Praise for the Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) — Boston, MA, February 2016


Tom Pappas, Long Valley, NJ, Computer Analyst

Athletic Achievements Leads Boot Camp Style Fitness Classes at Corporate Fitness Center, Former Div III soccer player Susquehanna University

Learning the finer points in depth and with focus on the basic movements was extremely helpful in building a much more rock-solid foundation for my kettlebell training. I go forth with new confidence in explaining and demonstrating proper kettlebell technique to others.

Every single one of the instructors was absolutely terrific – professional, courteous, supportive and KNOWLEDGEABLE! These folks really know their stuff. Phil Ross, Angelo Gala, Annie Vo and the assistants are everything I hope/aspire to be in a personal trainer.

I cannot imagine anything that could exceed the quality, scope of material and practical use of the HKC, RKC and Dragon Door.


Jessa Lemoine

1. I now feel 100% confident in teaching others how to PERFECTLY perform the 6 kettlebell movements.

2. I learned what the Iron Maiden Challenge is and am now an official Iron Maiden :) New goal = Iron Maiden with a 32kg!!!

A fun weekend with like-minded people learning the fundamentals of kettlebell movements. A great workshop with knowledgeable leaders and awesome networking opportunities.

Everyone was consistent across the board with the same technique and understanding of the movement. Eveeryone was also very approachable if you had any questions. Quality and knowledge base was definitely great!

The emphasis on quality of movement was amazing. That was my favorite aspect of the weekend. Practical use was also amazing. We actually got to "train" others that were not part of the RKC certification.


Jon Mantel, Cromwell, CT, Police Officer

Athletic Achievements Law Enforcement, Firearms Instructor, EMT, 1st Degree Black Belt Kenpo karate

Wow! The energy was great at all times. It’s obvious that Phil and Angelo know what they teach and teach what they know. The experience that the instructors have is unbelievable and they pass on that knowledge to each student.

The instructors were great. They worked well together expressing their unique experiences and knowledge.

I have attended many training seminars that have lasted from a few hours to a weeklong. With no doubt this was the best to date. I’m walking away with so much information that I will be able to use for myself and others. Thank you


Bill Durbrow, Manchester, NH, Personal Trainer

Athletic Achievements NSCA Certification, College Basketball Player


Brad Eaton, Claremont, NH, Nutrition and Fitness Coach

Athletic Achievements INBF Natural Bodybuilding, Grand Masters 3rd Place, USA Weightlifting - Sports Performance and Club Coach Functional Movement Systems - FMS Level 1 Certified, Precision Nutrition - Level 1 Certified

The training is demanding in the spirit of Russian Kettlebell Style necessary to improve movement, stability, strength and endurance. It requires the instructor candidate to “walk-the-talk”.

All instructors “shined” in their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. The depth of knowledge was incredible, obviously a function of their training and breadth of experience.

Over the top excellent. Easy learning process, yet very comprehensive. Instructors were true leaders.


Joseph Jennings, Pittsfield, MA, Builder

Athletic Achievements Recreational athletics, strength and conditioning

Humbling, extremely informative. By far the best, most comprehensive training program I have ever been a part of.  All information was explained very well and the course followed a coherent and effective progression, each skill building up to the next.

Incredible instructors. Completely exceeded expectations. Their abundant knowledge/familiarity with the program, combined with their passion for the KB and training others, completely made the workshop for me. Would sign up for another workshop with any of these instructors in a heartbeat.

I was incredibly impressed with the workshop. I have learned so much and have also become aware of how much more there is to learn. I will take this experience home, practice what I’ve learned and start to get ready for RKC II.


Kim Pzegeo, Andover, MA, Personal Trainer

Athletic Achievements I have a bachelors degree in Kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire and now I work as a certified fitness professional. I am an HKC instructor and TRX certified.

It was an amazing experience that I would do again in a heartbeat. Even a year ago I probably would have told you were crazy that I would attend, but with positive RKC influence that all changed. To be around our Master Instructor Phil was incredible because of his amount of experience and knowledge he knows. Along with Senior Instructor Angelo just the simple explanations that make an issue a quick fix. My goal was to absorb as much knowledge as I could. It was as if everyone was our family for the weekend.

