RKC II: Advanced Kettlebell Skills for Enhancing Power, Building Strength and Improving the Quality of Your Movement

Taught by Master RKC Andrea Du Cane

Dragon Door’s mission for the RKC II, is to turn out highly competent, knowledgeable, skilled instructors who place a premium on strong, safe, health-based movement—for themselves and their clients. We consider the ability to move well, model well and teach well to be of equal importance to the instructor’s strength and endurance capacities.

A hallmark of Dragon Door’s RKC I and RKC II programs is the insistence on intelligent programming and safe progressions—for the long-term development of both health and strength.

Graduates of Dragon Door’s RKC I possess the skills to perform and teach the fundamental lifts in the kettlebell trainer’s repertoire.

Graduates of the RKC II will possess the skills to perform and teach the next most important set of kettlebell lifts—while refining and enhancing their RKC I competencies.

Key to the RKC II, will be an understanding of the progressions needed to help even the “average” client achieve “above-average” results—and continue to develop their health and strength for years to come.

Invest in Dragon Door’s RKC II to:

  • Enhance your kettlebell training expertise
  • Deliver highly effective kettlebell training to a wider spectrum of clients
  • Boost your income as a kettlebell trainer
  • Establish yourself as a leader in the kettlebell-training world
  • Join and network with an elite group of high-level kettlebell instructors
  • Fine-tune your essential RKC skills
  • Develop significant new levels of power, strength, conditioning and physical resilience

Master the Weighted Pull-Up

  • Learn how to channel the power from your abdomen and hips—like a one-inch punch, without kipping—into the pull-up
  • Master the secrets of the “hollow position” critical for having a strong pullup finish—and power in combat sports
  • Learn how to make the pull-up an exceptional abdominal exercise
  • Elevate your pull-up power with the hanging leg raise
  • Discover the key differences in training your pull-ups for 1RM or reps

Master the Weighted Pistol

  • Master the pistol in record time with an accelerated pistol mastery program built from the RKC front squat
  • Learn how to troubleshoot the typical problems such as a limited range of motion, knee strain, a short waist, a large stomach or thighs, and the inability to maintain balance

Master the Clean and Jerk

  • Learn the HardStyle jerk specifically designed for high power applications
  • Master a safe shock absorption technique that is one of the best known builders for the lower quads
  • Dramatically improve your sports agility with a special second dip technique
  • Understand what you must do to avoid motor learning confusion between your jerks and presses

Master the Windmill

The windmill is a powerful drill for shoulder and rib cage mobility and an excellent stretch for the hips.

  • Learn safe and effective windmill technique
  • Get a tool kit full of lead up and remedial drills
Master the Bent Press

It is hard to find an exercise that does more for the upper body than the bent press. An incredible lat builder, the bent press also develops shoulders extraordinary in their mobility and resilience, and powerful triceps. A Big Bang exercise of the first magnitude.

  • Learn safe and effective bent press technique
  • Master the proper strength and mobility progression and lead up exercises for this advanced drill



Entrance Requirements:

  • Pull-up/Chinup 5 reps for Men, Flexed Arm Hang for Women (20sec)
  • Snatch Test
  • Retest all RKC I Drills as Doubles (minus snatch and getup)

Exit Requirements:

  • Weighted Pull-up for Men, Single Pull-up for Women
  • One Arm Military Press: See weight classes
  • Pistol
  • Pull-up
  • Windmill
  • Double Jerk
  • Bent Press (teach and review, not pass or fail)

Not Tested, But Taught:

  • Single Arm Push Press
  • Variety Pressing Drills (See-saw, Bottom Up, Single Leg, Kneeling)
  • Walking Swings




Men Open Class

Bodyweight, Lbs. Kettlebell, Kilos
145 lbs or less 28 kg
146 to 175 32
176 to 190 36
191 or more 40
Women Open Class

Bodyweight, Lbs. Kettlebell, Kilos
110 lbs or less 14 kg
111 to 124 16
125 to 139 18
140 to 164 20
165 or more 22
Men Masters
(50 to 64 years Old)
Bodyweight, Lbs. Kettlebell, kilos
145 lbs or less 24 kg
146 to 175 28
176 to 190 32
191 or more 36
Women Masters
(50 to 64 Years Old)

Bodyweight, Lbs. Kettlebell, kilos
110 lbs or less 12kg
111 to 124 14
125 to 139 16
140 to 164
165 or more
Men Seniors
(65 Years Old or Over)
Bodyweight, Lbs. Kettlebell, kilos
145 lbs or less 22 kg
146 to 155 24
156 to 175 28
176 or more 32
Women Seniors
65 Years Old or Over)

Bodyweight, Lbs. Kettlebell, kilos
110 lbs or less 12kg
111 to 139 14
140 or more 16


The above numbers can be achieved by following the programs laid out in Master The Kettlebell.

