Steve Cotter: Kettlebell Culture and Upping Your Mental Game

Steve Cotter didn’t invent kettlebells, but it’s impossible to talk about their popularity in the Western world without mentioning his name. Since the early 2000s, he’s given over 600 seminars and presentations on kettlebell training, in addition to authoring books and producing countless videos for everyone from beginners to competitive athletes. We talk with the coach and IKFF founder about the rise of kettlebells and what so many of us miss about the mental aspect of training. 

In this episode of The BarBend Podcast, guest Steve Cotter and host David Thomas Tao discuss:

  • Steve’s background in martial arts and his history discovering kettlebells (2:32)
  • The first movement Steve ever performed with a kettlebell (5:00)
  • Respecting the history of and individual contributions to kettlebell training (7:50)
  • Founding an international kettlebell certification (11:20)
  • Origins of kettlebell sport (13:50)
  • When Steve decided to take his courses international (16:02)
  • WHY kettlebells became so popular so quickly in the Western world (19:37)
  • “If you like to train, then you like kettlebells” (22:30)
  • Myths and misconceptions in kettlebell training, along with what it ISN’T best for (25:30)
  • Mental preparation for training (28:20)
  • Why it’s so easy to check out when training, and how we LOSE the mind-body connection (30:50)
  • What a stronger mind-body connection can give us as athletes (33:00)
  • The plateau we need to constantly fight against (36:15)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

You can say I got in on the ground floor. Now, subsequently it started in many different directions, there’s many different resources, I’ve trained with many different masters, and developed my own mastery, my own approach. But we are going back 17 years, what it was like when it first started.

 

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast,” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

Steve Cotter didn’t invent kettlebells, but he is one of the main reasons they’re so popular today. The founder of the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation or IKFF for short, Steve is a martial artist by training, and he was one of the first Americans to bring kettlebell training to the masses. If you’ve ever swung a kettlebell in a hotel gym or a globo gym, chances are you have Steve to thank, at least in part.

Since the early 2000s, Steve has given over 600 seminars, talks and presentations on kettlebell training and kettlebell sport. He’s one of the world’s most in demand speakers on the topic. That’s taken him around the globe many, many times over.

On this episode of the BarBend podcast, Steve gives us the inside scoop on his introduction to kettlebell training. How it meshed so well with his martial arts background and what inspired him to spread the gospel of the bell.

While Steve has done a lot to help kettlebell culture go mainstream, he also thinks kettlebells were destined for stardom no matter what. That’s a really interesting section of our conversation today.

We also dived deep into how your mental state impacts training and physical development. Steve believes feeling more present can help you move better, get stronger and train longer. He gives some actionable advice on how we can all get more out of our training, no matter the sport of choice.

Just a quick reminder, if you’re enjoying the BarBend podcast, make sure to leave a rating and review in your podcast app of choice. This helps us stay on track in bringing you the best content possible, week after week.

If there’s someone you’d absolutely love to hear on our future BarBend podcast episode, let us know in your podcast review. I personally read each and every review, so your suggestions will be seen.

Steve Cotter, thanks so much for joining us today. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. I’ve been a fan of your work for a while. First off, how are you doing today?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Thank you so much, David. I’m doing great. It’s a blessing to be alive.

David TaoDavid Tao

[laughs] That’s definitely a positive outlook to have.

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Absolutely.

David TaoDavid Tao

For folks who might not be so familiar with your work — and there’s a lot of it, there’s been a lot of it over the years — if you wouldn’t mind, give us a quick background of your history in sports and maybe how you first came across kettlebell training, which I would argue is certainly what you’re best known for today.

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Yes, oh thank you. Well, first and foremost, I’m a martial artist. So, everything else is coming through the lens of the martial.

I studied martial arts, started very seriously as a boy when I was 12 years old. Back in 1982 I came out to California, and that was my first, really my first profession as well.

I taught martial arts for quite a number of years. At that time, it was a form of Chinese Kung Fu. I first came across kettlebell, started seeing promotions for them back in 2001 when they were new to market.

I actually first started using kettlebells in 2002. I was one of the early adapters when the kettlebell or what I would say is the modern kettlebell phenomenon initiated, I was one of their early adaptors.

As soon as I touched the first kettlebell I immediately felt this is something. It just related to the martial artist in me, the connection to the ground, the transference of power from the ground upward.

