John Du Cane is the author of Qigong Recharge, editor, fitness guru, and accomplished businessman. I was lucky enough to speak to him recently. At first I thought we’d steer the conversation towards kettlebell and John’s pioneering work in seeding the fitness industry with quality kettlebell trainers, but something else caught my attention. And so we talked about resilience and longevity.
John’s journey began in South Africa where he was consumed his youth. At a young age he felt a connection between life and energy. I understood this as his awareness of the life force of the human body and the energy connection between people.
John says, “I was always surrounded by nature and thinking about the world.”
John started his qigong and tai chi practice in 1975 and has owned and operated Dragon Door Publications since 1990, where he spans everything from martial arts to isometrics, aside from popularizing tough kettlebell training under the RKC banner.
Qigong and resilience
As a qigong student, John Du Cane understands how our breath is a tool with which we can develop physical and mental resilience.
Qigong is an art that originated in China and is taught to warriors to be fully aware of their bodies and movements. I asked him if a particular segment of qigong would help modern martial artists develop this kind of resilience.
He suggested the iron shirt qigong.
If the breath is energy and energy of life, it makes sense why we breathe in a way that tenses our core muscles when doing exercises like running, pull-ups, or lifting heavy weights in general.
Control your breathing
Many books and courses on breathing techniques have been published.
If you’re ever intrigued enough to buy a copy of John Du Canes Qigong series on Amazon, I’d also recommend buying a copy of Breathing for Warriors by Belisa Vranich and Brian Sabin.
These books contain a lot of information, tips, and tricks to begin your journey of breathing mastery.
According to John, it can take you many years to learn to control your energy through qigong. Development takes a long time because it goes beyond the physical aspects of our being. It helps us develop mental strength that sharpens our intuitive mind.
Train your inner being
This ability can help us navigate life by making meaningful choices. I’ve made some decisions in life that were logically right but didn’t feel right. Ultimately, these decisions led me to point one because I chose to ignore this sense of inner knowing.
This sense of inner knowing is your intuition, and if you choose to cultivate it through qigong, everything that happens to you will happen for you.
It’s a change of perspective – a deeper understanding of your purpose on this planet.
Teamwork makes the dream come true. John began his friendship and working relationship with Pavel Tsatsouline when he enrolled in Pavel’s classes. Pavel’s technique, charm and articulation skills made John Pavel approach to publish his programs.
In an interview with John, I asked him, “Was it because of all the decades of cultivating and training your intuition that you knew inside that this partnership was going to be a success?”
John Du Cane replied that it might be difficult to understand what is going on in his universe, but it makes sense that he derives his strong self-knowledge from training his inner self.
At the time, kettlebells were not a trend or part of general exercise programs. Even Pavel stated that it was likely a very niche market in which to reach elite strength athletes and other interested professional athletes. Little did they know that the kettlebell movement was going to become a worldwide phenomenon.
The kettlebell challenge offered people a platform to develop their strength, breathing and resilience all rolled into one. At this point, it’s probably safe to say that as long as we’re alive and excited about life, we always want to push the boundaries.
We’re pushing boundaries to find the answer to the question we’ve all asked ourselves: Is there more to life than just our daily routines and duties??
A training program called the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) was born, which resulted in millions of people around the world having the initials RKC tattooed on their bodies. It is safe to say that there is more in life for anyone who chooses to challenge themselves by signing up for this rigorous program.
As Pavel says, “I’ll show you how to be a better man. If you don’t know, I’ll show you. If you don’t want to, I’ll make you. “
I am a reflective learner who uses knowledge from the outside world to make it my own internally. My experience with kettlebell workouts has been amazing.
But to do it well, it will take more years before the pursuit of perfection is the journey of a lifetime.
My first encounter with the kettlebell helped me uncover my bad habits in terms of posture, breathing, and timing. I was a strong young man in my late teens and I always found ways to add to my exercise regimen.
The first thing I noticed was that it was easy to get injured with poor form.
In particular, arching your back is not advisable when you are on the downward swing. It also means that I used my arm and hip strength without reaching the full potential of my core strength.
Having abs is cool, but the ability to flex and relax your core at exactly the time you want is the next level.
The repetitive movement of tension and relaxation with which we perform the kettlebell swings can be applied to other forms of fitness such as martial arts and rugby.
There’s a lot to do, but the good news is if, like me, you have a kettlebell in your room or office, you can get more exercise time to perfect your form and breathing. It only takes around 10 to 20 minutes for a real workout, which means it’s less invasive for your time.
Connor Mcgregor, UFC multiple weight champion, once said, “Accuracy beats strength and timing beats speed.”
Hope you made your way to find your form of perfection. If this trip is in fitness, I would highly recommend that you purchase a copy of John Du Canes Qigong Recharge and Pavel’s Fast and Loose-Secrets of Russian Champions.