An Interview with Christian Arai, RKC Instructor

RKC Instructor Christian Arai Double Kettlebell Front Squat
Dragon Door: What is your athletic or fitness background?

Christian Arai Before at about 400 lbsChristian Arai: I played several sports—mostly football and wrestling—leading up to and during my high school years. Post high school, I began to work on bodybuilding and grappled at the local BJJ studio from time to time. Being young, my late night festivities, drinking, and eating caught up with me. I managed to eat my way to a body weight of nearly 400lbs (I’d like to give a special shout out to Moon pies ☺). But shortly, I was introduced to a great friend, James Reynolds, who took me under his wing and kick started my transformation at the local Gold’s Gym.

Dragon Door: And now you train others in addition to working in real estate?

Christian Arai: Yes, I am a real estate broker and a trainer. I’ve done both for over 10 years collectively. However, I am soon looking to phase out real estate and go full time with fitness. I can’t think of a better job than fitness training, I can help others to be healthy and fit, while simultaneously achieving the same for myself.

Dragon Door: How did you find out about kettlebells?

Christian Arai: When I first moved from Michigan to Chicago, my first job was personal training at Equinox. They had just a few kettlebells, but I was curious and familiarized myself with them while I was there. I also spent a significant amount of time researching alternative exercise methodologies so I could be even more effective for a wide range of client needs.
Christian Arai RKC Workshop kettlebell overhead press

Dragon Door: How did you decide to go for your RKC certification?

Christian Arai: I was eagerly looking into different kettlebell systems and while I found some that were impressive, I was not particularly fond of the form they used. Specifically, it seemed like some of the techniques were not as structurally sound, tight, and precise as I prefer in my training. But, during my research, I watched a YouTube video of Robert Miller doing double high pulls. His impressive technique spearheaded my interest in Dragon Door’s RKC Certification.

I soon learned that Dragon Door offered specialized training in complete and efficient systems for true athletes. At this point, I clearly saw that I wanted to focus on the RKC-I, RKC-II, FMS and now the PCC certification. I must have watched the video clip of Robert Miller over twenty times. I wanted to learn how to move like that! Rob’s technique and form is truly a work of art and I was inspired! I visited Rob at ID Gym the very next day and we started training.

Dragon Door: What results did you notice when you started with RKC Style kettlebell training?

Christian Arai: I really noticed my overall strength improved. I felt like it helped connect my body and mind, and helped me develop the ability to use my entire body as one unit. Back in 2006, I competed at the NPC Michigan Bodybuilding Championship and felt I was in tremendous health. I wanted to get back to that level of fitness, but for me, the type of diet and training I was exposed to proved to be very destructive on several levels.
Christian Arai Bodybuilding Contest

It wasn’t until I had consistent and focused kettlebell training that I discovered this tool could very well surpass the shape I was in during my competition days. Since I’ve worked more consistently with kettlebells, I’ve noticed that some of the greatest changes are that I feel physically superior than ever before, I move better, and I am significantly stronger. These results have really motivated me to continue leading a more healthy lifestyle with confidence.

Dragon Door: What are your current goals?

Christian Arai: I want to complete the RKC II, PCC, and CK-FMS certifications while continuing to improve my movement and technique. Additionally, I’d like to open up a shop with like-minded individuals who also teach these principles. I am a lifelong student of the game. I will continue to work and improve my understanding of all aspects of kettlebell training—not only what it can do for me, but also what it can do for my clients.

Dragon Door: Are you training a particular demographic now?

Christian Arai: I coach a wide range of people. I have worked with corporate executives to athletes, artists to fitness professionals. My demographic mainly consists of people who have a desire to learn how to improve their health and fitness—and who are not afraid of working hard to reach their goals.

Dragon Door: I hope you don't mind me asking, but after you mentioned weighing over 400lbs before, how much do you weigh now?

Christian Arai: At the RKC workshop in July, I weighed 225lbs. When I started training for the RKC certification in March, I weight about 235lbs and have been that average weight for the past few years while training twice a day on most days. Now, at 225lbs, I am leaner, stronger and feel the best I’ve felt in a long time.

Dragon Door: Since you have successfully improved your health over the long term, what advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in a similar situation to yours when you first began training?

Christian Arai: I would say don't quit on yourself, and that no one will believe in you unless you believe in yourself. It's just one of those things—you have to believe, truly want to change, and accept that if you want results, you’ll need to work hard. Nothing comes easy, but believe and don't quit on yourself. One of my most motivational quotes from growing up is from Arnold Schwarzenegger, "You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets."
Christian Arai Double Kettlebell Swing Set up

Dragon Door: What are your favorite kettlebell moves to practice and teach?

Christian Arai: I enjoy practicing snatches because of the conditioning aspect and the mental challenge of keeping your form and technique intact for 10 or 100 reps! I like teaching the get-up because it’s great for assessment, correctives, and the progressive development of movement patterns and strength.

Dragon Door: Even though trained specifically for the RKC, was there anything at the workshop that you found especially enlightening or that was surprising?

Christian Arai: Yes, the willingness of Robert Miller and Katie Peterson to instruct and educate me leading up to the workshop really attracted me to the RKC. At the workshop, this trait was consistent across all of my instructors. Master RKC Andrea Du Cane and her team of instructors were so helpful, open and knowledgeable. We were exposed to many different methods, solutions, and cues to improve our own form and technique, as well as how to best coach others.
Christian Arai RKC Workshop

Andrea is a great, challenging and tough instructor. From day one she let us know that we would really be working for it. It was definitely a great experience, and I would do it all over again. I’m already looking forward to the RKC-II!

ChristianAraiDoubleFrontSquat thumbnailChristian Arai trains at HiFi Gym in Chicago, IL. He can be reached via email christianarai@comcast.net for group or individual training.