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The Certified Indian Club Specialist (CICS) Workshop


"As a Chiropractor, daily I fight the constant battle of our computer/desk and/or flexion dominant population. The CICS workshop provided me another set of tools to add to my collection of ways to help improve not only my patients' dysfunction (s), but my own. Indian clubs are a restorative tool to repair our shoulder girdle and thoracic spine and they are fun and playful. Thanks!"—Dr. Lauren Evans, RKC, Studio City, CA

Like the Kettlebell, the ancient Indian Club was a once-prized exercise tool that fell on hard times. Once a favored training device of royalty, military, elite athletes and enthusiastic amateurs alike, the club became relegated, by the 1930s, to dusty attics, damp basements and the moldy memories of old-school fitness diehards.

In its final, most refined incarnation, the Indian Club had been developed, in turn, by British, German and American military and civilian experts into a highly sophisticated system of restorative health drills. The unique circular weight lifting movements of the Indian Club were considered to promote not only greater overall strength and flexibility but to act as a magnificent "neural tune-up" for the whole body. Sadly, as the exercise community changed its focus, the Indian Club—and its myriad of health benefits—all but disappeared. Just like the kettlebell.

Dr. Ed Thomas began learning the warrior-based German Turnvereine method of functional Indian Club skills in the early-1950's at around the age of eight. He later studied classical club swinging for nine months in Burma, and has learned from other teachers of this ancient art in the United States, Germany and South Korea. After many years of study and practice, Dr. Thomas began teaching his university students in the 1980's. Throughout the 1990's, he included Indian Clubs in the physical readiness training doctrine he developed for the United States Army.

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Thomas, there has been a resurgence of interest amongst high-level athletes, coaches and trainers in the multiple benefits of the Indian Club. After Dr. Thomas's success in introducing circular weight training to the military, UFC fighters and a host of competitive sports athletes, the demand has grown for Dr. Thomas to pass on his system to a group of qualified instructors.

The current lead instructor for the CICS program is Master RKC, Brett Jones, co-author with Gray Cook of the Club Swinging Essentials manual and DVD, which we strongly recommend you study before attending the workshop.

wic01 thomas "Dr. Ed Thomas is undoubtedly the U.S. Army's top physical readiness training expert. He has inspired a paradigm shift that will benefit our soldiers for years to come."—Lt. Col. William Rieger, Commandant, U.S. Army Physical Fitness School, Fort Benning, Georgia

"Dr. Ed Thomas is a gifted teacher and world-class physical educator who recognized many years ago the power of training concepts that are cutting edge today."—Jeremy Levine, Former human performance advisor to the U.S. Navy SEALS

Restores Health, Enhances Vigor, Removes Pain, Ignites Energy—and Enhances Athletic Performance

  • Helps lubricate, strengthen and heal the joints
  • Restores shoulder girdle efficiency and mobility
  • Develops coordination
  • Strengthens back and shoulders
  • Improves elbow and wrist flexibility
  • Enhances range of motion
  • Helps cultivate smooth, efficient movement
  • Enhances brain function
  • Enhances neural efficiency
  • Helps you be a better fighter, golfer, swimmer— or tennis, basketball, football, baseball, softball player, to name just a few…

One of the greatest benefits you'll get from India Clubs is undoubtedly improved shoulder function:

"The shoulder girdle is one of the most mobile areas of the body but also one of the most fragile. For serious and recreational athletes alike, the pain and instability that results from shoulder injuries can jeopardize careers and alter lifestyles. As with many injuries, this number could be greatly reduced with the proper care and training. Strength of the shoulder should be complemented by flexibility, yet many Americans never fully develop their natural shoulder girdle mobility and muscular balance. When the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder is made strong, aligned and mobile, other joints like the wrist and elbow also benefit.

"Indian Club swinging can be described as circular weight training that can exercise the shoulder, wrist and elbow in ways not possible with traditional linear weight training. Indian Club swinging will not only strengthen muscles and ligaments, maintain joint flexibility and improve range of motion but will greatly reduce risk of injury. You will also notice improved grace, rhythm and eye-hand coordination due to the concentration and neural demands necessary to perform the movements. The benefits of Indian Club exercises are enormous and can greatly enhance the performance of any athlete."