It was all excellent quality of training, always felt there was something going on. When the end of the day came I couldn’t believe it. The knowledge the head and master instructors had was above and beyond what I could have dreamed and I am so grateful I had this opportunity to pick their brains. Everyone was so helpful and it was a real bonus to improve my own skills and gain many insights. The fact they all were about the quality of the movements, which is what creates the best future instructors.

The RKC really made sure we understood every movement, not just perform a movement once, and moved on. Some of the highest quality I can now take back to training my clients & myself.

Would definitely recommend this cert and excited to put this new knowledge I learned in practice.


Adel Lolic, Hartford, CT, Wellness Center Manager/ Graduate Student

Athletic Achievements : I have a B.S. in Exercise Science, and a M.S. in Exercise Science in progress from Central Connecticut State University. I am a certified exercise physiologist through the ACSM, and a personal trainer. I was a High school wrestler, volleyball player and football player. I began Martial Arts training in 2007, predominately focusing on MMA training and competition. I have competed in grappling tournaments and under Muay Thai and boxing rules as an amateur as well. I started personal training and coaching around the same time later 2009. I have coached a variety of athletes from fighters to volleyball players. I have utilized kettlebells in my training since 2006-7 wrestling season.

It’s a very rewarding 3 days, you earn a lot of new skills and you have a great time. Spend a lot of time with like-minded people.

Everyone was amazing from Master Ross, to Angelo Gala to all the instructors helping out. Everyone walked around and gave good solid advice, and coached you on skills. There was no negativity from any of the instructors and everyone seemed happy to help.

Best thing I have done for my kettlebell training! Loved it and will take more courses in future.


Andrew J Leroy, Watertown, MA, Gym Owner

Athletic Achievements ACE, ACSM, NASM, CPR

Very rewarding experience. Each day was a battle, but I always left with a better understanding of kettlebells an their optimal utilization.

Overall this was a very positive and rewarding experience. The tests were tough but fair and it was clear that each trainer wanted “you” to succeed.

One of, if not, the best workshops I’ve been through. Very well paced.

Great experience overall and would highly recommend to anyone who wants to master the art of kettlebells!


Kathleen Aicardi, Pembroke, MA, Office Manager/HR Manager

Athletic Achievements M.Ed.; BS Nutritional Science; Health Education Certification (MA & CA); Nutrition Professor at Quincy College; Certified Personal Trainer; Certified Kettlebell Instructor (AOS); Owner Transformations Movement Company (kettlebell & yoga studio); Ran several Marathons(to include qualifying for and running Boston), half marathons, 10Ks. Ran 2 Spartan Sprints & currently training for Spartan Super.

The certification re-energized my kettlebell practice and helped me to recognize my strengths and areas needing improvement. The staff was highly qualified, passionate and professional in their coaching.

All the instructors each brought a level of expertise to the training. Having several trainers allows students to hear information in a way that may speak to them based on a particular trainer’s style and presentation.

Our trainers this weekend, Phil, Angelo, Annie, Dan and Shawn were professional and highly knowledgeable in their areas of expertise. Grateful to have had them as my teachers this weekend. Thank you!

Balanced in terms of lecture, application, and demonstration of the techniques. The manual and its detail is extremely helpful. The opportunity to now become part of the Dragon Door community will be a welcome resource.


Kenton Wilcox, Woburn, MA, Scientist

Athletic Achievements Once an ACE certified personal trainer

It was just as professional and enjoyable as it was the first time I took it in July of 2015.

Angelo and Phil were excellent the first time and it was the exact same experience this time around.  Dan and Annie were also very professional and gave great feedback and practiced assertive correction very well.

Recommend taking the HKC first to potential students/participants.


Alexis Kairnes, Shrewsbury, MA, Product Manager

Athletic Achievements Currently training with RKC certified instructors, Completed a Spartan Sprint and Super in 2015, Former Bikini Competitor

This weekend workshop was one of the best experiences. It took me out of the everyday stress, but I was able to learn techniques that can be applied to all areas… not just kb. I was able to really hone in on skills and learn new techniques that I as not exposed to prior. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned.

All of the RKC staff were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. It helped that each of them had different backgrounds and verbal cues to help us along. I think that helped us become better instructors because we get to take a little piece of each of them with us.

I loved it. Can’t wait for the next one.