In the pull-up you will be required to start from a dead hang, pull up without kipping, and finish by touching the bar with your neck or chest using the thumbless overhand grip. Women will be tested with their bodyweight only. Men will be required to hang a kettlebell on a foot (a weight belt is not allowed). Kettlebell sizes: 24kg for up to 220 pounds bodyweight; 16kg for over 220 pounds. Men masters (over 50 years old): 16kg up to 220 pounds; bodyweight; 12kg for over 220 pounds.

In the pistol you must be able to descend at least to parallel and come up exercising control. You may hold a counterweight. Successful performance of the pistol with one leg is sufficient.

Successful performance of the windmill, bent press, and push press with one arm is sufficient.

The jerk will be tested with two kettlebells of the size required for the snatch test.

RKC II Preparation Advice

A large percentage of RKC II failures are due to tight shoulder girdles and thoracic spines. The following books and DVDs are recommended for preparation: Kettlebells from the Ground Up,Resilient, Return of the KettlebellSecrets of the Shoulder.

The Strict One-Arm Military Press


  • Performance of the C&P with one arm is sufficient.
  • Chalk is allowed.
  • The candidate will clean the bell with one hand.
  • The candidate must initiate the press with the fist of the working arm below chin level.
  • The candidate must press the kettlebell overhead to a full lockout for one repetition.
  • The candidate must be standing still during the entire press attempt.
  • There must be a distinct pause between the clean and the press, the candidate and the kettlebell motionless.
  • The knees must be completely locked during the attempt.
  • The candidate must demonstrate full control at the lockout. The candidate and the kettlebell must remain motionless until the head referee’s “Down!” command.

What disqualifies an attempt?

  • Failing any of the above standards.
  • Using the legs in a push press fashion.
  • Bouncing the kettlebell off the chest.
  • Downward movement of the kettlebell after the pause between the clean and the press.
  • Raising one or both heels, moving one or both feet.
  • Leaning sideways so the press turns into a side press. Look for the elbow angle: if it increases at any point during the attempt without a simultaneous elevation of the bell, the candidate has leaned away from the kettlebell and thus has turned a strict press into a side press.
  • Excessively leaning back during the attempt.
  • Rolling the kettlebell onto the shoulder.

The Tactical Dead Hang Pullup


  • The candidate must perform one strict dead hang pullup with a kettlebell hung from the foot.
  • The bar shall be set high enough not to allow the candidate’s feet to touch the ground when hanging with the arms and legs straight.
  • The grip must be thumbless overhand. The width is not specified.
  • The candidate may use a box or similar object to reach the bar.
  • There must be a distinct pause in a dead hang before an attempt is made.
  • The elbows must be straight at the start; the legs may be straight or bent.
  • The neck or chest—not the underside of the chin— must touch the bar at the top position.

What disqualifies an attempt?

  • Failing any of the above standards.
  • Kipping, Swinging
  • Raising the femurs above parallel.

If you fail any of the above tests, you will be given three months to retest with a Master RKC, Senior RKC, or RKC Team Leader. Your RKC II Instructor certificate will not be issued until you have passed all the tests.



Regardless of how recent your Level I cert is, in addition to the above Level II requirements you will be retested for Level I: the technique in the six Level 1 basics and the five-minute snatch test. This will recertify you as a Level I RKC for two more years.

If you fail any of the Level I tests you will not be certified as a Level II instructor, even if you have passed all the Level II tests. You will not be recertified as a Level I instructor either.

If you fail any of the Level I tests, you will be given two months to retest with a Master RKC, Senior RKC, or RKC Team Leader.


The Art of Coaching & Group Class Programming Skills

1)Technique Review: Includes Individual Review and Coaching

Take participants through deadlift/swing and Get-up, trouble-shoot in front of group. Break out into small groups and coach each other in basic KB skills.

2)The Workout TemplateBuilding a Balanced Kettlebell Workout

a)Introduce the GPP workout template: upper/lower body, pushes & pulls etc.

b)Dividing Kettlebell exercises into 3 main groups:

  • 6 core exercises including some of the teaching progressions.
  • Non-tested and Auxiliary exercises for a well-rounded program.
  • Corrective/Functional exercises  and RKCII progressions and exercises (RKC II’s).

c)How to put your workout together using the template by plugging the exercises into the right place.

3)Group Programming Strategies: Provided with 2 workout examples.

a)Modify on the Fly: regress or progress exercises for any given client in a group class.

b)Structure of individual exercises: rep/sets, interval sets, super sets, drop sets.

4)Create and lead your own workout: put it all together and practice leading part of your workout

a)Using the example and templates, design your own workout.

b)Lead a portion of your workout for your small group.