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Instructor Profiles

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Cecilia Tom


San Francisco, CA
United States 94102
9.96 out of 10 (24 reviews)
I animate humans and un-fail whales. 

In third person ::: 
Cecilia offers strength and movement instruction in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The kettlebell is one of the most versatile strength tool out there, but building skills is a life-long process that goes beyond any particular implement.  She famously said, "The kettlebell is timeless.  Fads are created by people who don't know what the f#*k they're doing with it."

I am awesome >:)

In third person ::: 
Cecilia is a passionate and highly regarded educator with instructor certifications in kettlebell lifting, athletic performance, pilates, and yoga, as well as two decades of intensive and extensive training and practice in the movement arts, including kung fu, tai chi, qigong, and dance. She brings to her work an uncompromising vision of superior health and athleticism, which she believes is attainable for anyone willing to undertake dedicated, intelligent practice. 

Besides operating prAxis (which entails a two-block commute), Cecilia subversively spreads the Hard Style Gospel while performing certain formal functions: 
1. Adjunct Faculty ~ Exercise & Sports Science Department, University of San Francisco
2. Tai Chi Instructor ~ UCSF Bakar Fitness & Recreation Center
3. Qigong / Tai Chi / Joint Mobility Instructor ~ USF Koret Health & Recreation Center

Yes, it's about my professional training, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Teaching is an art, and it's the interactivity that engages me and challenges me to do better. The following information is pertinent to this aspect of my work life, which is not my entire career. This list is also evolving. 

1. Certified Level 2 RKC Russian Kettlebell Instructor by Pavel Tsatsouline
2. Certified Kettlebell-Functional Movement Specialist (CK-FMS)
3. Maximum Impact Barbell Training with Pavel Tsatsouline & Jeff O'Connor
4. Easy Strength Seminar with Pavel Tsatsouline & Dan John
5. Certified Indian Clubs Specialist
6. Certified Level 4 Z Health Movement Specialist (R, I, S, T) & Specialties Certifications 
7. Certified Pilates Instructor with Master Teacher Carol Appel / Body Kinetics 
8. Certified Fletcher Towelwork Instructor 
9. Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Sarah Powers
10. Certified Yoga Teacher with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
11. Certificate in Integrated Yoga Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies
12. Movement workshops with the following teachers: Michael Reed Gach (acupressure & yoga), Laura Cornell (yoga), Sophia Reinders (yoga & Jungian psychology), Anna Halprin (dance & movement ritual), Richard Rosen (yoga), Patricia Sullivan (yoga), and Seane Corn (yoga)

~ Danced & Performed With ~ 
1. Peony Performing Arts (Chinese classical dance)
2. Kaiwen You's China Dance School (Chinese classical dance)
3. Bruce Ghent's Maikaze Taiko
4. Bay Area Flash Mob

 ~ Other Fun Stuff ~
1. One year of static trapeze training at the San Francisco Circus Center
2. One year (Levels 1-6) of pole dancing classes at Sheila Kelley's S Factor
3. Attended Fighter's Workshop with Eyal Yanilov (Krav Maga Global) & Pavel Tsatsouline
4. Climbed a tree at a MovNat Workshop 
5. BATS Improv Foundation 1 & 2
6. Open water swimming in the San Francisco Bay
7. Fight For Air Climb 2012 Team Leader
8. Point Reyes 2012 Trails Challenge

~ Education ~
1. BA in Economics & International Relations, Stanford University
2. MA in International Policy Studies, Stanford University

Cecilia is also known on the internets as @twiddlebells and the Mandarin Menace.  For the convenience of stalkers, a portion of her Facebook profile has been made public.  She does not respond to friend requests from mere acquaintances or people whom she has not met in person.    
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10/10 Excellent Instruction!
By Amy Chan / Denver, USA

I don't live in the Bay area, but I was in town for a conference and wanted to book a session with a local kettlebell instructor. I found Cecilia's profile here on Dragon Door and she looked like "the one" to work with.

I sought feedback to improve my technique in the fundamental kettlebell movements. Over the last few years I have trained with half a dozen other certified kettlebell instructors, and find that I get the most from Cecilia's keen observations and astute feedback. Her cues are spot on, unique from other trainers, and enable me to make immediate improvements. Even focusing solely on technique and not a traditional workout of sets, reps, or timed intervals, I left our session totally spent and sore for days afterward!

I don't get to see Cecilia as often as I would like, but I leave with plenty of "homework" that carries me through for awhile afterward! I highly recommend Cecilia to anyone who wants to move better, get stronger, and become the most awesome version of yourself!