Praise for the Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) — San Jose, CA, February 2016


Taylor Lewis, San Rafael, CA, Strength and Conditioning Coach

Athletic Achievements Sonoma State Strength and Conditioning Coach

Unbelievable content beyond using a kettlebell. Dan and Chris talking about programming was worth the cert. The quality hands down is the best. I have been to 3 certs and this one has been the best. We work hard physically but left with so many golden nuggets.


Ben Fogel, Sandy, UT, Gym Owner

Athletic Achievements Prior NCAA track and field athlete, prior US Bobsled World Cup Athlete, NASM - CPT, FMS Certified, CHEK Certified.

If you want to learn more about the human body and how the Kettlebell and these 6 Movements can enhance health and performance, The RKC is for you! Best workshop that I have ever been a part of! 


Sean Ranney, Campbell, CA, CrossFit Coach

Athletic Achievements Crossfit athlete, Moxie crossfit team member, coach at crossfit Moxie, played d3 football my freshman year of college. NASM and CF L1 certified. Getting Bachelor's in exercise science.

I learned more practical information for strength and conditioning in these 3 days then I have in my time in school. I learned so many great pieces of info, drills and tools to not only use for myself but most importantly for my members.

Easily the most knowledgeable coaches I have had the pleasure of interacting with. Not only in the realm of Kettlebells but Strength and Conditioning in general. Chris Holder, Dan John and Chris White are absolutely fantastic coaches.


Brian Wiedmeier, Livermore, CA, Strength coach

Athletic Achievements Poliquin 1 and 2, CHEK exercise coach, FMS 1 and 2, Npti

Really eye opening. The importance of technique cannot be overstated and the instruction to do so exceedingly met my expectations.


Paul Kolososki, Redondo Beach, CA, Personal Trainer

Athletic Achievements NASM, Tier 3 personal trainer at Equinox-4 years

It has opened my eyes to a mature level of training and coaching. This is something you take with you inside and outside the gym.

This seminar stuck out to me because of the Names. It did not disappoint. Dan and both Chris’s, was something that I would do over again. The way they spoke, taught and organized the weekend was fun and exciting. I loved every minute. I am a better trainer and coach because of them.

This is organized, fun, educational and tough. Everything I could ask for. What makes the training worth it, is the teachers. They were superb.

Thanks for the opportunity and teachings I will use for the next 100 years.


Renee Geist, Cedar Park, TX, Personal Trainer

Athletic Achievements IKFF certified, attended 2 day Kbell seminar with Russian Master of Sport, Ksenia Dedukhina August 2015, played Rugby for Rutgers University and for NJ a total of 7 years, certified Group Fitness and Personal Trainer since 1996

The RKC certification exceeded my expectations across all areas. I was impressed by the wisdom, experience and approach by the coaches. I felt the coaches and organization truly are trailblazers in the area of Kettlebells and have the client’s goals and safety in mind. I feel the course is rigorous enough to prove our capabilities and commitment to ourselves but gain enough to give us the ability to succeed if we are ready.

I couldn’t imagine how the training/coaching team could have been any better! They had instant credibility with their current courses, past endeavors, education and training. What was more impressive was their detail to everything, their laser focused vision and understanding of everything kettlebells and their patience yet tough love. I was impressed by the coach to student ratio and how well structured and scheduled the days were in order to pack in learning with just enough time to get to know each others. I felt supported and respected 100% of the time despite my imperfections.

I loved the real life stories the instructors shared about their personal experiences with Kettlebell training and with training others. I had many ‘A-HA’ moments, super helpful!

I have had many certs over the years in personal training and group fitness. This cert has been the most well run, most professional, most humbling yet uplifting and most comprehensive. The user manual is an excellent support tool and the pre workshop emails preparing us were more comprehensive and clarifying than any I’ve ever received of that nature before. On a scale of 1-10 I give this cert a 10 in all parameters and it is clearly the best cert experience I’ve ever had (And I’m no spring chicken :) )

It is evident to me that this organization cares about us and wants us to be successful and be there for our families. For all the things I listed here and prior, I believe Dragon Door and the RKC group are TOP NOTCH.


Jeff Webb, San Francisco, CA, Software Manager

Athletic Achievements I have completed over 30 marathons and ultra marathons. As part of my training I have incorporated barbell and KB into my training.