Then I went deeper into the kettlebell, and I’ve stayed with the kettlebell ever since, been teaching, been training.

Came back to the martial arts again almost two years ago. So now I’m in the Brazilian Martial arts with the Jiu-Jitsu. The kettlebell has always supported, the martial arts was just my first love and my first identity as an athlete.

David TaoDavid Tao

When people first come across kettlebells — and this is speaking to my own experience as well — it can seem like an elegant or an awkward implement, depending on what you first attempt to use it for.

I remember my first time ever handling a kettlebell trying to press it overhead and thinking, “This is shaky and what am I supposed to do here?” and some people or other have a very different experience. They pick one up and it feels intuitive.

It really depends on what movements you try with it first and what kind of movement background you have. Do you remember the first movements you started working with, with kettlebells when you first encountered them back in 2001-2002?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Yes. And I agree with you, the movement background has a big part of that. I remember very clearly the first time I touched the kettlebell, I didn’t have any formal training or any training at all other than just catalog of Pavel in black and white [indecipherable 05:48] catalog. I saw the saw the photos of kettlebell movements.

The first movement I did was a swing and immediately felt the energy coming from the ground up. And then from there, I did a snatch. I remember that very clearly like it was yesterday. When I felt that, immediately I wanted more.

I didn’t have my own kettlebells. I was still teaching martial arts part time, and one of my students showed up for the class and he had a couple kettlebells. That was the first time I ever tasted them. And then immediately after that, I went and ordered my own and started training at home.

David TaoDavid Tao

What does that progression look like? If you’re someone who you have a catalog with static images of some of these movements, there’s not a lot of resources. You can’t really go online and find these great in-depth resources yet in the early 2000s, on any form of strength training, let alone kettlebell, which was just rising in popularity.

How did you become a student of the kettlebell and of these movement patterns without a lot of those resources? And what did that progression look like your first few years with them?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

You’re right, the world is changed and the rate of information has changed. So it’s very different today, as compared to 2002. Literally, I was just intuitively, based on the ad copy talking about the dynamic nature and comparing it in some respects to Olympic weightlifting.

I just intuitively did what seemed like the thing to do. I’m a student of history and I believe very much in giving credit where credit is due, there’s lineage, there’s sources. So irrespective of the individual, the information should be recognized for its origins. Myself, like everyone else in the early days, it was Pavel.

Pavel was the first resource in terms of the Western world in terms of American, in terms of myself. So what I did initially was I had a DVD of Pavel’s, first kettlebell DVD, which was the Russian Kettlebell Challenge.

I literally just followed it in my living room with the TV. Sorry, it wasn’t a DVD, it was a VHS. [laughs] It was a VHS tape. And I literally was just following the movements, going through the whole video on my own. I had a very extensive background in movement, I had a very extensive background in martial arts by this time, so it was quite easy for me to follow along and get the idea without any hands-on training.

That was my first exposure. I was working with them on my own, for about a year. I started teaching, bring integrating in into my martial art classes that I was doing on the weekend. And then in 2003, I decided to go to the RKC in Minnesota. That was the kettlebell certification, the only one existed at that time. That was sort of when I began my journey, I went to the RKC, I went through the course, Pavel and I immediately connected.

Because of my martial art training, I was able to essentially master those skills, and also I had an extensive background in teaching. So I was able to demonstrate myself as a strong leader, as well as a strong practitioner. Being an early adapter that gave me the possibility to be one of the early pioneers, as it was just starting, you could say I got in on the ground floor.

Now, subsequently, it’s started in many different directions. And there’s many different resources that I’ve trained with, many different masters and develop my own mastery, my own approach, but we’re going back, 17 years what it was like when it first started.

David TaoDavid Tao

Speaking of your own approach, and your own teaching of mastery with kettlebell and kettlebell sport — the IKFF, how did that come about? Was there a moment when you thought to yourself, “I need to start an organization to teach my methodology and to really promote my own teachings and the way I’m approaching these implements?”

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Yeah, obviously it’s progressive, so there’s a series of steps leading to that point. Ultimately, there was the moment and it really comes down to demand. It really comes down to I was getting more and more frequent requests from different individuals. It became apparent to me that there’s an interest in my approach.

There’s an interest in students that want to learn with me, that want to be certified with me. It became apparent that it was time for me to start a certification. I cultivated the IKFF, that was the name I came up with. The concept is still going after all these years. That was officially in 2008 is when I launched IKFF.