In the course of two full days, Brett Jones will drill CICS candidates intensively in the most crucial of the Indian Club drills and help refine each candidate's movement skills. In addition Brett Jones will give detailed instruction on how to teach Indian Clubs to others in both private and group settings.

A detailed curriculum and schedule will be made available at the workshop itself.

The history of the Indian Club
About Dr. Ed Thomas

Here is a sample of the praise from the April 2010 Certified Indian Club Specialist (CICS) Workshop:

wic02 4 Name: Ricardo A. Nieves, MD., RKC Team Leader, Fort Collins, CO

Very useful information for any trainer, therapist or provider working with clients to increase shoulder mobility integrity and stability. It was a great experience.

Name: Liz Gilinger, RKC, Phoenixville, PA

Every time I come to a Dragon Door Certification, I am once again humbled! The Indian Club Specialist Workshop has enabled me to look and approach the function of the shoulder girdle differently! I am excited to bring this knowledge to my clients.

Dragon Door exceeds my expectations every time! I am once again excited to bring my clientele the best of functional and rehabilitation in the industry!

Name: Mark Toomey, RKC Team Leader, Reno NV

wic02 5 The CICS workshop is the next logical step in Dragon Door's and The RKC community's continuing progress in teaching proper movement. The concept of "moving well" before "moving rapidly" dovetails perfectly with the RKC's teaching of technique perfection creating superior strength.

Everything flowed very well, I am very happy investing this time and money.

Name: Rich Kocher, RKC II, Poughkeepsie, NY

The workshop gave me a much deeper understanding of the finer points and technical aspects of the Indian Club.

The workshop was amazing!!! Anyone thinking about doing it – don't think about it! It was very informative, I highly recommend it.

The quality was outstanding. It is the quality I have come to know and expect from Dragon Door, the RKC and all the other certifications I have attended from Dragon Door. They didn't disappoint.

As a personal trainer and kettlebell instructor for a living, I rate the workshop as one of the best I've attended in terms of quality of instruction and practical usable skills that you leave the workshop with.

Name: Michael Sliviak, RKC, Sandy Lake, PA

Another homerun!! Dragon Door consistently presents the best and most knowledgeable instructors to be found. After focusing so much on strength, the Indian Club as a restorative tool helps complete the circle. The safe and proper teaching of Indian Clubs will be a great asset to the RKC community at large. Another door opened and old paradigm broken.

It is hard to believe that this is the first CICS course because the quality and flow was exceptional.

Name: Diane Salettel, RKC II, Bedford, OH

I've been waiting for this for a long time. I've always been fascinated with the clubs but never knew where to find instruction.

Dragon Door always offers only the highest quality of master instruction and material. That's why I keep coming back for more.

Name: Lena Caroselli, RKC, Collegeville, PA

This workshop was full of information and very educational it reinforced how important the technique of training was in the 1800's and early 1900's. Considering I thought this workshop was going to be very difficult and hard to learn – the teaching was superb and made it much easier to understand. I still have lots to learn but with the training I received this weekend it will help me in my daily progression and practice of Indian clubs. I can't wait to improve and teach our clients. Love this style of training it is amazing how poor mobility is in this day – due to current ways of training & our lifestyles. I always meet great people through Dragon Door every time I attend a workshop – the camaraderie is amazing. I feel lucky to be part of this elite group.

All were amazing and extremely knowledgeable – very pleasant and helpful. I appreciate all of them taking time from their schedule to teach us this weekend. Thank you. Thank you all for a great weekend.

Name: Jeff O'Connor, Master RKC, Talala, OK

Super-Duper awesome.

This is a home run, I think that once this gets streamlined and some momentum it is going to be an integral part of the system.

This workshop should be a mandatory part of any education. However, since it obviously won't be, those who chose to learn and implement the skills provided here will truly separate themselves from other trainers. Even trainers in the most elite training system available, the RKC.

Name: David Whitley, Master RKC, Nashville, TN

wic02 2 The use of clubs as part of the RKC system is a great component of the relaxation and mobility side of Hard Style. It complements the super joints aspect of our system very well.

100% pure grade RKC HardStyle Dragon Door quality.

This is exactly the kind of stuff we need to have available to emphasize that "Hard Style" is not all tension, all the time, but that it includes joint mobility and relaxation-based movement as well. Super Joints, Fast and Loose, etc. now have the clubs in their family.