  1. As a runner/cyclist/traditional endurance athlete, I am used t working in the sagittal plane. The RKC has helped me uncover imbalances that I have & gives me many tools to address these imbalances.
  2. Likewise, running and sitting have created tight hip flexors. My ‘A HA’ moment was the Hip Flexor stretch + swings which lit up my abs for the first time doing swings…ever.
  3. As a runner, sometimes you feel like an outsider in the weight room. Absolutely – none- of that feeling this weekend & with this community. The group understands the KB is the means not the end.
  4. I feel like after putting in the work to get to the RKC weekend, combined with what I learned this weekend I have a focused direction moving forward.

There is so much information I’ve ingested this weekend it well probably take me weeks/months to assimilate.

Exceptional. I feel like we struck gold.

This is the best I’ve been through. In large group settings it’s been my experience that you don’t get attention. You got nothing but attention here. All questions were answered.


Jessica Renee Pino

  1. This certification reminded me of why I fell in love with Kettlebell training in the first place.
  2. I gained many new tools for my coaching tool box that can be applied immediately when I arrive home.

This RKC training weekend was phenomenal. Having already gone through this experience before, this weekend was a great refresher of skills and coaching I already knew and those I had forgotten. The structure was unlike any certification I’ve been to before. The smaller group atmosphere made the cert more personable and kept the forum open for questions and other learning. I truly enjoyed my experience and would recommend it to everyone interested in taking his or her coaching skills to the next level.

I can not say enough how pleased I am with the knowledge and leadership of the instructors of this cert.

The team of instructors we had the opportunity to learn from was extraordinary. Their knowledge and expertise was of a high level of experience and their delivery of this knowledge was outstanding. I learned so much and gained a better understanding of myself and how I can help my students. Dan John, Chris Holder, Chris White, Robin and Sean are over the top. I have no doubt that this was one of the most incredible certifications I have been to.

I appreciate the emphasis placed on ensuring all new coaches had an understanding of how to teach the skills learned during the weekend. The majority of us are here to learn how to help others and DragonDoor did an incredible job making sure we knew how to apply what was learned.


Gianna Bandoni, San Luis Obispo, CA, Personal Trainer

Athletic Achievements RKC I 2012, strength & conditioning intern with Dr. Chris Holder at San Jose State University 2011-2013, BS Kinesiology 2012, MS Kinesiology in progress at Cal Poly, SLO

World-class coaching & training. There really is no better place to learn the fundamentals of strength & conditioning. FAR better than CrossFit. So much more worth my time & money.


Ariel San Pedro, Newark, CA, Personal Trainer

Athletic Achievements Former Police Officer, Defensive Tactics and Firearms Instructor, SWAT Team Operator

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

A great weekend learning about the specific techniques & principles of strength, mobility + stability used in KB training.

Please share your thoughts on the quality of training and knowledge provided by the Head Instructor, Master RKCs, Senior Instructors and/or RKC Team Leaders this weekend:

  1. Dan John
  2. Chris Holder
  3. Chris White
  4. John Du Cane

-Enough Said

Dan brought humor + experience to the weekend. Chris Holder’s unique take on Chinese Medicine + blending it with collegial athletics. Chris White performing the KB exercises + warm ups. John Du Cane showing up was a treat & Honor.

How did the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training compare with any other training you have taken in physical exercise—in terms of quality, scope of material, and practical use?

Very high quality, professional and organized. The caliber of instructors was top notch!


Kristof Zschaler, Santa Cruz, CA, Facilities Tech

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

Fabulous, everything I expected & more. An absolutely incredible experience.

Please share your thoughts on the quality of training and knowledge provided by the Head Instructor, Master RKCs, Senior Instructors and/or RKC Team Leaders this weekend:

All of the trainers were great and provided quality info in a short amount of time.


Jean-Pierre Bidegain, Taipei, Taiwan, Fitness Trainer

Athletic Achievements PCC, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

The RKC is not just another workshop but a whole system that provides to the participants all the tools necessary to become great instructors.

Please share your thoughts on the quality of training and knowledge provided by the Head Instructor, Master RKCs, Senior Instructors and/or RKC Team Leaders this weekend:

Dan John + Chris Holder = Awesome!


Megan E Peterson, Aptos, CA, Health and Performance Program Manager

Athletic Achievements Former gymnast and triathlete, Certified Hatha Yoga teacher, Crossfit Level 1 Trainer, ACE Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, NCBTMB - Board Certified Massage Therapist, Group Ex. Instructor, BS Kinesiology

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

Attending the RKC was an invaluable experience. IT extended beyond my expectations. The knowledge & expertise of the trainers and the way the material was presented was top notch!

