Kettlebell Get Ups For Grapplers-Kettlebell Kings

Kettlebell Get Ups For Grapplers

We have published a number of articles with Joey Alvarado of Legacy BJJ and are excited to have him contribute this specifically for our Grappling blog. Joey is one of the original people we collaborated with on kettlebell complexes and kettlebell flows. Joey was one of the first in the grappling community to discover the power of the kettlebell and how it can help with his matches. He quickly adapted the kettlebell and applied it to some of the common movements he needed in his fights.

By Joey Alvarado:

Years before I even trained with kettlebells I heard many people professing how good they were for martial arts, but never quite heard any one explaining exactly why they are good for combat sports.

Flash forward to the first time I was taught the Turkish Get Up! First thing that came to my mind was, “Oh wow!” it’s almost identical to what’s called the Technical lift in BJJ! The only difference is, with the technical lift, on the get up part, instead of putting the knee on the ground, we bypass that and stand straight to our feet.

The Technical Lift (aka: standing up in base or the technical stand up) is a mandatory movement that any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioner or MMA fighter should master. It is the proper way to stand up when someone knocks you down in a street fight or MMA fight. Also, it has a ton of direct applications in BJJ sweeps and transitions. Watch the demonstration of this lift below and read more about the applications and benefits of the kettlebell get up! Joey Alvarado trains with his Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebells! 


Other than martial arts applications, the Turkish Get Up has numerous benefits. I honestly feel that it is one of the best full body exercises you can do. I personally prefer to add a press and drive thru my elbow which targets your chest and back. When you do this, it makes the TGU more challenging because you are utilizing more muscles.

Also, I do not favor doing max reps of a TGU with a ton of weight. In the course of a BJJ match, I personally utilize the TGU or Technical lift movement numerous times. So, I make my get up training closer to that. I prefer to train an alternating Turkish get up for 2-minute rounds to get a full body workout. This also makes it highly anaerobic the same as combat sports. You can get a deeper look into my Turkish Get Up training methods in my one-month Ultimate program.

Read Joey's other Grappling related posts here, here and here.

About Joey Alvarado:

We are going to be doing series around kettlebell movements and workouts designed for combat sports. Though these movements are designed to incorporate elements of combat sport training, we love the concepts the workouts involve and think they make a great workout for anyone! So make sure to read on no matter who you are. For this series we are partnering with Joey Alvarado, from Kettle Jitsu Revolution. Joey has been featured on a number of podcasts, DVD's and articles about the way he trains his students with kettlebells. Joey is a world renowned fitness/mixed martial arts (mma) and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (bjj) coach. Joey is a 30 year veteran of martial arts training. He spent 7 years as a professional mma fighter and holds a Black belt in BJJ under Roger Machado as well as black belts in Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do under Grand Master S.R. Moreland. Joey also has a brown/black belt in Kuk Sool won under In Hyuk Suh. Joey is the father of hybrid kettlebell training. He fused traditional kettlebell exercises with movements from mma and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and came out with the ground breaking DVD, Combat Kettlebell Systems. Joe has a really unique style of kettlebell training that people on our social media accounts were really interested to learn more about after our initial post so we asked him to write a piece for us and you can see his video below.

Close to 10 years ago, I went to purchase some kettlebells from an old company called My Mad Methods (MMM). MMM was located inside of a gym called MBody Strength owned by Marcus Martinez and Mark de Grasse. I met Mark while I was there and asked him if he would take a look at a specific kettlebell program that I had been developing with my students at my former gym SoCal MMA and he agreed, so I proceeded to show some of the kettlebell movements and flows I had developed and his eyes lit up! Mark asked if he could film some of the movements, I agreed and within a few minutes Mark looked at me and said, “We need to do a dvd.”

I was blown away! I just wanted to see what he thought of the exercises I had developed, I certainly was not expecting to land a DVD deal! This led to his company My Mad Methods producing my first 2 DVD's. The Comba Kettlebell Systems DVD we created was the first of its kind to showcase newly developed kettlebell movements and principles taken directly from MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and was sold all over the world, I released another DVD dedicated to body weight training called Shadow Jitsu. My Mad Methods created such a buzz that it gained the attention of a little nutritional supplement company called Onnit. They purchased MMM (along with my DVDs and articles) and brought in Mark de Grasse to create the Onnit Academy where some of my articles are still posted today.

Sensei Alvarado also owned and operated the premier mma gym in Northeast los Angeles, SoCal mma and fitness for ten years. Master Joey is now teaches BJJ/Kettlejitsu at BJJ/MMA legend Alberto Cranes gym, Legacy. BJJ Burbank. You can find more by Joey at his YouTube Channel

Here is a list of Joey's accomplishments:

  • Owner/Master trainer of SoCal mma and fitness
  • Bjj black belt under Roger Machado
  • Black Belt No Gi World Champion
  • Black belt Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do
  • Brown/black belt Kuk Sool Won
  • Former Cage of Fire lightweight pro mma champion
  • Black Belt no gi world bronze medalist
  • Black belt SJJF world Bronze medalist
  • Black belt National silver medalist
  • Ibjjf no gi Brown Belt world champion Senior 2, American national Gi champion, American national no gi champion
  • California Open Champion
  • Las vegas open champion
  • Nevada State open Champion
  • Long Beach Fall open Heavyweight Gold Medalist
  • Houston Open middleweight Gold Medalist
  • European open Silver Medalist
  • Las Vegas open silver medalist
  • Grapplers Quest Best Of the West Gold medalist
  • U.S. National Silver medalist
  • Son of Former #6th ranked Pro Boxer Joe Medrano
  • Creator of the Combat Kettle-Jitsu and Shadow-Jistu dvds

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