Monday, August 20, 2012

My RKC Anniversary and what the RKC means to me

Team Dan John at the San Diego RKC August 2011

I always struggle with what to write. I think this is a good time to let it ride. With what's going on withing the RKC community this past weekend I'm going to give it a shot. 

This is the anniversary of the weekend that changed my life forever. On this day last year I was on day 2 of my RKC weekend. Tired, hurting, questioning myself, sun burned (yes black folks do get sun burned ;) ). I wanted to quit. But looking around the field I saw about 100 others who were tired, hurting and questioning themselves. I thought about how good it would feel to finish. I did finish and it led to meeting great new people and took me to many different places.

My obligatory Pavel pic. What a story here!

News came out Friday that Pavel was leaving the RKC. Folks started drawing lines in the sand. Mass chaos and confusion. What next? Why did he leave? What does this mean for the future? Folks started changing their profile pics to pics of them and Pavel. I have 2 Pavel pics. The one above exactly 1 year ago today. I ate way too much during lunch and drank 2 Gatorade's.  Bad combo. I got asked to demonstrate a TGU sit up. Of course my stomach was churning and upset. Trying not to fart in front of 100 folks while doing a exercise with good technique in front of the Chief is true pressure!

It's true that I found the RKC because of Pavel as most of us have. But that wasn't the reason I went to the RKC nor was it the defining moment of my RKC. I went to learn, to better myself and to be a better coach for my students/clients. What I learned went way beyond the 23 hours of the RKC weekend. What I learned went way beyond the hardstyle principles taught at the RKC. The RKC weekend is rewarding, challenging, inspirational, humbling, gratifying and a ton of other "ings" you want to throw in there.

ROP last July, got great feedback via Youtube!

I learned that putting up a video on YouTube, you'll get feedback from other RKC's. Shout out to Joe Sansalone, Joakim Bom and Thayne Shatah who gave me tips about my technique. I learned that this RKC community continues to give back. I learned that I look forward to each and every workshop to see my "brothers and sisters". Yes my brothers and sisters. The RKC is different than other certifications. We truly are a family. At times dysfunctional, but a family. At times we don't agree with one another, sometimes we don't like one another. But that's ok, because it's that way in all families.

With my extended journey brother Dave Clancy!

A family that when you're in another city, you can call up a fellow RKC and #getmoney! A family that supports one another from several thousands of miles away. This is the RKC! We are the RKC! Each one of us has a story to tell. Each one of us has people to inspire and lead and learn from. Do we stop learning because of a business decision between our "parents"? No! We owe it to ourselves and our students to continue learning. I'm not in a position where I need to draw a line in the sand. I'm not a distributor, team leader, senior or master. I haven't sat fireside with Pavel and hashed it up about life. I have sat in a few hotel lobbies and hashed it up with great folks like Tom Foley, Laura McNally, Karen McDowell Smith, Paul Lyngso, Mike Souza, Tim Shuman, Huon Urquhart, Petra Feit and Phil Earley. I've had lunch with Aleks Salkin and John Scott Stevens in Omaha and celebrated my birthday at dinner with Jason and Sheena Nold, Scott Iardella and Tristan Phillips. I've had "Coka Cerro" with Peter Lakatos and Joakim Bom in Italy.

I love this photo. This was at the start of the RKC II in Italy. The national anthem of each country represented was played. Not the entire anthem! Ten seconds. Language barriers aside everyone there had a common bond. RKC! Let us not forget that.

What does the future hold? I don't know. Hopefully it means continuing to see many of you and meet those of you I haven't met yet. Hopefully it means that we continue to learn and grow. I hope to see many of you at future RKC events and new workshops from Pavel!

Power to You!

Pharaoh out!


  1. I am personally offended that I did not get a shout out.

  2. Well said sir. I'm currently drawing a few lines in the sand and they all meet to form the phrase HARDSTYLE. There isn't a weak link among us. Hope to meet you some day. Until then, best in strength and life.

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  4. Everything will work out my friend. It's comforting hearing this common theme amongst my RKC brethren. I'm just bummed I did not get to meet you last year in San Diego, I was assisting for Ricardo Nievas. Someday!!

    1. I also saw you the week before at the IDEA conference in LA. I'm sure there will be a workshop in the future we'll get to meet!

  5. Great article Ari! Great story about your RKC journey! Well done buddy.