January of 2008 I did my first IKFF certification and that was in Hong Kong, then very fast out of the gates. Step by step how it got to that point is, as I mentioned, in 2003 I went through the RKC. Pavel and I connected. He asked me to come back and be an instructor for his program, what they were calling the “senior instructor.”

It was myself and an inner circle of five other people that were the senior instructors working with Pavel to teach the courses. After a couple of years, I started seeing and hearing about the kettlebell sport.

We would hear stories on the Internet about a such-and-such Russian lifter that was able to do this insane number of reps. It was very intriguing. I wondered, “How are these guys doing this?” but there were no resources. There was no YouTube, or if there was, there certainly wasn’t kettlebell at that time on YouTube. It was very hard to come by information.

A historic point in the timeline was 2005, myself and seven other Americans. We went to Russia for the 2005 World Championships of kettlebell sport, Girevoy sport, and that was in Moscow. That was eye-opening, because there I saw the best lifters in the world in the kettlebell sport.

I realized, “Man, this this is such a high level. This is not something that I’m learning or know anything about. How do I get to that point?” It was the curiosity like, “Man, I want to get to that point.”

I couldn’t figure it out at first because it’s was like, how are these guys of my same weight, doing twice or three times the reps that I’m doing? In America at this point, I was already establishing myself as one of the strongest lifters, certainly pound for pound, and so I was already emerging as a leader. It was like a big fish in a small pond.

Then you go into the ocean and you realize, “I’m not such a big fish.” Initially, after I overcame the shock of realizing I’m not at that level, the second stage was how do I get to the level? Still there was not a lot of information.

Around probably 2006, Valery Fedorenko, when we look at the history of the modern kettlebell, you have individuals that are significant figures. Pavel will certainly being the first as far as creating the market.

Fedorenko was really the first to teach kettlebell sport. He was the first high-level World Champion that was starting to teach to the American audience. I learned quite a bit from Fedorenko at that stage.

I continued training, continued teaching, Backtracking a little bit, in 2004 I created my first DVD, because there was request for that. There was interest in that. Pavel was encouraging me to make a DVD.

I created Full KOntact Kettlebells, which essentially was combining kettlebells with some martial art concepts, different types of stances, changes of base and so on, mobility with the kettlebell, and set up.

This was in the early stages also of Internet meets fitness. There hadn’t been too many people that were actually selling fitness, or promoting fitness as their business on the Internet at that time.

I did what we saw others doing. I set up a website, a two-page shopping cart, a landing page, started taking orders. Orders kept coming in, kept coming in. Every once in a while someone ordered the DVD. They’d write, “Hey, I love your Full KOntact Kettlebells, are you ever out here, say in Boston, doing seminars?”

In 2004 I started doing seminars around the US. The DVD was really a launching pad that got my work out there and attracted individuals that wanted to train with me. That continued over a couple of years. In 2007 I started getting requests to go international.

That sort of began going to the UK, going to Spain, going to Singapore, Japan a lot of different places. The end of 2007 I got a specific request from a colleague in Hong Kong saying, “Do you offer certifications?” because in Hong Kong people want that certification.

That’s really in vogue in the fitness community at that time. I didn’t have a certification but I responded to his email, “Yes, I do.”

The need was there, so I created it and did the needful, created the FBN, the business license, all that. I set up the website. I identified who was going to be my right-hand, man, so I reached out to Ken Blackburn at that time.

He was the best person I had come across of the different RKC courses I had been through and the different seminars. He was a guy that really stood out for his combination of skill and personality. I knew at the beginning I needed kind of a second me, someone that has similar skill sets, that I can have a right-hand man. Ken got on board with me.

Immediately out of the gate, in 2008 I went to Hong Kong in January. In 2009, Ken and I did a course in Chicago. It was every month, one, two, sometimes three courses. It took off like a rocket ship. Before you know it, I was traveling around the world. Within a decade, teaching more than 60 countries and bringing kettlebells far and wide.

David TaoDavid Tao

Do you keep track of how many courses you’ve taught thus far?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

 I would have to go through all my different appointment books, but it would be more than 600 at this point, counting not only certifications, seminars, workshops. In addition, I would say probably about 50 different conferences. We talk about things like Idea, or Perform Better, or IHRSA. All these various trade shows. I would say conservative estimate, at least 600 or more. Between 2007 and 2014, I would say 45 weekends out of the year, I was traveling.