10/10 calm, kind, knowledgeable,thoughtful
By Janice Garrigan / Petaluma, CA, USA

I booked a personal session with Cecilia Tom to help with my kettle bell work, which was self-taught up to that point. I knew I needed some direction and was a bit leery to hear everything that was wrong (I thought). Ceclia was kind, and gentle with her cues and tips. She was not condescending or rude about what needed help. She gave as many compliments as she did corrections. I was nervous to go because in my opinion all RKCs are bad-asses and I am not (yet). She was so easy to work with and I got specific instruction on what I did well, what needed changing and how to change it. I really was pleasantly surprised and now I will practice what she taught me and definitely book another session after I've mastered these first tips.

10/10 Great Results - Balance and Strength
By Paul Malling / San Francisco, USA

I first started working with Cecilia three years ago, as I was referred to her by my chiropractor to help recover from an injury. I was a little nervous about kettle bells, but with her guidance and expert knowledge I soon became very comfortable with them and feel much stronger and balanced. Her mobility exercises have been a great addition to my training also. A great benefit is her skill in making the exercise not only effective but efficient….I spend far less time training than before working with her, but get better results! She builds a nice community in her practice also, with classes and special holiday workouts that are fun and interesting.

10/10 Never boring, always something new
By Mark Champe / San Francisco, United States

Cecillia is a fantastic teacher of Kettlbell and other types of exercise and flexibility training. She has helped me gain flexibility in my injured neck and greatly increase my abdominal strength. I look forward to our sessions and I always feel better afterwards. I would recommend (and I have) Cecillia to anyone who wants to learn low-impact, highly effective strength and flexibility exercises.

10/10 Awesome Kettlebell instructor
By Jim McTiernan / San Francisco, USA

Cecilia is a very knowledgeable Kettlebell instructor, as well as other areas of physical training. I started training with Cecilia about 6 months ago as I was looking for help in pursuit of my goal of passing the RKC. Having a few physical ailments, Cecilia has been helping me using Z-health. Cecilia also opened my eyes to using Indian Clubs to help with my shoulder problems. She has shown me various techniques that I use to improve areas where I lack of mobility.
She is very observant during our training sessions, and is great about pointing out improvements that I can make in my technique.
Every training session is an opportunity to learn something new. Cecilia is a very innovative trainer. During the time that I have been training with Cecilia my cardio and strength have improved dramatically. I highly recommend having Cecilia as a trainer.

10/10 The Best!
By Sanna Cook / San Anselmo, United States

I have been training with Cecilia for over a year. This woman is a keen observer and knows how to make your movement harder or easier or just more efficient and has the discernment to know which would better serve you. She seems to know when to push and how far. She gives thought to her workouts and is keenly observant throughout the workout. She has a huge toolbox full of surprising ideas. She brings a sense of fun to her workouts. She is also an expert at Z-Health. I am (almost) 64 and doing something this intense has been a challenge (especially with a shoulder with limited movement), but Cecilia has worked with me at my beginning level and has made me much stronger and, better yet, my physical movements in day-to-day living has been much more effortless. When I started I, intended to learn just enough proper form to do at home as it is a 20 mile (one-way) trip to the City, but working with Cecilia in person is a special treat - for the workout, the fun and the tremendous support. So, I do both. Cecilia is about living and not just about kettlebells. Thank you Cecilia!

9/10 Cecilia Tom
By Matt M / San Francisco, United Statse

I have been training with with Cecilia for over a year. Cecilia is smart, observant, and precise. She never says too much, but when she speaks you better listen. She saves her words to articulate the best feedback and response possible in hopes to improve her client's performance. I would recommend Cecilia to anyone who is looking to work hard and cut out a lot of the BS you may find with other trainers and instructors.

10/10 She's great!
By Tom Feldstein / San Francisco, USA

I have now worked with Cecilia for over three years. I first discovered hear after learning about kettlebells and doing som on-line research. She has been great to work with and brings expert knowledge of kettle bells/RKC protocls and theories, but is also very well versed in other modalities such as Z-health. Every work-out is new and interesting and she is very tuned in to my body and what works and what doesn't. Highly reccomend her.

10/10 T N's dynomite
By Tom Foley / Oakland, USA

As soon as I saw Cecilia's DragonDoor profile, I knew she was the one I needed to connect with to get me on the right kettlebell path. I needed help, badly. I had a couple private sessions with her and joined her for one group class. She took the time at each step, dead lift, goblet squat, swing, press, & TGU to provide me with a wonderful RKC foundation. I just attained RKC status in Chicago this month and I owe much of my success to her getting me off on the right foot.

-Forever Indebted

10/10 Cecilia is Your Answer
By Scott Herman / Lenoir, N.C., United States

I had the pleasure of being an assistant with Cecilia on Team Nepodal at a RKC Level II certification in July, 2011. She is an amazing instructor. She has a lot of great knowledge and demonstrates unreal technique. Cecilia is also a very caring instructor who does go above and beyond the call of duty to help her students learn. Cecilia is also a strong lady. I highly encourage you to have Cecilia as your instructor. No matter what you are trying to achieve, whether it be strength, endurance, conditioning, flexiblity or fat-loss, Cecilia is your answer.

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Cecilia Tom