Last Sunday, I attended Slade Billew's ICS (International Clubbell® Sport) Preparatory Workshop, focusing on the two Clubbell® movements that are central to the sport - the Swipe and the Mill. I went with the intention of getting help on my Swipe technique and getting a solid live introduction to the Mill. I had no intention of competing in the sport.
Intu-Flow® Joint Mobility Warmup
We went through the Intu-Flow®/Warrior Wellness intermediate joint mobility drills. Slade made some very useful corrections to my shoulder movements.
I. Bailing Out
Techniques for "bailing out" when one cannot complete the Armpit Cast component of the Swipe. Very useful for obvious reasons.
a. Parry Cast if you're stuck in back position
b. "Catching" the CBs on your traps while doing a bit of a squat for shock absorption if you have to bail out on the upswing.
II. Forward Pendulum
Was taught how to use the legs to assist in launching the CBs out of Order into the swing.
III. Armpit Cast
a. At the beginning of the move, allow the Clubbell® tips to drop from the Order position into the back position - no need to muscle the clubs up. Allow the CBs to pass closer to my head. Turns out I was holding the CBs higher up in back position than they needed to be.
b. Exhale forcefully when in back position to get rid of as much air as possible, especially if the trainee is Power Breathing and casting with air still held in the lungs, instead of on a true control pause. It was suggested I do these more forceful exhales until I'd gotten lots more practice in the movement.
IV. Performance Swipe
This was more of a challenge to me than it was training at home, in that I had to practice both components with the corrections in mind, and also coordinate the transitions between them.
V. Technical Swipe
As I began to accustom myself to allowing the tips of the CBs to lower themselves into back position, the RPE started to drop noticeably.
IV. Compensatory Movements
Some vibration drills and Body-Flow kinetic chains. I recall they involve Long Arm Roll and Reverse Long Arm Roll. Maybe Spinal Rock too.
I. Bailout Technique - Using the non-weighted arm to catch the CB.
II. Shield Cast
Beginning just like Armpit Cast, except one lets the CB tip drop towards the opposite shoulder, then the CB settles into back position for Cast.
III. Inside Pendulum
Used heavier CB (25lb in my case) to get feel of using hips to drive the CB in the sideway swing motion. For the Pendulum itself, special attention paid to waiting for the CB to become weightless before returning it to Order.
IV. Performance Mill
With even less experience in the Shield Cast and the Inside Pendulum, this movement was tricky for me, but it didn't take long to see and feel how these compoments fit together.
V. Technical Mill
After a few sets, I started to understand the use of the sideways hip drive to power the movement, especially during the Cast. The hips make a HUGE difference in reducing the load of the arm during the casting action.
VI. Compensatory Movements
Vibration Drills to loosen the forearms
Body Flow Kinetic Chain 1 - Spinal Rock Butterfly, Lateral Shoulder Roll
Two more very cool kinetic chains, but I don't remember them! I'm sure I'll get help on this soon.
We were "treated" to a taste of ICS. I did, I think, 12 Swipes over 3 minutes and 20 Mills over 3 minutes, with a break in between. Yes, my grip was the first to go, but my grip endurance has gotten a lot better since I started my Swipe Density program last fall, when I could manage 3 reps at zero choke of the Armpit Cast. Jason was of course a machine. Christina did pretty good for someone new to CST.
Tried the sideways hip swings that were covered earlier on Slade's Rasta Bruiser. I was pleasantly surprised I could at least do those swings with it. After a correction by Slade (don't look down, keep spine straight), side swing movement was pain-free to my back. I will definitely order my own soon, depending on the scheduling of release of other Rmax products.
This workshop was well worth the nominal fee and the drive! I had no intention of becoming a serious ICS athlete, but knew I could use help on my Swipe techniques and get a good introduction to the Mill techniques. I got these alright, and a lot more as a bonus, particularly the bail-out techniques, the help on Intu-Flow®, the Vibration Drills, and those really cool Kinetic Chains. It's a shame there weren't more attendees, but I got that much more attention since Christina and I were the only students for the majority of the time, with Jason arriving later to help out. Those of you who were thinking of coming but didn't because of the letters "ICS" really missed out, as we practically covered the heart of CST practice in this workshop!
Thanks to Slade for putting on this great workshop! Thanks to Jason for helping and also going over a bit of extra Body-Flow afterwards! Respect to Christina for working with a 15lb CB for a good portion of the workshop - she is NOT a big woman, by the way. Despite what I wrote earlier, if time permits, I may come down and compete - its a good excuse to spend more time in the company of those I befriended through Rmax-related events and keep getting help on my CST practice.