David TaoDavid Tao

Wow.

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Yeah. I was literally living on airplanes for a lot of that. In the last few years, I’ve really condensed it. My focus is on more specific areas. I’m not just literally flying from here to there like I was.

David TaoDavid Tao

You get to have a bit of a home life now relative to what you have for a while.

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Yeah. A lot more stability and life changes, our priorities change, our focus changes and our values can also change. It’s still something that I love, but it’s no longer the goal to travel and go around the world now that I’ve done so many times over.

David TaoDavid Tao

You were an early pioneer, especially in the Western world on spreading the philosophy, the training methodology around kettlebells, kettlebell training, adding your own twist, perspective and experience. What are some other factors that you think have been important in the growth and popularity of kettlebells in the Western world?

I remember going into weightlifting gyms a decade ago and maybe seeing one or two kettlebells, but only in specialty gyms. Those tended to be gyms that were run by former Russian weightlifters who had maybe immigrated to the US and were familiar with kettlebells. Now, you go into any gym, you go into any big box gym in United States and you’re very likely to find a kettlebell set.

We have two kettlebell sets here in the BarBend office. What factors beyond yourself, the work you’ve done and the work that people like Pavel have done have factored into that growth in the Western world?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

That’s a great question. It’s definitely multiple. Certainly, personality can drive for a period of time. I don’t put it too much on the personality whether it’s Pavel, myself or anyone else. Those are certainly contributing factors at certain stages. However, it’s the utility of the tool itself and its inherent value that it offers to the user. That is the primary factor.

It’s easy to let the ego and the personality. Yes, because of me or…In reality, the kettlebell would be successful even if you take the players out, in my opinion, simply because of its efficacy and its utility. At the end of it, results rule. That’s the most important factor is those who take the time to learn it and use it do get tangible benefits, increases in their fitness and so on.

Certainly another factor is the larger, what I would call the fitness industry. They were lagging behind and they’re still lagging behind. In terms of the recognition and awareness by the fitness industry that, “Hey, kettlebells are here to stay. They’re not just a passing fads, so we better get on board. We better start programming. We better start selling.” Nowadays, you go into DICK’S Sporting, you go into Target, you can buy a kettlebell.

Those are factors. I’m not speaking about the quality right now. I’m just speaking about the popularity because they are two very different things. Certainly, it needs to be recognized that CrossFit has been one of the major driving factors in terms of just the sheer volume of CrossFit gyms. The fact that CrossFit commune with, they like to work hard, they like to train. If you like to work hard and you like to train, then you’d like kettlebells. [laughs]

Those are some of the big factors. Of course there are personalities and people that certainly have contributed to our…YouTube has been a massive facilitator in terms of the sheer volume of people doing kettlebells. The exposure in general via the Internet, it is yet another factor.

David TaoDavid Tao

What are some common misconceptions do you think that still abound when it comes to kettlebell training? Both within the fitness community and maybe outside the fitness community among the general population?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

That’s a good question. Misconceptions well again, I would say, with the CrossFit example that I just used, there has been a lot of misconception created there just because of the polarity at least when kettlebells were first introduced through the CrossFit community.

It was sort of pigeon-holed into it’s not really useful piece of equipment except for this one movement which was called the American swing. That specifically from an article that Greg Glassman wrote back in the CrossFit journal in probably 2004 or so, called the American swing. He sort of dismissed our kettlebells are pretty much useless for everything except for this one.

When I say misconception, if someone is learning perhaps from a CrossFit coach that isn’t well versed in kettlebell and they maybe went through a level one CrossFit and they learned the American swing, that would be a misconception from the point of view of a kettlebell specialist because it’s not really how a swing is performed mechanically. There are certain limitations in terms of who’s using it with regards to the mobility of the shoulder and thoracic spine.

From a skilled user looking at someone picking up a kettlebell and just swinging the overhead, we would probably see that as a misconception. Where you’re getting your information from, where you’re getting your training from can contribute to that. Otherwise misconception would be things such as if you’re viewing it as a strength tool, it certainly is, but it’s primarily an endurance tool.

The misconception about even the design of the kettlebell where it’s now what’s the biggest kettlebell that I can lift for one rep? I’m not saying that’s wrong or bad, but it’s a misconception of the essence in which a kettlebell is a fixed weight. The objective is to increase the number of reps. In other words, a barbell can be loaded.