Please share your thoughts on the quality of training and knowledge provided by the Head Instructor, Master RKCs, Senior Instructors and/or RKC Team Leaders this weekend:

The quality of training & knowledge couldn’t be better than it was. They all complemented each other. The information was informative yet funny and very engaging – not boring or mundane. They were all awesome!

How did the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training compare with any other training you have taken in physical exercise—in terms of quality, scope of material, and practical use?

I’ve taken many trainings & this is one where I feel I actually got my money’s worth. The quality, scope & practical use was the best I’ve seen.

Additional comments & suggestions:

I don’t use Facebook so won’t be able to see the photos & videos. It would be nice to use the RKC forum or Google photos to share the pictures.


Greg Holihan, San Jose, CA, Nurse

Athletic Achievements Crossfit Level 1, US Navy SEAL

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

It was an outstanding learning opportunity that allows direct input from highly skilled and educated professionals.

How did the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training compare with any other training you have taken in physical exercise—in terms of quality, scope of material, and practical use?

I think this is very thorough & safe compared to many other systems.


Lacie Helfert, Salt Lake City, UT, Personal Trainer

Athletic Achievements Powerlifting

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

It was absolutely phenomenal. The coaches + assistants were so knowledgeable & friendly. I don’t think I could have gotten a better experience with anyone else.

Please share your thoughts on the quality of training and knowledge provided by the Head Instructor, Master RKCs, Senior Instructors and/or RKC Team Leaders this weekend:

I thought the instructors were fabulous. There was so much to learn + they were helpful through the whole process. I learned so much and I feel comfortable going back and instructing my clients.

How did the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training compare with any other training you have taken in physical exercise—in terms of quality, scope of material, and practical use?

I think it was the best cert I have ever been to. I loved it!

In future Russian Kettlebell Certification Trainings I recommend you consider making the following additions/changes to the program:

The group was great. I think the small group & access to all the coaches/trainers was nice.


Ashley Palmer, Midvale, UT, Nutritionist

Athletic Achievements I train with Dan.

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

It was a life changing experience. I recommend it for everyone.


Daniel Piper, Alameda, CA, Coach

Athletic Achievements 40 Pull Ups, pretty straight but could improve Lifetime Soccer Player, Climbed Colombia's El Nevado de Ruiz at 17,500 Ft. Surfed 17+ Foot Waves, Boxer and wrestler, Violinist, Can hold breath and swim down to 50 ft deep of water and stay down for a bit. 405 Squat - could probably do much more now, but have been concentrating on kettlebell mastery instead. These are my athletic achievements. There's room for improvement.

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

The best fellow coaches, the best instruction, the organization with the best principles/execution.

Please share your thoughts on the quality of training and knowledge provided by the Head Instructor, Master RKCs, Senior Instructors and/or RKC Team Leaders this weekend:

I feel that these people have invested in themselves & their community Heavily. I want to emulate this.

How did the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training compare with any other training you have taken in physical exercise—in terms of quality, scope of material, and practical use?

Well, it’s hands on, community based & accessible. 3 factors I’ve had trouble finding out there, at all.

In future Russian Kettlebell Certification Trainings I recommend you consider making the following additions/changes to the program:

I like the modifications you’ve been making over the last year. Keep changing things based on your research/that of our community & extended community. I love it, it’s why I’m here.


Diane Viera-Lopez, Walnut Creek, CA, Teacher

Athletic Achievements HKC certified.

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

This experience was amazing. Even though I’m not a trainer, I was made to feel welcome and put at ease immediately. I would recommend this certification to anyone.

Also, as a 53-year-old woman who fought breast cancer 6 years ago, I needed to do this to prove to myself that I could.

In future Russian Kettlebell Certification Trainings I recommend you consider making the following additions/changes to the program:

Make sure there are enough bells. (Only a minor thing) We worked it out. 


Ferd Thieriot, Ukiah, CA, Artist/Teacher/Trainer

Athletic Achievements CrossFit certifications Level 1,2; CrossFit Kids

If I were asked to summarize my experience of the Russian Kettlebell Certification Training in a couple of sentences, I would say:

There is no better education than one with great instructors and clear, well-presented information. This course is packed with both.