump to Certified Instructor. There was only one problem- I was not on the list of instructors.

As it turns out, SFG Team Leader Dustin Rippetoe (Red Delicious) had some issues come up that prevented him from going. With his blessing, I offered to take his spot.

With the Grand Master

I arrived in Houston on Thursday morning at 8:15. You may not know this but Dennis Rogers lives in Houston. In the past, getting the both of us in the same city at the same time has typically involved a but of planning ion the front end. This time, the only free time either of us had while I was there was Thurs, early afternoon. Dennis came to the hotel, we grabbed some lunch and got to spend a couple of hours together.  Dennis even brought me some stuff to bend and a Houston phonebook to add to my collection. I cannot think of a stronger way to begin the weekend.

Invoking the Spirit of Ron Swanson

From the opening remarks by Pavel on Friday…..””We took the RKC spirit, we took the RKC people, traditions and the system. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to phase two. Power to You!”….. to the group dinner of Texas BBQ on Saturday night until the final set of swings on Sunday, it was an amazing weekend. There were so many high quality folks there, it boggles my mind.

I have seen Pavel teach many, many times and never before has he been so on point as this weekend. All weekend long he, along with Master SFG Mark Reifkind, myself and Senior SFG Karen Smith taught the core SFG drills in front of the crowd of attendees.  Team Leaders Lauren Brooks and Jason Marshall brought their best too.  The StrongFirst staff Mark, Nikki and George worked together with the hosts to deliver a truly transformative experience for the attendees.

For the first time ever, we used social media to show what it is REALLY like on the field at a certification weekend. George even strapped a camera to my chest and said “Go show them what you see….in Tamer Vision.”


Let it be known. The spirit of what was once “RKC by Pavel” is alive and well, and it is called StrongFirst.