If your goal is to pick the heaviest kettle that you know, the heaviest load that you can do for a single rep and measure your one rep max, a barbell is simply as superior tool by design and just by the fact of its utility that you can add weight. A kettlebell that’s not its best use or really what it’s intended use. As a kettlebell is something that it’s not a max weight, it’s sub max weight.

Now the objective is to do more reps and therefore the higher level you get with that and the further down you go, it becomes more and more of an endurance and less and less of a strength. Or more accurately we’d say power endurance because there is a time component, at least in the kettlebell sport, there’s a time component where you’re doing as many reps as you can in a period of time.

It’s work per unit of time. Those are misconceptions as well. Probably a third misconception can be that you can’t build muscle with kettlebells. That kettlebells is good for getting you in shape but if you to want to build muscle, you need to use barbells or dumbbells. That’s a misconception because at the end of it, it’s a load and your muscles are still going to recognize it as such, even though the position is a little bit different.

Those are some of the misconceptions that come to mind. Another one would be, and it’s not as prevalent as it was a decade ago, but another one would be that kettlebells will hurt you or kettlebells are bad for your back. I’ve heard physicians mention that in the early days when no one even knew what kettlebells were. They see a swing, “Oh, that’s going to hurt your back.” That would be a misconception as well.

David TaoDavid Tao

You use the term and this is throughout your training, it’s on your website, it’s in your social media posts, “mind-body exercise protocols.” What does that mean to you and what can the average lifter at home, someone who’s a strength athlete listening into this podcast, what can that mean to them and how can they incorporate that into their own training or movement practice?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Thanks for asking that. It’s inseparable. Ultimately, what it means and what one can gather is that everything is mind. The body is the vessel or the vehicle with which we express ourselves. I don’t limit it just to kettlebell, but it certainly applies to kettlebell very well.

Whatever physical training that I’m doing, ultimately prior to doing it, I have to make a decision to do it. The kettlebell doesn’t pick itself up. I have to decide to pick it up. From there, I decide, OK, I’m going to swing it. I decide, OK, I’m going to keep swinging it. Now I’m tired. Man, this sucks. I think I’m going to put it down, but no. I’m going to keep going.

That’s mind, because the mind is the commander and the body obeys. Contrast that with, oh, I’m going to pump my bicep or whatever the target of the body. I’m going to get that pump, and oh, man, this hurts. I think I’d rather be doing something else. That’s letting the body dictate, and at the first signs of discomfort, you decide to go a different direction.

It applies to who we are and what we do in life because to achieve an objective requires focus. It requires a dedication and a firm decision that this is what I’m going to do. You have to work for it in order to achieve it.

As time goes on, it becomes more and more about the mind and less and less about the body. Ultimately, you’re cultivating your focus. You’re strengthening your focus as you’re strengthening the body.

Another way to look at this is integration. By that I mean if you go into the big box gyms, and it still happens today, but certainly if we go back 20 years ago before there was kettlebells and before there was CrossFit, the modern conception of what we have for functional training now, it didn’t exist two decades ago.

Mostly the gyms were, usually the big box gyms, the 24 Hour Fitness, the Bally, things like that. It was a bodybuilding culture, if not culture, that was the model that people were looking towards. They were looking in the muscle magazines for information. OK, yeah, I need to be like Arnold, and that means fitness.

At that time, you would see a lot of people, for example, standing on the treadmill watching the TV or reading the newspaper, or sitting on an elliptical trainer or stationary bike reading a magazine.

That’s a perfect illustration of the inverse of mind/body. That’s essentially your body is working but your mind is somewhere completely different. There’s no focus. It’s almost like you’re just burning calories, but there’s no mindfulness. There’s no thoughtfulness to what you’re actually doing. That would be a distinction.

With what I do, not just with kettlebells, with everything, with martial art, with movement, with day-to-day living presence of mind is to do everything with intention. There’s a clear vision of what you’re intending to do, what you’re setting out to do.

When you apply that to the physical training, it’s the integration of the movement with the focus, and you have to include the breathing. Mind, body and breath, really because the breath is the medium which enables the harmony between the mind and the body.

It’s the focus of the mind on the breath and the synchronicity of the breath with the movement that creates the flow. When we’re in flow, we are on top of the wave. We’re riding the wave. That’s the objective.

You mentioned at the beginning of the conversation about the movements can be very fluid and natural and intuitive, or they can be clunky and uncoordinated. In so many words, you were describing that. I agree with that. That’s really the difference in the movement and the integration of the mind. When there’s not mindfulness, it’s the body’s working but it’s working against itself.

There’s no clarity in what you’re trying to do. It’s just, hey, I’m working hard and I’m breathing heavy, and I’m getting tired, so I must be doing something good, versus you can do any task that may be intense in terms of its difficulty level, but you do it with a level of clarity. You do it with a level of ease because you are completely committed and you’re completely clear on what the objective is.

David TaoDavid Tao

I think those are words that any strength athlete who has struggled with presence or maybe hit a rut in training can certainly relate to and abide by. I oftentimes find that our plateaus are maybe more mental than I think athletes of any sport, especially when it comes to strength athletics, would like to admit.

Changing something about your mindset, your approach, something that has really not much to do with your movement patterns as we might interpret them physically. Changing those oftentimes leads to tangible strength gains and progress in the gym and on the platform.

I really love how you’re framing that, because I think anyone who’s ever struggled with anything in strength athletics can relate to the fact that the mind is a powerful driver of progress, certainly.

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Absolutely. I always say differentiate, but where I go deeper than simply a platitude of saying mind/body is everything we’re talking about with regards to training, the level beyond that is how can I take these lessons, how can I take this focus and this integration that I am very comfortable within the training world and the physical, and how can I start to apply these principles to other facets of my life?

I’m great in the gym, or I’m great at kettlebells, but I have an area of my life that is out of balance or not doing well. How can I apply these same principles into other facets of life to effectively make a more holistic, well-rounded individual? That’s where the training is most valuable. It’s not just about, oh, I can bench press the most weight, or I have the biggest biceps.

The reason I understand this is because the one constant that we’re all subjected to is aging. At some point in time, we recognize that the physical body that, this Steve Cotter guy and how I identify the physical body that I operate in and the physical body that you operate in and everyone else for that matter, it gets older.

The physical body can get injured. The physical body can get sick. The physical body can break. The physical body will age, and at some point in time, the physical body will no longer…It’ll return back in time to the earth again.

If your entire training paradigm is based upon the physical and the muscle, you will never achieve the ultimate objective. You will always reach a plateau with which you will never surpass. You will reach a physical peak, that’s all of us. Even at the highest level of sport it’s easy to see.

I’ll use the example of Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan, by most metrics, is considered the greatest basketball player of all time and certainly in the conversation of one of the two or three greatest of all time.

Michael Jordan isn’t Michael Jordan anymore. Michael Jordan couldn’t sustain that, and he had to stop playing, because he was no longer the greatest, right?

The point being is even if you’re the strongest, you’re not going to be the strongest forever if that’s how you’re measuring strengths. There’s going to be someone that surpasses you, someone younger, someone healthier, someone faster, someone bigger.

If your self-identity revolves just upon the physical, you’re only going to be disappointed even if you achieve the highest level. Rather what we may start to diminish in the physical as we get older — I can’t jump as high, I can’t run as fast, I don’t lift as heavy, this type of thing — we can more than make up for in other areas of character development, what some might call wisdom.

Your technique can still improve. So, again, when I said the beginning the martial art, everything that I do with the kettlebell it’s filtered through the lens of the martial artist, and we understand in martial art that technique trumps everything.

The bigger, stronger, faster guy he’s probably going to win every time in the gym but he’s not necessarily going to win on the maths. Because if I’m more skillful, you’re bigger and stronger and faster, but I’m more skillful, I will still defeat you. And so the mind has to do with our understanding about things. And “knowledge is power.”

David TaoDavid Tao

Steve, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. Where can folks follow along most closely with the work that you’re doing, both in the realm of kettlebell sport and kettlebell training, but also your martial arts practice and the many other interests I know that you push out there on social media to folks who are interested?

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Yeah. The best way to follow me and to engage with me is going to be on Instagram. That’s my preferred medium. That’s where I like to interact with people. You can follow me there, I post a lot of different elements of what I’m into. As well as if you reach out to me on message. I’ll get back to you and we can have a conversation. That’s just my name, Steve Cotter, IKFF.

David TaoDavid Tao

Perfect. Steve, thanks so much. Really appreciate your time.

Steve CotterSteve Cotter

Thank you.

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